Sometimes we gather various kinds of cleaning products to clean the house and different household items. Since it is not something we consume, we may not pay attention to the expiry dates. Do cleaning products and disinfectants expire? Are they safe to use if expired?
This article explains why Lysol products have an expiry date and if it is safe to use after the expiry date.
Does Lysol Expire?
Lysol products do expire. There are various Lysol products, such as the all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant sprays, and wipes being the most popular. Each will have an expiry date or the date it was manufactured that will be published on the packaging.
These products contain certain chemicals, which over time start to break down and thus render the product ineffective in what it is designed to do.
Why Does Lysol Have an Expiry Date?
Lysol, like most cleaning products, has an expiry date. The expiry dates indicate the product should be used by then. After expiry, the product is not as effective in cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. Either the date of expiry or the date of manufacture is indicated on the product.
The date helps the user to know how long they can use the product, and if there is any left after the expiry, how much longer they can use it before disposing of the product safely.
Where To Find Lysol Manufacture Date?
Lysol manufacture dates are usually indicated on the product. A FAB date is indicated on the packaging. This date means “best before” or “best by”
Lysol Disinfectant Spray:
The FAB date on the disinfectant spray is the date it was manufactured. It is found at the bottom of the spray canister and read as DDMMYY. The product can be used for up to 2 years after the indicated FAB date.
Lysol All Purpose Cleaner:
This will also indicate the FAB date. The all-purpose cleaner can be used for up to 2 years before it starts to break down and become ineffective.
The Lysol wipes will also have a FAB date. The wipes are effective for one year before losing efficacy.
To read the date, ignore the first letter. The number next to the first letter indicates the year. The following 3 numbers are a Julian date (read as xx days of the year e.g., if it is 130, it means the 130th day of that year)
Note: If the Lysol Spray or Wipes have the date indicated as S20122, the 20 means it was made in 2020, and 122 means it is the 2nd of May (the 122nd day of the year). Otherwise, the date will be in the DDMMYY format.
Can You Use Expired Lysol Disinfectant Spray?
You can use expired Lysol disinfectant spray, but it will not be as effective. You may be tempted to save some money by using up the recently expired items, instead of buying new ones, but there is no guarantee that they will be as effective in disinfecting items as using a newly purchased product.
Certain ingredients and chemicals in the product start to break down, especially after a particular period has elapsed.
If you happen to use it to disinfect surfaces and items after the expiry date, chances are that it will not disinfect the surfaces completely, leaving bacteria and viruses still surviving on the surface. Thus, using an expired disinfectant spray can give you a false sense of satisfaction of having disinfected the surface.
Expired items should be disposed of safely so avoid causing more harm to the environment.
Can You Use Expired Lysol All Purpose Cleaner?
The all-purpose cleaner is used to clean as well as sanitize and disinfect surfaces and non-porous surfaces. Using it long after the expiration date will not be effective in cleaning so you may end up using a larger quantity to get surfaces and items cleaned.
However, If it is just past the expiration date, it is still effective in cleaning your non-porous surfaces.
While you can still use an expired Lysol all-purpose cleaner, it will not clean, sanitize and disinfect as effectively as it should.
The surfaces will not be damaged if you use an expired product, but it will not kill the stated bacteria and viruses completely, thus compromising your health.
Can You Use Expired Lysol Wipes?
Lysol wipes are designed to kill 99.9% of germs. They are commonly used on household surfaces and commonly used objects such as doorknobs and light switches. They are also used on remotes, mobile phones, and other electronic items.
If the disinfecting wipes are just past the expiration date (e.g., a month), they will still be effective in killing germs.
Expired wipes can still be used as ‘cleaning cloths’ around the house, items such as muddy shoes, tools, and tough stains.
If you use these wipes past the expiry date, they will not eliminate the bacteria and viruses that they are designed to. The Lysol wipes have been proven to kill the Coronavirus if used as directed.
What If Your Cleaning Product Is Unopened but Expired?
If your cleaning product is expired but not yet opened, the ingredients and chemicals will still break down. The plastic containers that these products are stored in can affect their formula over time. Some unopened cleaning products last longer than opened ones.
If the date of manufacture is stated on the packaging, you need to estimate the date of expiry. The following is a guide for Lysol and other various products, which if left unopened can last as indicated:
1- Lysol cleaners and disinfectants last for up to 2 years
2- Lysol wipes last for up to 2 years
3- All-purpose cleaners – lasts up to 2 years
4- Bleach – If unopened, it lasts for 1 year.
5- All-purpose Cleaning Sprays – These can last up to 2 years.
6- Disinfecting Antibacterial Sprays – These last for a year.
7- Hydrogen Peroxide – This can last for 3 years.
8- Laundry Detergent – These can still be used for up to 12 months.
9- Fabric Softeners – The fabric softener can last up to 2 years.
10- Dishwashing Detergents – This can last between 12-18 months.
11- Hand sanitizers – these last for up to 3 years
Once opened, the lifespan of these becomes shorter.
NOTE: If you open the products past their expiry, check for consistency. If it is different from the usual consistency, discard it.
Signs That Lysol Cleaning Products Have Expired
Not all cleaning products have an expiry date indicated. Some will have the date of manufacture on the packaging. While there are guidelines that state the estimated expiry, look out for these signs on your Lysol products that suggest the product should not be used:
1- Consistency – if it is liquid, check the consistency for cloudiness, lumps, and wateriness
2- Foul smells – if there is any foul or rancid smell, do not use
3- Colour – if there is a change in color, or there appears to be cloudiness
Even if the products are expired, do not mix them. Dispose of expired products safely and separately.
Products You Should Not Use Past the Expiry Date
There are certain products you should not use past their expiry date. These are:
1- Disinfecting Wipes
These will not be effective in killing germs if it is well past their expiry date.
Bleach is mainly used as an effective disinfectant. It loses its efficacy after 6 months from the date of manufacture, and thus should not be relied on to kill germs.
3- Commercial Disinfectants including Lysol
These should not be used past expiry as they will not be effective in killing the bacteria and viruses stated on the packaging.
How To Store Cleaning Products (The Correct Way)
It is highly recommended to store cleaning and disinfecting products properly. The following are guidelines on how to store such products:
1- Keep them away from the reach of children and pets.
2- Ensure they are not stored next to other products which can cause a reaction e.g., do not store bleach next to ammonia.
3- Do not store products in a place where there is high humidity or direct sunlight. They should be stored in a dry, cool, ventilated place.
4- Organize them in a way that they are used up before expiry.
5- Lysol spray cans should not be exposed to extreme temperatures as there is a danger of them bursting.
If the date of expiry is not stated on the product, then there should be a date of manufacture. If this is the case, estimate the date of expiry using the guidelines given.
Never use a product that has been expired for more than 3 years as it will not be effective. Check for signs of degradation.
Always dispose of expired items safely and do not mix cleaning products even while disposing of them.