Cold Weather Care For Your Ink and Toner

Toner Tips by James Cai

If the coming winter makes you worried about your printers — especially your cartridges — you are not alone. After all, it’s your investment is at stake here!

Talking of investment, what’s likely to expose your printer to risks?

Would your printer be spending the night out in your freezing car? Would you be leaving the copier in an unheated trailer, cabin or tent? Would your office heater be switched off on weekends?

Are you considering to buy a new printer from a store and worried that they might have exposed the machine to the cold weather? Is your printer exposed to the weather in any way?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, chances are your paranoia would rise as temperatures drop. And it should.

Let’s save your copier machine. Use the cartridge tips here to weather the storm.

Printer Maintenance in Winter

We’ll examine different scenarios and give tips on how to handles them. Now, let’s assume you just acquired your printer from a store that’s likely exposed it to cold weather.

The first tip would be that you shouldn’t turn on the printer immediately after unwrapping it. Allow, at least, two hours before powering it on.


Condensation in your cartridge can cause your toner to clump. Clumped toners can damage your printer.


Laser Toner cartridge.png

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


To prevent damage, give your new printer sometime before powering it on. The delay allows time for your printer to reach room temperature, and allow internal condensation to evaporate. Leaving your printer to rest for a while before turning it on saves you the risk of damaging sensitive printer parts.


Toner Cartridge Tips for Winter

Statics build-up is a concern for toner cartridges during winter because they influence print quality significantly. Laser printers depend on static to charge your printer’s drum and then attract toner particles from the drum to the paper.


When your machine has excess static, printing problems follow. You may experience streaks, blotches, excessively bold or overly faint prints, or background haze.


Toners have almost no challenges with cold weather, except for static buildup and condensation issues. Let’s examine some toner cartridge (or related) maintenance challenges you might experience during the winter or cold seasons.



Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


  • Stock up on Toners and other static-sensitive components: Toners, Transfer Rollers, High Voltage Power Supply, and DC Controllers are all static-sensitive components. These components are prone to discharge during winter, and that could damage other components of your printer. Stock up on these components during the winter months to protect your cartridge and copier.

  • Use anti-static wipes during maintenance: When running maintenance on your machine, clean inside and the outside panels with anti-static wipes. Cleaning your copier with anti-static wipes won’t eliminate static, but it’s the best option when running maintenance on your printer.

  • Use Energy Star® Laser Printers: Energy costs go up in winter, so you’re probably looking for ways to bring them down. Brother HL-2140 Personal Laser printer and HP Color LaserJet 4700dh are Energy Star® Laser Printers you may want to consider.

  • Turn off your laser printer when not in use: This is another energy saving tip.

  • Batch your printing: Toner printers require lots of heat to work, so they go through a heating up process. Your printer would need more heating energy during the winter. Batch your printing task and do them all at the same time to take advantage of the printer’s warm-up process as it’s turned on.

Ink Cartridge Tips for the Winter


Image Credit: Pixabay


During cold or winter seasons your ink cartridge stands the risk of being severely hit by the bad weather. The ink cartridge’s composite material is responsible for its fragility:


  • An emulsified mix consisting of pigment,

  • A proprietary mix of some surfactants and glycerine acting as a liquid pigment carrier,

  • A humectant such as 2-propenol, and

  • Water serves as an aqueous carrier of the humectant.


Based on the ratios of these mixtures, ink freezes at temperatures near or below zero degree Celsius (i.e., the freezing point of water). When your ink starts to freeze, particles of the ink pigment will begin separating or settling, as water causes your plastic cartridge to expand the container may crack. Worse of all, when your ink cartridge eventually thaws the ink would be destabilized and wouldn’t re-emulsify.


In short, don’t let your ink cartridge freeze!


If you plan to print regularly during the winter season, you should consider acquiring a thermal printer. Thermal printers don’t require toner, ribbons, or ink; they almost never need replacement of supplies and run on little maintenance.

However, thermal printers have drawbacks. They print in black and white only, may fade over time, not suitable for high-contact use, and are quite limited in application.

Zebra ZT410 Direct Thermal/Thermal Transfer Printer – 203 DPI, Epson TM-T20II Direct Thermal Printer, and DYMO LabelWriter 4XL Thermal Label Printer are examples of thermal printers. Thermal printers serve best for printing receipt labels, name-tag labels, receipts, and shipping labels.

Thermal printing, also known as direct thermal printing, is done using coated thermochromic paper (or thermal paper). A thermal printer produces images on the specially coated paper (i.e., thermal paper) through a digital process that selectively heats the paper up when it passes over a thermal print head.

If thermal printers and inkjet printers wouldn’t get your job done, toner cartridge printers will. You may want to stick to toner printers for the winter.


If you exposed your printer ink to freezing or below freezing temperatures, then you want to let it thaw and then let the temperature reach, at least, 50 degrees Fahrenheit (.e. 10 degree Celsius) before printing. For your printer to work well, its belts and electrical components must be pliable.

If you suspect that your printer is damaged, get a technician to help you examine it. If you don’t know any repairs shop near you, use Google to find them. To use Google enter “printer repairs in [YOUR CITY]” without the quotation marks (as seen in the image below), you should see one (or more) viable repairs place close to you.

Toner Repairs.PNG

Finally, if you’ve stocked up on new cartridges and wouldn’t be needing them anymore, we buy unused new cartridges at the best rates. Reach out and let’s talk


Skip to toolbar