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Author Topic: Expired inks, how long is too long?  (Read 2656 times)
huguito
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« on: August 14, 2013, 01:13:08 PM »
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I got my first large format printer recently.
Old Epson 9600, also got from the seller a ton of paper rolls, canvas rolls and a ink cartridges.

Most of the inks are new and unopened but expired. Most of the paper and canvas doesn't have labels so I can't find profiles online. Seems like if I make my own profile of a paper or canvas with color munki everything works fine. As long as I don't replace a cartridge, then I have color casts and need to profile once again.

I just print for myself and would like to save the ink that still usable.
Now the question. How long is too long for inks to be expired?
Some of my new cartridges are 2010, others are as old as expiring in 2004.

Should I just bite the bullet and put all this ink in the trash so the profiles remain constant?
Is a print made with very old ink more likely to fade and shift over time?

Thanks for the help and sorry for the long post.

Hugo
 
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Atlex.com
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2013, 04:02:36 PM »
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Hugo

Epson inks won't really go bad unless they are not stocked in a decent temperature controlled room.  We've sold inks that were expired from 2006 before and the quality is basically the same.  The nice part is that Epson printers won't have an issues reading the cartridges and colors shouldn't be an issue.  Canon is the same way.  HP is the only one that has the issue with expired inks (the printer won't accept it if they are past expiration).

We've had no problems with them yet and I have a customer that buys them expired since they do the same quality at a cheaper price.

Hope this helps with your decision.  You can surely toss them and get new ones if you want.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 07:33:56 PM »
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Epson marketing says that those inks are "archival" and will last for a hundred years. How can they possibly "expire" in the carts but not on the page?  Artificial scarcity.  Print away. 

Gently agitate the carts by rocking them from end to end a little before you install them.  If there's been any settling of the pigments (very unlikely), then gently agitating the carts will fix this.

I bought a used 9800 and it performs like a trouper.  Happy large printing!
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 09:03:54 PM »
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Expired Epson and Canon inks will appear to work just fine but can significantly contribute to head clogging. I used to push the limits with expired inks but have since learned not to.
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BrianWJH
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 09:22:26 PM »
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Scott, one assumes that clogging would be the result of pigment settling not evaporation from sealed out of date carts.

Surely, agitation of the carts as recommended by Epson themselves should minimize the risk of clogging from settled pigment whether in-date or out of date.

Brian.
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chez
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 09:46:28 PM »
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Hugo

Epson inks won't really go bad unless they are not stocked in a decent temperature controlled room.  We've sold inks that were expired from 2006 before and the quality is basically the same.  The nice part is that Epson printers won't have an issues reading the cartridges and colors shouldn't be an issue.  Canon is the same way.  HP is the only one that has the issue with expired inks (the printer won't accept it if they are past expiration).

We've had no problems with them yet and I have a customer that buys them expired since they do the same quality at a cheaper price.

Hope this helps with your decision.  You can surely toss them and get new ones if you want.

Actually, HP warns about expired inks, but still allows you to use them. I have found no issues using up to 2 year expired inks with my HP printers.
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brianrybolt
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 04:57:06 AM »
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Actually, HP warns about expired inks, but still allows you to use them. I have found no issues using up to 2 year expired inks with my HP printers.

+1

Brian
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digitaldog
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 08:33:54 AM »
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I've used Epson inks, properly stored that were years out of date with no issues.

As for clogging, I've had new inks in a 4880 clog from day one, really old inks from a 3880 never clog. Don't know why but one of my printer's clog on a nearly weekly basis, the other never clogs. Not the inks, go figure.
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Andrew Rodney
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JanFaul
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 06:17:38 PM »
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MY advice is to shake up your inks and get the pigments floating again. I know some would say this is extreme, but I have taken inks to Home Despot and had them shaken for 2-5 minutes in a paint shaker. The big problem is that pigment settles and needs to be redistributed. So shake them up.

Prints
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BrianWJH
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2013, 06:46:05 PM »
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I have taken inks to Home Despot and had them shaken for 2-5 minutes in a paint shaker.

Not sure what type of paint shaker you have where you live, where I live the machine has a violent action that might cause damage to the ink cart housing, ink bag, internal components or seals.

Should only need a gentle rocking action to redistribute the ink particles.

Brian.
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darlingm
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2013, 10:22:20 PM »
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MY advice is to shake up your inks and get the pigments floating again. I know some would say this is extreme, but I have taken inks to Home Despot and had them shaken for 2-5 minutes in a paint shaker. The big problem is that pigment settles and needs to be redistributed. So shake them up.

That would make me worry about bubbles, which are awful to get in the ink lines.
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Mike • Westland Printworks
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Schewe
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2013, 11:55:22 PM »
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There are two things to consider...unopened inks, properly stored will prolly far outlast the expiration date. However, inks that have never opened and installed into a printer are a different issue. I've used expired inks that were unopened well after the expiration. But if you install ink and the ink in the printer exceeds 1/2-1 year, then that's different regarding the ink expiration...while ink carts are supposed to be air tight at the capping station, that's not always 100% perfect.

YMMV....but in general, using old inks is generally less good than fresh ink.
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2013, 06:04:04 AM »
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I have a couple of carts that have been in the printer for almost 4-years, and the other carts enjoyed 3-years in the printer before being replaced.  I never pull the carts out, I just leave them alone.  No issues at all and zero clogs over the years.  But I have a 3880 which must have been designed by Epson's A-team.

Sal
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jferrari
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 07:41:43 PM »
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It is impossible to introduce air where there isn't any by simply shaking the cartridge. By design, the cartridges have all air evacuated.
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felix5616
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2013, 06:21:33 AM »
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2+ years past expiration dates on my Z3200, not a single problem printing. Never clogged, ever ands still prints beautifully.
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Damir
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2013, 09:22:52 AM »
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If pigment in settle your ink “density” will be different than from fresh ink, that is probably reason that you have different results. Try to shake it well as other suggest if you still see the problem replace it with another ink. Of course you will have delay as ink is not connected to heads directly so it will take some time to travel through tubes.

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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2013, 10:47:02 AM »
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I'd love it if someone more knowledgeable than I would refute my argument that inks guaranteed to remain stable on print for a hundred years can't reasonably be expected to "expire" in a year or so in a sealed cart.

Since inks are 95% water and the rest mostly "archival" pigments, exactly what chemical or physical mechanism is causing them to "expire"?
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John Nollendorfs
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2013, 12:09:08 PM »
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There is a very good reason that ink carts have expiration dates. And all you "experts" out there that say it's alright to ignore expiration dates should be aware of ink chemistry and physics before you give such "anecdotal" advise.

First of all, pigments do settle, as some have pointed out. Just shaking the cart can help in this regard, but not totally. There can also be a coagulation of pigment particles. Shaking will not break this up. With enough of these coagulates, your Epson dampers will get clogged and lead to ink starvation problems.

No easy fix for this coagulation problem short of sending the ink back through a grinding process. Much cheaper just to buy new ink.

The modern solvents and co-solvents do a remarkable job of keeping our inks free flowing in our printers. But we should not buy ink in quantities larger than we can't use up within 6 months to a year. And if you go out on a limb and buy expired ink-- you better use it up PDQ and keep your fingers crossed.

The problem most "hobbiest" printers have is they don't use their printers enough. The more you use them, the better off you are.

I'm not affiliated with any vendor or manufacture, and I've warned all of you in the past about the foibles of false economy in using old inks. I can't emphasize enough to use fresh ink, if you want your printer to keep working. Personally, I've had incredible experiences with my 5-year old HP Z3100. Very rarely do I ever Perform nozzle checks, or head cleanings. It just seems to be ready to print when ever I send it files. And I hear similar reports from Canon owners. :-)
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Damir
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2013, 03:23:01 PM »
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I'd love it if someone more knowledgeable than I would refute my argument that inks guaranteed to remain stable on print for a hundred years can't reasonably be expected to "expire" in a year or so in a sealed cart.

Since inks are 95% water and the rest mostly "archival" pigments, exactly what chemical or physical mechanism is causing them to "expire"?

OK

lets make an anlogy - milk against powdered milk - which one you expect to last longer?
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huguito
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2013, 05:24:56 PM »
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Thanks to everyone that responded to my original post.

My main concern is not clogging, this printer can sit for 2 weeks and fire up perfect. Maybe one more built by the A team in Epson.

The concern is that I notice a color shift and find myself profiling papers again just to keep neutrality.

I am very close to ite the bullet and get a whole new set, just to avoid ruining more expensive paper.

Who has the best price on ink? Atlek maybe?
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