We’re devoting this week’s newsletter to something we are often asked about, the shelf life of our products.
We keep our stock rotating very quickly, nothing stays on our shelves too long and anything that leaves us that could go off is usually freshly made that month.
Most of the products will go on for several years, either opened or unopened, but we can’t guarantee anything for more than 12 months as that’s how long the tins or bottles are guaranteed for.
There are a few products to be aware about though and maybe to look after in a different way or not to stockpile.
Aerosols can go on for years, we’ve got some we use at demos that just seem to keep on going. But sometimes the propellant loses it’s power and won’t work anymore; you can hear that there’s product in the can but it won’t come out. You should get a good 12-18 months life out of each one, but probably best not to buy several year’s supply at once.
Acrylic Sanding Sealer and Acrylic Lacquer are the only products we put a ‘Best Before’ date on, a small sticker on the shoulder of the bottle. You’ll normally get at least another six months past that date, it’s there to ensure good stock rotation by our customers. These products very slowly cure in the bottle, meaning that in time they get thicker. As long as the product is still liquid it is okay to use, whatever the date says, but once it goes like jelly it’s time to get a fresh one.
On the subject of acrylic products, being water based they require a little extra care in storage and must be kept away from frost. This also applies to End Seal, if they freeze it’s game over for them!
Superglues cause a lot of confusion and there’s a theory that they last longer if you freeze them. Again, we produce fresh stock of this every couple of weeks to give as much shelf life as possible, freezing them isn’t quite required (it won’t harm them) but they do need to be in a cool – and most importantly – dry place.
The last one to mention is Finishing Oil. Unopened it’s fine, but once some of the can has been used the remainder can react with the air in the can and cause it to go off. To prevent this, if you drop small clean pebbles into the can to raise the level of the liquid and remove the air gap this will stop it going off and it will last a lot longer. Sometimes the solutions are so simple!
And a final note on storage, a number of our products are classed as hazardous, the main danger being their flammability. Common sense is sufficient on this really, just make sure they are stored away from heat sources and also kept away from children.
That’s about it for this week, I’ll sign off there and see you again next week!