storing cans of litho ink (temperature?)

Does anyone know temperature guidelines or recommendations for storing litho ink (all bases).

I may need to store a large amount of ink in 5lb cans and would like to know where I need to put it so it doesn’t get ruined or go to waste.


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I keep a low heat in my shop (55 degrees) all the time, then when i’m working i run a small electric heater and a wood stove to bring the temp up to around 72 degrees. Dick G.

dick. thanks.
my printing setup is in the basement which is finished and heated but I’m concerned about storing the ink down there unless I can get it all stacked on the shelf under my composing table.

i don’t want to store it in the storage room where I have my type cabinets because that’s where my furnace and water heater is and not sure if the large quantity of ink.. even though canned, will give off any ignitable fumes.

that’s ALL i need.

the other option is putting it in the garage with is unheated and I’m sure reaches below 30 degrees during this winter.

I’m assuming oil base would be ok but if it’s rubber or soy (which I’m not sure yet what I’m getting) it could be a problem maybe?


Keith, while I’m pretty sure the ink manufacturers would recommend storing at “room temp,” I’d suggest it should be fine for you to store the bulk of your ink in the garage. Since none of the inks you mention are water-base, I can’t see that they’d “freeze” — probably just be way too stiff to use at 30º! Of course, that would also require planning far enough ahead to bring cans in to warm up well before use.

i would assume when shipping this stuff it sits for at least some time in below freezing temps.. enough to freeze I’d guess especially if the shipping was ground based, slow boat to china type shipping.

i’ll see what it is when i get it and will post here.


Keith, i picked up almost 100 one lb. cans of ink that was stored in an unheated garage for 5 or 6 years, i’ve had it for at least 12 years and most of it is still good, its mostly oil but there is some rubber ink. Dick G.


I’m also debating storing my rubber-based inks (for letterpress) year-round in our half-insulated two car garage in Colorado.

It would be nice to store it all there for the long term but I’m also concerned about compromising the ink quality.

As long as we get it in writing from Dick G, that everything will be okay, we should be good. :)


I store my ink in a heated garage, i don’t recommend storing ink in the cold, if you do you will need to bring it in to a warm place for a day or two before it will want to work. Dick G.

Ditto what Dick said! I keep my studio at 55 during our Colorado winters —- which, are not really that bad. I use oil + rubber based, in cans + tubes and they seem happy at that temp, which makes me happy!

It will remain in the closet indoors then! :)

thanks for all the info.
hopefully the price will be right on this deal and I can share my good fortune with fellow printers. i’ll keep you posted.

A few years ago I got very lucky and was the only bidder on over 200 5lb cans at an auction. I picked them up for $50. :) Anyways, I keep about 100 or so in my garage which gets very cold and have never had any problems with them.

thanks again for all the info

Keith, Braden ink is about all i used for years, it runs well on offset presses and is great for letterpress. The company i bought from is Mixmasters, in Lynn, MA, i bought lots of pms colors from them, their prices for mixing ink was really good. Lately so many printers have gone out of business i have been given lots of ink, there are some inks that i can’t run on my offset press, but just about any litho ink will run letterpress. Dick G.

well dick.. it looks like braden is all i’ll be using for years too. haha.

did you find this ink to need any drier for letterpres use?

I try to never add anything to the ink, i let my letterpress work sit in small piles overnight, this is usually alll it takes. Different stocks can give you trouble, coated stock might need a little drier, heavy card stock i take out of the press in piles of about 100 and stand them on end until they dry. If the ink is too tacky i will use tack reducer to thin it a little. You will be happy with this ink, except when you trip over it, or know you have a certain color and look thru the whole pile of cans, i would not know where to put 6 pallets of anything. Good Luck Dick G.

Keith, I live in upstate, NY and was recently given a half dozen, 1lb cans of litho/offset ink that has been sitting in an old barn for probably 10 years. The barn was in such bad shape that it was almost like storing them outdoors. Although the inks have been in very cold and then hot temps multiple seasons, the consistancy looks good and usable. I am surprised and happy! I wouldn’t worry too much over this.