Should You Store Toiletries in Your Storage Unit?

Jon Fesmire |

Toiletries include various products we use in the bathroom. They include soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and deodorant.

What we need to ask first is, “Can you store toiletries in your storage unit?” The answer is yes. Prohibited items include anything combustible, weapons, ammunition, perishable food, living or dead animals, and more, but toiletries aren’t on the list.

Now, let’s cover if you should store them.

Consider Expiration Date

Some toiletries, like bar soap and deodorant, can last a long time, but others, like shampoo and lotion, expire sooner.

It’s pointless to store these items past the expiration date when they’re no longer usable. Why take up room in your self storage with things you’ll never use? Most toiletries display an expiration date on their bottles or packaging, but not all do.

There is a concern with keeping them in a storage unit, and that’s their expiration date.

Lotions and Sunscreen

Unfortunately, some toiletries don’t display their expiration dates, but there are guidelines that can help you decide if you should throw something out, or if it’s worth storing for a short time.

Most lotions last for one to three years. As you use them, bacteria from your hands can get into the bottles and not only lower that expiration date, but possibly harm your skin later. As such, we recommend getting lotion in pump bottles.

It’s important to keep track of how old your sunscreen is. Most are effective for six to twelve months and do a great job protecting your skin. Using expired sunscreen, however, is a problem. Over time, the sun protection factor (SPF) gets weaker and eventually can even encourage sunburn.

Bar Soap, Shampoos, and Conditioners

Bar soap is great because of how long it lasts. In general, it has an expiration date of three years. The good news is that most shampoos and conditioners last just as long before the bottles are opened. Once opened, however, they last about 18 months.

Over time shampoos and conditioners lose their effectiveness, and those hair-enlivening features they advertise will fade. Use it too long and bacteria that has grown in the shampoo may cause an infection on your scalp. Store them in a cool, dark place when not in use.

When Storing Toiletries Makes Sense

While you can keep a lot of things like clothing, furniture, craft items, kitchen supplies, and more in storage for years, don’t put toiletries in storage and forget them.

We can think of two situations when storing them makes sense. If you’re moving and have decided to use a storage unit as a staging area, then they should be fine. By this, we mean when people rent a unit while preparing to move, and within weeks they bring everything from the unit to their new home.

The other case is if you sell toiletries. In that case, do your best to keep the right amount of stock in your storage unit and throw out items when they expire.

Rent a unit with climate control, which will ensure that the items won’t get too hot or too cold, which can ruin them prematurely. Climate control keeps a unit between 50 and 80 degrees and between 30% and 50% humidity.

If you need a storage unit in your area, check our extensive listings, which cover the U.S. and Canada. You’re sure to find a facility that meets your needs.