Looking at my kitchen closet got me thinking if my oven cleaning products have been stored for long?
I had heard that everything has a shelf life so I decided to find out if oven cleaners have an expiry date.
Here is what I found.
Do Oven Cleaners Expire?
Yes, everything that is manufactured has an expiry date, including oven cleaners.
The best method to find out the expiry date is to read the manufacturing instructions regarding the shelf life of a particular product.
It is also important to find out the ingredients of your oven cleaner. Some chemicals lose their efficiency due to the breakdown of chemicals over time.
More like a loss of potency and cleaning ability due to old age.
Signs That Your Oven Cleaner Has Expired
- If the product has become lumpy or separated, throw it away. Your oven cleaner has expired.
- If you find no expiration date, do not use it beyond a year from the manufactured date.
- Another sign of expiry is the loss of odor or the presence of foul odor.
- If the oven cleaner is not doing its job, the most likely cause is that the chemicals inside have degraded over time. It is time to replace your oven cleaner.
Before moving towards how long do oven cleaners last, let us briefly understand what they are made up of.
What Are Oven Cleaners Made of?
Removing the harsh baked-on spills calls for a tough cleaning material.
Oven cleaners are commonly available in most grocery stores under the oven and grill cleaner section. You will find them in liquid, spray, or foam form.
Commonly available oven cleaners can have any of these ingredients: sodium hydroxide, butoxydiglycol, butane, dichloromethane, monoethanolamine, ethylene glycol, lye, ethers, methylene chloride, etc
The pH of oven cleaners is usually 14, and this makes them highly caustic. They can disintegrate grease and food spills easily.
A chemical reaction called pyrolysis occurs, removing all food and liquid spills. The grime turns to white ashes and has to be wiped clean.
The chemicals present inside the oven cleaner can turn toxic if inhaled, swallowed, or if they fall on the skin by accident.
Some of the side effects are difficulty in breathing, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing/speaking, burning of the food pipe, mouth, injury to the gastrointestinal system, burning irritation on the skin, problems in vision, and body pain.
Due to these harmful effects, people have turned towards using natural ingredients for oven cleaning.
They use vinegar, salt, baking soda, dishwashing liquid, and lemon as oven cleaners.
How Long Do Oven Cleaners Last
Oven cleaners can be natural, or as chemical solutions under different brands. For specific product information, refer to the manufacturing instructions.
If you do not find any, visit their website or call customer care. In case you do not find the expiry date of your oven cleaner, read on.
Follow the table below as a rule of the thumb depending on your choice of oven cleaners:
|All-Purpose Household Cleaners||Two Years|
|Mr. Clean||Two Years|
|Easy-off Oven Cleaner||Two Years|
|Kitchen Degreasers||One to Two years depending on the brand|
|Hydrogen Peroxide||One Year if unopened. One and half months after opening|
|Baking Soda||No expiry. Can last for decades if stored properly|
|Dishwashing Liquid||Up to One Year|
|Plain Vinegar (White)||No expiry|
How to Dispose of Expired Oven Cleaners?
Refer to your manufacturing instructions to safely dispose of expired oven cleaners.
Most of the oven cleaners are water-soluble. Mix them with water and pour them down the drain.
Please keep in mind that certain chemicals should not be mixed together. One example is ammonia and bleach.
If you dispose of them together down the drain, they will produce toxic gas.
To be on the safer side, call your city’s waste disposal facility for hazardous products and follow their instructions.
The solid parts like empty plastic bottles and spray nozzles can be discarded in your regular waste.
Tips to Increase the Shelf Life of Your Oven Cleaners
- Store in a cool and dry environment away from sunlight
- Use a permanent marker to write the date of purchase as soon as you get it home. This way you will finish the solution on time.
- Refill into a stainless steel or glass container. This is bound to increase the shelf life of your oven cleaner. Storing in plastic containers over time may lead to leaching and alteration of the liquid.
Everything that is made is bound to expire.
Depending on the brand and the ideal storing conditions, some expire earlier while others oven cleaners stay good for long.
The first thing to do is to find out from the manufacturer regarding the expiry date of your oven cleaner.
It will either be written on the product or inside the box as a leaflet.
If you do not find any expiration date, call customer care to be sure.
As a rule of thumb, do not use oven cleaner solutions beyond two years.
You need to check for the signs mentioned above if you feel your cleaning solution has expired. Use my tips to increase the shelf life of your oven cleaner.
My advice would be to use natural ingredients as oven cleaners to overcome the toxic side effects of chemicals inside your oven.
If your cleaner becomes clumpy, separated, smells foul, and does not do the cleaning like before, it is time to replace your cleaner.
Dispose of the cleaner solution following the safety guidelines.
Stay safe and healthy!
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