Using expired chlorhexidine?

Any issues with using chlorhexidine that is past its expiration date? I’ve got this gallon jug that I’d rather not just throw away, it was given to me by a vets office near me. Just figured I’d ask first!

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The majority of things like this won’t go bad, the effectiveness can decrease but it is still usable.


You’re probably fine. Just be careful not to overuse, you don’t want resistant pathogens developing in your collection.


I assumed that was the same, as it is with most medications where they just lose their effectiveness overtime.

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I’m going to keep looking online, but what kind of dilution ratio have you guys done/others done? My bottle doesn’t indicate a dilution ratio, it simply has explanations on cleaning with it then rinsing the area with water. Is it like 1:30 or something?

Concentration is going to depend on what you are using it for

If you are using it for cleaning wounds you would use 0.1% for topical application or 0.015% or 0.05% for irrigation

4% is considered to be the effective concentration for preoperative washing of hands/skin and for topical preparation washing.

If you are using it for hardware (tubs, tools, bowls, etc.) then you should use this undiluted


Perfect, that’s what I needed to know. I’m mainly using it for cleaning in the reptile room. so that answers my question. Thanks Travis!

editing to add a question @t_h_wyman - Do you just scrub it down with the solution and then rinse with water and dry? I assume using it straight you can’t just spray it and wipe it away, as it seems very soapy.

Thanks again!


Mostly yes. There should be directions that detail the best contact time relative to specific organisms but as a general rule of thumb I would use enough to scrub the entire surface of what you want clean and leave it for around ten minutes of wet contact time before rinsing off. The longer you scrub, the less idle contact time you need (mechanical work augmenting chemical work). If you go that route I would still recommend at least three minutes of solid scrubbing time