About: Do Diapers Expire? | Do They Ever Go Bad?
“Do diapers expire?” was the very first question my teenage son asked me when I found him cradling his new stroller at our local supermarket. “I don’t know,” I responded, “but I sure hope not.”
To prevent my precious baby from ever being embarrassed by his diapers, I made him take them all the way through his potty training. After a month, I printed out a picture of him in his pre-pregnancy underwear, and my son proudly displayed it in our house.
Now that he is a toddler, do diapers expire? According to the mail that received my reply, Huggies disposable diapers don’t expire.
However, where you shop, the disposable diapers they offer might impact how long they last, or perhaps they will experience some natural degradation of color.
Do Disposable Diapers Expire or Go Bad?
Most of the stuff we buy comes with an expiry date, whether it is a baby formula or baby wipes. But when you think of baby diapers, neither you, your friends, nor even your pedestrian won’t be able to answer this question.
That is due to a lack of information on the internet, and the diaper expiry date is the last that comes to mind while shopping.
To rest all the speculations, I reached out to the leading diaper manufactures in the US (Huggies and Pampers). The customer care representative at Huggies explained that there is no expiration date or shelf life for diapers, whether they are opened or not.
She further explained that since the diaper is a paper product, they work the same way whenever they are used. As with paper products, they may get discolored (yellowish) with age; also, they may lose elasticity over time.
For users, the longer diapers are kept without use; there is a greater risk of diaper leakage.
The customer care representative at pampers said, “While there isn’t any expiration date for diapers, buyers must use them within two years to get the best results” when the diapers are used within that period, its product components such as paper, elastic, and absorption material work at the optimum levels.
What happens when you don’t use diapers for too long?
You may wonder why there is a need to worry about whether diapers do not have an expiration date.
The truth is that over time, most products lose their absorbency and strength. Liners and old diaper pouches will lose their effectiveness after about three years. Even some of the newer products lose their effectiveness after only a few years of use.
While using diapers more than a couple of years old isn’t dangerous, you must keep in mind the effects of time on diapers, such as discoloring, losing elasticity, and less absorption.
As with any paper product, when you keep them for too long, there is a permanent discoloring of paper, i.e., it becomes yellowish due to exposure to light and air. Since the diapers are paper products, they too lose their color and no longer appear white.
While even the discolored diapers are safe to use, we don’t suggest gifting them to anyone.
The last thing you want is a baby diaper losing its shape at the wrong place and time! Old diapers can lose elasticity over time, especially around legs, which can cause leakages. Also, the adhesive tape that is used to keep diapers intact can malfunction over time.
You must keep in mind that older diapers may lose their absorption properties over time. That can result in diapers becoming less effective in absorption and can cause leakages.
So, if you ever notice any leaks or wetness, you can most certainly dump them and buy a new pack of diapers. This way, you can save your baby from getting diaper rashes and keep them dry.
Due to the fragrance molecules break down over time, the older diapers can smell differently or may lose their fragrance. Hence the fragrant diaper will be less effective in eliminating foul odors after a while.
How to store diapers?
It is essential to know how to store diapers in order to keep them effective. Pampers gave us multiple pointers to keep the baby diapers in optimal condition.
Keep them away from heat and humidity
Exposure to heat, humidity and direct sunlight can cause the diaper to lose its effectiveness; hence you must always store diapers in a cool and dry place; basement shelves or storage closets are your best bet.
It recommends storing diapers at 85°F or less; excessive temperatures melt the glue tape on the diaper, making it less sticky.
The best way to store unopened diapers is to keep them in their original packing. That way, you can keep them away from exposure to moisture and sunlight, which helps reduce the yellowing effect.
How to deal with opened diapers?
If your diapers are already opened, you can vacuum seal the entire package and store it in a box, creating an air-tight seal around the package, thus increasing the product’s shelf life.
Disposable Diaper Shelf Life FAQ
Are old diapers safe to use?
Absolutely! You can use them without any hesitation, but remember they might turn yellowish due to the exposure to sunlight and moisture, but they are generally safe to use.
What should I do with unused diapers?
If you’re left with unused diapers, here’s what is you could do to make sure that your diapers don’t go to the trash.
You can contact the baby care centers, hospitals, etc., to see if they’d make use of unused diapers. Diaper costs can be too high for families with less income. Hence, it is better to donate them instead of disposing of them.
Perfect Baby Shower Gift
You can easily gift them to the expecting parents; they will be high obliged to accept your gift. That way, your friends could save extra dollars due to the diaper donations, and your diapers won’t end in landfill sites.
Conclusion – Do Diapers Expire?
While diapers don’t expire, they might lose their effectiveness over a period of time. Most manufacturers recommend using them for two years to get the best possible results.
Although they are safe to use beyond two years timeframe, you need to keep a close eye on how the old diaper performs; as long as there are no leakages or wetness in the diaper, you can safely use them.
So, that concludes the topic Do Diapers Expire? Let me know your comments and thoughts on this topic in the comments section. Also, remember to share this post with your friends and family members who are expecting their baby.