Does Bar Soap Expire? [How Long It Lasts]

If you have a bar of soap in your bathroom that’s been there for quite some time, you might find yourself wondering “Does bar soap expire?”

The short answer is yes. You see, even the most expensive branded bar soaps have an expiration date printed on the packaging.

But when does bar soap expire? How long will it last? And how can you tell if your bar soap is expired? This article provides the answers to these questions and much more.

Does bar soap expire?

Yes, bar soap does expire.

The reason why bar soaps expire is that they contain ingredients such as essential oils and lye, which will go bad over time.

The expiration date of commercial bar soaps is typically 2-3 years from the date of manufacture. Handmade bar soaps degrade faster, and their expiration dates are usually 1 year from the date of manufacture.

If you’re curious about when your bar soap will expire, check the expiration date on its packaging.

SEE: Does Aquaphor Go Bad Or Expire?

Is it okay to use expired bar soap on your skin?

The answer is no.

The ingredients in bar soaps vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but they all contain oils, water, and lye. These ingredients can degrade after the expiration date of a bar soap, causing it to become more prone to bacterial and mold growth.

Bacterial and mold can cause acne and other skin infections if they come in contact with your skin. Mold is also a skin irritant and can cause allergic reactions and even death in some people.

Is it okay to use expired bar soap on your hair?

No, it isn’t okay.

Expired bar soaps can cause dryness and irritation when you use them on your hair. The bacteria in them can also enter your hair follicles, causing inflammation and scalp infections like folliculitis.

SEE: Here’s A List Of Dangerous Chemicals to Avoid in Your Hair Products

How to know if bar soap is expired

The expiration date

The easiest way to tell if bar soap is expired is by reading the expiration date printed on the label. However, if you don’t see an expiration date, then it may be a good idea to call the manufacturer and ask for the expiration date.

The color

If the color of the bar soap changes significantly over time, it’s probably contaminated with mold, and you should toss it out immediately. Moldy soaps may cause irritations, allergic reactions, and even death for people who have sensitive skin.

The smell

Another sign that your bar soap is expired is if it has a rotten egg or ammonia smell. It’s best to throw the soap away immediately and get yourself a new one.

The texture

Rub your finger across the top of the soap where it meets its wrapper or packaging material. If it’s very hard or mushy, then this means that the soap has already gone bad, and you shouldn’t use it anymore.

The lather

When a bar of soap expires, it will not lather at all. That is because the soap has lost its moisture and can no longer form bubbles. Bubbles create the lather, so without them, you will not get any lather from your soap.

SEE: Here’s What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Soap

How to make bar soap last longer

Keep it away from moisture

The key to preserving bar soap is to keep it away from moisture. Avoid placing your bar soap near showers or bathtubs, as they can cause it to absorb excess moisture and eventually mold.

Keep it away from the sun

The sun’s rays can melt any type of soap, even those that are made with natural ingredients, like oatmeal or clay. If you plan on using your soap for a long time, keep them away from windows or anywhere with direct sunlight.

Store it in an airtight container

Another way to make bar soap last longer is by storing it in an air-tight container, like a Tupperware container. This will keep out any moisture that may be present in the air, which can cause bar soaps to melt faster.

Keep it clean

You should wash your soap with warm water every time after using it. If you do not clean your bar soap, then the germs will build up inside the soap and cause it to spoil faster than normal.

Leave it in its original packaging

If you have an unused bar of soap that you’re not planning to use for a while, it’s best to leave it in its original packaging. You can then put it in a plastic bag or other types of waterproof containers.

Use a soap dish

Always use a soap dish that allows for good drainage. This will help prevent your soap from dissolving too quickly.

Don’t use more than you need

Make sure you are using the right amount of soap for your needs. This will prevent you from exhausting the soap quickly.

What to do with expired bar soap

  • Discard it in the trash.
  • Use it as a laundry detergent bar.
  • Make it into a liquid soap base.
  • Use it as a scrubbing soap for your tub and bathroom sink.
  • Make it into a homemade hand sanitizer.

SEE: These Are The Best Soaps for All Black Skin Types and Conditions

Frequently Asked Questions

does bar soap expire

What are bar soaps made of?

Bar soaps are made up of three main ingredients: oil (usually vegetable oil), lye, and water.

Oil is the ingredient that makes soap slick and slippery, lye helps break down the oil, and water dissolves the lye so it can break down the oil.

Can you use bar soap on dry skin?

Yes, you can.

When choosing bar soap for dry skin, look for products that contain hydrating ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera, and urea.

Avoid bar soaps with drying ingredients like alcohol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). These chemicals can strip away natural oils from your skin, making it drier and itchy.

What should you do with moldy soap?

Discard the soap in the trash.

Then, wash your hands with warm water and soap, and rinse well with clear water. Finally, dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel.

Moldy soaps can cause illness if you use them on your skin or hair, so don’t hesitate to follow the steps above.

Can you turn bar soap into liquid soap?

Yes, you can.

All you have to do is melt the bar soap, add one-quarter cup of water and then mix well with a spatula or spoon. Store the resulting liquid soap in an airtight container and use it as a regular liquid soap.

Does Dove soap have an expiration date?

Yes, it does.

If you want to know the expiration date of your Dove soap, check the packaging of the product. This date shows the last date the manufacturer recommends using the product before it becomes unsafe to use.


The expiration date of bar soap is usually 2-3 years from the date of manufacture but can be sooner if the soap is handmade.

You can tell if your soap is expired by checking its expiration date, looking at it, smelling it, and touching it. If it has passed its expiration date or you notice a change in color, smell, or texture, it’s time to get a new one.

Thanks for reading.

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