Do Diapers Expire? Everything You Need to Know (2024)


Do diapers expire? No, diapers do not expire because they are made from paper and plastic-based products. They do have a shelf life, though and you should use them within two years of purchase. You may notice a decline in the performance of the diaper after two years.

Do Diapers Have an Expiration Date? 

No, baby diapers do not expire. Diapers are made predominantly from plastic and paper-based materials. These will show wear over time but will not expire. 

Manufacturers recommend the diapers shelf life to be two years. That means they will function optimally within this time frame but might not after two years. This applies to opened and unopened diapers. 

Old diapers are still safe to use, but you must check for absorbency and elasticity as these can be affected over time. Diapers can last years if you keep them sealed and protected from extreme heat, humidity, and sunlight.

Signs of Old Diapers

Older diapers will have discoloration, a change in odor, loss of elasticity and absorption, and less sticky adhesive tabs. Discoloration and odor will not affect the performance of the diaper. Loss of elasticity, absorption, and glue will result in leaks. Make sure to always dispose of diapers the correct way.

Changing Color 

Once opened, the outer layer of disposable diapers will lose its bright white appearance and begin to look more yellow. This is not a problem, and the diaper is still safe to use. Paper products like diapers are prone to yellowing when exposed to light and oxygen for extended periods.

Reduced Absorbency 

Diapers used after the recommended expiration date will not keep their absorbency. The SAP in the core absorbs liquid from the air, making it less absorbent to other liquids. This means your baby’s diaper might leak and be less effective at containing the mess.

Loosened Elastics 

Spandex is moisture and heat resistant, but rubber and latex are not. That means that most disposable diapers will lose their elasticity after the diapers expiration date. This results in a poor fit at the waist and at the leg cuffs. Loosened elastics will result in leaks.

Degrading Adhesive 

Old diaper adhesive tabs are less sticky after the advised diaper expiration date. The glue in the adhesives breaks down over time and results in a tab that won’t stick to the diaper. This means the diaper will not stay closed or will come apart easily and leak.

Fading Dyes 

The prints will fade on older, unused diapers. Dyes will fade faster when left exposed to bright light or sunlight. Fading prints will not affect the diapers performance as they are not an important part of the diaper’s construction. It will just look less attractive.

Change in Odor 

Change in odor is one of the effects of expired diapers, but it will not affect the performance of the diaper. Fragranced diapers will lose their scent, and deodorized diapers will smell unpleasant. You may also smell the raw materials such as glue and chemicals as the fragrance fades. Cloth diapers left in a damp place may grow mold or mildew.

How to Properly Store Diapers? 

Keep your diapers sealed and in the original packaging, away from extreme heat and humidity. Store in a cardboard box where possible.

Unopened Packaging 

Store diapers that have not been opened in the original, airtight packaging. Put them in a cardboard box to protect them from air and moisture damage. Your diapers will last longer if they are kept in a cool, dry place.


High temperatures can cause adhesive tabs on the diaper to degrade over time. Temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit will cause the glue to melt and you will notice a loss in performance in your diapers. Eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit or less is the recommended temperature for diaper storage.


Diapers are designed to absorb moisture, so keeping them in a place with high humidity is a problem. The SAP molecules in the absorbent core will draw moisture out of the air and store it. This will make the diapers less absorbent on your baby. You should be storing diapers somewhere cool, dry, and moisture-free.

Dark Places 

To avoid discoloration, you should store your diapers in a dark place. When diapers are exposed to sunlight or fluorescent lights for extended periods, it can cause the prints to fade. The diaper will also start losing its white color and turn a yellowish color. 

How Long Should You Store Diapers? 

Although diapers don’t technically expire, you should use them within two years of buying them to make the best use of them. For example, diapers last years when stored correctly, but after two years, you may see the effects of expired diapers in their performance.

Two to three years is a reasonable time to properly store your diapers. After that, they will be usable but less absorbent and durable. They may be discolored and have a strange odor. To prevent diapers expiring faster, store them in a cool, dark, dry place in an airtight container. 

What to do With Unused Diapers?

Donating your unused diapers is the best thing to do as you are helping a family in need while the diapers are still performing well.


Diaper need is a serious issue so donating your unused diapers is a great option. You can donate cloth diapers and unused disposables. Find a local diaper bank, orphanage, care home, or preschool in your area. Contact them to find out the donation procedure.

Giving to Family or Friends 

Give your unused diapers to family or friends who are expecting a baby or who have a baby. This will save them money and will allow them to be used before the diapers expire. Your friends and family may also know people in need to whom they can pass along unused diapers.

Saving for the Next Baby 

If you plan on having another baby within a few years, then you can store your diapers. Check the diaper date and store them correctly to prevent diapers from expiring. For example, you might have diaper sizes that your baby outgrew quickly so storing the unused diapers for your next baby will save you money.

Baby Shower 

If your diapers are old and not performing well, then you can use them at a baby or diaper shower. Many baby shower games use diapers. For example, new parents have to race to put a diaper on a teddy bear. Guests can also write advice on an old diaper. The ‘dirty diaper’ game is also common, with guests having to identify a baby food from inside a diaper.


Why do diapers get crunchy? 

Diapers get crunchy because the absorbent core material absorbs moisture from the air and crystallizes over time.

Do diapers dry rot? 

No, diapers do not dry rot.

Do eco-friendly diapers expire faster? 

No, eco-friendly diapers do not expire faster.

How long do diapers last? 

Diapers last years if stored correctly but should be used within two years. 

How long can you store diapers? 

You can store diapers for two to three years.

Do diapers expire once opened? 

No, diapers do not expire once opened, but will be less effective if left opened for a long period.

Can you store diapers in the garage? 

You can store diapers in the garage if you keep them off the ground and in a dark, dry, airtight container.

Can old diapers cause rash? 

No, old diapers do not cause diaper rash.

Do Pampers diapers expire? 

No, Pampers diapers do not expire.

Do Huggies diapers expire? 

No, Huggies diapers do not expire.

Do Honest diapers expire? 

No, Honest diapers do not expire.

Do Hello Bello diapers expire? 

No, Hello Bello diapers do not expire.

Do Costco diapers expire? 

No, Costco diapers do not expire.

Do swim diapers expire?

No, swim diapers do not expire. 

Do Coterie diapers expire? 

No, coterie diapers do not expire. 

Do Luvs diapers expire? 

No, Luvs diapers do not expire. 

Do Kirkland diapers expire? 

No, Kirkland diapers do not expire. 

Do Parents Choice diapers expire? 

No, Parents Choice diapers do not expire. 

Do Rascal and Friends diapers expire? 

No, Rascal and Friends diapers do not expire. 

Do Target diapers expire? 

No, Target diapers do not expire. 

Do Green Mountain diapers expire? 

No, Green Mountain diapers do not expire. 

Do Seventh Generation diapers expire? 

No, Seventh Generation diapers do not expire. 

Do Up and Up diapers expire? 

No, Up and Up diapers do not expire. 

Do Andy Pandy diapers expire? 

No, Andy Pandy diapers do not expire. 

Do Dyper diapers expire? 

No, Dyper diapers do not expire. 

Caitlin van Wyk

Caitlin van Wyk is a Parenting Writer and mother of two. With a background in psychology and teaching, she is passionate about offering support and educational content for parents as they navigate the highs and lows of raising kids. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Psychology from the University of South Africa. Caitlin also has a Level 5 TEFL Certificate and enjoys helping people get better at English. This experience lets her connect with people from different cultures, which adds depth to her writing. She managed Glengarry Holiday Farm for 10 years, emphasizing the importance of good communication and strong relationships in business and content creation.

Similar Posts