Rubbing alcohol is one of the most popular household cleaning products used worldwide. It’s widely known that it works well at removing dirt from surfaces such as carpets, floors, windows and doors. However, there are some situations when it might not work so well or even cause harm to your health. One reason could be because of its chemical composition which contains isopropyl alcohol (rubbing) and ethanol (alcohol). These two substances have different physical properties and may react differently with other materials. For example, rubbing alcohol will evaporate quickly if exposed to air while ethanol will remain liquid until it reaches a certain temperature. If these temperatures differ too much, the mixture becomes unstable and explodes violently.
Another problem is that the chemical reaction between rubbing alcohol and water produces carbon dioxide gas which causes headaches and dizziness when inhaled or swallowed. In addition, rubbing alcohol is flammable and can ignite spontaneously.
In order to avoid these problems, you need to store unused rubbing alcohol in a cool place such as a refrigerator. You should also keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
How Long Does Rubbing Alcohol Last After Its Expiry Date?
Most medical experts do not recommend using rubbing alcohol that is past its expiry date because it will be less effective, if at all. You can usually find the expiry date printed on the bottle or sometimes even on the label itself. This is to ensure that the product remains safe for human use throughout its shelf life.
As mentioned earlier, rubbing alcohol starts to evaporate fairly quickly once exposed to air. That’s why it’s often sold in plastic bottles instead of glass bottles. It is best to store the bottle in a cool place (such as a refrigerator) and keep the lid tightly closed when not in use.
Does Rubbing Alcohol Still Work After Its Expiration Date?
The efficacy of rubbing alcohol declines slowly over time as it starts to expire. This means that it will no longer work so well at cleaning dirty surfaces or removing dirt from your skin. It may even cause health problems such as breathing difficulties and skin irritation.
If you’ve had your rubbing alcohol for a long time, it’s best to throw it away and buy a new one. You can also ask your pharmacist if they have any unused stock that has not passed its expiry date.
Does Rubbing Alcohol Lose Its Potency If Left Open?
Rubbing alcohol should be stored in a cool place away from heat and sunlight because these will cause it to evaporate fairly quickly. The evaporation process may cause the alcohol to form a crust at the top of the bottle and this will affect the quality of the product.
Rubbing alcohol is flammable and can even be explosive if mixed with other chemicals. Always keep it away from open flames and other sources of heat.
Does Rubbing Alcohol Go Bad?
Yes, rubbing alcohol has a shelf life of five years past its expiry date. It should no longer be used for medical purposes after this period because it may cause health problems such as breathing difficulties and skin irritation.
Does Rubbing Alcohol Go Bad If It’s Opened?
No, rubbing alcohol will not go bad if it’s left opened as long as it’s stored in a cool place away from heat and light. It can last for years in your medicine cabinet.
Sources & references used in this article:
The alcohols: ethanol, methanol, isopropanol, ethylene glycol by T Litovitz – Pediatric Clinics of North America, 1986 – Elsevier
Epidemiologic background of hand hygiene and evaluation of the most important agents for scrubs and rubs by G Kampf, A Kramer – Clinical microbiology reviews, 2004 – Am Soc Microbiol
Environmentally Friendly Solvent‐Processed Organic Solar Cells that are Highly Efficient and Adaptable for the Blade‐Coating Method by W Zhao, S Zhang, Y Zhang, S Li, X Liu, C He… – Advanced …, 2018 – Wiley Online Library
Efficient hydrogen production from alcohols under mild reaction conditions by M Nielsen, A Kammer, D Cozzula, H Junge… – Angewandte …, 2011 – Wiley Online Library