Can You Mix Sublimation Ink Brands? | Unveiling the truth (2024)

Many brands are available, producing sublimation inks with their specific formula. Through this, one can select depending on the printing system and the nature of the sublimation substrate.   

If you are thinking of mixing sublimation inks of different brands, you may face serious issues of printer clogging and low-quality designs.  

So, experts recommend using a single brand consistently and don’t mix different brands of sublimation ink.

In this post, I will discuss why you should use one brand consistently to have a sharp color print.

The Basics of Sublimation Ink

Sublimation ink is a dye-based special kind of ink. Many vendors own specific formula that is designed to manufacture ink. Some are as follows;

  • Cosmos 
  • Hippo
  • Printer Jack
  • Sawgrass

Each sublimation ink brand has its own specific ink formula to work with the right printer, transfer paper, and blank material. 

None of the sublimation experts recommend mixing two ink brands at any cost. 

Moreover, each brand’s ink has its specific drying time, color transition resistance, and curing temperature. 

Read This: Hippo vs Cosmos Sublimation ink

Is Mixing Sublimation Ink Brands Risky?

Sublimation ink is a special one that contains two ingredients, a dye, and a carrier. The carrier in the ink transfers the dye over the substrate and holds it after curing. 

Each sublimation ink has different carrier material, and mixing sublimation inks can result in incompatibility. 

This way, the ink will not stick to the blank and give a dull color print.   

Keeping in view the following reasons, you should avoid mixing different brands, which can cause problems with your printer;

Clogging Print Heads

The manufacturing design of each sublimation printer head is designed to work with a special type of ink. 

 Switching one ink to another and mixing two brands can cause problems of print-head clogging.

In each sublimation ink, there are different size particles. Mixing different diameter particles will cause the print head block, and sometimes it breaks up. 

So, to bypass this issue, you must use ink that is designed by one brand.

Reduced Print Quality

Another important point is that you may face less sharp and dull color print quality. 

During the manufacturing of sublimation inks, various batches are formulated. Each batch is based on a specific formula that is designed only for special ink batches.  

Each batch has been observed to carry a variation in the sublimation ink formula. So even mixing different batches can cause reduced print quality and vibrance.

Color Inconsistencies

As each brand has its own specific color schemes for different blanks, such as sublimating polyester and nylon. 

Each material may have different sublimation ink absorbance for different brands. 

You will see inconsistency and color transition that is not desired.

Additionally, you need to use specifically formulated ink for the substrate material. Using a mixture of inks can result in poor outcomes. 

Read This: How to Remove Sublimation ink form shirt?

How to Choose the Right Sublimation Ink for the Project?

Like printers and paper, many popular sublimation ink brands are available in the market, including Hippo, Cosmos, Printer Jack, etc. 

You must consider a few things before choosing an ink brand for the best image quality. 

Type of Substrate

sublimation ink is a special type of ink that only works on compatible blanks. You can not try single sublimation ink on a variety of blanks. For instance, you need different inks to print onto polyester and cotton, which will affect the final printout.  

The color of the substrate

color of the substrate also affects the selection of the right sublimation ink to avoid the risk of mixing. If you want to sublimate dark color substrate, you must bleach or buy more ink cartridges. Dark colors need more sublimation ink.   

Useful Tips When Using Sublimation Inks

The sublimation inks have different size ink particles that work with their own printers. Make sure to apply the following tips to avoid possible damage to the printer, which will be difficult to bear.

  1. Use only inks that give the best result and are compatible with the printer.
  2. Arrange a better protective paper; some thin sublimation inks cause color bleeding.
  3. Keep the settings of the printer as per the guidelines. Otherwise, they may cause problems with your printer. 

Read This: How to sublimate on Nylon


Finally, mixing different sublimation inks is not recommended for better printer working and sublimation print design. Furthermore, each ink brand has formulated its specific composition. 

If you try to mix two different brands, you will face print head clogging with low-quality sublimation design.

So, choose a single brand and stick to it. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are all sublimation ink the same?

No, all sublimation inks are different from each other as each brand uses its own formula. Some inks may have high ink saturation and less fad resistance than others. 

Can I use any sublimation ink?

No, you must use the same sublimation ink brand already in use. Also, you can bring one compatible with printer and paper.  

Can I mix sublimation ink with regular ink?

Sublimation and regular ink don’t have the same chemical composition, so mixing is impossible. Mixing regular ink with sublimation will result in the wrong print having weak bonding ink to the substrate.  

Can I switch the sublimation ink?

I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you want to switch to another brand, you must check compatibility with the printer and then flush the whole system. Then fill the desired brand in the cartridge and start printing.  

Can I use a different brand of ink in my Epson printer?

No, Other ink brands are not compatible with Epson printers. 

Can you mix 2 different brands of sublimation ink?

 No, you cannot mix 2 different brands to have proper printer performance and correct color print.  

Is sublimation ink oil based?

Most of the sublimation inks are water-based, while some oil-based ones are available in the market. You can select the one depending upon substrate requirement. 

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