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shelf-life of detailing products?


Gold Member, Moderator: Marketplace
12 August 2003
Austin, Republic of Texas
I have quite an assortment of detailing products that are around ~5'ish years old, some more - some less. They all are in opaque bottles/containers stored in a garage, so no light/sun exposure over the years. However, they don't smell as 'nice' as they used to nor do they have same consistency/appearance as they originally did (somewhat discolored and more 'runny' than before).

Obviously, I'd wish to use as much of them as I can (about $100 or so value of said items).

If I shake/mix the contents enough, will the products still be somewhat effective? I don't mind the unique odor- err' smell they've now taken on. Also, I am not to concerned w/ their discolored/inconsistent-texture in terms of appearance.

{ie. cleaner-wax(es), polish(es), carnuba-based wax(es) in bottles, etc'...}

Thanks, in-advance! :cool:
Unopened? Might be ok.

Oxygen + chemistry + 5 years = trash

Dried out, lumpy, hard to work with, chemically imbalanced product on your pride and joy? Would you pound down some milk left unopened in a fridge for a couple months if it smelled ok?

Even though there may not be a written expiration on there, stuff will eventually go bad and if it's more than a year old, I'd think about tossing it if it's not looking or smelling new.
need a ginea-pig/car...

Thanks for the insights! The 'stuff' was opened and used a few times, but as aforementioned, it was stored in sealed/tight original containers in a dark corner of the garage. It does smell quite unpleasant, and looks rather unsightly. Def' not dry/lumpy, just a bit inconsistent in composition as well as more runny/fluid-like.

I guess I'll test it out on the lawn-mower/garden-tools/lawn-furniture... :D
Always wondered what the shelf life on this stuff was. Never asked though. Thanks for this thread, will have to do some spring cleaning in the garage now. :biggrin: