The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Ask ACI: I've been hoarding disinfectants for the last year. Should I worry about them expiring?


The shelf life of disinfectants is approximately 1 year. The one year of effectiveness typically begins with the manufacture date. The expiration date is there because over time the active ingredient (the chemical doing the advertised action) may degrade. After the expiration date the product may no longer be doing the work you expect it to, so make sure to use the product prior to the expiration date. Anything you could want to know about a product can be found either printed on the label, directly on the container or by following a link or QR code to additional details online. It is important to read the information on the label before using a product because there are instructions and safety messages to ensure safe and effective use, including manufacture dates so you know when to replace your disinfectant.

If your stockpile is aging it might be time to give your products to someone who will be able to use them before they lose efficacy. If you need to dispose of expired cleaning products, please follow the requirements according to local laws. Many local governments have disposal centers for household chemicals that should not be disposed of down the drain.

Learn more about disinfecting and disinfectants.