Does dishwasher detergent expire?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “does dishwasher detergent expire?”  and other queries related to this topic.

Does dishwasher detergent expire? 

No, dishwasher detergent does not expire like regular products, however with time detergents might lose their cleaning property and efficacy. Usually, the shelf life of dishwasher detergents is between six to fifteen months and they can last for a maximum of 24 months.

Moreover, store your detergents in a dry and well-sealed container to keep them fresh for a longer time. Dishwasher detergents are made of chemicals, bleach, and enzymes that help in cleaning, removing grease, and dirt, and sanitizing your dishes.

If exposed to humidity and air the effectiveness of this detergent will decrease because air leads to the oxidation of the enzymes and the components in it. So, once the detergent has expired and is ineffective, it will not wash properly.

Also, the main function of dishwasher detergents is not only to eliminate food waste, grease, and dirt and to clean your kitchen utensils but it is used to eliminate bacteria from the surface of your dishes to prevent foodborne illnesses and poisoning.

Furthermore, powdered dishwasher detergents are very sensitive to humidity, because moisture can reduce the quality of the powdered detergents and make them clumpy. Once you open your powdered dishwasher, store it in an air-tight container.

Additionally, when opening and closing regularly the well-sealed container that contains your powdered detergent, the product will be exposed to air and humidity which will reduce the effectiveness of the enzymes.

Besides, dishwasher tablets or pouches can also go bad with time and lose their effectiveness. Dishwasher tablets are made from a gel wrapped in a pouch. This pouch is made to be dissolved in water once it is added to the dishwasher machine.

So, when these pouches are exposed to humidity they start to break down. Once the pouch breaks, the gel inside will go out causing a mess. Moreover, with time the chemicals inside the pouch might deteriorate and lead to the pouch opening.

What happens when dishwasher detergent expires?

When detergents expire the enzymes and the chemical products within the detergents become less effective. That’s why detergents have an expiry date stamped on the bottle or the box. Generally using expired detergents is extremely safe.

But using products that have passed their expiry date to clean your dish will not give the same cleaning effect and result as using an unexpired product. So, you will end up washing them many times to get clean dishes free of dirt and bacteria.

Moreover, expired and clumpy powdered dishwasher detergents might leave residues on your plates and glasses. Also, these clumpy powders might not dissolve properly in water so they might stay in your dishwashing machine and damage it.

Furthermore, if you want to get rid of your expired liquid or powder dishwasher detergents, throw them in a drain with running water. Instead, dishwasher pods can be thrown in the trash. But instead of throwing them, they used the detergents before their expiry date.

Can you use expired dishwasher detergent or tablets?

Yes, it is extremely safe to use expired dishwasher detergents and tablets as long as it is not clumpy because they might damage your dishwasher machine. However, the chemical elements and ingredients within the detergents might be oxidized and less effective in cleaning.

Furthermore, detergents are used to clean and sanitize dishes. Expired detergents might be less effective in getting rid of or killing bacteria which may pose a risk to your health like food poisoning especially if utensils used in cutting raw meat are not well cleaned.

How should you store dishwasher detergent?

To effectively store powdered dishwasher detergents, transfer them from their original container into an air-tight container, and place them in a cool and dry place. Because moisture is the main reason why the dishwasher powder will clump.

Moreover, like powder dishwasher detergents, the pods should also be placed in a dry place since water can dissolve the plastic film that wraps the gel. Finally, the liquid dishwasher detergents are the easiest to store. So, close the bottle lid thoroughly to decrease their exposure to air.

How do you know if dishwasher detergent is bad?

Generally, detergents do not develop spillage signs like perishable food. But to check if the detergents are bad, look for the expiration day to tell if your detergent is bad or not. Moreover, if you notice that the dishes are not well cleaned that means your detergents have expired. 

Regarding the powder detergents, the sign of deterioration is the clumpy texture. Additionally, dishwashing liquid may separate into two phases, or dry out or it might develop a gelatinous texture. Shake the bottle and then use it because it will be safe. 


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “does dishwasher detergent expire?” and other queries related to this topic.