When it comes to fighting bacteria and germs, bleach can be your ally. Bleach is a chemical that can remove or lighten color, usually via oxidation.
While people are gathering items for their pandemic kit, the question comes up about bleach. While it can be a great way to help clean up infected surfaces and it’s quite cheap. But how long does it last? Does bleach expire?
The short answer is bleach does expire.
After a shelf life of six months, bleach starts to degrade. Even in its original bottle, bleach becomes 20 percent less effective as each year goes by.
Bleach is one of those household chemicals that loses its activity over time. It doesn’t matter whether or not the bleach container has been opened or not. Temperature is the primary factor affecting how long bleach remains active.
If you want bleach to remain as effective as possible for as long as possible, avoid storing it in extremely hot or freezing conditions.
Generally, this means it’s better to store a bottle of bleach in a cabinet inside the house, which has a relatively stable room temperature, as opposed to a garage or outside storage shed.
Bleach is sold in an opaque container. Don’t switch it out for a clear container because exposure to light will degrade the chemical more quickly. Like other hazardous chemicals, make sure it’s kept away from children and pets. It’s also a good idea to store bleach away from other household cleaners because it can react with many of them to release toxic fumes.