Just like it is important to prevent food from spoiling, cleaning products need to be preserved as well. Adding a small amount of a preservative protects the product from microorganisms.
A preservative is a substance that is added to a cleaning product in order to make it stable and safe for a longer period of time. Without a preservative, it is possible for bacteria or fungi to grow in the product. This can cause the ingredients in the product (like surfactants and enzymes) to break down and not work as well. Adding a preservative allows a cleaning product to stay on the shelf longer—both in the store and in your home.
Did you know that your cleaning products have an expiration date? Even with preservatives, formulations can lose their effectiveness over time. To ensure your products are working their best, check the label for storage instructions and replace them as needed. Our recycling guide can help with disposing of expired product and dealing with the packaging.
To learn more about preservatives and the other ingredients that make up your cleaning products, visit ExplorationClean.org.