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Do Laser Toner Cartridges Expire?

Laser toner cartridges also referred to as “laser toners” or “toner cartridges” are the consumable component of a laser printer. These cartridges are single units that held the toner, a dry powder composed of carbon melt-mixed with polymer and coloring agents. Since laser toner cartridges are dispensable, most laser printer users buy extra toner cartridges to keep a stock but are faced with the question if laser toner cartridges expire.

Toner cartridges, either OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), remanufactured or compatible have an expected life of about 24 months. This is divided between the shelf-life and installed life. Most cartridges have a maximum shelf-life of 18 months and it would be best if you use your toner cartridges within a year.

Laser toner cartridges are tightly packed and stored in moisture proof packages, to prevent heat, moisture and light from damaging the cartridges. Toner cartridges are very susceptible to moisture and should be store in a dry, cool location. Heat is its number one killer, if left in direct sunlight; the toner will fuse within the toner cart which causes print blots or toner that doesn’t bond to the paper. While too much exposure to light can erase the photosensitive properties of toner. Either of these three can render the toner cartridges unfit for laser printing.

Storing laser toner cartridges in an ideal environment around 75 degrees Fahrenheit at relatively humidity of 50 percent can lengthen their shelf-life. It wouldn’t be ideal to store them in your car for any length of time, as even on cool days the temperature can exceed on safe levels and may distort the plastic in the cartridge. The basement isn’t a good place either because it’s damp.

The expiry date marked on the toners is simply an indication to retailers to rotate their stock; this does not mean the toner will be starting to go bad on a date. As long as you place your laser toner cartridges in the right place, you can be sure that they will perfectly work well and still produce quality printouts even if they exceed their shelf-life.cte5-300x225

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