Do Household Kitchen Cleaners Really Expire?

We have all had our fair share of experiences with expiration dates. When it comes to food, most people stick to the labeled expiration date in hopes that they won’t get sick. Some people are overprotective that they throw the item away on or before their sell-by date. Some people use the items until their sell-by date, and some just don’t pay any attention.

Unlike food, most household kitchen cleaners have a much longer life, but most of these items don’t contain expiration dates for you to follow. Instead of guessing, allow us to share the common life of the most popular household products.

1. Glass Cleaner

Some people believe that glass cleaner tends to weaken over the years, making it less useful as it gets older. But this is definitely not the case. Glass cleaning products, both name brand like Windex and store brand versions have a very long life. The ingredients in glass cleaner are formulated to last a very long time, so if you have an old bottle of cleaner, chances are it still works today.

2. All-Purpose Solutions

All-purpose solutions can go bad, and they can go bad quite quickly, especially those that contain fragrances. Most products will recommend that you replace them every 6 months to one year to ensure they’re fresh. Though cleaning with expired products will still do a great job cleaning your home, you may be losing out on the scent as well as the overall effectiveness of the product. To be sure when you should replace the all-purpose solution in your home, make sure to check the label on the specific product. This will give your a better understanding of when replace your cleaner.

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3. Mops

The expiration date of mops is hard to figure out. Even after one use, the look of the mop is going to be deceiving. Rather than wash the mop on multiple occasions, place the mop in a combination of bleach and warm water. Not only will this help your mop from looking dingy, but it will also kill any bacteria on the mop, giving it a longer life.

4. Sponges

Some people don’t trust the kitchen sponge due to the variety of germs and bacteria that they collect during one thorough cleaning. If your sponge starts to smell moldy or starts to break, that is a sign that too much bacteria is harboring on the sponge, and it’s a sign that it needs to be thrown away. Until your sponge starts showing these signs, you can continue using it.

By keeping your sponge clean, you will be able to make it last much longer than normal. To keep your sponge lasting longer, make sure to sanitize it on a weekly basis with bleach and warm water. Make sure to rinse the sponge thoroughly and dry it before you plan on using it again. You can also put the sponge in the dishwasher with hot water and a heated dry.

So before you toss away that glass cleaner on its expiration date, and before you toss away that sponge after one use, make sure you know the true expiration date of these household kitchen cleaners. It can save you a large sum of money in the long run.

Flora Huges lives in Chicago.  She is an avid writer and likes to write about health, safety, and cleaning.  Flora recently wrote about the importance of MSDS sheets.

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