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Does Bar Soap Expire?

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Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 01:28 pm

When it comes to toiletries, we rarely take interest or even look at the product’s expiration date. This is peculiar with soap because what we feel and think about is to have a good bath. But is this the right mentality to conceive? Does your bar soap expire?

Yes, bar soap does expire. After the specified time allotted for your bar soap is due, you will begin to notice some odd changes. Some of the changes do come early, while others come late. But notwithstanding, the changes that occur should be enough sign for you to know that bar soap does expire.

How Long Can You Keep Bar Soap?

You can keep bar soap for as long as three to four years. However, this may not be possible if any part of the ingredients is organic. In such a case, the bar of soap is rendered more perishable, making it expire earlier. Naturally, bar soap can last one and a half months when put to use.

This time limit is not assured as the care you give to your soap can make it last a bit longer. Your bar soap lasting for years is only possible when you do not use it.

The most effective way to care for your bar soap is by allowing it to dry up after each use. This method is the best way you can make bar soap last longer.

Is It Okay To Use Expired Bar Soap?

It is not okay to use expired bar soap. It is usable, though, but would no longer be useful as the fats and oil contained in the soap will wear off. Expired bar soap will begin to inhibit bacteria growth at a fast and dangerous rate. Furthermore, it causes skin rashes which are in no way signs of a good soap.

The main component of bar soap is fat and oil. The fat in the soap makes it hard, forms lather, and gives the soap its cleansing ability.

So once the fat composition in your bar soap begins to fade away, it will no longer be fit for its purpose.

Similarly, the oil in soaps performs almost the same function as the fat. The only difference between them is that the fat is composed of highly saturated fatty acid, which will take a solid form at room temperature.

At the same time, the oil is composed of unsaturated fatty acid, which will take a liquid state at room temperature.

I’m explaining these two main components because they are solely responsible for the expiration of your bar soap. Oil is the hydrophobic component of bar soap which means it doesn’t like water.

This ability makes it both water-tolerant when in use and water-intolerant when dry. What unites these two ends is that when the soap is used.

The water-tolerant end surrounds the oil and breaks it into smaller droplets. The water-intolerant side of bar soap is what makes it go bad and expires on time.

You can use your soap for some time after expiration, but I would encourage you to always dispose of your bar soap once it expires.

You will be doing your skin harm if you keep using it, as rashes will probably begin to grow on your skin after using it for some time. Moreover, there is nothing to gain in bathing with an expired soap.

How Do You Know An Expired Bar Soap?

You can easily know an expired bar soap by loss of its scent, changes in physical state, low lather formation, and finally, when it begins to rot. Asides from the expiring date written on the bar soap, when the signs mentioned above begin to manifest, your bar soap is gradually getting expired.

1. Loss of scent

The scent of an expired bar of soap will no longer be as good as it was before.

Also, the detergent contained in an expired bar of soap might not be as powerful, so it can not dissolve dirt and germs as well as it used to. This means it would no longer get rid of all dirt and germs.

2. Changes In Physical State

Whenever you begin to notice unusual physical changes in your bar of soap, it should be warning enough. This physical change could either be the color or texture, but the color is prominent in these states.

If your white bar soap suddenly begins to turn brown, then you should do away with it. This is the best sign for you to stop using that soap.

However, it is not considered completely unsafe as it is just one or two ingredients lacking. But it is always advisable to be cautious.

3. Low Lather Formation

If you do not get discouraged by the change in the physical state of your bar soap, I am pretty sure the lather formation of the soap would.

If your soap doesn’t foam up well, then it’s probably expired. Come to think of it, what is the use of a soap that does not lather?

It is useless for bathing because it can no longer wash down your body, so knowing that you will need a new soap is a good sign.

4. Rot

Rot is the final indication of an expired bar, so If you begin to notice the mold growth on your soap, it is no longer fit for human skin.

The naturally made soap will rot faster compared to the inorganic type sold in stores. You can identify rot with a sticky and greenish appearance.

Orange spots are also signs of rot; this sign means the oil has gone bad, and it is also that a very unpleasant odor will begin to come out.

The possible ways you can identify an expired bar soap as listed above are in order of hierarchy. The smallest sign to the biggest sign also explains the level of damage it will cause you in that same order.

What Can You Do With Expired Soap Bars?

You can use your expired soap bars as lubricants, smell absorbers, and cleaning agents. These are the ways you can recycle and put your expired soap bars to use instead of just throwing them away or taking the risk of using them.

1. Lubricants

Soap bars are used in lubricating screws, blades, nails, zips e.t.c. So if you are facing the challenge of a material wearing off, you can get your expired soap bars and rub them on to ensure they are lubricated. This is also true for zippers, a rub of soap will eventually fix that wardrobe issue.

2. Smell Absorbers

Using old soap as a smell repellant is very valuable. No matter how well you wash your feet, your shoe will still bring out an unpleasant odor.

Since it is not something that you can prevent, you can control it by wrapping your expired soap bars in paper and putting them inside the shoe each time you come home till the next. They will assist you in controlling the challenge of smelly shoes.

3. Cleaning Agents

Finally, you can utilize expired soap bars as cleaning agents. You can use them to clean windows and surfaces in the house that do not require a lot of lather.


The fact that you can keep bar soap for three to four years should not make us ignore that it does expire. Expired bar soap will no longer be the same as you will notice some changes. When these changes begin to occur, it is better to seek other ways to use them than to use them for bathing.

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