The last thing you want is to run out of toner when printing critical documents. You probably stock up on cartridges to avoid this problem. While this is a great, proactive decision, it also begs the question: How long can you store your cartridges before using them?

This article will give you an answer.

How Long Can a Printer Toner Cartridge Sit Idle?

In general, you can store your toner cartridges between one and two years after your purchase. Still, this doesn’t mean you should discard your cartridges after their expiration date. This is because toner has unique properties that let you use them for an extended period.

Namely, toner consists of dry powder (also known as dry ink). Unlike inkjet cartridges that contain fluid that evaporates and changes the mixture, all substances in a toner cartridge are dry. You want to capitalize on their property and store them in suitable conditions to extend their lifespan.

What Does Proper Toner Storage Involve?

Here’s how you should store your printer toner cartridges:

  • Keep your cartridges in dark places – Your cartridges shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight. Otherwise, the ink may clump together and create toner pebbles. Your toner is no longer usable in this state. A simple way to check for pebbles is to shake the cartridge. If you can hear something like rocks inside the cartridge, the ink has clumped together.
  • Don’t keep your cartridges in warm areas – Areas with temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit are unsuitable for toner cartridges. Environments at around 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit are much safer.
  • Prevent moisture and fluids from damaging the cartridges – Choose a place with approximately 50% humidity. Basements and other high-moisture areas are a no-go. The cartridge may absorb moisture or other liquids, rendering them unusable.
  • Keep the units in their original packaging – This rule applies to all toner cartridges. For instance, suppose you bought one from Copylite. You want to keep it in the original box until you use it. The sealing prevents moisture, dust, debris, and other contaminants from compromising the toner and lowering its lifespan.
  • Avoid storing your cartridges vertically – Many toner cartridges come with internal channels and gears to dispense toner out of ports and into the cartridge. Keeping the cartridges propped up for a long period can cause toner compression at either end of your cartridge. As a result, the cartridge locks up, keeping the toner from flowing evenly inside and causing print issues. The easiest solution is to keep your units horizontal.
  • Don’t leave cartridges in your vehicle – Cars and other vehicles are known for extreme heat changes. As previously mentioned, this can solidify the toner.

Copylite Toner Serves You Much Longer

Proper storage practices apply to cartridges of all brands. Still, higher-quality products tend to last longer than subpar models. If you’re looking for the finest toner, turn to Copylite. Whether you’re looking for universal cartridges or those with waste containers, our collection has everything you need. Take a closer look at our offer right here