Dishwasher detergent doesn’t go bad but it does lose effectiveness over time so it’s best to use it within six months. The exact rate of decay will depend on how it is stored and which detergent you are using.
Dishwasher detergents don’t usually have an expiration date on the packaging which leads many people to wonder if they’ll last forever. The truth is that they are designed to last 6 to 12 months before they need to be replaced.
The reason for this is that the chemicals inside the detergent will start reacting together. This means they’ll gradually lose their potency. Over time, they won’t be able to properly clean your dishes or remove harmful bacteria.
Here we’ll look at exactly when you need to throw away the detergent and whether or not these factors apply to all types of dishwasher detergent.
What Happens When Dishwasher Detergent Expires?
When dishwasher detergent expires, it will no longer be able to properly break down the good and grease inside of the machine. More importantly, it will also lose its ability to kill harmful bacteria.
The enzymes and chemicals within the dishwasher detergent will oxidize over time. Due to this, you can slow down this process if you limit their access to oxygen. This is quite easy to do with liquid but much harder with powder.
Exactly when this will happen is very hard to say. In poor conditions, detergent may expire after six months but when kept properly, your detergent may last for up to two years, or even more. If you notice any loss in effectiveness, then it’s best to throw it away.
Does Dishwasher Liquid Expire?
The liquid dishwashers are the most convenient to store. The only issue is limiting air exposure because air accelerates the oxidation of enzymes and compounds. You need to keep the lid tight to ensure fresh oxygen is interacting with the liquid.
After a while, you may notice that the liquid has separated and the surface may even be a little gelatinous. You can give the bottle a good shake to mix up the liquid but this is usually a sign that it should soon be replaced.
Even when stored correctly, there will still be fresh oxygen interacting with it every time the bottle is opened. Due to this, dishwasher liquid will expire after around 12-18 months.
Does Dishwasher Powder Expire?
If powdered detergent is exposed to even a tiny amount of moisture, it will clump up quickly. It’s also good to transfer the powder to an airtight container because the boxes they come in usually have no protection against oxygen and humidity.
If you keep dishwasher powder in its original box, it will lose its effectiveness quickly and may need to be thrown out after six months. If stored in an airtight plastic container, then you may be able to get 18 months or more out of your powder.
Do Dishwasher Pods Expire?
Knowing how long dishwasher pods and tablets last is crucial. Dishwasher pods are more prone to expiration. This is because the dissolvable plastic pouches in which the detergent is housed are broken down by ambient humidity.
Furthermore, the chemicals in the detergent have a significant impact on the pods.
If kept away from humidity, your pods should be able to last for up to two years but if you notice any defects or if they’ve been stored in humid environments, then they may need to be thrown away after six months.
Do Dishwasher Tablets Expire?
Unlike powder, dishwasher tablets have the benefit of being sealed in their own little packet. Due to this, they have a good shelf life of approximately 15 months to two years. Even these packets can be susceptible to atmospheric changes so they won’t last forever.
The Best Detergent for Long Term Use
If you rarely use detergent and want to know which one will last for the longest time then the answer would be either liquid/gel or tablets. Even with basic storage, these types of detergents can last for up to two years.
The worst culprit, by far, is powder. This is because normally it is continuously exposed to air and humidity, meaning it oxidizes quickly and clumps together. If you use detergent all the time, then powder can still be a good choice as you’ll use it up quickly.
FAQs For Does Dishwasher Detergent Expire
How long does dishwasher detergent last?
Dishwasher detergent will normally last for six months to two years depending on how it is stored and the type used.
Can I use expired dishwasher detergent?
Dishwasher detergent doesn’t go bad so it can be used but it won’t clean as it should.
What happens if you use expired laundry detergent?
Expired laundry detergent won’t clean as effectively as it should and may not kill harmful bacteria.