Condom Storage & Expiration
Yes, Condoms Do Expire & How You Store Them Matters
Trojan condoms are there for you when it's time to get busy. But it's up to you to take care of your condoms while they're waiting until you need them. Condom Use 101 includes how to store condoms so they are within reach and ready to go when you are.
How Should I Store My Condoms?
Three things are no-go's when it comes to condom storage: moisture, sharp objects, and extreme temperatures. Bathrooms are not the best place to keep your condoms due to the humidity from hot showers. In your pocket with your keys is a no-go since the points of the keys may puncture the package and the condom.
What If It's Been a While? Do Condoms Expire?
Yes, just like milk and medicine, condoms do expire. Every box of condoms and individual condom package has the expiration date printed or stamped on it. This is required by law. After this date, you should not use the condom for oral, anal, or vaginal sex.
The expiration date on a condom package usually looks like this: 2025-11-01, with the year followed by the month and day. In this example, the condom expires on November 1, 2025. Some condom packages also include a manufacturing date but always use the expiration date when deciding whether a condom is good to use.
Old condoms dry out and are one of the causes of condom breakage. Get in the habit of checking expiration dates on your condoms and always use an unexpired condom every time you have sex. Don't worry, we'll make more.
How Long Does it Last? A Trojan Condom. Before it Expires.
Can You Use an Expired Condom? Asking for a Friend
If you don't look at the expiration date on your milk carton and accidentally get a mouthful of sour curds, you can just spit it out and brush your teeth. But expired condoms can have real consequences, like unintended pregnancy or a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), like HPV. Using a spermicidal condom after its expiration date may also cause skin irritation.
If you don't want to put yourself at risk, keep your condom supply fresh. If you've already used an expired condom and just now realizing it, well, live and learn.
How Do I Know if a Condom is Okay to Use?
Use your eyes and your fingers to inspect a condom before you use it for oral or penetrative sex of any kind.
Look closely at the condom packaging and check for the expiration date. If this condom is past its prime, time to toss. If it's before the date stamped on the package, check to make sure there are no holes, rips, or tears. When you squeeze the wrapper, you should feel a little air bubble that tells you the package is unopened and intact.
After carefully opening the condom package (do not use your teeth or scissors!), inspect the condom. If it's dry, brittle, stiff or sticky, throw it away. You know how brittle or gooey old rubber bands can get if they've been kept in a drawer too long? If your condom is like that, that's a hard pass.
Is It Bad to Keep Condoms in Your Car or Wallet?
Too much heat and moisture can damage condoms, making them break more easily before or during sex. Keeping a condom in your pocket or wallet also exposes them to friction, which increases both heat and risk of tears.
If you're considering keeping your condoms in your car, think of them as you would a pet. You wouldn't leave your pet in the car in the heat, so don't leave your condoms. They're not going to survive, even if you leave the window cracked and provide a bowl of water. Give it a miss.
Where Should I Keep My Condoms when I'm Traveling or On the Go?
Remember the rule of three when taking your condoms on the go. A condom may be damaged or break, and you'll want a backup so you can keep going. Plus, you might want to go again, or switch from vaginal to anal sex - and you need a new condom every time. If you're thinking of hooking up, keep three unexpired, properly stored condoms at the ready.
Keeping condoms in your backpack, briefcase, or messenger bag can be a good idea as long as you don't put hot electronics, like your laptop, phone, or charger pack, or sharp objects such as keys or pens in with the condoms. Make sure you don't leave your backpack in the car where it can get too hot. If you're traveling by plane, keep your condoms in your carry-on luggage. The cargo hold of an airplane is not temperature-controlled, and your condoms may be damaged by the extreme temperatures.
Plus, how are you going to join the mile-high club if your condoms are in your checked bag? Think about it.
Tell Me Some Good Places to Hide My Condoms
Before you head out, take three condoms from your stash and hide them in a coin pouch, ID-wallet keychain, empty gum or mint tin, or a small makeup or toiletries bag. You can also purchase condom cases for an elegant solution.
Some people slip condoms into the inside pocket of their jacket or in their bra or sock for ready access. You're clever, where can you hide condoms so you can pull one out to protect yourself and your partner when things get hot? Remember: it's good for you and your partner to get hot. Your condom needs to stay at room temperature.
Can You Wash a Condom and Reuse It?
Ooof. This is not the middle ages. We've left feudalism, Latin, and reusable condoms behind (thank you, Charles Goodyear for inventing the latex 'rubber' in 1855). Today's modern condoms are SINGLE USE ONLY. Yes, even lambskin condoms.
Trying to wash a condom doesn't work - soap and water do not remove germs such as HIV, Hepatitis C, or other Sexually Transmitted Infections. It also makes the condom prone to breakage, leakage, or slippage. "Washed" condoms are unreliable, uncomfortable, and unclean. Yeah, no thanks.