Condoms are meant to be stored in a cool, dry and dark place. This is because the latex or non-latex materials used to manufacture condoms do not hold up well against extreme temperatures. The ideal environment for condom storage is in a lowly lit place which remains between 32 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is so incredibly important to follow the proper storage guidelines. In general, condoms should be kept inside the house in a drawer, box or medicine cabinet away from direct sunlight. For travel, condoms should be kept in a laptop bag, cosmetic bag, purse or backpack away from all sharp objects and body heat.
If the optimal conditions for condom storage are not met, condoms can deteriorate and expire prematurely. This can lead to them being more prone to breakage. Improperly stored condoms can decrease the effectiveness of your condoms and can lead to unwanted pregnancy or the spreading/contracting of STDs.
When it comes to condom storage, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you are unsure whether or not a condom had been compromised by environmental factors such as heat or freezing temperatures, err on the side of safety and use a different condom. If you have stored your condom in a wallet, car, pocket, refrigerator, outdoors or in a garage for more than one night throw it out and use a different one.
Do not risk it by using a dried out, stiff or brittle condom. Since condoms are relatively inexpensive, it is only logical to buy a new one instead of risking your health, safety and future on an iffy condom. There should be a balloon of air trapped inside the condom wrapper. If this air pocket is gone, your condom could be compromised.
Expiration dates are listed on the condom wrapper itself and really should be taken seriously. As far as expiration dates and condom storage goes, use the first in, first out rule. This technique means that the older condoms need to be used first (like how groceries are stacked on a shelf, with the oldest food in the front and the freshest food in the back). Arranging them this way in a dresser or nightstand drawer ahead of time can be helpful when the time to use one comes around.