A printer cartridge's expiration date is visible from its label or packaging so you don't have to worry how you'll know when will it expire. If they will still work or not, I can't give much details as even I haven't tried using an expired ink or toner cartridges. But do you know that even a good as new cartridge may become useless just like an expired one, even if it hasn't reach its expiry?
Printers which are not frequently use tend to have clogged ink cartridges or toner build up. If the cartridge inside the machine is left unused tendency is it might end up useless over a period of time. The ink thickens inside the cartridge then eventually turn compact due to chemical changes. Hence a new cartridge should also become as worthless as an expired cartridge if not use regularly.
To ensure you won't experienced such problem, better use the cartridges all the way until it deteriorates instead of letting it dried for nothing. On the manufacturer's part, expired printer cartridges means loss in profit. Low consumer demand will result to cartridges supply being stocked on shelves and storage rooms of retailers. It was a nice thing to know that printer cartridges can be recycled, and many manufacturers especially the big names in the print industry recycle their supplies. One thing is for sure, manufacturers, consumers and the environment are all benefiting from recycling printer consumables. Most customers prefer it over OEM since they're much affordable and produce less carbon footprints. These eco-friendly toner cartridges are one of the solutions that may help on reducing ecological effects of technology to the environment.
The next time you go shopping for replacement cartridges, check the label and packaging and see the expiration dates. Prefer the ones with longer expiry date so you can still make use of it once the current cartridges in your printer runs out of ink.