Saturday, 15 February 2020

Why Ink Cartridge Expiry Dates Matter

Like many other liquid products, your printer’s ink cartridges and toner cartridges have a shelf life. This is precisely why they have expiration dates labeled on them. In the same way that an ink pen at the tail end of its life produces lines that fade in and out or, the ink stops coming out altogether despite the appearance of ink still inside the pen - the same sort of thing happens with an expired printer ink cartridge.

When an ink cartridge dries up and expires, the ink typically dries up in the cartridge head. This clogs the ink, not allowing it to get through or can also lead the ink to leak and create uneven, unsightly patterns. Not only does a dried out, expired cartridge make the ink or toner unusable, it can also cause more serious problems for your printer, causing further damage because of the blockage.

Thus, it’s important to understand the different expiry and warranty dates on your ink cartridges prior to purchasing them. Here are a few things to keep in mind about ink expiration dates and why it’s best to follow them:

Where is the expiration date on an ink cartridge?

When purchasing a new ink cartridge, the expiration date can be labeled as “use before” or “install by” dates and are usually stamped on the bottom or top flap of the box. Check this date prior to purchasing your printer ink.

Also, many ink manufactures include a warranty date on their ink cartridges which is the date that they will guarantee the ink quality until. It’s important to note that these 2 dates are different - expiration dates will typically be one to two years after the date of warranty.

Other Reasons Ink Expires

Though ink expiration is the most common reason for ink cartridges drying up, there are also a couple other reasons why this can occur:

Not Using Your Printer Regularly

Ink cartridges can go bad sooner than later when your printer is not active because air can makes its way into the cartridge and dry up the ink. Try to use your printer every few weeks to keep the printer cartridges active.

Improperly Refilled Ink Cartridges

Some people will get ink cartridges refilled in an effort to save money on printing costs. But, if the container isn’t resealed properly the ink can begin to get bad very quickly and will also evaporate over time.

Problems with Using Expired Ink

Ink cartridges have expiration dates to indicate the date until which the printer ink will perform at its optimal level. Once the expiration date has passed, the ink no longer produces the same way it was designed to. With air working its way into the cartridge, it can dissolve into the ink carrier or the ink itself can become sludgy which goes on to clog your printer and print head and produce crappy prints.

Remember to check for expiry dates when purchasing your ink cartridges to ensure that your print jobs stay sharp and your printer remains in tip top shape.