How To Store Laundry Detergent (2024)

How To Store Laundry Detergent (1)

This article is part of the detergent information main page.


  • What is the best way to store laundry detergent?
    • Storing powdered detergent
    • How to store liquid detergent
    • Storing laundry detergent pods
    • How long is laundry detergent good for unopened?
  • How long can you store laundry detergent?
    • Does detergent lose its effectiveness?
  • How do you keep laundry detergent from clumping?
  • Does liquid laundry detergent freeze?
  • Is liquid or powder detergent better?
  • Reasons not to use homemade laundry detergent
  • How do you dispose of old laundry detergent?
    • Why should laundry detergents not be released into rivers and lakes?

What is the best way to store laundry detergent?

How To Store Laundry Detergent (2)

Every detergent is different so there are multiple best ways to store laundry detergent. Powdered detergent and liquid detergent are the most common laundry detergent forms.

Storing each type comes with specific advice and instructions you should follow to preserve the life and effectiveness of your laundry detergent.

All detergents should be kept away from children, in their original containers, and closed properly after use. Keep them on a high shelf in your laundry space for easy access to you, but not the children.

Storing powdered detergent

Keep powdered detergent in a dry place. Any moisture that gets into the mix will make it harden and difficult for the washing machine to dissolve. Store it in an environment with a stable temperature. High heat will cause it to harden.

Cold temperatures will cause it to lose oxygen. Loss of oxygen makes it less effective as a stain remover.

A safe bet is storing powdered detergent in a sealed container in order to keep out moisture that can “brick” it and make it useless over time.

How to store liquid detergent

Storing liquid detergent at a cool temperature is crucial to preserving your liquid laundry soap.

At a high temperature, its components can separate and destabilize. At a low temperature, it can freeze. They’re also more prone to microbial contamination so be sure to close them tightly and properly.

What type of containers are best for liquid detergent?

It’s usually best to keep your liquid laundry product in its original container. However, if you wish to put it in another container, use an air-tight glass container.

Either way, be sure to yse a leakproof container so that it can’t ooze out and damage nearby surfaces.

Storing laundry detergent pods

Storing laundry pods should be done only in their original packaging. While they may look prettier in glass jars, the detergent pod is easy to burst open and swallow.

In recent years there has been an increase in this issue both intentionally and unintentionally.

How long is laundry detergent good for unopened?

Unopened laundry detergent is considered usable until the best buy date on the packaging. Once opened, they are usable for up to one year.

Powder detergent never loses its effectiveness. Be careful not to expose it to extreme temperatures or moisture which can affect it more and more depending on how much exposure the detergent gets.

How long can you store laundry detergent?

How To Store Laundry Detergent (3)

Laundry detergent can be stored longer if it is powdered. Liquid detergent can be stored as long as you want, but be aware of the expiration date on the liquid.

Does detergent lose its effectiveness?

Powdered detergent doesn’t lose its effectiveness but liquid detergent can if it is stored too long.

Both types are prone to losing their effectiveness if they are compromised by the temperature or environment they are held in.

It is important to remember that no type of detergent loses its toxicity. This means that even though a detergent may be no longer effective, they’re still toxic and should not be ingested or disposed of improperly.

How do you keep laundry detergent from clumping?

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Clumping is a major issue that can come up with powdered detergent. Liquid detergent should never clump up unless it has been sitting a long time and has been contaminated with another substance to make it do so.

Keeping powdered detergent in a room with a temperature of about 50 to 77 degrees Farenheit (10-25 degrees Celsius) and in a dry environment is the best way to prevent clumping.

Being sure to close the detergent after every use is another big factor in ensuring it doesn’t clump up. Containers with a large surface area can absorb more water so try to keep powdered detergent in a small container if possible.

If your detergent arrives hard and with lumps return to the store and don’t bother using it. It’s already been compromised.

Does liquid laundry detergent freeze?

How To Store Laundry Detergent (5)

Yes, liquid laundry detergent can freeze if left at a very low temperature. That’s one of the reasons it’s best to store liquid laundry detergent in a room without temperatures, such in a storage room or pantry.

When it freezes it becomes an unstable chemical compound and the full cleaning effectiveness is lost.

Is liquid or powder detergent better?

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The truth is that there’s no clear answer to this question. It comes down to maintaining the cleanliness of your clothes and avoiding any potential allergens.

There are some basic rules for liquid detergent vs powdered detergent:

  1. Liquid detergents are good at getting out food stains that are oily and greasy.
  2. Powdered detergents are better at clay and ground-in dirt.

Powdered detergents are often a good option for washing children’s clothes or other clothing exposed to dirt and grime daily.

Additionally, if you’re worried about having a washing machine that’s not doing such a great job, or you have hard water in your home, using a liquid detergent may be a better choice for laundry.

That’s because it doesn’t have to dissolve like a powder.

Reasons not to use homemade laundry detergent

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There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t use homemade laundry detergent. A DIY laundry detergent is often just a different form of soap instead of detergent.

Detergents work by reacting with the water and changing the chemical composition, making it easier for the mixture to get rid of dirt and grime on your clothes. They actually work to affect proteins and other types of materials on fabric fibers.

Detergents use long-chain molecules to achieve this while soaps you make at home contain oils and other natural fats. These oils and natural fats can cause skin irritation and ruin some of your clothes depending on their fabrics.

Here are a few reasons not to use DIY laundry detergent:

  • Could ruin your clothes due to high oil content
  • Could cause skin irritations from the ingredients
  • Can cause oil buildup in your washing machine which affects the efficiency of the machine

How do you dispose of old laundry detergent?

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Disposing of old laundry detergent should be done carefully. Most, if not all, detergent packaging has labeling for how to dispose of it.

Household laundry items are formulated to be safely poured down the drain. This ensures that they are filtered out of the water system before going into other natural water sources.

If a product requires certain disposal methods the bottle will say so. Be sure to follow those.

Why should laundry detergents not be released into rivers and lakes?

Releasing the chemical compounds that make laundry detergent into rivers and lakes is a bad idea because it can contaminate drinking water and contaminate the marine species that live in these rivers and lakes.

Even when diluted there’s a fair chance the chemical contents will cause harm or sickness to local wildlife and even plants.

I've spent years delving into the world of detergents and their storage, effectiveness, and environmental impact. There's a wealth of evidence-based knowledge that can shed light on these topics. Let's break it down:

Storing Laundry Detergent:

  • Powdered Detergent: It needs a dry environment. Moisture can harden it, rendering it ineffective. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, affect its quality.
  • Liquid Detergent: Keeping it cool is key to maintaining its integrity. High temperatures can destabilize its components, leading to separation, while low temperatures can cause freezing, impacting its cleaning efficiency. Proper closure is crucial to prevent microbial contamination.

Storage Methods:

  • Original Containers: For both powdered and liquid detergents, using their original containers is advisable. However, if transferred, an air-tight glass container is recommended for liquid detergent.
  • Laundry Pods: Store them exclusively in their original packaging to prevent accidents, as they can burst open easily.

Detergent Longevity:

  • Unopened: Usable until the best buy date, while opened ones typically last up to a year. Powdered detergent maintains its effectiveness longer compared to liquid, which may lose potency over time, especially if exposed to extreme temperatures or environmental factors.

Effectiveness and Clumping:

  • Powdered Detergent: Retains effectiveness but is prone to clumping due to moisture absorption. Storing it in a dry, moderate-temperature environment and ensuring proper closure after use minimizes clumping.
  • Liquid Detergent: Freezing can compromise its effectiveness. Avoid exposure to very low temperatures.

Liquid vs. Powder Detergent:

  • Cleaning Abilities: Liquid tackles oily stains better, while powdered is more effective against clay and ground-in dirt. The choice between them depends on specific cleaning needs and machine efficiency.

Homemade Detergent and Disposal:

  • DIY Detergent: Homemade versions often contain oils and natural fats that might damage clothes, cause skin irritations, or lead to oil buildup in washing machines.
  • Disposal: Follow label instructions for proper disposal, typically down the drain for household laundry items, ensuring they're filtered out before reaching natural water sources.

Environmental Impact:

  • Water Contamination: Releasing detergent chemicals into rivers and lakes poses risks to wildlife and plants, even when diluted. Chemical contents can harm marine species and contaminate drinking water.

This comprehensive guide underscores the importance of proper storage, disposal, and understanding the nuances between detergent types to ensure effectiveness while minimizing environmental impact.

How To Store Laundry Detergent (2024)


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