Difference between water-based and pigment ink.

The aqueous and pigment inks in the bottles are virtually indistinguishable. But this is only at first glance. After all, the composition and properties of these coloring preparations are completely different. So, let's find out in more detail how water ink differs from pigment ink.

General information

liquid to create images on a specific surface. Any such composition contains special dyes. The ink is applied to the surface using a variety of tools or devices.

For printing on a printer, ink is poured into cartridges. However, you cannot use the same cartridge for different inks. It is also unacceptable to mix the compositions with each other. Failure to comply with these rules will result in sediment formation and malfunction of the device.


One of the main factors that make the difference between aqueous ink and pigment ink is the form in which the dye is presented. In water ink, this substance is completely dissolved, to the point of molecules, in a liquid. Therefore, such ink is also called water-soluble. Not containing solid particles in their structure, they are quite transparent.

In other inks, the pigment acts as a dye. It is a small solid fragments that precipitate in water and do not dissolve. Pigment ink placed in a transparent container looks cloudy.

The composition of drugs determines their properties. One of them is water resistance. Liquid dye ink does not. The print with their use is literally washed out if the sheet is wetted. At the same time, pigment-containing inks are quite moisture resistant, since their particles are tightly fixed in the base fibers.

The disadvantages of aqueous ink also include their rapid fading in the light. Therefore, it is recommended to store sheets with such images in albums. In the case of using pigment inks, the quality of the printed output is maintained for a long time even under conditions of light exposure.

A little comparison can be made to understand why this is happening. So, dye molecules in aqueous ink are figuratively similar to sand. The rays easily burn out individual small "grains of sand". In turn, pigments - groups of tightly connected molecules - are comparable to pebbles, which are much more difficult to damage by the sun's rays.

Consider the difference between aqueous and pigment inks in terms of the color saturation of the resulting images. Here the advantage lies precisely on the side of formulations with a dye dissolved in water. Individual molecules are perfectly distributed over the surface of the substrate, and the print is bright and effective, which is especially important when working with photographs. Pigment ink has limited color rendering, so this product is more suitable for text printing.


Ink on water Pigment ink
Dye dissolvedSolid dye
Not waterproofWaterproof
FadeResistant to light effects
Vivid colorsLimited color rendering