How long can you store toner cartridges?

31. March 2012 04:59 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (2)

Say you've bought several toner cartridges in bulk for your business or home office because of an offer you just had to take advantage of. Or you happen to be in possession of a stash of printer cartridges that have been sitting around for a while. You don't know how long you'll need to store them before you'll be able to use them. "How long can I store these toner cartridges?" is naturally a question that you would ask yourself.

The good news is that toner cartridges can be stored for long periods of time without going bad. They can last for several months and still work just as well as if you had just purchased them yesterday. The bad news is that these toner cartridges do indeed have a shelf life. In fact, most manufacturers recommend these cartridges to be used within one year of purchase or else the quality of printing using the toner will suffer. The performance of the toner will severely worsen if it sits around for too long.

Toner cartridges do not last forever, and neither do they store well after one year. The cheap toner in the cartridge is a fine powder that the printer binds to paper using heat. The toner will not work well if it is heavily subjected to long exposures of unfavorable temperature, humidity, or light.

There are some ways you can put off the deterioration of your toner cartridges. To guarantee the best results from the cartridges, make sure to keep them sealed in a bag until they are to be installed into a printer. Do not keep them lying around without being covered or surrounded by a bag. Keep the cartridges at room temperature in a dry location and avoid exposing them to extreme humidity, cold, or heat. Various weather conditions could make the toner, a fine powder, clump together or otherwise fail.

Some specific conditions to consider when storing your toner cartridges are:

  • Do not store your discount toner in temperatures in excess of 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) or lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). These are numbers that generally apply to most cartridges.
  • Keep your toner cartridges horizontal. Do not store your cartridges vertically.
  • For long-term storage, keep the toner cartridges in their original packaging (cardboard box and sealed bag).
  • Try to keep the relative humidity where your cartridges are being stored between 45 percent and 80 percent.
  • Do not store your toner cartridges in any place that experiences rapid and extreme fluctuations in temperature or humidity.
  • Avoid subjecting your toner cartridges to direct sunlight, even for short periods of time.
  • Avoid storing or keeping your toner cartridges in places that are dusty or where dust may gather.
  • Do not store your toner cartridges in your car or vehicle – not even the trunk – for long periods of time.
  • Do not store your toner cartridges anywhere corrosive gases may be present.
  • Toner cartridges can be affected by salty air. Try to keep your toner cartridges out of air that may have high saline concentrations.

If you follow these guidelines, you will likely keep your toner cartridges in working condition whenever you choose to use them, maximizing their life spans. Buying in bulk can be a great way to cut down on shipping costs as you stock up on necessary supplies. If you don't store your cartridges correctly, you risk sacrificing your savings and wasting lots of money on your stockpile of cartridges that have become ineffective or can only work for a shortened period of time.

Comments (2) -

8/22/2012 3:34:39 AM #

Who makes the best airtight 'ziplock' type of storage case please?
Mine are the long BROTHER cartridges, so not so easy to find. Thanks.

Calvin Yu
Calvin Yu
8/22/2012 7:52:51 AM #

Dave - most cartridges come in a sealed bag and a seal on the cartridge.  Your best bet is not to open the box or bag the cartridge is stored in until you need it.  I'm not aware of any "bags" big enough that you can find at your local store.

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