How Long Do Clorox Wipes Last?

As with almost every manufactured commodity sold to the public, even Clorox Wipes have an expiration date. While we wish that Clorox Disinfectant Wipes were an item with an everlasting shelf life, most only have around a one to two-year shelf life. Now, that doesn't mean that one day they're safe to use and the next they've gone rancid, like sour milk. It just means that the chemical components in the wipes will have begun to break down and lose their efficacy, and the claims that the manufacturer has printed on the label no longer apply. Luckily, there are a few ways to tell if your wipes no longer contain cleaning power.

While you might feel that disinfecting wipes are generally safe due to their main purpose, you'd be surprised to know that certain chemical components are actually harmful to humans and the environment (via Force of Nature). So if you're looking to save money, protect your health, and do your best to help the environment, perhaps it's time to embrace the DIY mindset.

Manufacturer's and expiration dates aren't the same

On bottles of Clorox Wipes, the expiration date is generally located near or at the bottom of the bottle. Clorox even states on Twitter that the shelf life extends one year from the date it was made (also known as the manufacture date). This can be misleading because the manufacture date is not the same as the expiration date, which means you could be purchasing a product that only has six months left before it begins to degrade in quality. 

Now, chances are that if your bottle of Clorox Wipes comes in contact with any moisture, the expiration date may be wiped off. If this is your current predicament, and you're concerned that your wipes may no longer hold their 99.99% power for bacterial destruction, there are a few ways you can tell that they've started to flail. Wipes that are yellowing or dry are no longer a reliable source for germ protection. If they smell off, then trash them. They could be contaminated with "fold mold," which you don't want to spread around your home.

Save money and help the environment

The last thing you want to do is give your loved ones (and yourself) a false sense of antibacterial security. You also don't want to become overly obsessed with wiping down every surface multiple times a day to use all of your wipes. That's just wasteful for the product and your wallet. That's why it might be time to stop using Clorox Wipes altogether. Other brands, like Lysol, claim that their products can last up to 24 months, but they also contain chemicals called quaternary ammonium compounds that can be quite harmful to live organisms (via Chemical & Engineering News). Disinfecting wipes are also considered to be major players in releasing microplastics into the environment. 

Luckily, making your own disinfecting wipes is always an option. For a fraction of the cost, you can make your own faux-Clorox disinfecting wipes on demand with vinegar or a mixture of water and bleach or isopropyl alcohol. No more wasting expensive products just to blow through it, and no more exposure to potentially toxic chemicals. Your health, wallet, and the environment will thank you for it.