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Monday, September 01, 2014

Question

What is the shelf life of diluted cleaning and disinfecting agents?


Answer

Cleaning agents themselves have a fairly long shelf life, probably a year or better.
Tests have shown quaternary ammonium compounds to have a shelf life of well over one year in their ready-to-use state. There are some variables such as water hardness and contamination of the product that could be of concern, but in most cases, the solution is used well before it has lost its effectiveness.
Isopropyl alcohol stays good for about two years after date of manufacture, but a diluted solution should be used before 30 days. Exposure to sunlight will reduce effectiveness.
Diluted chlorine bleach will stay effective less than a week, which means long term storage of large amounts is wasteful.
Iodine and phenols will last over a week. Check with the product manufacturer.
Hydrogen peroxide has a shelf life of two years with proper storage conditions.
For details see:
http://chppm-www.apgea.army.mil/documents/FACT/59-006-1001.pdf
http://www.icm.tn.gov.in/drug%20formulary/DISINFECTANTS%20&%20ANTISEPTICS%2813%29.htm

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com