Friday, 15 May 2020

Do ink and toner have expiry dates?

Note the expiration date and provide proper storage of ink and toner to keep your Edmonton printer healthy and working. Ink will eventually begin to deteriorate depending on how often the printer is used and where the ink has been stored. Out-of-date ink may damage your printers and lead to poor print quality. Ink in infrequently used printers may also dry out and expire.

Expiry dates

Depending on storage conditions, ink and toner typically last for about 18 months to two years. Look for the manufacturer’s sell-by-date when purchasing ink and toner. Manufacturers will list a sell by date on all cartridges as a guideline and also provide built-in expiration which is encoded into the cartridge chip.

Your printer will read the expiration date and shut down or reject the cartridge on the built in expiry date to prevent printer damage. Some printers will allow the user to override the built-in expiration, but we don’t recommend this.


Store ink and toner in a cool, dark place immediately after purchasing, at a temperature of ideally between 15 and 24 degrees Celsius —- never below 10 or above 35. Never leave ink cartridges in a hot car for more than a few minutes. Don’t store them in unheated warehouses during winter months. Ink and toner will only be warrantied within the expiration date if they are stored correctly.

Heat and direct or bright sunlight may cause damage and dry out the ink or turn it into sludge. With laser toners, this may also result in fusion in the cartridge or damage to photosensitive properties. Because laser toners are made of powder, moisture should be avoided.

Storing cartridges near bleach or ammonia in a storage cabinet or closet will cause the ink or toner to degrade.

Ensure your ink doesn’t dry out by printing a sheet at a minimum of once a week. Also turn your printer on regularly to allow for cleaning and a prep cycle to run.

Store your cartridge to prevent drying out if you use your printer frequently but have plans to leave it unused for a few weeks. You can store the used cartridge in a zip lock bag along with a damp but not dripping sponge.

Printerworks West can help your Edmonton-based business with all your printing needs. We can establish and maintain your printer fleet and also provide troubleshooting support. Partnering with an established MPS provider, such as Printerworks West, can help your business increase its productivity while decreasing the overall ongoing costs of business operations.

If you would like to learn more about Managed Print Services in the Edmonton area, please feel free to contact us.