One question that crosses everyone’s mind who’s thinking about stocking a large batch of toilet paper is, does toilet paper expire?
Even though toilet paper rolls come with an expiry date, they don’t expire like other grocery items like food and all. If kept under suitable condition, toilet paper rolls will last for even decades. To make toilet paper last long, you’ll have to make sure they don’t get wet nor do they get dampened.
There are a few other factors as well that play a role. However, go through our guide, it’ll answer all your questions regarding toilet paper’s longevity.
How Long Does Toilet Paper Last?
Like most other grocery items, the manufacturer puts an expiry date on the toilet paper rolls as well, though that doesn’t matter as long as the paper is in good condition.
Toilet papers aren’t like foods, or medicines, that go straight to the trash bin upon touching the expiry date.
Plus, chances are pretty slim that the toilet paper rolls you brought will be able to reach the expiry date because it’s being used several times a day.
According to a survey, on average, an American uses between 85 – 100 rolls of toilet paper every year. So, if your family has 3 adults, then you’re looking at a minimum of 255 – 300 rolls of toilet paper consumption every year.
Therefore, unless you have loaded up your entire home with thousands of TP rolls, you shouldn’t worry about the expiry date.
What you should worry about is the storage! If they’re stored in a proper way, toilet paper can last for even decades.
Unfavorable conditions can make the paper rolls go bad, which we’re going to discuss in the coming section.
What Makes Toilet Paper Unusable?
There are a bunch of reasons why toilet paper becomes useless. Here we’ve mentioned the most common ones, take a look!
The only reason why toilet paper is flushable and they don’t lead to clogged pipes is they are extremely thin and dissolve in the water pretty easily.
So, if anyhow toilet paper comes in contact with water, it’ll start to dissolve before you use it.
That being said, there are different toilet paper types, some are a little thick. But still, water will make the paper soggy. It doesn’t matter which type of paper it is.
However, if you could immediately dry the roll with a dryer or anything else, in most cases, they become usable. Otherwise, there’s no way other than throwing them out.
Exposure to Moisture
A surprising fact is, even after keeping them safe from the water, your toilet paper rolls can still go bad if they are exposed to excess moisture.
Those who live in an area that is hot and humid need to be very careful with storing toilet paper.
When the air is highly moist, and the toilet paper rolls are exposed to the moist air, they’ll become damp. Which will accelerate mold formation, and within a very short time, the entire roll will be damaged.
Apart from mold, high humidity can also boost the production of different nasty bacteria in the paper, which will make it unhygienic.
Exposure to Sunlight and Heat
If you have stored the rolls in a location where they are exposed to sunlight or any kind of heat, chances are, the paper will become brittle due to that. As a result, they’ll slowly turn into dust.
Exposure to Small Critters
Small critters, like rats, squirrels, and mice, love to chew. Therefore, if you store your toilet paper rolls somewhere these small critters have access to, they’re going to make it their home.
Toilet paper is soft, they’ll chew as much as possible and make a comfortable bed for them.
Some insects can also make a mess out of your stored toilet paper rolls if they can get access. Insects like silverfish, termites, and cockroaches are most likely to damage toilet paper.
How to Store Toilet Paper Properly?
Now that you know about things that cause toilet paper to go bad let’s take a look at how you can store toilet paper rolls properly so that they remain protected.
Use Sealed Boxes
Water, moisture, insects, and critters, you can stop all these from accessing your toilet paper rolls if you can store them in an air-sealed box. There are different kinds of air-sealed boxes, most of which are plastic made.
These boxes are mostly transparent, so if you store the rolls in such boxes, you’ll be able to do inspections whenever needed just by using your eyes.
You’ll find many boxes labeled as sealed or waterproof boxes, but most of the time, they aren’t. So be very careful when buying air-sealed boxes, make sure to purchase them from an authentic seller.
If you store your paper rolls in waterproof sealed boxes, they’ll last for decades.
Usually, when you’re buying in bulk, toilet paper rolls come in plastic packaging, 6-10 rolls in a packet. You can use that packet to keep them in good condition.
The packaging is air sealed, which means there isn’t any chance that moisture will get inside, nor will the water unless there are holes in the packaging.
So, check the packaging, if it’s airtight and there aren’t any leaks, then the original packaging is good enough to keep them safe from water and moisture.
But what about critters and insects?
Critters can bite through the plastic packaging, and so do bugs.
So here what you can do is, take a normal plastic or steel box where bugs and critters can’t reach and store the rolls with original packaging there. In that way, your paper rolls will be completely safe.
Store It High
If you don’t have air-sealed boxes and you have torn the original plastic packaging, there is still a way to protect your toilet paper rolls.
Find a thick plastic packet where you can put all your paper rolls and make sure the packet doesn’t have any leaks.
Put all the rolls inside and then secure the plastic opening with rubber or something else, make sure to seal properly.
Then, select a location that is high from the ground, which will be safe from critters, and store the rolls there.
If the plastic packet you’ve used is thick enough, then bugs might not be able to penetrate.
But to be on the safe side, you can put the plastic packet where the rolls are into another thick plastic packet. Don’t forget to seal that well too.
Since toilet paper is used several times a day, it’ll be a good idea to keep a bunch of rolls inside the washroom. So that if you run out of paper, some rolls will be near you.
Otherwise, you’ll have to get out of the washroom and open the box or packaging to get a roll.
Try to store toilet paper inside the toilet cabinet, water is less likely to reach inside the cabinet.
Where Not to Keep Toilet Paper Rolls?
Here are two locations where you shouldn’t store your toilet paper if you want them to be in good condition.
Under the Sink
People often store toilet paper rolls under the basin or sink when that area has a higher humidity level.
Plus, it’s pretty common for a basin or sinks to leak water. If they do, every roll under them will become useless.
That being said, if you store the paper rolls inside a waterproof box, that’s a different case.
People often store many household items in the garage, that’s because garages always have room for things. But you can’t store toilet paper there.
If you have stored the paper rolls inside an air-sealed box, then you can store them wherever you want.
But if not inside a sealed box, then don’t consider storing toilet paper rolls in a garage, as critters can make a large comfy bed out of paper rolls.
What to Do When You Have Run Out of Toilet Paper?
During the pandemic, we’ve already dealt with the toilet paper shortage, and there is nothing that guarantees that something similar won’t happen in the future.
So, don’t you think it’s wise to know about some alternatives that can be used for wiping? Check them out!
- –If you are out of toilet paper, you can use baby wipes. They are better at wiping compared to toilet paper. But don’t flush baby wipes as they don’t dissolve in water.
- –After baby wipes, napkins can be a good alternative to toilet paper.
- – If the napkin isn’t an option, then you can use facial tissues for emergencies.
So, when does toilet paper expire? If you’ve kept them protected from water, moisture, heat, insects, and critters, they might even last for decades.
Moreover, it doesn’t matter what expiry date they have labeled on them, as long as the paper is in good condition, it can be used.