Advice on storage life-span can vary from three months to years. What are the life-spans?
To clarify this article, we are discussing the storage life of cartridges, not the usage lifetime once installed, or yield.
For inkjets and toners, as they use different materials, one liquid ink, the other powder, we are talking quite different storage life expectancies.
Inkjet Cartridges, if stored in an upright position, and left unopened, in an area where the temperature remains below 35 degrees Celsius and above -15 degrees Celsius, will store for a longer period than the ‘use by’ date on the box, which is normally two to three years. Not all inkjet cartridge boxes have a use by date, but the cartridge is in a package designed to minimize any evaporation. If after a long period of time, when you do open the packet, and install it, and it doesn’t work, your print head might be blocked, then you can clean it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGKFg0r7CXc . For maximizing the lifespan of your inkjet cartridge when in use go to http://tinyurl.com/8ybeogk
Toner is a dry polymer powder used in laser printers (laser is an acronym for ‘Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation’) which is literally melted onto the paper when it passes through the fuser. It won't dry out, and will last indefinitely. However, in high humid conditions, it can congeal. But again, if the cartridge is protected by a sealed package, then storage life for a toner is not really an issue, as the printer’s life span could even be shorter.