You probably didn't know that these household items have expiration dates
It's probably time to throw these things in the bin!
Though we know that we should check food items for their expiration dates to see when it’s time to throw them out, and even know that our beauty products have a certain lifespan, even certain items in our home have their expiration dates as well.
The folks at Bright Side have made things a little easier for us by listing down the household items you probably didn’t know have expiration dates.
1. Pillows: 2-3 years
Over time, pillows can gather gross things like dust mites and dead skin, and also lose their shape—leading them to possible causing neck pains. LifeHacker pegs the lifespan of the pillow at a little longer (3-5 years), but a good test is to fold your pillow in half to squeeze out the air. If it doesn’t go back to its original shape, you definitely need to buy a new one.
2. Slippers: 6 months
Fungi thrive in warm, moist, and dark places, like the slippers you wear around the house. Wash them regularly to prevent infections, and change them frequently—don’t wait until they start smelling funky.
3-4. Sponge: 2 weeks; Shower pouf: 6 months (if washed)
Like slippers, sponges and shower poufs are the ideal breeding grounds for fungi and bacteria. You should probably be changing your bath sponges a lot more than you are doing, though you can boil natural and synthetic shower poufs to kill bacteria.
Apartment Therapy also recommends throwing your bathing accessories into the washing machine for your next warm/hot batch. That way, you can make your accessories last a few months longer before you throw them away completely.
5. Towel: 1-3 years
Did you know that your towels are the most germ-infested objects in your home? That’s why you shouldn’t use your towels more than three times—and that’s if you can dry them out completely, according to Tech Insider. As for damp towels, those are just breeding grounds for fungi and bacteria. Even with regular washing, you shouldn’t keep them around for more than a couple of years.
6. Toothbrush: 3 months
We all know that we should replace our toothbrushes once the bristles become worn down. If you’ve fallen ill, you should also throw out your toothbrush to make sure that you don’t get sick again.
7. Hydrogen peroxide: 2 months
A bottle of hydrogen peroxide will last for three years if left unopened, but loses its effectiveness after a few months. Though Bright Side lists the lifespan of hydrogen peroxide as 2 months after opening, CBS News says it can last 6 months. To make sure that it’s still effective, pour it in a sink to see if it fizzes and bubbles.
8. Hairbrush: 1 year
According to Safe Bee, hairbrushes can have more bacteria than bathroom sink’s plug hole or a pet’s food bowl. Though you can’t catch anything more serious than an irritated scalp and possibly head lice from a dirty brush, you’ll want to clean it regularly. Most hairbrush makers recommend replacing hairbrushes every couple of years, but you can make them last longer. Just look for signs of wear and tear.
9. Perfume: 1-3 years
When stored unopened, Perfumes and eau de parfum can last 3 years, and can last 2 years when opened. Eau de toilette has a longer lifespan—they can keep for 4 years unopened and 2 when opened.
10. Pacifier: 2-5 weeks
Though this depends on how much your child uses a pacifier, you should throw them out when you see discolouration and cracking. Silicone pacifiers can be washed regularly, but latex pacifiers should be changed regularly.
11. Child car seats: 6-10 years
Plastic and foam lose their shape over time, and so an old car seat wouldn’t be as effective at protecting your child. Instead of buying a secondhand car seat, buy a brand new one. Parenting.com also points out that car seats also expire 5-9 years after their manufacturing (not necessarily purchasing) date because safety standards usually change over time.
12. Bra: 1-2 years
Your bra is only effective so long as it can still support you. Once it loses its shape and elasticity, you should throw it away instead of enduring the discomfort. The typical lifespan of a bra is actually 6-9 months, according to Linda the Bra Lady, but many factors can come into play to lengthen its lifetime, such as the number of bras you have in rotation, you cup size, whether or not you’re nursing, quality, how you wash them, and how you put them on.
13. Running shoes: 1 year
Your sneakers start losing their cushioning after 250-300 miles, which could cause more stress on your joints. According to Greatist, once your shoes stop feeling comfortable, that’s a good indication that you need a new pair.
14. Spices: 1-3 years
Spices can only retain their taste and smell for a certain period of time, and if they’re ground, they lose their taste even more quickly. According to Still Tasty, whole spices stay fresh for around 4 years, while ground spices keep for 2-3 years. Dried herbs keep their flavour for 1-3 years.
15. Flour: 6-12 months
High-grade flour can be stored for a year, while first-grade flour lasts for only 6 months.
16. Fire extinguishers: 15 years
Rule of thumb: get your fire extinguisher serviced as soon as you can if you see any signs of damage. If you’ve had your fire extinguisher for a while (more than a decade), Guardian Fire Protection Services recommends having it hydrostatistically tested to check the integrity of its shell.
17. Power strips: 1-2 years
Power strips don’t last forever, and the longer you keep them around, the riskier it is to sue them. Replacing them every couple of years is the rule of thumb, but this depends on how much you use it and whether or not it has absorbed a serious power surge—if so, replace immediately.
18. Disinfectants: 3 months
Though this depends on the kind of disinfecting agent you’re using, it’s important to note that over time, it will lose its effectiveness. Good Housekeeping advises that you always discard cleaners that have changed in consistency, odour, and colour, and keep track of when you bought the product by writing the date of your purchase on the label.