Do Printer Cartridges Expire?

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Do Printer Cartridges Expire?

Most major cartridge manufacturers have included an expiry date on their cartridges for years. In this article, we will be explaining why some cartridges include an expiration date, as well as to show you how to extend your cartridge life so you can print longer.

A cartridge shelf life is the determined time a cartridge will last in its sealed package. This time frame can vary depending on what sort of cartridge you are using. The shelf life for an original printer cartridge is about 24 months while the shelf life for a compatible cartridge is about 36 months. Over time, the ink dries out and settles inside the ribbon fibres, which can blur printout. 


Why does my Printer Cartridge come with an Expiration Date on it?

Printer manufacturers tend to provide expiration dates so that their consumers are encouraged to finish using their ink before the cartridge becomes susceptible to print quality issues. Dates are generally found on the side of the printer cartridge or the side of the cartridge box. Similar to food expiration dates, cartridge expiration dates should be taken seriously. Many factors, other than the expiration date, contribute to the eventual deterioration of a printer cartridge, as well as how it’s stored, the temperature of the storage environment and whether the cartridge is in a sealed package or not.


1. How to Store Your Printer Cartridges?

Printer cartridges should be stored in an upright position all the time. If a printer cartridge is stored on its side or upside down, the ink inside the cartridge will shift to one side and this will potentially lower the print quality once you installed the cartridge into your printer.


2. Where to Store Your Printer Cartridges?

Cartridges should always be stored in a dark, dry place at room temperature. If a cartridge is exposed to extreme heat or cold conditions, print quality will be affected, and in certain cases, the cartridge may be unusable. Heat can cause the ink to bubble up and leak; while cold conditions can cause the ink to coagulate. However, once a cold cartridge has been readjusted to room temperature, it should still print.


3. Can one still use the Printer Cartridge after its Expiration Date?

If your cartridge is properly stored in the correct condition, you might still be able to use it after its expiration date. A sealed ink cartridge will not last forever, but most are designed to last for at least two years after the purchase date. Even after two years, you may still get some use out of the cartridge, so it might be worth trying even after the fact. However, there is always a chance that an expired cartridge might not give you the desired printout quality.