Do Diapers Expire?

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Parents need to save money, now more than ever. One area that is a huge drain on the family budget is diapers.

You might try to save a few dollars by using diapers that are leftover from an older child. Is this a good option?

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Do Diapers Expire?

Diapers do not expire. You can feel confident with diapers that are several years old. They must have been properly stored and do not contain dust, mildew, mold, or bugs.

Some manufacturers say diapers should not be used after two years past their sell date. Others say their diapers can be used indefinitely.

If you’re unsure about a diaper, then default to what the diaper manufacturer specifies on the box.

What Happens to Diapers as They Get Old?

Diapers do not deteriorate as they age as long as they are stored well.

Most manufacturers state that their diapers will continue to keep babies well protected with no expiration date.

Some diapers might begin to yellow over time due to the materials used to make disposable diapers.

What’s the Best Way to Store Diapers?

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If you have a baby, diapers should be stored in a place that is easy to reach. I used a diaper stacker to store my children’s diapers as they kept the diapers handy, close by, and well organized.

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Storage solutions are different if you’re keeping them for future children. You need to be certain your diapers are kept in a place where they will remain dry and protected from dust mites.

Ideally, you would use shrink-wrapped plastic, but a large storage container with a tight lid is a fine choice.

storage container

To show you an example this Rubbermaid container is pretty similar to what you could use.

Is it Safe to Use Older Diapers?

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Older diapers need to be checked for dust and bugs. If it appears any foreign materials have reached the diapers, don’t use them.

Unfortunately, disposable diapers cannot be recycled or composted even if they have not been used. Spoiled diapers should be thrown out.

Diapers that have become yellow or brown after time are still usable. Don’t worry about discoloration as that won’t affect the performance of the diaper or harm your baby in any way.


A diaper that’s been stored that has a yellowish hue to it doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be used.

Yellowing is a common occurrence in “paper products” over time because of exposure to light and air.

While you might be able to use it for very obvious reasons I would NOT gift it to others.

What Are Some Things to Consider When Using Older Diapers?

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I was very picky about the diapers I used for my children. It wasn’t because I was loyal to a specific brand or worried about health concerns with certain diapers.

It was because I found my favorite brand was the least likely to leak. That was all. I tried some of the less expensive diapers but found myself changing my babies more often and going through a lot more clothing.

It wasn’t worth it to me to use the diapers that didn’t work well, even when I saved money on them. If you’re brand loyal like me, you might decide to use these diapers as backups to keep in your diaper bag while on the go.

Another issue might be fit. Not every diaper fits every child just right.

Put a diaper that’s too big on a baby, and you will certainly have a mess on your hands. Put a diaper that’s too small on a child, and you will have the same problem.

The perfect fit is necessary.

What Should I Do With Old Diapers I Can’t Use?

If you can’t use the diapers you saved or have been given, there are options other than throwing them away.

Diapers that are not soiled may be donated to a local shelter, nursery schools, women’s homes, and some hospitals.

You can also donate leftover diapers to the National Diaper Bank Network.

Key Takeaways

Older diapers are fine to use as long as they are still in good condition. They can offer great cost savings as well.

Have you ever tried using older diapers? What was your experience? Tell us in the comments!

Have You Read These?

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions with answers I’ve found through some research.

No expiration date, but the best performance is within 2 years of manufacturing.

No expiration, but the recommendation is to use them within a 2-year time frame.

No expiration date, but they recommend using it within 2 years as that’s what they’ve been tested for.

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