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How to Store Printer Ink Cartridges: Used or Unused



Need to know how to store printer ink cartridges to ensure their longevity and quality? In this guide, discover the best storage practices for used and unused ink cartridges to save money and prolong their lifespan. Let’s get started!

In this guide, we will discuss the following:

  • What Are Printer Ink Cartridges?
  • What Are the Two Types of Printer Ink Cartridges?
  • How to Store Printer Ink Cartridges: Unopened Ink
  • How to Store Ink Cartridges That Are Used?
  • Stored Ink Cartridges Not Working: Troubleshooting Steps

What Are Printer Ink Cartridges?

Ink cartridges are like tiny ink tanks for your printer. They’re made to work perfectly with your printer and create great prints. Whether you have an inkjet or laser printer, these cartridges are essential for your printing needs. They’re the key to your printing success!

What Are the Two Types of Printer Cartridges?

When it comes to printer ink, there are two major types: inkjet and laser. These two ink cartridges are quite different, and knowing their differences is essential for good printing. So, let’s explore the world of inkjet and laser printer ink to discover what makes them unique and how they’re used.

1. Ink Cartridges


These are cartridges designed for inkjet printers using liquid ink. To understand it more, here are the pros and cons:


  • Vibrant Colors: Inkjet cartridges burst your prints with vibrant, eye-catching shades.
  • Versatility: These cartridges produce stunning photos and crisp, professional documents.


  • Ink Consumption: Inkjet printers use a lot of ink, so you’ll need to closely monitor your ink levels, especially during long print jobs. You can also check this guide on how to save on printer ink.

2. Laser Cartridges:

These are for laser printers and have fine powder toner. To know more, here are its pros and cons:


  • Speedy Printing: Laser cartridges are like the sprinters of the printing world, churning out pages at lightning speed, making them great for high-volume printing tasks.
  • Sharp and Smudge-Free: With laser cartridges, you get crisp, professional-looking prints that won’t smudge or blur, making them perfect for important documents.


  • Costly Upfront: Laser printers and their cartridges can be pricier upfront than inkjet options, which might be a budget consideration.
  • Limited Color: Laser cartridges are typically designed for black and white printing, so if you need color prints, you’ll likely need a separate printer or cartridges.

How to Store Printer Ink Cartridges: Unused

Want to make your printer ink cartridges last longer and keep your prints looking sharp? Well, here are some ways you can do to store ink cartridges that are unopened:

1. Choose the Right Location

Find a cool, dry spot for your ink cartridges. Keep them out of the sun, as it can make the ink dry up. Instead, store them in a drawer or cupboard in a room with comfy temperatures. Aim for a stable room temperature between 50°F to 85°F (10°C to 30°C) because ink quality can suffer when temperatures swing too much. Extreme conditions, hot or cold, can harm the ink.

2. Keep Them Sealed

Keep your unused ink cartridges in their original packaging until you’re ready to use them. It’s like keeping them in a protective shield that stops air from sneaking in and making the ink dry up.

3. Keep Them Upright

To protect your cartridges and keep the ink safe and sound without any messy surprises, remember to store them in an upright position. This easy step stops the ink from settling and reduces the chances of leaks.

4. Rotation System

Make a little “oldest first” rule. It means you use the cartridges that have been around the longest before the newer ones. This way, you use them before they get too old and stop working well.

5. Consider Manufacturer Recommendations

Always check if the printer manufacturer provides specific guidelines for storing ink cartridges. Following their recommendations can help maintain cartridge quality.

6. Keep Them in Their Original Packaging

The smartest way to keep your toner cartridges in top shape is by keeping them in their original packaging. It’s like giving them a sturdy shield that keeps out light, dust, and anything else that might mess with the quality of the toner inside.

7. Protect Against Physical Damage

Handle toner cartridges with care, like you would with delicate glass. Avoid dropping or being rough with them because even minor damage can make them work less effectively. So, be gentle, and they’ll perform at their best for you!

8. Shake Gently Before Use

When you’re ready to install a stored toner cartridge, give it a gentle shake to distribute the toner inside evenly. When you’re ready to install a stored toner cartridge, give it a gentle shake to distribute the toner inside evenly. This makes sure the toner is all set for the best printing results.

How to Store Ink Cartridges That Are Used?

Now that you’re a pro at storing unused cartridges, what about the used ones? Well, here’s your guide on how to store printer ink cartridges that are opened, preserving their quality and ensuring they’re ready for action when needed. Here’s what you can do:

1. Properly Seal the Cartridge

Here’s a nifty trick to keep those used cartridges in top shape: Seal them up tightly using the original cap or sealing tape. Don’t forget to close any air vents if your cartridge has them. Doing this will ensure they stay fresh and ready to print anytime.

2. Store Upright

Keep your used cartridges standing tall! This simple move prevents ink from settling and drying up inside the cartridge, which can cause blockages and make your prints look less than perfect.

3. Label and Date

Label each used cartridge with a date tag when you remove it from the printer. This smart move helps you remember when you last used it and how long it’s been in service.

4. Keep Away from Heat

Don’t store ink cartridges that are used near heat sources, such as radiators or heaters. High temperatures can cause the ink to expand and leak.

Stored Ink Cartridges Not Working: Troubleshooting Steps

If your stored ink cartridges are giving you trouble, here are some tips to help you troubleshoot the issue and bring them back to life.

  1. Tapping Method: Hold the cartridge carefully by its sides (don’t touch the print head or electrical parts), and give it a little tap-tap on a folded paper towel.
  2. Shake It: Give the ink cartridge a gentle shake to redistribute the ink inside. This can help if the ink has settled over time.
  3. Nozzle Cleaning: Grab a soft, lint-free cloth or a cotton swab and moisten it with distilled water. Gently, without being too forceful, clean the nozzles on the print head. Remember, tap water can contain impurities that might worsen things, so stick to distilled water for this job.
  4. Cartridge Reset: Some printers allow you to reset the ink cartridge. Check your printer’s manual for instructions on how to do this, or if you have Epson printers, you can follow this guide on how to reset Epson ink cartridges.
  5. Print a Test Page: After trying these troubleshooting tips, print a test page to see if the cartridge works correctly. If the issue persists, consider repeating the process or contacting the manufacturer for further assistance.

Parting Words

Knowing how to store printer ink cartridges, whether unused or used, is essential to maintain their quality and longevity. With these tips, your printer will become a high-quality print champion, delivering perfect pages anytime you need. So, don’t wait – seal them up, find the ideal spot, and unleash that print power!

Key takeaways:

  • When storing unused cartridges, choose a cool, dry spot, seal them in their original packaging, avoid exposure to light, and keep them upright.
  • To preserve used cartridges for future use, properly seal them using the original cap or sealing tape, store them upright, label and date each one when taken out of service, and keep them away from heat sources.
  • To extend toner cartridges’ life, store them in their original packaging away from direct sunlight or moisture, handle them carefully, and shake gently before installation into the printer.

Do you require help with ink orders or have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact our welcoming team at 1-833-465-6888, toll-free. Our committed support crew is ready to assist you from Monday to Friday, 6am-4pm PT. You can rely on us to ensure your printing journey is smooth and delightful!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long can you store toner cartridges?

You can keep toner cartridges for 2-3 years without problems if you store them in a cool, dry spot away from the sun and extreme heat or cold. But remember, the actual time might differ depending on the cartridge and what the manufacturer says. So, keep it cool and follow their advice for the best results!

2. Is it safe to store ink cartridges for a long time?

You can store ink cartridges for a while, but using them within a year is better for the best outcomes. That’s because if you wait too long, the ink inside can dry up or not work as well. So, using them within a year helps ensure your prints look good.

3. Can I store ink cartridges with other printer supplies?

The best way to take care of your ink cartridges is to keep them apart from your other supplies. This helps prevent any chance of mixing or harm. Separation ensures your cartridges stay safe and ready to use when needed.

4. What should I do if my stored ink cartridge has dried out?

If your stored cartridge dries up, you can try using a slightly wet paper towel to clean the print head gently and so that you can use them again. You can also follow a guide on how to fix dried ink cartridges.

5. Is it okay to shake an ink cartridge before installing it in the printer?

Gently shaking the cartridge can help spread the ink evenly. But be cautious not to shake it too hard, as it might make the ink spill out. Finding the right balance in shaking can keep your cartridge working well.

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