Do Cleaning Products Expire?

Yes, many cleaning products expire. It's good to check the expiration dates.

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Checking the expiration date

Now that you’re checking under the kitchen cupboards to see what’s there because you’re cleaning more frequently, it’s good to know that cleaning products do, in fact, have expiration dates. Do you know the expiry date for the cleaning products in your home? While we’re talking about cleaning, dinner plates, mirrors, and electronic screens are just a few of the 12 things you shouldn’t be cleaning with paper towels.

Courtesy Taste of Home

Hydrogen peroxide

A bottle of unopened hydrogen peroxide can last for about three years, but once opened, the shelf life is six months. Here are a few tips on how to clean using hydrogen peroxide.

OxiClean Stain Remover Powder

With more than 100 uses, OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powder is great to use on a variety of products including your clothing, patio furniture, and rugs. If the powder is kept dry, then there’s no expiration date. Car seats, sunscreen, and sunglasses are just a few examples of the 16 things you never knew had an expiration date.

Hand sanitizer

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Hand sanitizer lasts about two to three years before the alcohol content drops below 60 percent, thereby not being as effective. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that if you can’t find soap and water nearby, “using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.” Make sure you’re using hand sanitizer properly. These are the 13 times you’re overusing hand sanitizer.

Lysol

An effective cleaner and disinfectant, Lysol can last for about two years before expiring. Lysol Disinfectant Spray is also one of the best cleaners to use to sanitize your phone.

Disinfectant wipes

Most disinfectant wipes are good for about two years, however, the exception is if it contains antibacterial, then the shelf life is about one year.

Dish soap

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You’ll be relieved to know dishwashing soap lasts about 12-18 months. Make sure you know the very best dish soap for tackling your dirty dishes.

Bleach

Contrary to what you might think, bleach does, in fact, expire. Bleach can last up to six months but has a shelf life of about one year.

Castile soap

It’s hard to think that soap has an expiration date, but like many household cleaning products, it does. Check the expiration date when you buy it, but castile soap should last about three years.

Laundry detergent

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According to the Spruce, while “most detergents do not ‘go bad’ or spoil, it is possible that they can lose some of their effectiveness in cleaning clothes and stability during storage.”

Dryer sheets

You’ll be relieved to know that dryer sheets don’t expire, but it may not have the same smell as time passes if the packaging is left open. In fact, these are the only dryer sheets you should be using.

How to dispose of cleaning products

It’s important to know how to dispose of your cleaning products after you’re done using them. Make sure you read the labels and instructions after you’re finished using your products. Keep in mind, these are the 12 things you should never pour down the drain.

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Madeline Wahl
Madeline Wahl is a Digital Associate Editor/Writer at RD.com. Previously, she worked for HuffPost and Golf Channel. Her writing has appeared on HuffPost, Red Magazine, McSweeney's, Pink Pangea, The Mighty, and Yahoo Lifestyle, among others. More of her work can be found on her website: www.madelinehwahl.com