Can You Use Inkjet Photo Paper in a Color Laser Printer?

Written by steven symes
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There is a dizzying amount of paper options for printers, but the type of printer you use at home can dictate what paper you should buy at the store. Understanding how different printers operate helps explain why paper differences exist.

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The Right Paper

It is important to follow a printer manufacturer’s recommendations on what paper to use with a printer. Using another type of paper could at best result in poor print quality; in a worst-case scenario, it could damage the printer.

Inkjet vs. Laser

Inkjet printers spray wet ink onto a page while laser printers use extreme heat to fuse powdered ink to a page.


Inkjet photo paper is designed for the low heat present in an inkjet printer. The high amount of heat in a laser printer could melt the paper, causing it to stick inside the printer and cause damage to the printer.

Print Quality

If the inkjet photo paper makes it through the printer without melting, the paper is not designed to fuse with the powder ink used in laser printers. The colours can possibly run or rub off the page easily.

Laser Paper

If you own a colour laser printer, there is no need to buy inkjet photo paper (unless you own an inkjet as well). Laser photo paper is manufactured with a special coating that helps it resist melting and bonds well with the powder ink used in laser printers.

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