Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)
On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 19:59:06 GMT, eb7g <firstname.lastname@example.orgNOSPAM> wrote:
>two questions, how long can we expect to keep toner and ink before it
>goes bad/get's thick/whatvever is:
>1) the catridge is opened and sitting in the printer (both color and
The ink itself is usually ok, but the ink residue on the printhead
will usually congeal and clog it up if you leave a printer sitting for
3+ weeks. Doesn't always happen, but it's usually a good guideline to
print at least once every 2 weeks to keep things working.
>2) if the catridge is still sealed in package and, for inkjets, the
>protective tape is still on. A few weeks?
Still sealed in the original packaging, and the seals haven't been
broken? While not every brand puts expiry dates on their cartridges,
the few that do seem to have expiry dates 2-3 years into the future.
I don't know how this translates overall, but I seem to recall some of
the cartridges on the shelf at a local Staples listed an expiry date
sometime in 2006. Sorry, I can't get any more specific than that, as
it wasn't a cartridge that my current printer accepts, so I didn't
really pay too much attention.
Even beyond such an expiry date, I'd imagine the ink will still be
useable if the package is still unopened.
I doubt the shelf life is measured in weeks, as the inks may sit on
store shelves for months, and I've seen some cartridges sold at
computer shows that have so much dust on them, their age is probably
measured in years (still worked).
If we're talking about toners, that's a whole different matter. The
stuff is a powder, so I don't expect it to dry out. In humid
conditions, it can congeal, and then I guess it might be ruined, but
if stored dry, it should last indefinitely. If you buy the toner in
bulk and refill yourself, the stuff might cake up if left alone for a
while. Provided moisture hasn't gotten to it, you can loosen it back
up by shaking it and giving the package/cartridge a couple of sharp
smacks. *BE CAREFUL DOING THIS* as you can damage the cartridge, and
toner can make an awful mess if you spill it.