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The Lifespan of Cleaning Products - Taskna

The Lifespan of Cleaning Products
admin_pjm By : PJM FIXTMAN
22 Apr 2022

Unlike food, cleaning products sit on shelves or in cabinets for a long time. They might be opened once and then not used for months or even years. The expiration date of a random detergent under the sink might not be something you actively consider. It is also not a rare belief that they don’t expire. Well, they do. Cleaning products expire because they are made of a blend of chemicals, and chemicals are affected by heat and moisture. Every cleaning material will pass at some point after its production. This timeframe can be halved or even shorter if the container is opened. Expired cleaning products don’t perform as they should and will become a waste of space and money. Read along for more on the product’s expiration date, recognizing an expired product, and a few other handy tips and know-howes. 

What happens when cleaning products go past their expiration date?

When cleaning products expire -again, unlike food-they don’t necessarily become a health threat (unless we’re talking about something like mouth wash). The passing of a product’s expiration date mainly affects its cleaning capability. Using expired disinfectants or detergents, you will have to try harder to clean the same surface.

How long do various cleaning products last before they expire?

How long do various cleaning products last before they expire?

Cleaning products can expire sooner or later than their standard expected shelf life. This depends on the length of their exposure to what makes them go wrong. Exposure to heat, sunlight, moisture, and air can cut the expiration date in half. Below is a list of some standard cleaning products and their shelf-life expectancy. The shelf-life of a product is the timeframe during which it performs roughly as well as it’s supposed to.

Remember that the timeframes provided are exceptionally accurate if the products aren’t exposed to heat or moisture. They also only apply to opened products. If the cleaning product container hasn’t been opened, you can expect it to remain usable until or even after expiration.

Detergents usually last up to one year:

  • Bleach – lasts 6 to 12 months.
  • Laundry detergents– lasts 6 to 12 months.
  • Dishwashing soap – lasts 12 to 18 months.
  • Powdered soap – lasts 6 to 12 months.
  • Regular, all-purpose, multi-surface cleaners can last up to 2 years.
  • Drain de-clogger, floor cleaners, window cleaners, regular cleaning sprays, and air fresheners can last up to 2 years.
  • Baking soda – will last 18 to 24 months.
  • Soap – will last up to 2 to three years.
  • Polish (especially silverware polish) – Will easily last 2-3 years.
  • Vinegar – will last more than three years. If the container is not opened, vinegar can stay for much longer.

How to know when a cleaning product is expired

How to know when a cleaning product is expired

Check the expiration date

The easiest way would be to check the container and look for an expiration date. However, many cleaning product manufacturers are not obligated to print the expiration date of their products onto the bottle.

Check the batch code.

If you don’t see the expiration date, look for a batch code. You can often contact the manufacturer’s number with the batch code and ask about the production date.

Write your dates

A handier way would be to get a marker and write the date on the container when you first open it.  

They have lost their punch.

Expired cleaning products lose their cleaning power. If you notice you have to wipe or scrub longer and harder, you might be using a dead cleaner. 

What can I do for my cleaning products to last longer?

Store properly 

Heat and moisture can shorten the shelf life of every product, and cleaning products are no exception. Keep your cleaners and disinfectants in a calm and dark cabinet to ensure they last as long as possible.

But as you go

An easier way for your cleaning products to expire later is if they are produced later. Purchase only as much as you’ll use. This way, your products are often a long way off their expiration date.

How to properly dispose of expired cleaning products

Pour them down the drain

Many cleaning products can be poured down the drain or flushed out. You can do that with all water-soluble cleaners, so they’ll be safely removed from your house and disposed of.

Don’t pour them down the drain.

However, certain products, like polish and wax, are trickier. Pouring them down the drain won’t quite do the trick. For instructions on how to dispose of these products safely, contact the manufacturer.

Pour them down the drain. But one by one. 

Cleaning products aren’t necessarily designed to go together. Some materials might cause chemical reactions that damage the raspatory system if mixed. If you’re flushing your expired products or pouring them down the drain, ensure they are fully disposed of before pouring out a different outcome.

DIYer’s treat

There’s also something for you DIYers out there. You can make your cleaning products with white and cider vinegar, alcohol, water, baking soda, salt, and essential oils. Homemade cleaners take a fraction of the cost while still compelling. With homemade cleaners, you can make small batches at a time, so you won’t have to worry about them expiring.

But, above all, DIYing your disinfectant and detergents have a much more significant advantage. Store-bought, manufactured cleaners include synthetic chemicals. These chemicals release small amounts of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). If you breathe in the VOCs emitted from store-bought products, it can, over time, cause raspatory problems and lead to health hazards. Homemade cleaners, on the other hand, are natural. Although not always quite as potent, you can ensure that the cleaning part is your only concern.

How to protect your lungs against VOCs from cleaning products?

Open a window

When using the products, try to create as much ventilation as possible. Open a few windows and possibly a door to lead the VOCs outside.

Use safer products

There are brands out there who claim that their products produce lower VOCs. Besides, you can always go with your DIY, homemade cleaners.

Cleaning products, if stored properly, last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. If you know roughly how long your cleaners last, you’ll have a better idea of managing them.

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