What Should I Do With Expired Baby Formula?

You can use the expired baby formula for other purposes than to feed your baby, like you can use it to do a milk bath for your baby. You can even use the expired baby formula to nourish your garden while mixing it with the soil. If the baby formula isn’t past the expiration date too much, you can donate it to local animal shelters or local cattle farmers.

Nobody wants to give their baby expired formula, but it also becomes tough to just throw it away when you’ve bought it with your hard-earned money.

Everybody knows that formula milk is the only nutrition and food that formula-fed babies depend on in the first 6 months of their life.

Sometimes, for fear of running out of formula milk, you might buy them in bulk, and the next thing you know, half of them are past their expiration date, and some have even started smelling bad.

Why shouldn’t you use expired formula for your baby?

Babies in no way should consume or use expired baby formula for consumption.

Babies in no way should consume or use expired products for many reasons. The expiration date and the way a formula is processed and made vary from one brand to another.

So, maybe a baby formula of a particular brand portrays no change even after the expiration date while formula from another brand has already started separating or molds have started forming in the tin.

So, an expired baby formula shouldn’t be used to feed your child because not only does the formula lack the needed nutrients, but it also poses a risk of making your child sick in general or developing a serious infection.

As an adult, I might’ve consumed or used expired products without knowing that it’s expired, but our bodies are developed and matured enough to fight off infections (I’m in no way encouraging you to use expired products. If you come across an expired product in your kitchen or vanity, kindly dispose of it).

So, an expired body lotion applied on my hands and legs may not affect me at all, but this isn’t the case with babies. Their skin and body are still developing and are quite sensitive to everything that doesn’t suit them.

Ready-made liquid formula expires faster if kept in the open. You might even start getting a nasty or rotten smell from the milk. In that case, dispose of the entire thing.

So, if a baby consumes expired baby formula, she can suffer from bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, or even develop an infection.

What can you do with expired baby formula?

Milk bath

A baby boy is sitting on a tiny tub, having a milk bath.

Milk isn’t just great for nourishing a growing baby, but it’s also great for their skin. You and I both know that be it breast milk or formula, both are extremely great for babies in every way and can be used in multiple ways.

A milk bath can nourish and moisturize your baby’s skin. It also acts as an antibacterial agent and is also known to reduce inflammation on the skin.

So, if you find a baby formula tin that has expired but isn’t contaminated, you can either use the formula by adding it to your baby’s bathing water or making soap and applying it to your baby’s body.

You can find many how-to videos online to make soaps from breast milk or formula.

Consult your baby’s pediatrician before doing so, as every child is different and may react differently to new things.

Use it in your garden

The other option of using that expired baby formula is to use it in your garden. Even if the baby formula is contaminated and is past the expiration date, you can still use it while planting new plants.

The nutrients present in the baby formula acts as compost that nourishes the soil and helps flourish the plants. Baby formulas are also considered pseudo-fertilizer, which are also organic.

Donate it to a pet shelter or a cattle farmer

Human babies are not the only ones who benefit from formula milk. Even puppies, kittens, and even calves for that matter get a lot of nutrients from baby formula.

Check if the expired baby formula isn’t contaminated and not too past the expiration date, then donate it to the local pet shelter or cattle farmers.

I think they’ll be more than happy to accept the donations to feed the cute little puppies, kittens, or calves.

How to prevent formula milk from expiring

How to prevent formula milk from expiring
  1. Always check the expiration or the use-by date before buying.
  2. Once it’s opened, don’t keep the tin open for a long time as it can expire faster once it comes in contact with air.
  3. Don’t buy in bulk. Buying in bulk can lead to multiple formula tins expiring together.
  4. Once you open the formula, try to use it quickly. So, don’t open multiple tins at once and use one after another.
  5. Follow the storage instructions properly. The baby formula tends to expire faster in hotter temperatures.
  6. Don’t leave the prepared formula milk out in the open, as it can go bad quickly. If you’re not planning to use it quickly after making it, store it in your fridge or freezer.


Can powder formula spoil?

Yes, absolutely. As every product has an expiration date, opened or unopened powder formula can also spoil and get contaminated.

How long after baby formula expires can you use it?

Once the formula expires, don’t use it to feed your baby. Instead, donate it to the local pet shelter if it isn’t contaminated.

Does formula really go bad after an hour?

If you’ve already prepared formula milk for your baby and kept it out in the open for more than an hour, it can possibly go bad especially if the temperature is very hot and humid.

Try to prepare the formula milk only when your baby needs it.

Can a baby get sick after drinking expired formula?

Yes, they can. The expired formula can lead to stomach infection or food poisoning, and your baby can suffer from vomiting or diarrhoea or infection.


So, there are other ways you can use your expired baby formula rather than throwing it all away, but, as we say, “prevention is better than cure”. So, buy, store, and use baby formula efficiently.

If you did buy formula milk and not planning to use it, don’t let it sit on the shelf for too long and give it away to the local food bank. This can help someone who actually needs it but can’t afford it.

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Located in India and a mother to a joyfully mischievous son, Kelin is the wife of the world’s most patient man and a busy homemaker. When she’s not busy cooking and running after her kid,  you can find her in a corner reading, or penning down words on her laptop. She believes the world will always try to instil ‘mom guilt’ in new mothers, but she goes by the maxim ‘a mother knows best'.

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