Don’t throw out expired COVID home tests

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Don’t throw out expired COVID home tests

According to an update from, “If you are storing an antigen test for future use, be aware that some have longer shelf-lives (i.e., time from manufacture to expiration) than others.” Also, “Don’t throw out expired COVID home tests just yet.”

ConsumerLab advises, “Be aware that expiration dates on packages may be incorrect, as ongoing testing by the FDA has shown that most tests maintain their accuracy for longer than originally known and printed on packages.

Those that now have the longest shelf-lives are:

  • Flowflex (16 months – was 12 months),
  • BinaxNOW (15 months – was 8 months),
  • CareStart/On-Go (12 months – was 9 months),
  • Ellume (12 months) and
  • QuickVue (12 months).

Other shelf-lives are as follows:

  • CLINITEST (11 months),
  • iHealth (9 months – was 6 months),
  • InteliSwab (9 months),
  • SD Biosensor Pilot COVID-19 Test (previously Roche, 6 months), and
  • BD Veritor (6 months).

For details on shelf-life by lot number on packages, use the links in the paragraphs below. Also, in order to ensure accurate testing, all tests should be kept at a temperature between 36 – 86°F and brought to room temperature (65 – 86°F) before use.

The FDA indicated on January 22, 2022 that even if an antigen test is shipped during the summer in very hot regions or in the winter in very cold regions, it should perform well.

The FDA adds that ” …you should bring the package inside your home and leave it unopened at room temperature for at least two hours before opening it. As long as the test line(s) appear as described in the instructions, you can be confident that the test is performing as it should.”

This blog was accurate as of the day of posting. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves and the scientific community’s understanding of the novel coronavirus and the COVID vaccine develops, the information above may have changed since it was last updated. While I aim to keep all of my blogs on COVID and the COVID vaccine up to date, please visit online resources provided by the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2022. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.


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