Expiration dates are a fact of life on many of the consumer goods we purchase.  From the expiration dates on food, to the use by dates on batteries, manufacturers want you to be aware that most products have a limited shelf life.  Recently, I’ve had this question asked about our remanufactured toner cartridges.

The short answer: yes, we advise our customers that toner cartridges have a shelf life of not more than two years.  In general, toner cartridges should be stored flat, in an area of low humidity, with few temperature variations, and away from exposure to direct sunlight.  Even under these circumstances – and our high quality packaging to protect the toner cartridge – clumping can begin to happen in the toner, among other issues.

Why does this happen?  There’s a small amount of moisture which will get sealed into the packaging with the cartridge.  While it won’t affect the toner in the short term, as time goes on the moisture will permeate the toner.  The end result are unusable clumps.

So, our advice: check the use by date on our packaging and try to stick to it.  We’ve heard of cases where toner cartridges have lasted much longer, but we can’t promise that.