Do diapers expire?

LilPaddedBunny

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I have a stash of a few cases of diapers, and I don't go through them very fast. I was wondering if they actually expire or break down over time. Does the SAP ever stop being as effective or the tapes break down or stop being sticky? I was wondering if it's a good idea to keep a large stash, or would it be better to keep less on hand so they're always "fresh"? When I order a new case I always use up the older ones first before opening the new ones.
 
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LilPaddedBunny said:
I have a stash of a few cases of diapers, and I don't go through them very fast. I was wondering if they actually expire or break down over time. Does the SAP ever stop being as effective or the tapes break down or stop being sticky? I was wondering if it's a good idea to keep a large stash, or would it be better to keep less on hand so they're always "fresh"? When I order a new case I always use up the older ones first before opening the new ones.
I assume that, if they did eventually lose effectiveness, it would take a very, very long time before that started to happen, so long as they're not being exposed to the elements and are stored in a relatively safe, dry place.

But I don't know, either, I'm just conjecturing -- take my words with a grain of salt, aha. Maybe Google would know, I'm sure someone's asked the question before (or something similar). And if nothing else, you might be able to reach out to the manufacturer and see what they say.
 
stored in cool dark area they will last a very long time. Many many years
High humidity can be absorbed by the padding so good to keep them sealed up. If sticky tapes type diaper they can break down in the stickyness again takes many many years if stored properly.
You should have 0 issues for 5+ years
 
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Diapers absorb moisture so I would expect any diaper not properly protected from the elements to 'expire'.

However, if they are in a sealed plastic bag (or even an unsealed bag that is closed well), I'm sure the diaper can last a long time.

One thing that may happen though, is the tapes. The glue used for the tapes may deteriorate over time as may any glue holding different parts of the diaper together. I would think this would take some time though.
 
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I once had a couple of old bags of disposable Nappies way back and after they had been stored for over two years the tapes had completely lost all of their stickiness !
Having said that when I looked at my stash today I see I have some 5 plus years old Tena Maxi mediums and opened one up and it works perfectly, no loss of stickiness on the tabs at all, my guess is Tena is a far better product than my previous Nappies way back then.
 
Mine are in the storage room in Rubbermaid totes, so they're in a dry climate controlled area. I do have some diapers I don't use often that I've had lying around for about 2 years, and they're still fine. I guess they'll probably be fine as long as I rotate them when I get new ones. I don't plan on ordering 30 cases or anything but I do like to keep a case of each of my favorites on hand. With the savings on the case price and the much lower shipping cost, it would be a waste of money for me to order anything smaller than a case.
 
I have found a hand full of diapers that been misplace for some time. What I have found out that tapes aren't very sticky any more ! Beside that the rest of it just fine !
 
So far, never had an issue with old diapers... Not intentionally storing them for years on end, but it happens!

This puppy postulates that there can be breakdown over time and it's all dependent on the materials used. Some mention tapes may stop working, I'm fairly certain I've seen the plastic outer shell turn more brittle while still being usable. White plastic turning yellowish over time might be an example of plastic breakdown.

To be fair, disposable diaper manufacturers are probably not exactly concerned about their product being shelf stable for more than a year or so - the product is expected to be used and disposed of, not sitting on a shelf for many years. Therefore unless we have samples of product that have sat around for many years we just don't have a good answer unless the manufacturer knows that certain things will break down quicker than others. On that same note, there's practically no incentive for manufacturer to warranty a disposable diaper for more than a year - it's all downside for them and no demand for long lasting (shelf stable) disposables.
 
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I would imagine the glue holding the diaper together may deteriorate at some point. The tapes, if they have glue may breakdown too. The plastic may become brittle. The padding may become crusty due to absorbing moisture and drying out repeatedly. Even plastic packaging may have pinholes that allow moisture in. Oxygen can find its way in through the plastic. Oxygen is highly reactive to so many things. So it may react with the diaper to break stuff down. The plastics might outgas. Meaning the chemicals that give the plastics its properties. Like durability or flexibility. They often get released over time. Think of a shower curtain with a strong plasticky smell right out of the package. But goes away over time. Those are the chemicals outgassing. They’re a class of chemicals called phthalates. They are hormone disruptors and block testosterone and can make men infertile if exposed at high enough doses. The good news is that they typically leave the body through our urine. But long term exposure is not clear.

A hot attic is not ideal. It’ll cause these phthalates to be released faster. But there’s so many factors to how things age. Personally I’ve never seen a vintage pair of original Goodnites but in photos they always appear yellow. I always find that odd. I’ve wondered if that was because something was breaking down. Reacting with the air or something. Or simply just bad lighting.
 
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