Can Polaroid Film Expire?

I absolutely adore Polaroid cameras because my first camera was a Polaroid, and it sparked my love for photography. They are very different from modern digital cameras because they use film that develops when you take a photo.

While taking photos with a Polaroid camera is such an amazing way to capture those candid moments, there are a few things that you need to be aware of. Specifically, the film that is used in a Polaroid camera.

Unfortunately, Polaroid film is rather fragile and this has many people asking whether or not Polaroid film expires.

Let’s have a look.

Can Polaroid Film Expire? Yes, Polaroid film can expire and Polaroid recommends using their film within 12 months of the production date to get the best results. This type of film contains chemicals that can change as the film ages, and this will affect the look of the photos taken.

Can You Use Expired Polaroid Film?

Well, technically you can use expired Polaroid film, however, this might not yield the best results as the chemicals inside the film might have changed. This can have a negative effect on the outcome of the photos.

I strongly recommend that you do not use expired Polaroid film though. Think about it, a Polaroid photo is one of a kind. There is no backup of it, and you only get one shot (pun intended) to capture a candid moment.

If you use expired film, then chances are the photos you take will not look great at all.

How Do You Know When Polaroid Film Has Expired?

It is very easy to find out whether or not your Polaroid film has expired. There is a date stamped on the side of the film package, and you need to check if that date is 12 months or older than today’s date.

How Should I Store Polaroid Film?

There are a few things that you should do when storing your Polaroid film. As I mention, this type of film is rather fragile and special care should be taken to get the most out of it.

1.) Keep It Sealed Until You Want To Use It

If you just bought new film and you don’t plan on using it just yet, don’t open the film package until you want to use it and keep it sealed. Also, store it in a cool and dry room until you are ready to use it.

2.) Store It In A Fridge

A great way to ensure the longevity of your Polaroid film is to store it in a fridge. Take special care not to let it get too cold and to let it freeze. This can have a negative effect on the film. Any constant temperature between 41 and 65°F will work just fine.

I recommend placing the film flat on its side and placing it in a secure container.

If you plan on using it after storing it in the fridge, take it out of the fridge and let it return to ambient temperature before using it. While cold temperatures are recommended for storing it, it does not perform well when it is cold while in the camera.

3.) Use Within 2 Months After Opening It

After you’ve opened the film package and started using it, you should try to use all of the film within 2 months. As soon as you open the film package, it is exposed to the elements such as humidity and extended exposure to this can affect the quality of the film, and ultimately, the look of the end result.

Can Instax Film Expire?

Yes, Instax film can expire and you need to check the side of the film package for an expiration date. Take care not to use expired Instax film because this can affect the look of the photos, and it can also leak chemicals onto the rollers of the camera.

Conclusion

As you can see, Polaroid film does indeed expire. Polaroid recommends using their film with 12 months of the production date to yield the best results. This is because this type of film contains certain chemicals that can change as the film gets older, and this can have a negative effect on the photos that you take.

You can simply look for the date stamped at the side of the film package to determine how old the film is, and if that date is more than 12 months ago then you should rather opt to buy new film.

Also, take special care when storing your Polaroid film. I normally store mine in the fridge, and this has worked very well. Just make sure that you let the film return to ambient temperature when you plan on using it. This will yield better results.