If you have some old car wash soap and are wondering if car wash soaps actually expire, this post is for you. I’ll discuss whether car wash soap expire at all, and if they can be used after the expiration date.
- Car wash soaps have an expiration date (shelf life), but most of them can be used even after the expiration date has occured.
- Most car wash soaps last between five and ten years.
How Long Do Car Wash Soaps Last?
Most car wash soaps last anywhere between 5-10 years.
Meguiar’s car wash soaps are known to last for three to five years as long as it is stored in a proper place.
Collinite also lasts for at least ten years. In comparison, Mother’s Carnauba cleaning products are known to last for 12 years.
How To Know If Car Wash Soap Has Expired
Aside from expiration date, car wash soaps are generally considered expired if they are dry and have a weird smell or consistency. It is probably expired for soaps that have a fragrance to them if they no longer smell like they used to. Even the consistency of the soap, if weird and clumpy, is no longer good for use on your car.
You can also test out if your car wash shampoo is expired by running it under water and washing your hands with it. If the soap does not lather up and there is no foam on your hands, then the soap has probably expired.
Signs That The Soap Is Too Old For Washing Cars
- Moldy soap. This especially happens quicker in soaps that have a lot of natural oils. Since essential oils and natural ingredients are volatile, they tend to evaporate when exposed to air, so such soaps take less time to expire.
- Orange spots. If your carwash soap has formed orange spots, it is a sure sign that your soap is too old. All soaps have oils in them, and when this oil becomes rancid, the orange sports start to appear. Although soap with orange sports is still safe to use, it won’t smell as good and may not lather up very well.
- Dry Soap. If your soap is dried up, the soap is too old. These soaps may not even lather up and perform the functions of a typical soap. It is time to throw it out and buy a new one.
What Happens When Car Wash Soaps Go Bad?
There are a few warning signs to know if your car wash soap is expired.
Pay attention to these signs to know whether or not you can continue using them:
1. They lose their potency
- Expired car soaps gradually decline in their potency, and they will become less effective as time goes by until you can no longer even call it a soap that helps in car detailing. When it comes to car wash soaps, they don’t just become completely useless after the expiration date given by the manufacturers.
- They often work fine even after the expiration date. However, they become less effective. For example, if you have a wash and wax car shampoo, after its expiration date, you may see less of this shine until the soap no longer gives your car a glossy finish.
2. The shape of the bottle changes
- When you start noticing that the shape of the bottle is different, it might be because the ingredients are starting to have a bad reaction due to unkempt storage or prolonged exposure to the harsh environment.
3. They change their consistency
- If your soap doesn’t look the same as it used to, then it’s probably expired. The most noticeable change is the dryness of the soap. This is because the ingredients in the shampoo tend to separate after prolonged use, so they lose their form, and it messes up the consistency.
4. The ingredients start to separate
- When you notice that the ingredients in the bottle are separating, you know that the soap has expired. You may still be able to use it after shaking the bottle thoroughly.
5. They have a different smell
- If your car soap no longer smells like it used to, it has probably expired. When the shelf life of soap comes to an end, the compounds start to separate, or some even evaporate so that they can no longer retain their original smell.
6. They have a different colors
- While the color of the soap does not provide any additional functions for the soap, if it changes in color, it does indicate that the soap is no longer at its prime. The color of the soap when you initially bought it is solely to lift the user experience. However, if the color starts to change or fade away or even form new colors, such as the orange sports on the soap, it means that some of the ingredients are no longer functional or have gone rancid.
Why Do Some Soaps Last Longer Than Others?
Soaps enriched with essential oils and using natural ingredients typically have a shorter shelf life. Since they don’t use any preservatives, it is easy for these soaps to become moldy and expire sooner than other soaps.
How To Make Car Wash Soaps Last Longer?
If you want your car wash soaps to last as long as possible, then try out some of these methods:
1. Storing them properly
- When you first buy car wash soap, make sure that you keep it away from direct sunlight. You cannot just throw the soap on a shelf and expect it to last long, and you have to follow directions for storage that the manufacturers may have printed on the bottle. If there are none, you can follow the general instructions of keeping it away from too much cold or heat and in a dry place.
2. Shake it up
- Make sure that you keep shaking it up every once in a while to avoid the separation of ingredients. or most products, you will have to shake before use, but if you are not regularly using the soap, you can shake them up in intervals and keep them back on the shelf.
3. Close the lids properly
- Even if you follow all the instructions for storing, if you don’t close the lid properly, you could end up drying out the soap to the extent that you can no longer use it, even if it hasn’t crossed the expiration date.
4. Buying only what you need
- Although this sounds like an obvious solution, buying fewer products is the first step towards saving money and making sure that you use your products to their full extent without losing their functionality over time because you have other products to use.