Do Diapers have a best before

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Ineedaname

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Hi

Because I don't get to use my diapers as often as I would like, I was wondering do diapers get harder- ie lose their shape and absorbency after a while or not?
 

bambinod

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A few in the business have answered that and given the same information. Yes, diapers do have a "best if used by" date. Plastics lose their elasticity, glues that hold things like leg gathers, elastic bands, and tapes on fail, tape adhesives can either become too sticky (impossible to peel back tape) or lose adhesiveness (pull off the back or fail to stick on the front), and elastic bands lose elasticity or become prone to breaking.
 

MaxiPad89

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A few in the business have answered that and given the same information. Yes, diapers do have a "best if used by" date. Plastics lose their elasticity, glues that hold things like leg gathers, elastic bands, and tapes on fail, tape adhesives can either become too sticky (impossible to peel back tape) or lose adhesiveness (pull off the back or fail to stick on the front), and elastic bands lose elasticity or become prone to breaking.

Doesn't it take quite a while for that to happen though? I'm pretty sure as long as your diapers are kept in a dry (not humid) and climate controlled environment, they'll be ok for at least five years.

You still see pictures of people wearing the old blue tape Attends pop up occasionally. Those haven't even been made for what, almost a decade now? I think as long as you treat your diapers with caution they will last for some time.
 

Entity

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Given close to ideal storage (vacuum packed in a temperature and humidity controlled environment not exposed to UV radiation/sunlight), diapers stand to stay usable for far longer than anyone would normally expect. However, conditions normally encountered when digging out diapers from deep storage are far from ideal and in most cases still reveals usable diapers. It is why thrift store finds are a bit of a gamble when you do find them, you just don't know where they come from; especially if the packaging has been breached/opened.

TL;DR
Good by date is typically years from the manufacture date.
 

TheCaptain

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What about diapers still sealed in their packaging? Anyone have an idea of how long they'd be good for? Are we talking 1-2 years, or 5-10 years? Would silica gel packets make a difference?

Good question OP!
 

DLMunky

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This is an excellent question and one I think about often. I built myself an oak storage cabinet (the size I wanted prefab does not exist) for my collection of diapers. The storage cabinet has doors and is inside my walk-in closet, sun light is not an issue! I have some vintage diapers that I plan on keeping for a while and maybe wearing some day, provided they last! Some packages seem to be sealed completely shut (not too worried about those) while others have "breathable" holes cut into the plastic bag, like my original Tena slip maxi packs. I live in a relatively dry climate (Prescott, Arizona) considered to be a "high desert" and didn't know if I should be concerned with a lack of humidity? I know too much humidity would be bad but wouldn't a lack of humidity also be bad, too dry? Should I buy vacuum seal bags for my single diapers instead of just using large Ziploc bag to store them?
 

Trevor

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I've never noticed any degredation. I store my diapers in my closet, bagged until I start in using them. As such, they're out of the light and in a relatively stable temperature environment. I have some that go back 2-5 years and they seem fine. I used one of my last nice Attends a few years back which would have been about a decade old and it seemed just as viable as I remembered.
 

Khaymen

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I found some 25 year old attends at a thrift shop. Other than having to use two hands to pry the tapes from the backing in order to keep from ripping them, I didn't have any problems.
 

TheCaptain

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I've never noticed any degredation. I store my diapers in my closet, bagged until I start in using them. As such, they're out of the light and in a relatively stable temperature environment. I have some that go back 2-5 years and they seem fine. I used one of my last nice Attends a few years back which would have been about a decade old and it seemed just as viable as I remembered.

I found some 25 year old attends at a thrift shop. Other than having to use two hands to pry the tapes from the backing in order to keep from ripping them, I didn't have any problems.

I'm relieved to hear this. It'd suck if stashes could "go bad" so to speak. Glad that most likely won't be the case.
 

bambinod

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I found some 25 year old attends at a thrift shop. Other than having to use two hands to pry the tapes from the backing in order to keep from ripping them, I didn't have any problems.

That's the biggest issue I've ran into - the tapes end up with a really strong grip on the back and are hard to peel up because they've been stuck down so long. It's like when you first put on a diaper that has a tape panel, you can move the tape once or maybe twice if you need to, and it comes off and stays back on. But try to do that six hours later and you usually have a problem. Either the tape doesn't want to come up (sometimes ripping the tape panel!) or it doesn't stick worth a darn when you move it.
 

tiny

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My pack of Abenas says, "Shelf life: 5 years".

I presumed it was more to do with the possibility of absorbing moisture from the air and increasing the risk of mould spores developing.
 
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I'd heard bags of nappies have a shelf life of 3 years, this means it's the last year for my Classic Tena collection. I finished adding to the collection in 2013 and didn't really add any more bags, Tena changed it's products either last year or the year before that so of course i stopped constructing the small mountain. ...However if it's actually true that the shelf life is something that doesn't need to be worried about so much...well that's just really good news! bms

- - - Updated - - -

My pack of Abenas says, "Shelf life: 5 years".

I presumed it was more to do with the possibility of absorbing moisture from the air and increasing the risk of mould spores developing.

Also got Abenas last year, they're un-opened but mine said only 3 year shelf life...Hmmm, peculiar! bms
 

Sonic007

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I've purchased alot of vintage sealed diaper bags from the 80s and 90s and I've been quite surprised of the durability of plastic backed diapers in general. As long as you take well care with storage and stuff these things should last for decades if not longer.

I've also purchased plenty of opened bag stuff and have seen very little decay (not sure if that's the best word) in diapers. Some may have light spotting and the padding may be somewhat stiff, but you can smooth it out a bit and stuff.

The thing that probably does take the biggest hit is absorption. It's hard to compare how it was back when it was first released, but I've been pretty impressed with the vintage stuff I've acquired/used.
 
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