Do Baby Wipes Expire? To Chuck or to Use?

Baby's feet

So you’re walking down the baby aisle in your local supermarket and come across discounted wipes. I also love deals when shopping. Your first thought may be to hoard them! But then the question pops up: do baby wipes expire? If they do, you might be in trouble with your hoarding exercise.

As a father myself, I asked this question when my daughter was born. And now that my daughter is two years old, and we still use baby wipes, the answer to this question is still in my mind.

Kids outgrow things like diapers and clothes FAST, but these multipurpose wipes technically grow with your kid. I did some digging and searched a few manufacturers to get all the answers. I’m happy to share my findings with you!

Do Baby Wipes Really Expiry?

Surprisingly, not all baby wipes have expiry dates BUT they may lose their effectiveness over time. Some brands don’t put expiration dates on their wipes, others do. Those that don’t put expiration dates, put a shelf life instead. Most baby wipes typically have a two to three-year shelf life or expiration date from the date of manufacture.

You might ask: what’s the difference between expiration date and shelf life? To the layman, these terms are pretty ambiguous. You can’t help thinking if the manufacturers are trying to play tricks on us to evade any lawsuits if things go south.

But from knowledge, an expiry date is the last day a product is considered safe for use by the customer. On the other hand, shelf life is generally the time a product is deemed sellable or fit to use. But that’s of course, provided the product is stored under the recommended storage conditions. And products that have exceeded their shelf life MIGHT still be safe to use, but the quality is no longer guaranteed.

Where Can I Find the Manufacturers Date?

I must warn you the date of manufacture isn’t in plain sight if it’s there at all. I’ve had to do a lot of scanning and squinting myself to find the hidden date. And I found that not all brands state the shelf life on the packaging. But most brands that don’t have this date, generally state their products should be used within 30 days once opened.

But to save you the headache I went through while looking for these dates, either check the back of the packet or under the flap. You’re welcome!

Does it Matter if My Baby Wipes Expire?

So now you know baby wipes either have expiry dates or shelf life, what does that mean for you? Maybe you still have a box full of baby wipes you got during your child’s baby shower. Or, you went overboard while preparing for the birth of your munchkin and hoarded a couple of boxes? Do you chuck them out?

If you want my advice, I’d say don’t be quick to throw them out. Let me put it this way. With things like baby food, I honestly wouldn’t recommend that you take chances by giving it to your baby when it’s expired. But I’d like to believe you have the ability to exercise some free reign when it comes to using expired wipes.

As I mentioned earlier, expired baby wipes may still be safe to use. But their quality might no longer be the same. The following can happen;

  • Drying out: Baby wipes tend to dry out over time. And once they lose their moisture, there goes the value of the product. Trying to wipe your baby’s delicate bottom with a dry wipe is a tall order. Not to mention the possible irritations that may result. Unless of course, you decide to use them to wipe up spills instead. It’s called exercising frugal parenting to get the most of the product!
  • Mold formation: After some time, molds can grow on the wipes. This is because mold needs wet conditions to grow. Using contaminated wipes on your baby is a definite no-no. Unfortunately wiping messes won’t work too with such wipes. Throwing these in the trash is your only option.
  • Ineffective: If you’re using wipes that contain moisturizing properties, they might not be as effective once expired.

Do WaterWipes Expire?

Parents with babies that have extra sensitive skin are drawn to the brand WaterWipes thanks to its exceptional cleansing properties. Made of 99.9% pure water, it’s easy to assume that they won’t be drying out any time soon.

Unfortunately, WaterWipes also expire. It’s recommended to open them within the first 15 months after the date of manufacture. And the manufacturer advises you to use them within 30 days once opened. 

You’ll find both the date of manufacture and expiry date on the back of the packet.

Do Huggies Wipes Expire?

Are you a Huggies lover? All Huggies wipes such as the Huggies Natural Care Sensitive Baby Wipes have a shelf life of two years. When opened, they remain fresh and moist for up to a year. This is provided you keep the pack sealed properly between uses.

Also, the manufacturer recommends you store them away from direct sunlight or extreme heat. Room temperature is the best storage condition for these wipes.

What Can I Do With Expired Baby Wipes?

Whether you continue to use expired baby wipes or not is really your call. If you want to continue using them, that’s perfectly understandable. I know tossing them in the garbage can feel like you’re literally throwing money down the drain!

I’d recommend you continue using them for as long as there are no visible signs of mold formation. What if they begin to dry out? There’s no rule against rehydrating your wipes. To do this you can either spray them with water right before use or place them into a sealed container or bag, add some water, and leave them to sit at room temperature for a few minutes.

Alternatively, you can make your own hydrating solution by following these quick and easy steps:

  • Measure two cups of distilled water.
  • Pour into your container.
  • Add ¼ cup of your baby shampoo.
  • Add ¼ cup of baby oil.
  • Add a drop of lavender if you want it scented.
  • Stir the mixture.
  • Pour the mixture onto the dried wipes.
  • Repeat till wipes are moist but don’t overdo it. Using excess solution will leave your wipes dripping and messy.
  • Store the remainder of the solution in the refrigerator and repeat the process when necessary.

If you’re not keen on rehydrating the wipes, you can use them to wipe up spills as I mentioned before.

How Can I Extend the Life of My Baby Wipes? Where Do I Store my Baby Wipe Stockpile?

What you must know is that baby wipes will dry out after some time especially if you store them under poor storage conditions. Placing them under direct sunlight or in an extremely hot room is not advisable. Your best bet to extend the life of your baby wipes is to always keep them sealed.

However, I’ll quickly point out it’s possible for them to dry out even when sealed. That’s especially true if you store them under hot conditions. Generally, it’s recommended to store wipes in a cool and dry place.

Have a look at this video for additional tips on extending the life of your baby wipes.

I researched a couple of baby wipes brands and what the manufacturers have to say when it comes to storing them to extend their life. This is what I found:

Seventh Generation Baby Wipes

The manufacturer’s safety sheet gives a good indication of how to handle and store the baby wipes so you can extend the use of them. They don’t stipulate an expiry date.

Mum & You Biodegradable Baby Wet Wipes

The manufacturer recommends using an opened pack of baby wipes within 3 months.

Up& Up Unscented Baby Wipes

It’s recommended these baby wipes are kept at room temperature. To extend the life of the wipes, keep the container’s lid close when not in use.

Comparing Expiry Date, Shelf Life of Top Baby Wipe Brands

I’ll round up the article with a recap of the products I talked about here and their respective shelf life or expiry dates as stated by the manufacturer.

I recommend reading my article about Pampers vs Huggies Wipes if you’re still on the hunt for the best baby wipes.

Final Thoughts

The next time someone asks you the question: do baby wipes expire? Tell them not really. But the quality is compromised over time.

Baby wipes may lose their wetness, freshness, fragrance, and effectiveness after a while. But can you still use them after the recommended expiry date or shelf life? I honestly don’t see why not. Just as long as they don’t have any molds. If they’re dry, simply rehydrate them. Or, you can use them dry to wipe up spills. Let’s call it getting full value for your money. Now you should be able to better decide how many baby wipes to buy when stocking up on them.

Just remember that at the end of the day, the decision to use them (or not) when they’ve “expired” rests with you. It’s YOUR call.

Now that you informed yourself about baby wipe expirations, perhaps it might be time to find out if diapers expire. Or what about baby oil you might use after a wipe?

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