Does a potentially 9 year old bottle of Pine-Sol still work?
May 6, 2013 11:04 AM   Subscribe

I wanna take a bath but the tub hasn't been cleaned in years. I've got a bottle of Pine-Sol but the label says © 2004 and there are now Pine-Sol "crystals" sitting at the bottom of the bottle (they're like Pop Rocks). Will this bottle of Pine-Sol still do it's job / could it be harmful to use at this point? I've also got a bottle of 409 (© 2004) and a bottle of Clorox (© 2002). Both of these bottles don't have crystals in em and look/smell fine.
posted by defmute to Science & Nature (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They should be fine.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:08 AM on May 6, 2013

I'd be shocked if they were outright harmful, but this article suggests they may not be all that effective. It's also likely a question of whether that date is actually a manufacture date, because if you're using the c in a circle to mean "copyright" and getting it from the label, it's not a manufacture date, and may not be anything close to when the product was bottled.
posted by donnagirl at 11:14 AM on May 6, 2013

Why do you have so many defunct cleaning products?

If those products are old, they may not be effective. For SURE do not mix them!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:17 AM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you have vinegar and/or baking soda, you can just consign those guys to the hazardous waste pile and get your tub clean fast and easy. Even better if you have some lemon juice.
posted by batmonkey at 11:23 AM on May 6, 2013 [6 favorites]

Remember that your naked self is gonna be sitting in this tub after you clean it with whatever expired chemicals.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:28 AM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yeah just scrub with vinegar and baking soda. If this is a bath that's in general use as a shower, I'd rather have old soap and mildew on my secret parts than Clorox or 409.
posted by kittensofthenight at 11:36 AM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yeah, I'd much rather use baking soda and vinegar but I don't have any and don't have any money for a while to buy any.

Didn't think about using lemon juice though and I do have 4 lemons. Lemonade! Thanks yall.
posted by defmute at 11:40 AM on May 6, 2013

Ok, with those deets: if I were you, I'd first fill the tub half-full with very hot water to soften up the soap scum. Then I'd drain it and scrub the hell out of it, either with a scrub brush or possibly a washcloth and salt. Then rinse, then lemon juice it.

But baking soda and vinegar seriously cost about $1 each for small amounts. You could find that much money on the street on the way to the store.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:52 AM on May 6, 2013

As someone who is also frequently at a point where things what cost even/just $1 are a barrier to progress or happiness, I totally get you on that situation.

Glad you've got lemons, at least. If you have salt, add that in for scrubbing power.

I'm broke as a joke, but I so wish I could just paypal over some vinegar & baking soda dosh.
posted by batmonkey at 12:47 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

The Clorox is of no use as a disinfectant any more. Bleach has a very short shelf life.

But I agree with kittensofthenight. I'd toss all that stuff and use the lemon juice baking soda suggestion or run out and get a new bottle of bleach for a dollar.

whatever you use rinse very well.
posted by fogonlittlecatfeet at 12:55 PM on May 6, 2013

Don't mix bleach or 409 with other stuff. I find 409 too toxic for use. Run hot water into the tub to soften the soap scum, which is most of what's on it. I'd add bleach and let the water sit in the tub for an hour. Do you have a sponge that has a scrubby side? Steel or copper scrubby, steel wool, scrub brush? If none of those, use the roughest washcloth you have, and some salt or baking soda to scrub as much scum off as possible. Pine-sol has pine oil, which is a disinfectant. Or use laundry detergent or shampoo to clean the tub out and enjoy your bath.
posted by theora55 at 12:57 PM on May 6, 2013

If you don't have baking soda, etc., I'd just use shampoo or hand soap or even dish soap, and simply scrub it really well, and pour boiling water as a final rinse. I get squicked out by dirty tubs too, but coating the tub with harsh, sketchy cleansers and then soaking your body in the residue and inhaling the hot residue-fumes doesn't sound overly-enticing (expired or not). YMMV.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 1:37 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

That you know about Freecycle? The Chicago group seems pretty active, so it seems like you can put out a "wanted" post and get something to meet your needs perfectly in the future.
posted by batmonkey at 8:18 PM on May 6, 2013

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