Q: Lube expiration dates

Q: I recently was wondering if lube expires.

I bought Wet Platinum silicone lube and the dates on the package say MFD JAN 2013, then above that another date says DEC 2017. So I am confused does lube expire once I open it, or should I just buy a new one?

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A: Like many products from under your bathroom sink, lube does expire. Most lubes have a shelf life of up to seven years, but there are plenty of things that can change that.

Opening it can potentially speed up the expiration date, so regardless of when the date is, a good rule of thumb is to stick to buying an amount you’ll use in a year or less. So unless you’re throwing a giant slip-n-slide party, a 55 gallon drum of lube from Amazon might be a poor choice.

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If you haven’t used your lube in a while and want to make sure it’s still alright to use, there are ways to check. The easiest is just to use your senses to make sure it’s still the same lube you know and love. Is the color look different? Was it once translucent and is now opaque? Does it taste or smell funny? Is it overly tacky or dried-out? If any of those things are true or if you just don’t feel safe using some old lube, go ahead and pick up a new bottle. That feeling of safety makes the cost perfectly worth it.

In your case, the earlier date on there is the manufacturer’s date (MFD), so it was made in January of 2013 and it just celebrated its one year birthday. Happy birthday, lube! This means that the second date, December of 2017, is the expiration date. Unless you’re a time traveler sending us this email from four years in the future, your lube is still good!

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