Toilet paper, it’s one of those items you never want to run out of! That’s why many people prefer to purchase it in bulk. But before you reach the checkout counter with your pallet of TP, you may be wondering, “Does toilet paper expire?” In this article, we’ll break down the science behind toilet paper expiration and give you a good idea of how long you can expect your toilet paper to last.
Toilet paper might have an expiration date on the package, but as long as it is stored in a dry, temperature-controlled environment, toilet paper can last many years, even decades, without major issues.
Read on to learn more about toilet paper and its expiration date, and pick up a few tips on how to properly store this essential household item.
Does Toilet Paper Expire? (Explained Further)
Although toilet paper does not expire like foods, it can “go bad” under some conditions. For instance, it is a thin paper that’s not water resistant, so it can grow mold if it remains moist or wet for an extended period.
Since toilet paper is designed to dissolve in water, excess moisture may cause it to disintegrate before you can use it. This might also be a problem with related paper items, such as paper towels or toilet seat covers.
If you reside in a warm and humid area, consider storing toilet paper properly to keep it from molding. In addition, heat can also be an issue since toilet paper can dry out and disintegrate into dust if left at the mercy of the sun and dry heat.
While this may give the impression that toilet paper is rather delicate, you shouldn’t be too concerned. If you store your toilet paper in a high, dry area, it will last a long time, even if you purchase it in bulk.
Financial Perks to Purchasing Toilet Paper in Bulk
In fact, purchasing toilet paper in bulk can be a very financially savvy strategy! Americans use 20% of the world’s toilet paper per year, averaging 141 rolls per person each year!
This means if the average roll of toilet paper costs about $0.84 cents, a family of four is spending $473.76 per year on toilet paper! While some cultures don’t seem to even bother with using this household item, Western cultures consume a large amount of toilet paper every year. If buying in bulk is able to save you some money, then you may want to consider purchasing all of your yearly supply at once. Of course, this may present some storage challenges.
You can also save a lot of money in the long run by opting for a different cleaning bum-cleaning method altogether! Many parts of the world use a bidet toilet or a “bum gun” to wash themselves with water, rather than opting for toilet paper.
What Causes Toilet Paper to Go Bad?
Even though your toilet paper is somewhat immune to expiration, some conditions can make it go bad. They include:
1. Exposure to Moisture
The most common cause of toilet paper degradation is when it becomes wet. Most brands craft toilet paper to dissolve in water—a process that takes as little as five weeks.
Unfortunately, a moist roll of tissue paper will get soggy before five weeks. It might be feasible to keep it by drying it out, but most situations would demand you toss it out and start again.
Even if toilet paper does not become wet, it can degrade if stored in a damp environment. If you stay in a hot and humid climate, the humidity in the air can quickly cause mold to develop on the tissue paper, and it will spoil the entire roll in a short time.
Bacteria could also grow in the same warm, damp circumstances, making the toilet roll unsanitary to use. Therefore, you need to avoid water and dampness if you wish to extend the life of your toilet paper.
2. Exposure to Heat
You can’t just keep your toilet paper anywhere extremely warm, like under constant sunlight. This is because toilet paper contains water from tree pulp. If it becomes too dried out, it will become brittle and finally turn to dust if left in an area with excess heat.
Even if it doesn’t turn to dust, it may still become too dry and too abrasive to use. For this reason, it’s always important to store your toilet paper in a cool and dark place.
Some insects and bugs can also degrade the quality of toilet paper. A few species, like silverfish, may consume it, while others may build nests in it.
In general, don’t store enormous amounts of tissue paper where insects and bugs can access it.
4. Rodents and Other Small Critters
If you keep a lot of toilet paper in an area where mice, rats, and other critters can reach it, you’re giving them a great place to build their nests. A huge pile of soft toilet paper is an alluring building material for rodents and other small critters.
Does Toilet Paper Have an Expiration Date?
Toilet paper does have an expiration date, but you might be shocked to learn that it can endure for months, years, and even decades longer than the number printed on the packaging.
It’s reasonable to conclude that this expiration date is only printed as an encouragement to purchase additional products. How you keep your toilet paper and what kind of paper you buy are the main determiners affecting how long it lasts.
Can Toilet Paper Get Moldy or Mildew?
Toilet paper does not dissolve easily in water, so if it gets moist or wet, it could become moldy. Likewise, since toilet paper is designed to dissolve in water, if it becomes too moist, it may disintegrate before you use it.
If you live in a tropical and warm area, consider storing the toilet paper to keep it from molding.
Can You Use Moldy Toilet Paper?
It is not advisable to use moldy tissue paper since the mold has been linked to allergy-like effects when inhaled or in touch with the skin. Since toilet tissue comes in contact with your skin, it is safer to avoid using any toilet paper with visible signs of mold or mildew.
Tips on How To Store Toilet Paper properly
If you choose to stock up or want to maintain your toilet paper’s condition in case it takes a long time before using it, the tips below may help.
1. Keep It in a High and Dry location
Maybe you adopted the practice of keeping toilet paper near the toilet or beneath your bathroom sink, as most people do. It is a brilliant strategy until the sink leaks or you spill water on the unutilized paper.
To avoid this, consider storing your tissue paper someplace higher in the bathroom, or don’t use your bathroom at all. Alternatively, put it in a towel or linen closet near the bathroom if you have one.
It keeps your toilet paper away from leaking faucets and frees up space beneath the bathroom sink for more water-resistant items.
2. Keep It in Its Plastic Packaging
Usually, toilet paper comes in a sealed plastic package that needs to be close to airtight. Therefore, inspect the package before purchasing to ensure there are no openings.
Pay close attention to the package joints that wrap the toilet paper to ensure your retailer seals them properly. Don’t pull it out of the plastic to put it on shelves since that will degrade your toilet paper.
If you open a box only to realize later that it will take a while to use the remaining rolls, place them in a sealable bag similar to the one used to keep winter garments.
3. When bought in bulk, don’t separate the individual packages
When you purchase toilet paper in mass, the brands sometimes divide the rolls into smaller bundles of four, six, or nine rolls and sealed within the larger package. The tiny containers preserve the quality of your toilet paper.
When you open a toilet roll package, the remaining rolls have only limited exposure to air. It is crucial in a humid environment because if you don’t use the other rolls soon enough will make them moldy.
If you’re concerned about getting toilet paper in bulk, look for a package containing tiny plastic bundles inside the bigger one, and your supply should last longer.
4. Purchase 2 & 3 ply toilet paper
Another way to ensure your toilet paper will last is only to purchase 2 and 3-ply rolls. 1-Ply toilet paper is made up of only one layer of paper, while 2 and 3-ply are made from multiple layers of paper lightly glued together. While 1-ply paper may be a bit hardier due to its simplicity. It is much more likely to become brittle and dry out over time, while 2 and 3-ply should remain soft.
Just make sure your multi-ply paper is stored in a cool environment, as extreme heat can cause the adhesive between the sheets to dry out, and the different layers will begin to separate.
Can You Use Expired Toilet Paper?
The expiry date on the toilet roll package is not that important, and you may continue to use it even though it is officially expired. However, examine it for mold before utilizing it.
When using a toilet roll past the expiration date, first sniff it for any foul or unusual odors before checking for black spots because you’re likely to smell mold before seeing it. If you can’t detect any unusual odors, continue using the roll.
Some expired toilet paper may become extremely rough and brittle. Proceed with caution if you plan to wipe with this scraggly, brittle toilet paper, as it could cause skin irritation or simply break apart in your hands!
What Is the Lifespan of Toilet Paper?
Tissue paper does not expire until you expose it to extreme heat or moisture, so there is no defined lifespan. Since it is biodegradable, it breaks down in about five weeks when exposed to the environment. Most toilet paper is actually designed to break down in water. When you flush your toilet paper, its fibers begin to disentangle, forming a sludge that gets pushed along by the sewage system until it reaches a digester tank where it is composted along with human waste. Much of the time, the paper will completely disintegrate before it even reaches composting.
However, toilet paper may endure for years if stored in an airtight container or cupboard. If stored in warm, humid locations, on the other hand, it can develop mold growth.
Does Toilet Paper Expire – Summary
Toilet paper can survive years, or even decades if you store it properly in a cool, dry place or packed in a waterproof container. It’s of utmost importance to keep your toilet paper away from humid places or expose it directly to the sun because it can grow moldy and decompose when exposed to excess moisture and sunlight.
How Long Does Unopened Toilet Paper Last?
With proper storage, toilet paper could stay for years, if not decades. Toilet roll will last the longest if kept in a cold, dry place or packed in a waterproof container.
However, the toilet roll can grow moldy when exposed to excess moisture.
How Long Does Toilet Paper Last?
Many factors determine how long toilet paper lasts. But generally, a roll of toilet tissue should last an individual three to four days.
what happens if you use expired tissue?
You should still be able to use toilet paper that’s expired. Just make sure there isn’t any mold on it. If it has been exposed to heat, it may be a bit more coarse than other papers.
why does toilet paper have an expiration date?
It’s speculated that the expiration date on toilet paper only exists to encourage customers to purchase more of it! There doesn’t seem to be another justification for it.
How do they determine toilet paper expiration dates?
It seems that the expiration date of toilet paper isn’t grounded in any science-backed expiry rate. It may just be made up.
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