How Long Does the Typical Home Printer Ink Last?

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Much like a living thing, printer ink has a limited lifespan on several different fronts. From how long it can sit before it goes bad, to how many pages you can get out of it, to how long it lasts on a printed page, ink has a finite lifetime. Knowing how much time your ink has and how many prints you can get out of it can help you decide when to stock up on ink and whether inkjet printing is the right choice for you.

Printer Epson

Ink Shelf Life

Many inkjet cartridges have a use-by date printed on the packaging or the cartridge itself, which is typically two to three years from the date of production, depending on the manufacturer. If stored upright, at room temperature and in the original airtight packaging, most cartridges will still print normally even if installed a year or two past this expiration date. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that some cartridges have no specified use-by date at all, implying they have a lengthy shelf life.

Pages Per Cartridge

The number of pages that can be printed from a single ink cartridge varies greatly depending on the manufacturer, specific cartridge and printer model, color versus black and white prints, and text or photo printing. According to a 2012 study by technology testing firm QualityLogic, common inkjet printers made roughly 300 to 400 monochromatic pages from the black ink cartridge, 250 to 350 pages from color ink cartridges, and 75 to 200 photo prints from color cartridges. Your printer’s documentation may also contain an estimate of cartridge lifespan.

Printer Samsung

Print Permanence

Perhaps one of the most varied and controversial questions related to ink lifespan is how long inkjet prints actually last. Laboratory tests by Wilhem Research indicate that HP and Epson inks and papers come close to their claimed lifespan of over 100 years, whereas other papers may last as few as one to three years. Real world testing indicates that inkjet prints exposed to the air can fade more rapidly than those sealed in airtight containers, so laminating your prints can provide a longer lifespan.


Printer Lifespan

While not technically a limitation of ink, it’s worth looking at printer lifespan, if you’re planning on stockpiling cartridges. Since the replacement for a failed printer may use different cartridges, your supply of cartridges may become useless. A 2011 study performed by market research firm InfoTrends reveals that the average inkjet printer has a life expectancy of roughly four years, so consider how often you go through a set of cartridges with this in mind, before you stock up on more ink.

Source : ehow

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