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Do Dishwasher Detergent And Tablets Expire? (Answered)

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Last updated on October 22nd, 2022 at 06:51 pm

Dishwasher detergents and tablets are used in almost every home. Many people think they don’t expire.

Therefore, they continue using their stock till it gets finished. Others, however, think that it does. How do we know who is right? Do dishwater detergent and tablets really expire?

Some things can’t last forever, no matter how badly we want them to. Dishwasher detergent and tablets are no different.

Dishwasher detergents are made to last for about 6 to 12 months before they expire. On the contrary, dishwasher tablets last up to 18 months before they start taking a downturn. In addition, automatic dishwasher detergent lasts about 2 to 3 months.

Do Dishwasher Tablets Expire?

Do Dishwasher Detergent And Tablets Expire?

Dishwasher tablets like dishwasher detergents do expire. Once their expiration date is reached, they begin to deteriorate. This date is usually about 18 to 24 months after production, and the expiration date is usually printed on the label.

Dishwasher tablets are made of chemicals, enzymes, and bleach, which are important to their cleansing properties. The chemicals help to emulsify grease dirt and soften water if it is hard.

The enzymes help to break down fat and oils, and other foodstuffs. Bleach cleanse stains like tea, lipstick, and coffee from the dishes. Dishwasher tablets with their wrappings are made to dissolve when in water.

Therefore, when it’s exposed to air, the water starts to act on the chemicals making the tablet crumble slowly with time. This interaction can make it go bad even before the expiration date.

As soon as the expiration date is reached, the tablets are no longer as effective as before.

They don’t wash your dishes properly anymore, mainly because many active components like the enzymes have been oxidized.

Does Cascade Dishwasher Detergent Expire?

Cascade dishwasher detergents usually expire after about 15 months. To make them last up to this period, you need to store them very well in airtight containers. Doing this will ensure that the degree of air exposure is minimal.

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When Cascade is exposed to air, the enzymes become oxidized and go bad earlier than the supposed expiration dates.

Thus, I recommend that whenever you go shopping, you should always purchase the smallest box of dishwasher detergents, especially the powdered form.

You should also ensure that you use it up within the shortest possible time and keep it in a dry cupboard away from humidity.

Please do not keep it underneath your sink, where it can get exposed inadvertently to water. In such cases, it will get wet and merge into a hard lump.

However, you can grind the lumps back into powder and use it. The only downside here is that the enzymes may have gotten oxidized. You can even store it in airtight plastic containers.

Don’t make the mistake of buying the biggest sizes of dishwasher detergents. Because you may not be able to finish it before the expiration date kicks in.

If this happens, the detergent will go bad, and consequently, you will have wasted money on it.

How Do You Know if Dishwasher Detergent is Bad?

The easiest way to know if your dishwasher detergent is bad is by simply looking at the expiration date. Sometimes, their expiration dates are printed on the label, so you’ll have a fairly good idea of when it is expiring.

This approach is good because it helps you plan your usage of the product.

Additionally, if you notice a drop in the cleaning quality of the dishwasher, it can be a pointer to a bad dishwasher tablet. Because once the tablet goes bad, it won’t be as efficient as it was before.

How Do You Know if a Dishwasher Tablet is Bad?

The simplest method of knowing whether or not your dishwasher tablet is bad is by looking at the expiry date on the packaging.

Most of these products, no matter the company, have their expiry dates printed on them. If the expiration date has been reached, it means the dishwasher tablet has gone bad.

That’s why it’s very pertinent to know the expiry date of your dishwasher detergent so you can maximize the shelf-life.

In addition, you want your dishes to be sparkly clean and bacteria-free after each dishwashing session.

Can You Use Expired Dishwasher Detergent or Tablets?

You can use your expired dishwasher detergents or tablets, particularly, when they haven’t been clumped up. I must, however, warn you that you are using it at your own peril.

Dishwasher detergents or tablets not only clean grease but also destroy harmful microorganisms as well. Therefore, it’s very easy to contract food poisoning if you use expired dishwasher detergents or tablets.

Dishwasher detergents stay for about 6 to 12 months before they expire. However, they start losing their effectiveness before they reach that time. They start declining in efficiency from around six months.

Because they are cleansing agents, they are meant to remove dirt, fats, and oils and kill bacteria and other microorganisms.

If you use these products when they expire, their cleansing properties are not efficient enough.

So, they don’t remove the dirt totally, and they don’t kill germs, meaning you’re exposing yourself to some serious infections like food poisoning.

You can also get allergic reactions from remnants of these expired products. Thus, I recommend that you should not use expired dishwasher detergents or tablets.

Dishwasher detergents contain special enzymes and chemicals. These enzymes break down fats and oils on dishes and make it possible for them to be cleaned off the dishes.

The degradation rate of these enzymes depends on several factors. However, the most important ones are the water quantity in the detergent formula, the form of the product like liquids or powders, and the pH.

All these factors affect the duration of time dishwater detergents and tablets last. These important components become oxidized over time, making the dishwasher detergents less potent at sanitizing and cleaning your dishes.

In addition, the condition of the location where you store your dishwasher detergent matters a lot. Some adverse weather conditions can make your dishwasher detergent go bad even before the expiration date printed on them.

Powdered dishwasher detergents can get spoilt if they are kept consistently in humid places. So, it would be best if you stored them in dry areas; away from moisture.

If possible, keep them in covered plastic airtight containers, so they are not exposed to moisture and go bad before their expiration dates. If you don’t, the enzymes will deteriorate very fast.

Even when stored in airtight containers, they can still go bad because of the constant opening and closing of the container, which exposes them to air.

I advise that you do not purchase more dishwasher detergents than you can use up in 3 months. Applying this will ensure that you don’t double spend on the same product.

Which Detergent is Best for Dishwashers?

When choosing a dishwasher detergent, you should look for a reliable and powerful product with a high reputation, the highest ever in the industry! It should effectively remove grease from your dishes, clean out food residues and leave your dishes sparkling clean.

There are different choices as dishwasher detergents come in different forms like packs, liquids, gels, and powders.

There are also dishwasher detergents with diverse scents available. You have a choice between the scented and the unscented ones. Your choice depends on what you prefer most.

So, here are the best detergents for your dishwasher available.

  • Finish Dishwasher Detergent Tabs
  • Cascade Complete Gel Dishwasher Detergent
  • Better Life Dishwasher Gel
  • Palmolive Eco Dishwasher Detergent
  • E cover Dishwasher Powder
  • Amaze! Dishwasher Tablets
  • Lemi Shine Shine + Dry Rinse
  • Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Gel.


As much as one would love to have dishwasher detergents and tablets that don’t expire, for now, they do. The chemicals contained in them and their interaction cause this expiration.

So, for now, when they do expire, you should discard them to not cause yourself health problems. Always check the label before buying! This way, you’ll know the expiration date and plan accordingly.

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