Printer toner is made of dry plastic powder, a mixture of carbon melt that forms a polymer and coloring agent. Since the toner is made of powder instead of ink, it does not dry out, and thus it lasts longer. But does this mean it does not expire? Read Does Printer Toner Expire.
Well, the answer is no. The printer toner comes with an expiration date indicated on the manufactures box, and though it expires, this does not mean you cannot use it past the expiration dates. To ensure your toner serves you past the expiration date, ensure proper handling and follow our guide for more information on the expiration of a printer toner;
What You Need to Know About the Expiration Dates
1. Warranty Issues
A higher number of manufactures include a warranty date and a toner expiration date. Though the warranty date is shorter, ensure you do not confuse one for the other. Though the toner lasts far beyond the specified warranty period, the manufacture no longer guarantees its quality and functionality.
Additionally, some manufactures may not help if your toner reaches its expiration date within the indicated warranty period. The manufacturer will void the warranty in this place because you are using an expired toner. To avoid this, be keen to read the fine print when purchasing a printer toner.
2. Quality Changes
It’s a popular internet myth that a printer toner does not change quality, and today, we debunk this. Contrary to this myth, the powder in the printer toner may crump over time, resulting in a slight color shift or lack of adhesion resulting in poor prints.
However, if your toner changes quality, you should discard it as soon as possible. Also, once a toner changes quality, it does not necessarily mean that it will completely break down in the future. It might still work, but it will degrade over time and may cause problems to your printer.
3. Printer Warnings
Some printers can scan the toner and give alerts when the expiration date approaches. This does not mean that you should stop using the toner or that the printer will stop functioning. However, it creates awareness of the need to change your printer toner.
Nevertheless, some printers are set not to function with a toner that exceeds its expiration dates by displaying a warning that is hard to bypass. To avoid this, check and understand every detail carefully in the warranty card before purchasing.
4. Toner Storage
How well you store your toner significantly affects how long it maintains its functionality before and past the expiration dates. To ensure you get all the life out of your printer toner, keep them in good condition. Ensure to put in place the following;
- The toner should stay properly sealed in its original packaging enclosed in a bag until you decide to use it.
- Don’t leave it to sit in the vehicle for an extended time
- If the toner is not stored in the closet, find a place with a stable room temperature. Unstable temperature swings can significantly deteriorate the toner’s quality.
- Similarly, ensure balanced humidity levels in the storage space
- Avoid storing near cleaning products or a cleaning storage space since light, dust, and fumes from these products can affect your toner
5. OEM Matters (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
OEM toners are made to the printer makers’ specifications, meaning that the toner functions reliably with your machine. They are made and filled with fresh new powder that is inspected for quality control.
Another advantage you get from these toners is that they have a specified warranty and expiration date indicated directly from the factory.
Buying a refilled toner makes it impossible to determine the expiration dates. You are never sure whether the factory conducting the refill indicates a new expiry date to cover what they have done. So how do you know whether you’re purchasing a toner that has not expired? Let’s find out;
How Can You Tell a Toner is not Expired When Purchasing?
It’s important to be careful not to buy an expired toner. First, ensure you buy from a well-established and trusted seller. Buying from auction sites and other third-party sellers may make it difficult to ascertain the product’s condition, and you may end up with a counterfeit or an expired toner.
Second, ensure that the packaging has no signs of tampering. Some manufacturers will print their logo on the box, which shows the exact information regarding the toner’s expiry date. Moreover, take note of any relevant instructions provided inside the box.
If all is well, and you install the toner and get a warning, remove it immediately and contact the seller.
While the expiration and warranty dates do not guarantee that the toner is still good or bad, their existent is still important. The quality of your toner degrades over time, and with longer use, it can end up damaging your printer as well as degrading its performance. Therefore, it is imperative to purchase a genuine brand toner and avoid using it long after expiration.
FAQs on Does Printer Toner Expire
Why is There an Expiration Date for the Toner?
Though the printer toner does not dry out, its quality deteriorates over time. It is because the powder in your toner may clump with time, and the quality degrades gradually, resulting in poor print quality.
This means that though you can use the toner past its expiration dates, the quality fails as time goes by, and the expiry dates are set to alert you when this is bound to happen.
How Long Does a Printer Toner Last?
The average life span of a laser printer cartridge is about three years. This depends on how well you take care of the toner, whether it is sealed properly during storage, and the conditions surrounding its storage space. Ensure to treat your toner well to get its maximum productivity and longevity.
What are the Best Conditions for a Printer Toner?
Many factors can contribute to the damage of your toner. Store them horizontally to ensure their quality – away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Also, ensure you do not break the seal around the cartridge opening by placing pressure on it.
Additionally, store your toners in a dust-free area away from unsteady temperature and humidity levels.
Conclusion (Does Printer Toner Expire)
Unfortunately, as much as we want to reap maximum life out of the toner, expiration dates exist for a reason. A printer toner expires with time, and though you can use it past the expiry date, the print quality is not a good as before.
So, it’s important to be aware of the expiration date and handle your toner with care to evade problems with your printer. We hope this piece gives you the answer to the question of whether does printer toner expire.