You might have found some hand soap that has expired that you forgot you purchased or just want to know if that large container you bought is still going to be of use but even if you are curious, every hand soap has an expiry date. Any product that is FDA regulated will have an expiry date and since some brands of hand soap fall under this category if there are active ingredients.
So, does It Expire?
Going by this alone then yes, hand soap can expire. The usual time frame is around 2 -3 years after production. The active ingredients at this point will start to lose their effectiveness which can mean you don’t get all the benefits that you usually would.
Can I Still Use Hand Soap After It Expires?
Most of the time it is fine to use hand sanitizer after the expiry date within reason. If the active ingredient is alcohol then you are going to get the bacteria-killing benefits for longer than the date might suggest.
However, it is always best to replace expired hand soap with a new bottle as an expired bottle will not be as effective so your hands won’t be as clean as they would be with a fresh product.
What If It Still Lathers?
Usually, this is a sign that hand soap can still be effective at removing dirt and germs from your hands as it helps to lift them before you wash them away. This is for both liquid soap and bars of soap but isn’t a foolproof way of telling if it is still fine to use.
Does Natural Hand Soap Expire Faster?
Typically a natural hand soap does have a shooter expiry date or around a year. At this point, some of the ingredients can start to go moldy or spoil so it is not a good idea to continue using these after the expiry date. It is the essential oils that tend to go bad, as well as the natural fragrances.
Because it reacts differently to air, essential oils can evaporate which is why a lot of them expire within months rather than years.
How To Tell If Hand Soap Has Expired
If you have emptied a liquid hand soap into a dispenser you might not know the true expiry date of the soap. Whatever the circumstances, there are certain ways of telling if the soap has expired or not.
One of the easiest ways to tell a lot of the time is by the smell. If it doesn’t have the same vibrant scent the moment you push the pump or start to rub it in your hands, this can mean it has expired.
Another way is to see if it lathers. When you rub the hand soap, does it still produce a rich lather, or is it dry and not what you expect? If so, it is best to dispose of it and get a new one.
Finally, if you notice orange spots then the oils in the soap have spoiled and are now rancid. When this is the case there is nothing to worry about if you have rubbed it into your hands first but it may not smell so pleasant and won’t be as effective at killing bacteria.
Does Homemade Soap Expire?
If you have used a kit to make homemade soap you should get an indication of how long it will last before it expires from the manufacturer.
However, if you have made yours from scratch then it all depends on the measurements you use. The more fat used, the faster it will expire and when using natural ingredients such as herbs and flowers you can expect it to spoil a lot sooner.
However, a well balanced homemade soap can last up to two years.
Does A Bar Soap Expire?
It can although it is often one of the types of soap that lasts the longest unless it is a natural product as mentioned above. Because it is usually kept on the side of the basin or in a soap tray, you don’t always have access to the true expiry date.
One of the easiest ways to see that soap is past its expiry date is if there are significant cracks or if there is mold on the surface. Any bar of soap that looks particularly dry could also be an expired one.
Sometimes it can expire a little sooner than the date and this is often down to the environment. If you live in a particularly hot or humid area then this can cause some of the active ingredients to evaporate faster.
How To Prolong The Life Of A Soap?
One of the easiest ways to make your soap last longer is to make sure you store it in a cool, dry area. If it is on a window sill in direct sunlight you risk it expiring sooner. If you have natural hand soap and regular hand soap, use the natural product first as it will expire sooner and you will not have to waste it.
What Are The Risks Of Using Expired Soap?
Whilst some expired soap is fine to use and will continue to offer similar protection against bacteria, there are some risks. When using expired bar soap, if it has lost its effectiveness, you risk using the soap after someone else has left their germs on it.
Also, some brands could leave a skin rash although this isn’t common.
Should I Dispose of Expired Hand Soap?
All in all, it is best to purchase fresh hand soap that has a long expiry date. Because you can’t rely on an expired soap, and they are generally inexpensive to replace, it is a good idea to ensure you are protecting you and your family in the best way possible. The best way to dispose of liquid hand soap that has expired is down the drain with running water to wash it away.
Even if you have a lot of it, the best approach is to buy a new liquid or hand soap bar.