Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, disinfectant wipes like those made by Clorox and Lysol are an essential part of deep-cleaning your home properly and just everyday life. If you can’t find these products on your essential grocery store trip but happen to find an old pack of wipes in the back of your cabinet, you may be tempted to just go ahead and use it anyway. But, beware, these disinfectant wipes do lose effectiveness over time.
According to Clorox, the shelf life of its disinfectant wipes is one year from its manufacturing date. Most of its products have this one-year shelf life, including its disinfecting spray. However, there are no U.S. regulatory requirements for cleaning products and disinfectants to have an expiration date on the label. So if you’re unsure about whether or not your product is still good, call the manufacturer.
In addition to making sure your disinfectant wipes are still within their date of best use, you also want to make sure they kill germs by using them effectively. The surface that gets wiped needs to stay wet for at least four minutes, then you should let the surface air dry. These wipes can be used on hard, nonporous, non-food-contact surfaces such as finished wood, granite, glass and stainless steel. Be sure not to use your disinfectant wipes on dishes, glassware or eating utensils. For those things, read up on how to hand wash your dishes correctly.
If you didn’t know that your cleaning products could expire, then you’re in for a surprise. In addition to disinfectant wipes, CDC-approved cleaning products and common household cleaners like laundry detergent, bleach and drain cleaner also expire. Even natural cleaning products like white vinegar and baking soda have shelf lives. Here’s how long all of your cleaning supplies will last.