Can an Inkjet Cartridge Expire? | Expired Cartridge Warning.
Expired Cartridge Warnings and Dried up Ink
Have you ever put a new inkjet cartridge into your printer only to have it say expired cartridge installed? How does that happen, how can ink expire? Well there are many factors that can lead to getting the expired cartridge warning.
Ink is after all a liquid and liquids are capable of changing states of matter. Ink is a liquid, there are 2 other possible states, gas and solid. Liquids all evaporate. Liquids with a higher concentration of water evaporate faster. Liquid ink is about 90% water, this portion has a very real potential to dry up. The remaining substance is like a paste and is incredibly dense, relative to water. Trying to force that down the 1500 or so nozzles isn’t possible. This is the reason that cartridges have an expiration date. The ink coagulates and to avoid potential damage to the printer there is a “shelf life”.
Customers often become upset about the cartridge not working but it is for their own good. Just be sure to read the expiration dates on the products. Most will have a sticker on the box outlining potential expiration time frames.
To avoid cartridges getting dried up and the ink coagulating once it’s been installed, it’s recommended that you print at least once a week. This will keep the ink fresh and avoid potentially clogging up the print head. If you have a color inkjet you’ll want something with color in it as well a small photo or internet page that shows off all colors inside the machine: Yellow, Cyan, Magenta and Black. While this may be a “waste of ink”, it is a fraction of the ink used to clean the print heads and nozzles.
Alternatively there is another option. You could go with a laser printer that uses toner instead of ink. Toner is a powder so i won’t ever dry out. Toner is a bit more expensive than ink but can last thousands of pages longer than ink cartridges.