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Home Care

Did You Know That Cleaning Products Have Expiration Dates Too?

Is your cleaning routine taking longer than usual? Check the label of the product you're using.

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Photography: Pixabay

Whether we’re in the supermarket or getting ready to whip up a quick meal at home, it has become second nature to check the expiration date of ingredients. Have you ever wondered if cleaning products and laundry must-haves have expiration dates, too? We keep these under the sink or in a cabinet and many of us only use most of these items on a weekly basis. If you’re used to buying these in bulk, chances are, you’ll have tons of products that’ll last for a year.

According to an article by Apartment Therapy, most of the cleaning products we use expire. If a product seems less effective or if you notice that it’s taking longer than usual to remove stains and get the job done, it’s safe to say that your go-to item has reached the end of its shelf life. Huffpost consulted with a couple of experts and came up with a list of commonly used products at home and when they should be discarded. We’ve come up with a condensed compilation below to guide you:

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  • Liquid and powdered laundry detergent: These start to lose its effectivity after six months. Unopened packages and bottles can last up to nine months to a year.
  • Fabric softener: It may last up to six months to a year. Remember to shake the bottle first before using.
  • Vinegar: It doesn’t expire and you can always depend on it as an effective cleaner.
  • Baking soda: Claims differ if it can still as be as effective after six months. Old boxes of baking soda can still be used for cleaning and not for baking. If you’re using an old stock, it may not be as powerful.
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  • Bleach: It can last for a year but it will start to break down after six months. Those who don’t want to get rid of their bottles of bleach after the said time frame might have to use more of the product for it to be effective.
  • Furniture polish: This must-have may last up to two years, but don’t buy in batches. Purchase furniture polish depending on the pieces you have at home.
  • Dishwashing soap: It may last up to one and a half years, but after a year, some products may not be as concentrated anymore.
  • Multi-surface cleaners: Most products can last up to two years but those with antibacterial properties only last up to a year.
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To learn more about the shelf life of common household products, visit Apartment Therapy and Huffpost (sources).

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