Woolite is a brand of laundry detergent formulated to clean and care for delicate fabrics such as wool and silk. When using woolite, one question that may slip into the mind is whether or not it expires.
Woolite, like many household cleaning products such as boosters and stain removers does have a shelf life (or a best before date). While it doesn’t necessarily “expire” in the traditional sense that it becomes completely bad and harmful, it can lose its effectiveness and fragrance over time which would make it highly undesirable to use for cleaning cloth.
There are many factors that contribute to the deterioration of woolite detergent, we’ll explore them all in this article.
Why doesn’t liquid woolite expire?
Liquid detergents like woolite are formulated to have a long shelf life, usually around 2 to 3 years.
They can easily go past these dates (and still maintain a great deal of effectiveness) provided their seals are kept intact and they are stored properly.
The reason for this is because they contain chemical preservatives such as BHT, Benzisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone that help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold and also help other ingredients to store for long.
Additionally, the ingredients in woolite are typically less susceptible to degradation over time due to their chemical compositions.
So in essence, they are shelf-stable. This is why, compared to other forms of detergent like powders, liquid detergents last much longer.
One more thing that plays a great role in the extended shelf life of woolite detergents is the packaging that they come in — rigid plastic.
The packaging creates a perfect seal between the contents of the detergent and detrimental external factors such as air and moisture which can cause spoilage.
What happens to woolite when it has aged?
When Woolite detergent has aged (or is beginning to age), its cleaning power may decrease and it might not work as well as it did when it was fresh.
This means that it would not be able to remove stains from clothes as effectively as it would if it was fresh, and it may also not lather properly or even mix well into the wash water.
Its qualities such as color, texture and fragrance may also change. The texture may be somewhat clabbered or clumpy and the scent becomes dull to the point that it may not be easily noticed.
What would cause woolite to deteriorate quickly?
As we have mentioned before, Woolite doesn’t go bad in the sense that it becomes harmful or dangerous to use after a certain date.
However, over time, its effectiveness can decrease due to many factors such as exposure to extreme heat or cold, humidity, and air, which can cause the ingredients to degrade, separate or be destroyed.
When woolite is opened and not stored properly also, for example keeping it in close proximity to a place in the house that receives direct sunlight, it will degrade quickly and show the signs of deterioration that we’ve mentioned earlier.
That’s why it’s important to properly store woolite when it’s opened in order to ensure maximum effectiveness and shelf life.
Where is the expiry date on woolite detergent?
The expiration date for Woolite detergent may be imprinted on the bottom or side of the bottle, or on the packaging, depending on geographical region.
It is usually in the format of “MM/DD/YY” or “DD/MM/YY” and printed in dotted lines.
If you are unable to find the expiration date on the bottle or packaging, it may be helpful to contact the manufacturer for more information. You can use their email or log onto the woolite website and chat with an agent.
How to store woolite detergent so it keeps fresh for long
Woolite detergent should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. It should also be protected from extreme cold which can do detriments to the ingredients.
The container should be tightly sealed (when opened) to prevent moisture and air from getting in and affecting the detergent.
It is also recommended to shake up a bottle of woolite that has been stored for a while from time to time to prevent clabbering.
As a rule of thumb, keep unopened bottles of woolite indefinitely, but use within the first year for best results. Opened bottles of woolite should not be stored for longer than 6 months.
Can you use “expired” woolite detergent?
When you find out that the woolite bottle is past its expiry date, you can still safely use it and even get great results, but never be disappointed if that fresh stain of coffee doesn’t come off easily.
This is because the effectiveness of the detergent may have been reduced or compromised. So expired woolite detergent may not clean clothes as well and may not have the same level of stain-fighting power.
So only limit using expired detergents for old clothes and those that are not heavily soiled.
Additionally, if you have so much clabber in the liquid detergent (which rarely happens but is a possibility especially if you reside in areas that get really cold) it can cause blockage of your washing machine’s dispenser or even staining on your clothes.