Does Toilet Paper Expire? Find Out Here!

If you do not allow dust or dirt to get into your toilet paper packaging, the product could have a shelf life of several years to decades. 

Even if you store it outside of the original packaging, the product will remain fully functional for a sustained period, provided you do not get the toilet paper wet.

Because toilet paper does not expire easily or quickly, people are tempted to purchase the product in bulk. However, that is not always the best thing to do because it can still expire, get wet and mold, or break down. It is just not common.

This article will detail why toilet paper expires and how to best get around it when purchasing large amounts. 

Does Toilet Paper Have An Expiration Date?

Toilet paper packaging does not always have an expiration date on it, but that depends on where you live in the world. Generally, it will remain suitable if you do not remove it from its original packaging or have it stored in a cool, dry place. 

Examples of outstanding storage space options for toilet paper, once removed from the package, include: 

  • Sealed watertight container
  • Large basket
  • Dry bathroom cabinet

It can certainly get damaged once removed from the original packaging because it can get exposed to dust, dirt, insects, and water. 

While it is designed to absorb water well, it also breaks down easily to flush down the toilet system without blocking the plumbing.

So, if we are going to be pedants about this, it does have an expiration date once exposed to any of the elements that we have just mentioned in the sense that it will no longer be of any use to you.

toilet paper and roll

Why Does Toilet Paper Have An Expiration Date?

When you store toilet paper in a damp or moist environment, there is the distinct possibility that it will begin to mold. 

If taken for granted, mold can bring about serious health problems for you and your family, regardless of whether it is touched or inhaled.

The thing about mold that forms on it is that it is not particularly easy to detect with the naked eye. That is because, like the paper, mold tends to be fluffy in appearance. 

The contrast in colors between conventional white toilet paper and mold is not enough to make out the mold easily either. 

You might have a better chance with toilet paper that has been well bleached, but even under those circumstances, the little darkish spots that develop on toilet paper could really be anything.

The fact that we often store this paper in a bathroom should not be lost on anybody either, regardless of the storage quantity and the storage period. Mold is a common feature in multiple regions of the bathroom, and this product is not immune to that, either.

There is also the common practice of storing toilet paper under the sink, which isn’t particularly helpful. It gets humid under the sink if you are somebody who (hopefully) washes dishes with hot water, and leakages in the pipes under the sink are inevitable. 

There is very little that is perfectly dry under the sink, so it is actually rather odd that people will opt for toilet paper storage there of all places. 

Nevertheless, health problems that are associated with mold include: 

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Inflammation of the eyes
  • Skin irritation

Ordinarily, skin irritation would be relatively easy to spot. Still, given the primary function of the toilet paper, it could actually be some time before you recognize there is a skin problem. 

You can avoid that problem by not taking for granted that toilet packaging usually does not have an expiration date. This does not mean that toilet paper will always be suitable for use.

What Happens When Toilet Paper Expires?

If your toilet paper has been stored away in a moist or wet area for so long that it starts developing mold, the mold will begin to spread to the point where you will recognize that the toilet paper is no longer suitable for use. 

You should note that this is a VERY infrequent occurrence.

If your pack of toilet paper starts to collect too much dust and dirt, it will begin to disintegrate, and depending on just how long you have had it stored in this place, it might no longer be of any use to you when you need it to wipe yourself after using the loo.

Calling any of these expiration dates is perhaps a bit of a stretch, though, but they are scenarios that might confront you at some point.

How Long Does Toilet Paper Last Before It Expires?

Toilet paper can last for decades before you are confronted by it expiring. If the paper product is kept in its packaging during storage, you probably won’t live to see it expire. 

It can definitely get damaged, though, and not in the traditional sense where you maybe squashed it on the way home or anything like that.

The expiration date, when stamped on. The expiration dates on a package of toilet paper should not scare you, but it is usually there to protect the toilet paper company, not necessarily you.

It is perhaps worth noting that there might be other reasons that companies would want to protect themselves. For one, we already know that this paper can be toxic because of the harmful chemicals manufacturers use to produce it.


Many of us have felt the need to stockpile toilet paper at some point. As peculiar as that behavior seems, one could argue that it’s backed up by some logic.

Provided you have it stored in a suitable environment, it is usually pretty challenging to go wrong with purchasing it in large quantities.