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How Temperature Affects The Life Of Your Ink Cartridges


Printer ink cartridges are an expensive but necessary office supply. Depending on the particular output of an office, ink cartridges can be changed as regularly as twice a month. But what about the average home printer? Since home printers are less used than office printers, the extra cartridges need to be stored. However since many people don't know how temperature and other conditions affect most cartridges, using printer ink that was improperly stored could result in an unwelcome (and costly) surprise.

The first and possibly most important factor to take into consideration when storing ink cartridges is temperature. Ink printers require ink, and ink is a liquid. To store any liquid in any sort of extreme temperatures is never advised. Printer ink reacts particularly poorly to extreme heat. For this reason, it is important to keep ink cartridges cool. Store them on the main floor of the house as opposed to the attic or some other out-of-the-way, but possibly poorly-climate-controlled area. Doing so will ensure that the ink cartridge remains full and doesn't dry out before the time comes to use it.

Another temperature factor to consider is humidity. Areas that are high in humidity such as basements pose a unique threat to printer ink. Humidity can cause the dye in the ink cartridges to separate, similar to the way Italian dressing separates on the shelf. If this happens, the result will be discolored and in some cases completely ineffective printing when it comes time to use the printer ink. By keeping ink cartridges out of the basement, ink separation can be avoided and ink cartridges can remain effective.

One final environmental threat to printer ink is air. Over exposure to air can not only dry out the cartridge, it can also altar the coloration of the dye. Fortunately, over exposure to air is one of the factors that most manufacturers help prevent before their product is even shipped to the stores. Most ink cartridges are shipped wrapped inside a protective plastic bag placed inside a cardboard package. It is important that this packaging stay intact for as long as possible. By vacuum-sealing the cartridge, most manufacturers ensure that over exposure to the air won't be a problem when it comes time to use the ink.

Properly using printer ink cartridges is not nearly as complicated as properly storing them. Although many retail stores and manufacturers offer bulk discounts and multi-packs, it may be a good idea to only buy ink as it is needed. It is easier to buy a brand new ink cartridge than is to return an improperly stored one.

Logos and brand names of manufacturers such as HP, Canon, Epson, Xerox, Samsung, Apple, Brother, Dell, IBM and others are registered trademarks of their respective owners. All references to brands are solely made for the purpose of illustrating compatibility of toner and ink cartridges. Their use on does not imply endorsement or association by respective owners.