Friday, 15 March 2019

Pros and Cons of Inkjet and Laser Is there an expiry day on ink and toner?

Keep your Edmonton printer healthy and working by noting the expiration date and providing proper storage of ink and toner. Eventually, any ink you’ve purchased will begin to deteriorate depending on where it’s stored and how often you print. Expired ink may damage your printer and reduce print quality. Infrequently used printers in your Edmonton-based business may dry out and expire.

Expiry times

Typically ink and toner last for about 18 months to two years, depending on how they are stored. Check for the manufacturer’s sell-by date when purchasing as well as the warranty. ink and toner will keep for a year and a half to two years, although this can also depend on storage conditions. Manufacturers will list a sell-by date on all cartridges as a guideline. They also provide built-in expiration for the ink or toner, which is encoded into the cartridge chip.

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


Place your ink and toner in a cool, dark place immediately after purchasing, ideally between 15 and 24 degrees Celsius —- never below 10 or above 35. Don’t leave ink cartridges in a hot car for more than a few minutes or store them in warehouses that may get cold during winter months. Ink and toner can only be guaranteed within the expiration date if they are stored correctly.

Direct/bright sunlight and heat may cause damage, drying out the ink or turning it into sludge for ink. With laser toners, this may cause fusion within the cartridge or damage to photosensitive properties. Moisture should also be avoided with laser toners because they are a powder.

Avoid storing cartridges near bleach or ammonia in a storage cabinet or closet — they will cause the ink or toner to degrade.

Ensure your ink doesn’t dry out if you use your printer infrequently. Inkjet ink can dry out in as little as three or four weeks. Turn your printer on regularly to allow a cleaning and prep cycle to run. Otherwise, you may simply wish to print out a sheet at least once a week.

If you use your printer frequently but have plans to leave it unused for a few weeks, you may want to store your cartridge to prevent drying out. Store the used cartridge in a zip lock bag along with a damp sponge. Wet the sponge and wring out until it doesn’t drip, place the sponge inside a ziplock bag along with your cartridge and then store in a cool and dry place.

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.