Does This Stuff Go Bad?
Just like those old hot dogs forgotten in the camper fridge, your cleaning supplies may not be good by spring. You may have noticed an expiration date on your cleaning supplies and wondered why? Or Does it matter?
You may be surprised to learn that many common cleaning products only remain effective for a year or two. “Oxi” cleaners (containing an oxidizer) are least stable over time and should be used within a year to maintain potency. Like oxi cleaners, bleach and laundry detergents may also need to be replaced more frequently than you think. Stored in an unopened container bleach and detergent will remain effective for a year, but once opened the effective life shrinks to only 6 months. Some products like all-purpose cleaners, antibacterial cleaners, Lysol wipes, and window cleaners continue to clean as expected for about two years.
These best before dates are affected directly by direct sunlight, heat, cold, and air. So, perhaps the bottle of cleaner with the cracked lid, sitting in the window of the old camping unit can go. If your cleaning supplies have not been used in a couple years or didn’t get stored properly after the last adventure it is likely time to replace them.
Always make sure chemicals are disposed of properly and not tossed out with the trash. Keeping these chemicals out of our environment is important to everyone’s next adventure!