Soap is something that you have to use regularly. So, a question is common- do soaps actually expire? If so, when does it expire? Can I use soap after the expiration date?
If you have these questions in mind, don’t go anywhere. I’m going to talk about the expiration date of soap and other things related to it. So, keep reading.
Does Soap Actually Expire?
To know the answer to this question, you should know how soaps work.
The molecular structure of soap comes with polar and nonpolar ends. The polar end helps it to dissolve in the water. On the other hand, the nonpolar end makes the water molecules slippery by reducing the surface tension. As a result, the water molecules slip away taking the grease, dirt, and other containments.
The nonpolar end also disrupts the virus and bacteria and causes those to die.
After the expiry date, soap doesn’t instantly lose its polar and nonpolar ends. So, even the date is gone, it can still work as effectively as expected.
Typically, soaps are approved by FDA before coming to the market. According to the rules, FDA requires an expiry date for everything they approve. That’s why manufacturers add an expiry date to the package so that FDA approves them to market the soap.
So, the expiry date doesn’t matter in most cases.
But, you need to be careful because soap expires.
Signs that Show a Soap is Expired
The effectiveness of soap depends on its polar and nonpolar ends. So, when the polar and nonpolar ends are not there, the soap actually expires.
In the case of bar soap, you can find it easily. If you find a soap bar dry and cracked without any reason, it might be expired. You can test it using water. Make it wet. If it still doesn’t lather up, the soap is gone.
Another sign of expiration is orange spots. If your see orange spots on your soap bar or liquid soap, it shouldn’t be used anymore because it is almost expired. If you want, you can use it once or twice. It’ll do the job but won’t spread the nice fragrance. So, replacing it is a good idea.
If the soap doesn’t make the surface slippery, it means the polar and nonpolar ends are not there. This is another sign that tells that the soap is expired.
When does Soap Expires?
A typical soap that is commercially produced and marketed comes with an expiry date on its label that says it’ll expire after 2-3 years. But its effectiveness lasts a few more months. So, you can use it for 3 and a half years easily. But always check for the signs that show that the soap is expired.
Natural and homemade soaps expire quickly because they are made with natural ingredients. The typical life duration of natural soap is around 1 year. In the case of homemade soap, the duration is similar. So, if you’re using one of these, you need to check for the signs more frequently.
No matter it is a bar soap or liquid, in almost all cases, it is still effective even after the date of expiry is crossed. You need to keep your eyes on the signs of expiry.
Until the soap goes rancid (orange marks in it), grow mold, dries out fully, or stops leathering up, you can use it even if the expiry date is over.
Your bar soap is going to expire someday, but that day is not the date on the package. So, keep using it until you see the signs I’ve talked about.