Answering Bulk Order Questions: Can Printer Ink Go Bad?

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Printer ink is a vital supply for school, office and home use, especially if you frequently handle hard copies of documents. If your office has multiple printers, one or more of them might go unused for a few weeks, but you still need printer ink on hand for fast printing.

Many organizations and families have concerns about printer ink expiring. Although printer ink formulations have improved considerably, they will still expire even if you store them properly. If you’ve wondered, “Can printer ink go bad?” take advantage of these tips for storing printer ink to prolong its shelf life and avoiding problems with your printer.

Quality and Damage Concerns

Dye-based and pigment-based inkjet cartridges can dry up within a few years and usually have an expiration date printed on their box. This is true across all inkjet printer brands because they all use similar properties in their inks, so even quality brands like Brother ink can still dry out over time.

Your printer ink may continue to function even after your ink’s quality has degraded or after the expiration date, which can cause the print quality to drop dramatically. Printed pages may come out with streaks, blotches or colors missing.

If your print quality suffers significantly before you realize it, you may need to take advantage of tips on how to remove ink from paper to salvage your prints. For cheap and quick print jobs, just wait until the printer cartridge is replaced and re-print the document.

There is also a serious risk of damaging the print heads if the ink is dry and expired. Printer heads are precise and delicate. If the system tries to push dried-up ink through them, it can cause enough damage to require extensive repairs.

It’s always safest to replace the cartridges rather than risk the chance of damage. Remove the cartridges and recycle them, taking care to avoid any drips or smudges from the remaining ink.

Used cartridges are removed to replace new ones.

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Contributing Factors

HP ink and other brands have built-in monitors on their printers to estimate when your printer ink has expired or is about to. However, your ink can dry up before the expiration date if environmental conditions are less than optimal.

Printer ink is designed to operate at average room temperatures — typically around 68°F–75°F. It’s specifically engineered for this temperature range to avoid leaks and other problems associated with the ink being too runny.

Colder temperatures cause the ink to solidify, although it may warm back up and return to normal. Warmer temperatures may make the ink dry up completely within a few months.

Unopened ink lasts much longer than opened ink because of the special packaging manufacturers use. Avoid opening printer ink packaging until you’re ready to replace your cartridge, or the aging process will accelerate earlier than necessary.

How to Store Properly

The long- and short-term storage locations of your ink make a huge difference to its lifespan. Start by checking the temperature in any area of your office or home where a printer is located. If this area is vulnerable to drafts or is in direct sunlight, consider moving the printer to a location where the temperature is normal and consistent.  

Storage closets and cabinets are potentially a problem for long-term storage if they are not properly cooled or heated. Consider moving a small cabinet close to your desk or another area where temperatures are more consistently regulated.

If you have a printer that won’t be used for several months, remove the cartridges and store them in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel. Ensure the paper towel doesn’t touch the nozzles directly since it can make the nozzles leak.

Online purchase delivery service concept. Cardboard parcel box delivered outside the door. Parcel on the door mat near entrance door. 3d rendering

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Can Printer Ink Go Bad? Is Ordering in Bulk a Good Idea?

Many people think of bulk ordering as only good for wholesalers or large companies, but anyone can take advantage of a bulk discount. Although the exact definition of a bulk order varies between retailers, some offer discounts for orders of three or more of the same cartridge. 

The discount adds up fast when you are buying multiple ink colors, especially if you are buying for multiple printers. Add toner for your laser printer into the same order to get everything delivered to your door for the lowest price possible.

This means bulk ordering is a smart option for you, whether you print photos at home regularly or you’re ordering for an entire corporate headquarters. You can even customize the number of cartridges you get in each color to match your current needs.

As long as you take good care of your printer ink, buying bulk ink can help you save money and avoid suddenly running out of ink. 

Your Best Source for Bulk Ink

With these tips for printer ink storage, you’ll be set to make the most of your purchases from InkJetSuperStore. We offer bulk discounts for a huge range of printers, ranging from popular brands like Epson and Canon to lesser-known brands common in older printers. 

A History Guide: Where Does Printer Ink Come From?

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Printer ink is one of the most critical supplies for workplaces around the world. While many companies are transitioning to paperless offices, ink remains an essential facet in most administrative settings. For anyone who’s ever worked in a role where printing is part of their job, it’s normal to wonder “Where does printer ink come from?” 

In short, ink is a partially liquid substance that contains a colorant and is used to create images, drawings or text. It comes in several thicknesses suited to various uses. Light or thin inks are used to draw or write using pens, pencils or brushes. Thicker inks can take the form of a paste and are often used in letterpresses and lithographic printing. 

Modern inks are generally placed into two main categories: printer ink and writing ink. The type of ink you find in Canon ink cartridges differs significantly from the ink found in a ballpoint pen. 

Where Did Ink Originate?

Many ancient civilizations used natural ingredients to create ink and paint for writing and drawing. The very first ink used by humans is believed to have come from China. It was made using carbon black, which is a common black pigment produced by charring or burning. This was readily available from fires. 

The Egyptian and Chinese cultures created more advanced variations of ink. In Ancient Egypt (26th century BC), they used red and black inks for writing and drawing on papyrus. These inks were made using iron- or ocher-based pigments, various salt-based ions and lead. 

The inks developed by Egyptian and Chinese civilizations were the earliest versions of the ink used in modern society. The manufacturing process involved mixing materials using a pestle and mortar, and then pouring the mixture into a ceramic dish for drying. A wet brush liquefied the ink for use. 

Technicians are install setup the ink cartridge of a inkjet printer the device of office automate for printing

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Modern Printer Ink

The most common types of printers today are laser and inkjet printers. If you’ve ever been tasked with the responsibility of finding out how to put ink in a printer, you’ll quickly realize these printers need certain types of ink to operate. Since they function differently, you can’t substitute ink varieties. 

Laser printers use a powdered laser printer toner instead of an ink cartridge. The cartridge dispenses toner onto a printer drum. The laser within these printers changes the drum’s electric charge and essentially melts the toner powder onto a material to make a print. They are more expensive than inkjet printers, and the toner cartridges are pricier as well. However, they are cheaper to run (per page) and print faster. 

Inkjet printers operate using regular ink cartridges. They spray microscopic droplets of ink onto print materials to create text documents, images or photos. Inkjet printers are mostly found in households. 

How Is Modern Printer Ink Made?

Depending on the brand, modern printer ink is made using a variety of substances. The exact ingredients can vary if the ink is intended for a specific use, such as photo printing.

However, most printer inks have a foundation of the pigment carbon black. This is the same core ingredient used in the first inks from ancient China. This substance is added to using colorants, solvents and vehicles or binders. 

For functionality, printer ink uses dispersants and resins. Dispersants enable the ink to flow effectively, allowing for an easy transfer during printing. Resins are added to the mix to give the ink binding properties, and multiple resins are often used to give specific textures to a print. 

CMYK Toner mixed on white background

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Colored Printer Ink

Printer ink is colored predominantly using pigment or dye. Pigment inks are more common than dye-based inks; however, they are more expensive and lack consistency and range of color. Pigments must be ground to ensure a smooth spread across a surface. They also add chemical resistance to temperature, light and other solvents. 

Dye-based inks are more capable of producing color due to the density per unit of mass. They dissolve during the liquid phase, meaning they often soak into paper, distorting an image. To counteract this, dye-based inks made with solvents speed up the drying process. 

Taking Care of Your Ink and Printing Needs

As a leading supplier of ink for personal or large-scale business projects, InkJetSuperStore is your go-to for printing supplies. We stock a wide range of printer ink and toners from the top brands, ensuring you have exactly what you need for any upcoming tasks.

We cater to every budget. If you’re buying in bulk, we offer excellent discounts, helping you and your business save money. 

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Spring has finally sprung, and if you’ve been bitten by the spring cleaning bug, you are probably looking all around your home and office for things that need to be tidied up. Some projects are obvious. Cleaning gutters, scrubbing your baseboards, and deep cleaning your fridge and freezer are all great tasks to tackle in the spring. And, at work, now is a good time to tackle your disorganized email inbox, neaten up your work area, and organize the supply closet. Continue reading “Spring Cleaning 101: Tips on Recycling Used Printer Parts & Ink”