Does Liquid Soap Expire? (Good to Know!)

Liquid soap is a staple in every household as we use it for various purposes. Most people stock up on liquid soap on their grocery runs which can result in a large bulk of liquid soap in storage.

Unfortunately, liquid soaps also have an expiration date, usually written on the back of the soap. However, some containers of liquid soaps may not have their expiration date.

So, if you have an old batch of liquid soap and you are wondering does liquid soap expire, keep reading to find out.


Does Liquid Soap Expire?

Liquid soap is expired when the expiration date indicated on the back of the bottle exceeds.

Furthermore, if a liquid soap does not have an expiration date, it will most likely have a shelf life printed on the container, such as ‘use after two years after production date or use up to one year after opening.’

So, if you can’t find an expiration date on your liquid soap, you should look for such sentences to determine whether it has expired.

Store-bought liquid soaps often expire after two to three years of purchase. Whereas if you buy handmade or organic liquid soap, it will usually expire within six months to a year since they are made of natural ingredients and have little to no preservatives.

Moreover, liquid soap could show signs of expiration if it is not kept in appropriate locations.

Instructions on most liquid soaps clearly state, ‘store in cool and dry locations, and if you do not follow these instructions, your liquid soap may go bad before it reaches its expiration date.


Signs to Lookout for To Determine If Liquid Soap Has Expired

If you have not stored your liquid soap in appropriate conditions and believe it has expired, there are a few symptoms you may check for to determine if it has expired or not.


Alteration in Viscosity

Any item’s thick or sticky consistency is referred to as its viscosity.

The consistency of liquid soaps is often thick. So, if a liquid soap becomes very runny and resembles water, it typically indicates that the soap has expired.

If you try to use liquid soap after it has changed viscosity, you will most likely have awful bathing, dishwashing, or hand washing experience since there will be insufficient lather.

The viscosity of liquid soap can sometimes harden and transform the liquid soap into a solid block inside the soap container.


Mold Build Up On the Container

Most soaps include oils, which are one of the primary causes why they expire. Furthermore, organic soaps typically have essential oils, which make them susceptible to decaying and expiring considerably faster.

This is why the expiration date of organic soaps ranges from six months to a year. The soap has likely started to rot if you find greenish, brown, grey, white, or black mold on your liquid soap bottle. If this occurs, you must discard it immediately since it may pose a health risk.


The Soap Does Not Lather Like It Used To

When you buy new liquid soap, it generally only takes one or two pumps to create a decent foamy lather. However, if that liquid soap begins to form minimal to no lather after a few pumps, that indicates a problem.

If the soap does not lather, it is unlikely to be effective in killing germs. Therefore, once this happens, the soap is useless, and it is best to throw it away.


The Soap Begins To Smell Bad

If your lavender-scented soap suddenly begins to smell unpleasant, it is most likely that the soap has expired, and you should discard it.

When liquid soap exceeds its expiration date, it may undergo a few chemical alterations that result in a nasty smell. Once this occurs, there is no salvaging of the soap, and it is better to toss it and replace it with new liquid soap.

So, if your liquid soap exhibits any of these expiration signs, it is better to discard it. The best way to discard liquid soap is to open the bottle and run it down the sink.

But, if you are concerned about how to discard expired liquid soap, you can also contact the manufacturer or consult the local environment and health organizations on the best and most environmentally friendly way to discard expired soap.


Can I Use Liquid Soap After It Has Expired?

Soaps are surfactants, allowing germs and viruses to slide off the hands quickly. This feature makes the molecules more slimy or slippery, making soap water mix with, retain, and release the oil, grease, and bacteria they carry.

According to the organic scientist Kevin Minbiole, if a liquid soap has run out but is still lathering and bubbling and gives you the impression that your hands are clean after using it to wash them, you can still use it (1).

This only applies if the soap has been out of date for a few months. It is preferable to discard liquid soap that has been out of date for several years.


What Are The Risks of Using Expired Liquid Soap?

If you are at any health risk after using expired liquid soap depends on how long it has been since the soap has expired. As previously stated, liquid soap poses no health risks after a few days or months of expiry.

However, if it has been long since the liquid soap has expired, it may cause certain health risks. Here are a few health risks associated with using expired liquid soap.


Inability to Kill Bacteria

When questioned, “Why do you use soap?” Most people would answer to clean my hands and remove any bacteria or germs. The lather in the soap is what kills germs, and when a soap expires and stops lathering, it is no longer effective.

Therefore, the liquid soap becomes ineffective since it cannot perform its most vital function.

For example, if you continue to use expired soap that does not lather and you are caring for a sick patient in your home, you may acquire the sickness since the soap is ineffective in eradicating the germs.

This shows how crucial it may be to use liquid soap that has not expired to ensure it does its job correctly.


Skin Rash

Expired dish soap includes expired chemicals and may cause chemical reactions. If you have sensitive or rash-prone skin, you are more likely to get a skin rash after using outdated dish soap. When this happens, it is best to see a doctor immediately to ensure the situation does not worsen.

Dyes or preservatives usually used in laundry dish soaps are the main culprits behind skin rashes if you use them once they expire. If liquid soaps containing skin or sun protection ingredients are used after expiration, they may also cause skin rashes.


Itchy Hands

When you use expired soap, you are less prone to develop itchiness. It can, however, occur in those with sensitive skin. Itchy hands may be caused by the chemical reactions in expired liquid soap.

If your hands itch excessively after using liquid soap, it may be time to check its expiry date.


Dry Skin

Most liquid soaps contain moisturizing ingredients that assist you in obtaining that moisturized feeling after washing your hands and protect your hands from drying out too much due to the chemicals in the soap.

If your hands feel very dry after using liquid soap and the moisturizing effects have vanished, the soap has likely expired.

Also, if you are extra health conscious and do not want to deal with any of the following issues, throwing your expired liquid soap away is best. You can also use the expired liquid soap for car washes or washing dishes if it still lathers and seems to work fine.


What Is The Best Way To Store Liquid Soap So It Doesn’t Expire?

The best way to store liquid soap to ensure it doesn’t expire is to keep it in a cool, dry, and non-humid place.

Make sure to keep soap away from the sun and avoid buying soap in bulk quantities to ensure it doesn’t expire just lying around in storage.


In Conclusion

We hope the following information helped clear any queries or doubts concerning liquid soap expiration date.

From this article, we conclude that liquid soap does expire if it is not kept in the right conditions or exceeds the expiration date mentioned on the back of the container.



1. Do All Liquid Soaps Have The Expiry Date Mentioned On Them?

No, not all liquid soaps have the expiry date mentioned on them. However, most liquid soaps expire after around one to two years.


2. Will Liquid Soap Expire If I Add Water To It?

No liquid soap won’t expire if you add water to it. However, liquid soaps contain preservatives, which ensure that the soap does not develop any bacteria over time.

If you add water to the liquid soap, you may expose the soap to bacteria, reducing its efficiency.