Let's look at a familiar scenario; You're at the supermarket, buying juice. You hunt towards the back of the shelf and pick the bottles with the latest manufacturing date so they'll stay fresh longer. And at home, you'd insist your family members complete the bottle that expires first.
While most of us look at the manufacturing and expiry dates of food products, do we really pay attention to the expiry dates of printer ink and toner cartridges? Expiration date becomes very important if you purchase ink and toner cartridges in bulk.
Most of the cartridge manufacturers include an expiration date on the ink and toner cartridges. This means they do not guarantee the ink or toner beyond the date. When cartridges are stored longer, the exposure to air, heat and dust can cause changes to the ink and toner which will affect the quality of the print. The expiration date helps the customers to know if the cartridge is in good condition or not. However, the expiry date of the cartridges depends on the brand you are buying.
Find what manufacturers say about the expiration of their printer cartridges
Brother toner expiration date
How long do laser printer toners last? Toners are made of powder and it has a longer shelf life than ink cartridges. Brother says that their toner cartridges have a shelf life of 2 years if the protective bag is unopened. The Brother toner cartridges should last for 6 months after the protective bag is opened.
HP toner cartridges
HP mentions the date of manufacture on the toner cartridge box but the manufacturing date is not an expiry date or ‘use before date’. HP says, ‘There is no expiration date for the use of a HP toner cartridge’. However, the most recently developed HP cartridges are microchipped and they alert the printer when the cartridges are used beyond a specified date.
Do Canon ink cartridges expire?
Canon says, ‘Our ink cartridges do not have expiration dates’.
There is no shelf life expiry on this item.
Epson ink cartridges
Does printer ink expire if unopened? Epson has an answer to this. Epson strongly recommends you not to use the ink cartridges if the product is beyond the expiration date. Epson recommends you to replace cartridges that are more than 6 months old. Unused and unopened Epson ink cartridges must be stored in a cool, dark place.
How to preserve ink cartridges?
- Keep the cartridges upright
- Store them in a cool, dry and dark place
- Keep the cartridges in sealed bags
- Avoid keeping cartridges in direct sunlight and other light sources
How to preserve toner cartridges?
Through proper storage, you can improve the life of the toner cartridges
- Store them in cool temperature
- Toner cartridges must be kept flat
- Keep them in clean dust free area
- Avoid storing toners near a corrosive gas
Ideally, it is good to use ink cartridges within 6 months and toner cartridges within 2 years. If you are still confused, you can check the instructions given by your printer manufacturer before using old cartridges.
How long laser printer toners last depends on how well you store them. It’s not just the expiration date that affects the quality of the toner but how you store your cartridges also has an increased impact on its lifespan. Next time you buy printer cartridges in bulk, make sure you read out the expiry dates and store them properly to get the most out of them.