Question: “I ordered the Hemmorhoid kit a while back and am just now getting around to using it. I’ve kept the materials in a dark cool spot, but when I mixed them together they were both clear and the potassium iodide never changed colors. It also doesn’t seem to be making stains on anything, so I’m just wondering if it’s still good. What do you think?”

According to US government data, Potassium iodide does not expire. If in tablet form, the constituents that make up the pressed tablet may alter so they don’t dissolve well, but this does not affect the potassium iodide (KI):

“According to FDA guidance on Shelf-life Extension, studies over many years have confirmed that none of the components of KI tablets, including the active ingredient, has any significant potential for chemical degradation or interaction with other components or with components of the container closure system when stored according to labeled directions. To date, the only observed changes during stability (shelf-life) testing have been the failure of some batches of KI tablets to meet dissolution specifications. Some tablets tested required slightly longer than the specified time to achieve dissolution. Even in the case of a failure of this sort, the product remains usable. In such cases, instructions can be provided to crush the tablets and mix them with a juice or other liquid prior to administration as suggested for emergency pediatric dosing.”

Also, regarding iodine staining or changing color… that only happens when it reacts with starch and turns blue.

Potassium iodide is a metal-halide salt featuring an ionic bond between the potassium cation (K+) and the iodide anion (I–). It is colourless to white, it appears as cubical crystals, or powder or white granules.

Pure iodine in it’s elemental form is violet – this may be what you’re thinking of. Also, some manufacturers add coloring agents to their potassium iodide – we once sold a brand that was colored pale brown by adding saffron extract.

Most minerals exist for thousands of years in the earth, sea, or rock state. As long as they are stored in stable, inert conditions they actually do not expire or degrade. However, once a mineral or other supplement is packaged for sale, it is legally required to have a pre-determined expiration date.