Without toner cartridges, your laser printer simply wouldn’t work. These cartridges are responsible for providing the ink you need to print documents and they contain a dry powder known as toner. Toner is a mixture that’s made from finely ground plastic and several other ingredients that will adhere to paper through the printing process. 

Understanding the basics of toner cartridges is beneficial when you purchase a laser printer and it’s key to note that they differ from traditional ink cartridges. One of the most common questions we’re asked about toner cartridges is; do they dry out? To help you ensure your printer cartridges are lasting as long as possible and you don’t have to throw them away, below we have put together some basics about toner cartridges. 

Do Toner Cartridges Dry Out?

Simply put, yes, toner cartridges can dry out. Although it's not as common as ink cartridges drying out, toner cartridges can still experience drying and clumping issues. Toner is a powder rather than a liquid and when the powder dries out, it can clog the nozzle heads and prevent your documents from printing properly. When the toner becomes less free-flowing, it can also result in an uneven distribution of toner and print quality issues. 

What to do if Toner Cartridges Dry Out 

If you think that a printer toner cartridge has dried out, there are a few simple steps you can take to try and improve the flow of the toner, enabling you to continue using it; 

  • Gently shake the cartridge - Very carefully shaking the cartridge back and forth can help to redistribute the toner and break up any clumps that might have formed in the cartridge. This can improve the flow of toner and the print quality of your documents, preventing you from having to replace the cartridge. 
  • Print a few test pages - If you have some toner cartridges stored away, installing them into your printer and printing off some test pages can help you to determine if it’s still usable. If the print quality improves after a few pages, it may indicate that the toner has been redistributed and is now flowing properly.
  • Consider replacing the cartridge - When the toner cartridge continues to cause printing problems, it may be best to replace it with a fresh cartridge. Continuously using a printer cartridge that has dried out and blocked won’t just impact your printed documents, but it could damage your printer over time. 

How to Stop Toner Cartridges Drying Out 

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help prevent toner cartridges from drying out too. Try the following; 

  • Use the printer regularly - Regularly printing documents can help to keep the toner flowing and this will prevent it from settling or clumping. If you have a printer that you don't use very often, consider printing a simple test page or two every few weeks to keep the toner in motion.
  • Store the cartridges properly - Whenever you’re storing toner cartridges, you should ensure they’re kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Try to avoid areas of extreme heat or high humidity too, as these conditions can contribute to the drying out or clumping of the toner.
  • Keep the cartridges sealed - If you have spare toner cartridges that you don’t need to use immediately,  keep them sealed in their original packaging until they’re ready for use. The packaging helps protect the cartridges from dust, debris and exposure to air, which can contribute to them drying out.
  • Follow the manufacturer's guidelines - Manufacturers often provide specific instructions and recommendations for handling and storing their toner cartridges. Read the product packaging or visit the manufacturer's website to get some specific guidance and advice to prevent the toner from drying out.
  • Use genuine cartridges - Genuine toner cartridges from the printer’s manufacturer are designed specifically for their printers and they undergo rigorous testing. Using genuine cartridges can help to ensure optimal performance and reduce the risk of drying out. OEM cartridges may have a longer shelf life too. 

Purchase New Toner Cartridges at Toner One 

If your toner has dried out and you need to order some replacement cartridges, take a look at the Toner One website today. We supply a wide variety of printer consumables and you will find toner cartridges from a range of well-known brands on our website. We are proud to be one of the leading go-to websites for printer consumables and we can fulfil orders of all sizes. Should you have any queries at all regarding toner cartridges, feel free to get in touch with us.