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Apartment Therapy reveals how cleaning products have expiry date

If you’ve been scrubbing down your surfaces with less that perfect results or your clothes aren’t coming out of the wash gleaning, it could be because your cleaning products have gone off. 

You might never have questioned whether cleaning products have an expiry date, but it turns out that they have a shelf life – just like food.

According to Apartment Therapy, the components will start to break down over time – especially once they’re open – meaning they become less effective. 

While most won’t be harmful to use, you may have to use twice the quantity or put in extra effort to get a good result. 

Read on to find out how long you have to use up your store cupboard stash.

Dishwasher detergent starts to go off within six months of opening, but can last up to a year 

Laundry Detergent

Once opened you have six months to use it up before it starts to break down. 

It has a shelf life of nine to 12 months when unopened, so think twice before buying an enormous stash on special offer. 

Laundry capsules

You should try to use withing 15 months and store in an airtight container to stop the casing from dissolving.  

Fabric softener

While an unopened bottle is good for around two to three years, you’ll see it start to break down and separate around six to 12 months after first removing the lid.  

When do cleaning  products start to go off?

Laundry powder 

Laundry capsules

Softener

Washing soda

Dryer sheets

Polish

Bleach 

Oxi stain powder 

Baking soda 

Borax 

Castile soap 

Vinegar 

Dishwasher

Surface spray 

Cleaning wipes 

Window cleaner

Metal polish 

Bar Keepers Friend  

9 – 12 months

15 months 

12 months

Indefinite

Indefinite

2 years

6 months 

Indefinite 

12 months 

Indefinite 

3 years 

Indefinite 

6 months  

2 years 

2 years 

2 years 

3 years 

Indefinite 

Washing soda

Lasts indefinitely as long as you store it in a dry environment.

Dryer sheets

Luckily dryer sheets don’t go off, but they will lose their fragrance over time if you leave the box open. Store in an airtight bag to keep them fresh. 

Furniture polish

You have about two years to finish a bottle before it starts to go off. 

Bleach 

It’s hard to imagine the might bleach losing its punch, but it has a relatively short life span of six months before it starts to break down.  

It won’t become more toxic and it’s still fine to use, but you might need to use more to get the results you want.   

Oxi stain powder

This has no use-by date as long as they powder is kept dry. 

Baking soda

You should use up within six to 12 months of opening.  

Borax

Another one that lasts indefinitely, as long as it’s kept dry.

Bar Keepers Friend

The stain remover won’t deteriorate if you keep it dry. 

Vinegar is a multi-purpose cleaner and has an almost indefinite shelf life

Antibacterial wipes start losing effectiveness after a year

Vinegar is a multi-purpose cleaner and has an almost indefinite shelf life. Antibacterial wipes start losing effectiveness after a year 

Castile soap

This long-lasting product is good up to 3 years.

Vinegar

Those who prefer to use vinegar as a multi-purpose cleaner instead of chemical products will be pleased to know it has an almost indefinite shelf life and doesn’t break down.  

Dishwasher detergent

It starts to lose effectiveness around six months, but may last up to a year 

Multi-Surface Cleaners

Your all-purpose spray has a two-year shelf life, but antibacterial varieties will lose their effectiveness after a year. 

You have two years to use your furniture polish before it starts breaking down

Bleach is suprisingly quick to deteriorate and will change after just six months

You have two years to use your furniture polish before it starts breaking down. Bleach is suprisingly quick to deteriorate and will change after just six months 

Cleaning wipes 

You have two years before they start to lose effectiveness, but only half that for those that contain antibacterials. 

Window Cleaner

You’ll get two years out of a bottle before it starts to break down

Metal polish

It usually lasts for three years, but you should throw away if you notice excess water or lumps forming. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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