How Long Does Printer Ink Last Once Opened | HP, Canon

Home printing tasks don’t require printing on a regular basis which is why a question arises in the mind of a home printer owner: how long does printer ink last? Well, the simple answer is the printer ink lasts for 2 years before it expires. The expiry date is mentioned on the cartridges that come with your printer and the expiry date from the buying date is actually the age of your cartridges.

Typically, if the cartridges are compatible then they can even last up to 3 years. Keep reading for in-depth details.

how long does printer ink last

How Long Should Printer Ink Last?

Well, the lifespan of the printer ink depends upon numerous factors. However, frequent printing will also help printer ink to last long. If you leave the printer for 3 to 4 weeks idle then the printer ink will start drying up leading to clogging to the printheads. Therefore, it is always essential to keep using the printer if you want a better lifespan of printer ink.

The best practice is to utilize the ink cartridges within their expiry date because if the cartridges get expired then perhaps the printhead may start clogging and that will result in serious damage to the printer. Usually, all brands do mention the expiry date of the cartridges which is typically 2 years.

To know more about how long printer ink last, now it is essential to discuss what kind of printer you have. Mainly, there are two types of printers, one is a laser printer that uses ink toners and a laser printer’s ink is typically made of plastic in powdered form so the toners are not prone to drying.

On the other hand, the second type of printer is the inkjet printer which uses ink cartridges and it comes in liquid form which is prone to dry up if not used within its expiry date. But keep in mind, both inkjet cartridges and toner cartridges have expiry dates. The expiration date is actually the lifespan of a cartridge or toner.

Also, cartridge manufacturers have two types out there, one OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and the second one is third-party cartridge manufacturer. Third-party cartridges might not have the expiration date mentioned on them but typically they’ll also last for 2 years or you can check on their website.

How Long Does Printer Ink Last Once Opened

How Long Does Printer Ink Last Once Opened

If you open up the seal of the cartridges then the lifespan of the cartridges will be reduced. Usually, 24 to 26 months age but once opened they would be prone to dry within 3 to 4 weeks if not used.

According to Epson, the quality of unpacked cartridges may go down after 6 months and they should be replaced within 6 months. After that, the quality of the printouts may suffer fade and gaps.

How Long Does Printer Ink Last If Unopened

Unopened or sealed cartridges will last approximately 2 years because it is the expiry date. If you don’t tend to use ink cartridges in this time period then make sure to store the cartridges in an ideal way so that the cartridges don’t get ruined. Also, you can check how to store ink cartridges when not in use.

How Long Does An Ink Cartridge Last In A Printer (HP, Canon)

How Long Does An Ink Cartridge Last In A Printer (HP, Canon)

If you print the documents once a week then cartridges may last up to 2 years before they get expired or start drying out. After that, you should replace the cartridges otherwise they may clog the printhead and nozzles, or likely the printer produce fade results. Also, 8 months is the time period when your cartridges may end up providing the ideal page yield. Check how many pages does an ink cartridge prints.

No matter if your printer brand is HP or canon, the expiry date of the cartridges is 2 years from the purchase date. However, we urge you to print frequently to get the ideal results. Check how to get more ink out of a cartridge.

How Long Does Printer Ink Last On Paper

How Long Does Printer Ink Last On Paper

Printer ink on the paper will last up to 25 to 32 years. Inkjet printers typically use dye-based or pigment-based ink which lasts longer. Because it prints crips and sharper texts. Besides that, there are various factors that affect the longevity of the ink on the paper including the humidity level around you.

Moreover, if you want to store the documents then you should use the protective spray also called fixative spray which prevents ultraviolet rays due to certain chemicals which prevent fading the printing results. Therefore, the spray helps to retain the vibrancy of the colors for decades.


The longevity of the printer ink depends upon various factors. However, the more you maintain your printer the more output you’ll get. If stored properly, then printer ink will eventually last long. If you print more frequent pages for heavy-duty tasks then ink cartridges will also run out quickly. But they won’t be prone to clogging due to drying out the ink inside the cartridges. However, the best practice is to utilize it within 2 years.


  • Ryan

    Hi, this is Ryan 27 years old. An experienced enthusiast in printing and crafting. My crafting journey started in my childhood when I and my sister Jessica used to go to school and learned crafting there. Since then, we were passionate about printing and crafting therefore, we are now here to serve our experience. We test each and everything on our own and provide authentic information. If you're concerned about any of the information on our site, you can contact us or research on your own. Warner Ryan

Similar Posts