Short answer: No, not usually. If a pack of paper is labeled for use in an inkjet printer only, it should only be used in an inkjet printer. Using “inkjet only” labeled paper in a laser printer can actually damage your laser printer.
Most inkjet papers have a special coating on them to help the paper absorb the right amount of ink. If the ink is allowed to sink too far into the paper it can “feather” or spread out, making the image look fuzzy. High quality inkjet paper are coated to keep the ink at an optimal level for crisp, clean prints from an inkjet printer.
This very coating that helps your inkjet prints come out clean and sharp keeps laser toner from adhering to the paper. Laser printers don’t use ink to print, they use toner. The toner is rolled onto a drum then heated and applied to the paper where it melts to form your document. If the coating is slick enough the toner just wont stick very well to the coated inkjet paper.
Watch out! The inkjet paper coating can also melt in the laser printer which can damage your laser printer. Some of the coatings have polyester properties that can melt in the heat of the laser printer.
The melting coating can damage the laser printer’s fuser, drums, and many other parts of the printer. These parts are costly to fix and some parts of your printer may be beyond all repair which will result in you having to purchase a whole new printer.
These warnings are not only for matte inkjet papers but for glossy papers as well. Using glossy inkjet paper in a laser printer can be worse than using matte inkjet paper in a laser printer because the glossy paper usually has more coating than the matte papers.
Remember that laser printers run hot, inkjet does not. The temperature and the use of ink or toner are the key differences between inkjet and laser printers. Some papers are specially designed to work well with each type of printer.
It’s a lot less expensive to just buy the right kind of paper than risk damaging your printer.
What about using laser paper in an inkjet printer? Find out tomorrow!
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Image: Andres Rueda