A new study by Consumer Reports about the high cost of computer printer ink finds the machine may be using even more ink than you realize.

Flickr User DBreg2007

Consumer Reports Electronic Editor Paul Reynolds says they found many printers go through a cleaning or maintenance cycle when starting up, and that uses that pricey ink, without printing anything.

He says they found the printer ink is some of the most expensive liquid consumers can buy.

"In our tests of all kinds of brands of printers, and all kinds of models, it ran anywhere from $10 an ounce, all the way up to $75 an ounce."

Reynolds says it may be smart to keep the printer on and let it go into its "sleep" mode to avoid that ink-consuming cleaning cycle every time you hit print.

Manufacturers say it's par for printers to consume ink in ways that don't wind up on the page.

For example, HP said that, "some ink must be used to maintain the health of the print head; some ink is residual; and some ink evaporates."

Consider buying a laser printer as a second printer for black-and-white, since laser printers don't use maintenance ink, and they print excellent text.