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What To Do With Expired Baby Formula? 8 Genius Ideas to Prevent Wastage

If you have ever wondered what to do with expired baby formula, let me tell you what not to do – Never give it to your baby! You risk feeding your baby with expired formula without necessary nutrients and causing stomach issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting to your baby.

The same applies to every formula type, including soy formula and hypoallergenic formula. Expired baby food is never safe!

Throwing expired baby formula in the trash is one option. But, you can do better!

Let’s go through some of the most practical and cost-effective expired formula uses for you and the environment.

Key Takeaway :

  • It is not advised to use expired baby formula after the expiration date since the components may begin to degrade and the infant may not receive the necessary amount of nutrients.

6 Great Solutions For You If You Do Not Know What To Do With Expired Baby Formula

Can you use expired formula powder at home? Sure, but not to feed the baby with! Let me walk you through what to do with expired formula. The shelf life of baby formula is one month after opening. The following ideas work regardless whether you opened the canister or not.

Use it For in the Garden

You cannot determine how long is formula good for after made and left out for some time, and if the formula maintains nutrients after the baby formula expiration date. While lack of nutrients might not meet the daily needs of your growing baby, instead of debating whether you should feed your baby with the unopened formula past expiration date in doubt, it can be great for your plants!

If you don’t know what to do with expired baby formula powder and other types of baby food, such as canned food or liquids, gardening is the answer. All preserved nutrients in expired food will work as compost for your plants!

Expired Formula Milk Uses in Gardening - What to do with expired baby formula powder - Baby Journey
The expired formula is bad for the baby but excellent for your plants! Source: One Hundred Dollars A Month

Donate the Expired Formula to Animal Shelters

Does powder formula expire edible? No one can tell exactly how long is baby formula good for after expiration date. You should never give it to your baby after the expiration date, even though the formula expired by one month, but most animals won’t have issues drinking it a day or two after the date.

Can cats drink expired milk? Well, no animal will get severely sick after taking a sip of expired milk, so it is safe for pets like cats and dogs.

When it comes to expired ready to feed formula and expired powdered formula, it is safe to donate them to animal rescue shelters if the products aren’t way past their expiration date. Kittens and puppies are babies too, and they can benefit from the nutrients in the formula.

Because there are many animal babies in these shelters, the workers can distribute the formula as soon as you bring it and use it before it goes to the point where it isn’t safe to use.

Turn into Pest Repellent

If you don’t even want to get into “does unopened powdered formula go bad” situation, you can make a pest repellent product from it! You can make a milk spray with a baby formula that will prevent powdery mildew from devastating your crops. It is best used on veggies, such as cucumbers, squash, etc.

A pest repellent made from milk or formula works because proteins in milk have an antiseptic effect, especially when you apply it in the bright sun. Prepare milk and mix it with water in a 40:60 ration in a spray bottle. Spray your plants on a warm day to prevent pest infestations, and repeat the process every two weeks.

Additionally, the infant formula contains protein hydrolyzed casein, which has been found to repel deers!

If you want to keep expired baby formula risks at a minimum, use it to nurture your plants and keep pests away from your plants!

Exchange for A New Formula

Whenever you go grocery shopping, the ideal rule of thumb is to check the dates of every product you put in the cart. However, if you have accidentally purchased expired formula at a supermarket or pharmacy, most shops will allow you to exchange it for a fresh one.

Therefore, always keep the shop receipt, and the store will give you your money back or provide you with a new product.

Make Milk Soaps From Baby Expired Formula

Milk soaps can be expensive, especially those with high milk contents. If you don’t mind mixing your own cosmetics, you can use an expired infant formula to make luscious milk soaps. For this simple project, you don’t have to worry about how long is powdered formula good for after opening.

Make expired formula milk soaps - What to do with expired formula - Baby Journey
Milk soaps made from formula contain plenty of helpful nutrients which can make your skin glow! Source: Brambleberry.com

You can prepare the milk and freeze it before you start. The consistency of frozen milk shouldn’t be like an ice cube. Instead, your frozen milk should remain slightly liquid, and other ingredients can dissolve in it.

Cooling the milk before you start minimizes the risk of harmful bacteria in the soap. It also reduces the funky smell of your homemade soaps! You’ll also need lye and a blend of oils for the project.

Find a good recipe for milk soap and always follow the instructions, specifically milk and lye ratio if you want to get the best homemade milk soaps!

If you aren’t interested in making your cosmetics, ask around and try to sell unopened formula to local DIY enthusiasts!

Give Your Baby A Milk Bath

Using breast milk to bathe the baby has numerous benefits for the baby’s gentle skin. The same applies to baby formula. A milk bath can help with eczema, acne, diaper rash, and nurture a baby’s skin. It might even help with insect bites!

But, buying formula for bathing the baby seems unnecessary and too expensive.

Therefore, if the formula expiration date was in the past couple of weeks, you can add it to the bathwater for your baby and soak the baby in the mixture for five to ten minutes.

About ten ounces of formula mixed with lukewarm water should be enough to ensure all the skin benefits! Include a milk bath once a week to keep your baby’s skin soothed and blemish-free!

If you want to treat yourself to a luxurious, spa-like experience, add baby formula to your bathwater, too! The benefits remain the same!

Use As Face Mask

Expired baby formula can also be repurposed as a nourishing face mask. The nutrients in the formula, such as proteins and vitamins, can help hydrate and soften the skin.

To use it as a face mask, simply apply a thin layer of expired formula to your clean face, let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, and then rinse off with warm water. This can leave your skin feeling moisturized and refreshed.

Use It to Remove Stains on White Cotton

Another practical use for expired baby formula is as a stain remover for white cotton fabrics. The enzymes and proteins in the formula can help break down stains and lift them from the fabric fibers.

Simply mix some expired formula with water to form a paste, apply it to the stained area, and let it sit for a few hours or overnight before washing as usual. This can be particularly effective for removing stubborn stains like grass, food, or formula stains from baby clothes or linens.

What Can I Do To Prevent Giving My Baby Expired Milk?

If you want to skip the fuss about what to do with expired or spoiled baby food, don’t let the formula expire in the first place and use up the prepared formula in baby bottle immediately! Understandably, parents have a lot on their minds, so it is easy to forget to check the expiration dates on the products.

To help you avoid wasting your money and throwing things once they go bad, here is a quick guide you can use to ensure you use all the products before they go bad!

Sure, you can donate food to animal shelters or amend the soil with expired powder formula. But, what if there is no shelter nearby or you don’t grow plants? Here are precautions to prevent using spoiled formula!

Check Expiration Dates Before Purchase

Try developing a habit to check the expiration date printed on everything before you purchase it. You will minimize the risk of buying expired baby food and products such as gripe water for babies. Do that for everything else you are buying.

Check expiry date for baby formula to prevent spoilage and avoid giving baby expired formula - What to do with expired baby formula - Baby Journey
The formula has an expiry date and is susceptible to spoilage, especially after the date and if you don’t store it properly. Source: Smartbabyadvice.com

Use Up Formula Once Opened

Some parents switch formulas before they use it all up, and the leftovers eventually expire and go bad. For example, if you are searching for a formula for gassy babies, do the research before and buy one formula to test out. It might take a few days or a whole box to show good results!

Never Open Multiple Canisters At Once

Also, open only one canister of the baby at once. Store it in one place and let all family members be aware of it. It is also a good practice to write down the open date on the canister or packaging. If you open several boxes, you will soon lose track of which is the freshest powdered baby formula and which one should be tossed away after one month of opening.

Follow The Storing Instructions

Proper storing of the products is essential if you want to keep the ingredients potent and formula fresh. When you open the formula, store it in a dry and dark place. Ensure that the lid is on and tightly closed to prevent spoilage.

Don’t Buy More Than One Box Or Canister At Once

People who buy groceries in bulk are at higher risk of having their items expire before they get to use them! Instead of buying baby formula in bulk, you can get only one box or tin at a time. Once you are near the end of the box, get a new one.

That way, you will always use fresh formula, and you’ll never have to wonder if the baby drank expired formula.

Baby formula shelf life unopened is often printed at the canister. In most cases, it is one year after manufacturing. Keep it in mind next time you reach for several baby formula cans!

The simpler alternative is using single-serve formula sticks. You can buy a weekly supply.

Frequently Asked Questions About Expired/Spoiled Baby Formula

Do you have more questions about formula expiration and uses? Find the answers below, and don’t hesitate to comment if you have additional questions! Let’s start!

Does Baby Formula Expire?

Yes, baby formula expires, and you can find expiration or best use before date on the formula canister. The ingredients in baby formula can also spoil before the expiration date. So, if you notice changes in the consistency or unusual smell, mold, or anything funky, stop using that canister of outdated baby formula and switch to a new one.

Can I Freeze Baby Formula to Extend Formula Shelf Life?

Freezing baby formula in bottles or cans it came in isn’t recommended. Also, freezing baby formula doesn’t extend life. You can keep the powdered baby formula in a refrigerator, and it shouldn’t affect the nutritive value. On the other hand, the powder may harden and become more challenging to mix.

You shouldn’t freeze the mixed baby formula. Freezing will alter the ingredients, make them separate, and change the consistency and quality of the product.

What Happens if I Use Expired Baby Formula to Feed My Baby?

Baby expired formula can cause diarrhea, vomiting, or other similar stomach issues. It can also raise the risk of infections and bacterial contamination. Fussiness, gassiness, rash, and wheezing are also the symptoms after feeding the baby with expired formula.

Also, the expired infant formula doesn’t have the recommended nutritive value for normal baby growth and development. Therefore, discontinue using baby formula as soon as the expiration date passes.

How Do You Know if Baby Formula is Spoiled?

Any change in the smell of formula consistency is an indicator that the formula has gone bad. Powder clumps and ingredient separation signalize that formula is spoiled.

Lastly, visible traces of mold in the formula are a sure sign that the formula is spoiled.

Can I Mix Expired Formula With a New Formula for Feeding?

No, you should never give expired formula to the baby in any way, alone or mixed with other baby formulas or baby food. Even though you will use it in less content, all the risks are there, and you never know how the new formula will react with the old one.

Always use the formula according to the instructions. Never mix different brands’ formulas or combine expired and fresh products.

What About Reheating the Prepared Formula?

You shouldn’t reheat baby formula too. Once you prepare it, use it immediately and toss away any leftovers. You have about two hours to use it for feeding at room temperature before the prepared formula becomes unsafe for use.

Also, here is an interesting fact – babies have no benefits from drinking warm milk! It is solely for better consistency and mixing ingredients!


I hope you found the article and ideas for using expired formula useful! Most of the expired products cannot be used anymore, but expired baby food is great for your garden. As you can see, you can do more than that!

Treat your baby and you with a milk bath, make a pest repellent, donate to animal shelters or make wonderful milk soaps! However, if possible try to avoid having expiration in the first place.

Don’t forget to follow our Pinterest account @babyjourney0183 for more ideas, tips, inspirations, and support for parenting challenges!

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