What is the Shelf Life of Toner Cartridges?

Many businesses and home computer users find that the cost of printing is one of the larger expenses that they face when operating a computer. This is especially true when considering the high cost of toner cartridges, which may need to be replaced from time to time according to how frequently they are used. In some cases, toner cartridges may sit on the shelf for an extended amount of time before being installed. Knowing about the shelf life of toner cartridges can help to maximize their use according to the needs of the user.

It is important to understand, although some people may place a particular shelf life on toner cartridges, they are not typically given a “best buy” date. The date that is included on the cartridge is the manufacturing date. It is provided, not to show how quickly it needs to be used but to help to identify the cartridge according to lot codes if there is an issue (Source: http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Ink-Toner-Cartridge-Printhead-Issues/Toner-shelf-life/td-p/2704463).

Although the shelf life of toner cartridges is not spelled out on the cartridge itself, they may have a useful limit. In many cases, the shelf life is related to the way that they are stored. Toner cartridges should be stored at even temperatures, between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit with relatively low humidity. It is also important to keep the cartridges in a dark, dry location and to stack the boxes upright. If the cartridges are still in the original packaging, they should last longer as well.

Although there is not necessarily an effective shelf life on toner cartridges, there may be some issues that are associated with them if they stay on the shelf for too long. An example of this is the possibility that lines may appear across the page when you print with an older cartridge that was just taken out of the package. In most cases, this is a problem that is going to correct itself after you print a few pages. The issue tends to occur because the rollers stay in contact with each other for a long amount of time, which causes the lines to appear.

For more information about laserjet toner and cartridges, visit http://www.troygroup.com/products/toner/hp_toner.aspx.

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