Duraflame logs are my go-to firelogs when camping because they’re small and lightweight and give very few problems.
I know that even seasoned firewood can go bad if you don’t store it in dry conditions and Duraflame logs are no exception. But do these logs expire over time or can you store them for years and years?
Duraflame logs don’t expire and don’t have expiration dates printed on their packaging. However, they can go bad if you don’t store them in poor conditions or you damage or tear the outer wrapper which can allow moisture in and mold and fungus to grow. This can negatively affect the Duraflame log’s performance.
Storing the Duraflame log in very hot conditions could also cause the plant oils used in the firelogs to go rancid.
Duraflame logs are reliable and convenient but it’s important to handle and store them correctly so they don’t go bad.
Generally if your Duraflame log is smoking excessively it's a problem due to a lack of air flow or excess moisture that has gotten into the firelog. They don't actually expire like some fuels do.
Why Don’t Duraflame Logs Have an Expiry Date?
Duraflame logs don’t have an expiry date because their ingredients (plant-based wax, sawdust and natural wood, oils and plant fibers) can last indefinitely if kept dry and with the wrapper left intact.
Just like how regular firewood doesn't have an expiry date and if it's stored correctly can be burned decades after the tree was cut down.
However, wood that is stored incorrectly can rot or get damp which can severely impact it's ability to burn effectively.
This means that if you have a box of Duraflame logs left over from the winter or a recent camping trip, you can save them for next winter or your next trip and they’ll work just fine.
Below is a breakdown of a duraflame log’s ingredients showing how it’s unlikely that it will expire if stored correctly:
- Sawdust: this ingredient is agricultural biomass, such as ground nut shells and straw.
- Plant-based wax: this energy-rich substance is 100% natural and helps the log burn slowly and consistently.
- Natural fibers: these include agricultural biomass and other renewable fiber sources, like seeds, grains and fruit pits.
- Plant oils: these include tree oils, such as palm oil.
Each Duraflame log comes in a sealed water resistant (not waterproof) wrapper that you light when you want to use your firelog.
You also need to pull both ends of the wrapper gently to create an air pocket to promote combustion.
Another important function of the wrapper is to protect the Duraflame log from moisture and contaminants.
For example, if there’s a tear or hole in the wrapper it will allow moisture in and if the conditions are dark and warm, mold, bacteria or mildew can grow on it, causing it to go bad. This is similar to how ice melt bags can leak liquid in the summer if they have a hole in them.
Moisture from the air can seep into your Duraflame logs and cause them to smoke more when burned.
Duraflame logs are generally considered safe to breathe in. However, when mold, mildew or fungus burns it can create a lot of smoke and release potentially toxic spores that could be harmful to breathe in.
A broken wrapper could also allow termites and other insects in which could eat away at the log.
Duraflame states that you should store their firelogs in a cool, dry place but they don’t specify a temperature range.
The sawdust and natural fibers won’t be affected if you store your Duraflame logs in very hot conditions but the same isn’t true for the oils which could potentially go rancid or change their chemistry and lose some of their burning potential.
Palm oil, for example, is resistant to oxidation and should still be fine if it’s occasionally exposed to hot temperatures. It should be stored at room temperature – 20–22°C (68–72°F) but if you burn rancid oil it will be just as effective but may burn with an unpleasant smell.
How To Store Duraflame Logs for Optimal Performance and Longevity
To store Duraflame logs for optimal performance, you should do the following:
- Store them in a cool, dry and preferably dark place to prevent the oils from going bad and bacteria, fungi or mold from settling on the wrapper or on the log if there is a hole.
- Don’t remove the wrappers. When burning a duraflame log, you light the 2 lighting points on the wrapper first to help the log create good flames.
Removing the wrapper would make it more difficult for the firelog to start burning as there would be no air pocket to promote combustion.
- Keep them in their original box if you can. This helps protect the wrapper from tearing or damage which can expose the duraflame log to insects, pathogens or moisture.
However, that’s a problem for me when I camp because I don’t like excess packaging material so I usually store my Duraflame logs in large ziplock bags.
- Keep them away from kids and pets. Duraflame advises that you store your logs out of reach of animals and children because they are not safe if eaten.
That said, Duraflame states that there are no toxic ingredients or chemicals in their logs that would make your child or pet gravely ill if they ate a log.
However, the wood fibers aren’t digestible and could cause abdominal pain or upset. Also you should not cook over Duraflame logs and you shouldn't even cook marshmallows over Duraflame logs unless it's the outdoor logs which are safe to cook over.