Does Fabric Softener Expire?

Last Updated on December 13, 2022

Does Fabric Softener Expire? We all love our soft fabrics, but washing them too frequently can damage their fibers. Fabric softeners are designed to soften your laundry without harming the environment or your clothing. They also add fragrance to your laundry, giving it a pleasant smell. So, knowing “Does Fabric Softener Expire?” is of great importance. We often use them without knowing and damage our clothes. Knowing its expiration date will help us to know how long we can use it before it is damaged.

Does Fabric Softener Expire?

Does Fabric Softener Expire

Yes, fabric softeners do expire. They usually last 6-12 months, around after opening. An unopened softener can last for 2-3 years, then start to break down and separate.

How Long Can I Keep the Fabric Softener?

Fabric Softener

Clothes can benefit from fabric softeners. Typically, they have a shelf life of one year, and after a year, the aroma with which it is impregnated in our clothes can disappear, and they also become less effective. So, you can keep and use the fabric softener for up to 12 months after unpackaging. 

What Fabric Softener Smell Lasts the Longest?

Fabric Softener Expire

The fabrics softeners that smell last longer are:

  • Snuggle Plus Super Fresh Fabric Softener
  • DOWNY April Fresh Fabric Softener
  • Gain Moonlight Breeze

Can You Use an Expired Fabric Softener?

Fabric Softener Expire

Fabric softener breaks down over time and loses efficiency after expiry. So, it is best not to use fabric softener after expiry. However, you can use softeners after being expired as long as they don’t get clumpy. Therefore, you should make sure that you have shaken the bottle and that lumps are being removed before using the softener.

What Can You Do With Old Fabric Softener?

You can use your old fabric softener to serve your various household chores, like:

  • Removing water strain from kitchen and toilet accessories
  • Clean head surfaces and removes wallpapers
  • Repel bugs and remove baked or burnt food from cookware
  • Washing carpet and paintbrush

Does Downy Fabric Softener Expire?

Downy Fabric Softener

Yes, Downy fabric softener expires after 12 months (Shelf-life). It gets thickened after expiry. 

What to Use Instead of Fabric Softener?

It is simply a matter of substituting the softener for the vinegar. Not any product is worth it. It has to be distilled white vinegar. Just put a plug in the softener drawer of the washing machine and do a normal wash. Clothes are just as clean and feel as (or even better) soft and fresh.


You probably already know that washing your clothes regularly with fabric softener makes them feel softer. But did you also know that fabric softener damages your clothing?

Yes, using an expired fabric softener can cause permanent stains on your clothes. If you want to get softer clothes without damaging their color, texture, and other characteristics, it is safe not to use expired fabric softeners.