Congratulations! You finally made it and purchased a brand new home filled with space galore. Ideas come streaming into your head as to how to decorate each room and how to best manage your lifestyle. All this can be overwhelming while skipping over some of the more important details such as keeping up with minute household products. Word to the wise: Make sure to keep an eye on those expiration dates because, as it turns out, things could get messy for your health.
It can be difficult since some of these products don’t have an expiration label on them and would require further digging of product information. Not to worry because we’ve got you covered! These 30 household items should be disposed of once they reach their lifespan since they can become a hazard to your health.
1) Disposable Razors
Although they are easier to use than electric blades since they don’t need to be constantly clean or charge them, disposable razors can create skin rashes and irritation after the third shave. These razors can also infect bacteria that can pose severe damage to your skin. Make sure to toss or swap them out before your skin pays the price!
According to Yazdani of Yazdani Family Dentistry, “changing your toothbrush every 4 months or so is important, particularly if you’ve had a cold in that span because minutes go germs will have developed in the bristles of your brush.” This is important because gum-diseases can emerge and cause severe tooth-aches. Set an alarm every 4 months to avoid any serious mouth discomfort down the road.
Sean Tomalty, a cosmetic dentist, says, “After a time, toothpaste will be coming effective, and the ingredients will begin to separate and crystallize,” Tomalty stated. It usually happens in a span of 2 years, but that’s still no reason to linger on the toothpaste swap. Oral conditions and ailments will still be a problem and trust us, you want to make sure you do everything you can to avoid them.
4) Old Spices And Herbs
Spices and herbs are one of the easiest things to misremember to exchange. We typically keep them in our pantry or stored up for so long that we easily forget that they do expire. Care coordinator at C-Care Health Services, Jocelyn Nadua RPN, said,” they can last for multiple years, typically in the three to four-year range, but after that, they lose their potency and can cause some digestive problems.” If you don’t want to end up causing plumbing issues in your bathroom, we suggest doing what’s right and cleaning these out.
Have you ever noticed that eye drops cause more pain than the actual remedy? That’s because typically the product is sterile for 28 days before it begins to lose its disinfectant element. Eye drops should be disposed after 4 weeks or you run the risk of contracting a bacterial infection.
6) Canned Food
Normally, The lifespan of canned foods can range from 1 to 4 years if stored properly in a dark, cool space. It’s easy to think that canned foods can last forever, but that is simply not the case Like the other products, these too have an expiration date and not adhering to it can cause symptoms like food poisoning, according to Lisa Lewis MD.
7) Boxed Wine
The saying goes, “The older the wine the sweeter it gets,” but how old is too old? Well, If it comes packaged in the box, You may be looking at 6 to 8 months after purchase. Most boxes are kept in good condition because of the polyethene, but others can contain Bisphenol (BPA) which can stun your heart and lead to fertility problems.
With one of the better shelf lives in our list, mouthwash contains alcohol as an antiseptic and can last for up to 2 to 3 years. After that time, The alcohol can dissolve and essentially prove worthless to your oral hygiene. If you start feeling like there’s no small burn or effect from usage, it’s about that time to find a new mouthwash to do the trick.
9) Vegetable Oil
This is a big one. University of Massachusetts professor Eric Decker said that expired vegetable oil can lead to a neurological disorder, cancer, and heart disease. Six months is the usual lifespan of vegetable oil after breaking the seal. Common signs of the product worsening in quality include changing color, bitter smile, or even a cloudier look to it. If you don’t use vegetable oil often, purchasing smaller quantities is the way to go.
Sunscreen usually can last up to three years, but that already depends how long it’s been sitting on the shelf. The Food And Drug Administration requires that all sunscreen products retain an expiration date, but that may be tricky to find. If you don’t see one, a general practitioner named Daniel Atkinson suggests marking the month and year of purchase.
11) Skincare Products
Loofahs are excellent for exfoliating your skin and deep cleaning your pores for a refreshing feel. You should also keep an eye out for when to replace these handy-dandy tools since dirt and dead skin cells can get caught in the weave of the material. Dermatologist strongly suggests you replace them within 3-4 weeks to avoid any chance of contracting a bacterial infection.
13) Eye Contact Cases
Changing your solution when you use contacts is important. Mark Bowers, an optometrist at Blountville Family Eyecare, says they should be swapped out every 3 months at a minimum. “Bacteria can form an invisible film lining on the lenses, which is called biofilm. This biofilm protects the bacteria from the solution, does increase your risk of infection,” says Bowers.
Using old mascara is a big no-no. After three months of opening a new product, there is a 36.4% of microbial growth contaminants in the tubes. Staphylococcus epidermis is one of the primary contaminants that can severely damage your health. Common effects include eye infections, vision deterioration, and the spread of bacterial fungi. Ladies, make sure to replace mascara every three months!
This is a pretty easy one to land on our list. We constantly use sponges to rinse our dishes and clean up our messes, but we sometimes lack the awareness to realize sponges need cleaning too. If you regularly use sponges, Make sure to replace them after 2 weeks or you can risk an increase in bacteria like E.coli and salmonella. Rinsing then won’t do the trick because they can still lead to germ build-up.
Something as powerful as bleach surely can’t go bad, can it? The Scripps Research Institute says that it starts to lose its potency about 6 months after opening it. We keep these stored for a long time so make sure to double-check the expiration date so that you can get back to cleaning effectively.
17) Old Shampoo And Conditioner
If you notice something funny in the smell and consistency in shampoos or conditioners, then it’s time to ditch them. The FDA does not require manufacturers to print an expiration label on these products, so these are a bit trickier to spot. Not adhering to the recommended 18 months lifespan can lead to bacteria spreading and infecting your scalp.
18) Old Pillows
Many people grow attached to their favorite pillow. It’s always there to keep them warm and comfy at night no matter what. Little do people know that these same pillows also absorb our dead skin cells, hair, and body oil. This is the perfect storm for dust mites, which can be alarming and create heavy discomfort for those who are afflicted with allergies and asthma.
19) Child Car Seat
Child car seats are paramount to keeping a baby safe in the case of a motor vehicle accident. These same products can pose a severe issue in the health safety of the same kids they aim to protect. Deterioration of the material such as the plastic renders the car seat ineffective after 6 years of usage. It does have a long shelf life, but hopefully, you’ve remembered to swap it out if it does cross over that threshold.
20) Containers of Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly is a very nifty product that can serve many purposes around the house. After a while, certain tubs of jelly can go bad and can spread bacteria since you would have to use your fingers to scoop it. Vaseline is a prime example and the great thing about this product is that it does come with an expiration date.
21) Cracked Cords
There’s clearly no expiration date on cracked cords and cables. So why bother? Well, worn-out cords can pose as a fire hazard by pinching pieces of flammable furniture or other easy to burn materials. The odds are low, but you don’t want to risk a fire in your home because you neglected the banged-up cables.
22) Dish Detergent
dish detergent does eliminate the dirt and stains when you use your dishwasher. How long can their potency last after long periods of storage? Nancy Bock of the American Cleaning Institute claims you should replace your detergent every three months or so. Ignoring this recommendation causes the enzymes of the product to dissolve more, meaning less clean dishes and a greater risk of health.
23) Prescription And Over-The-Counter Medicine
Contrary to common practice, storing your medications in the bathroom Is a bad idea. This is due to the fact that things can get damp and warm in the bathroom which can cause the medication to degrade. Dr strongly recommends disposing of any medication that has passed its printed expiration date.
Every three years, You should routinely change your bathroom towels. They become constantly wet and thus become an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Rinsing them in hot water can help, however, this destroys their fabric material and reduces the effectiveness of drying.
25) Hydrogen Peroxide And Rubbing Alcohol
According to a study published in the journal Biomedical Engineering Online, The constant exposure of sunlight can wear down the protective capabilities of the lenses. Consequently, We become more exposed to the dangers of UV rays and can cause harm to our eyes. A 2-year period is recommended for replacing sunglasses and can increase depending on if you live in areas with high UV indexes.
27) Acne Medications
Relying on acne medication to fight off those rashes and pimples might seem like a worthy cause. On the other hand, If you’re not careful, You can actually end up drying your skin and worsening skin issues like blackheads. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid have a shelf life of approximately 4-6 months before they no longer serve their purpose.
Although these are extremely comfortable and warm for the winter, experts recommend that you replace slippers every month or so. The reason being is that they can quickly accumulate germs and bacteria and cause fungal infection. It’s all fun and games until those cozy slippers endanger your health
29) Feminine Care Products
For all the females out there, this is incredibly important. Feminine hygiene products are susceptible to mold and bacteria if used past its expiration dates. Storage is extremely important, so make sure to keep these in a dark, cool place with no humidity. According to Dr. Alyssa Dwek, an OBGYN, tampons have a shelf life of about 5 years.
Flour is a key kitchen component that can be used for a variety of recipes. Make sure to take a good look at your flour since signs of expiration can be easily detected. If it smells rancid or has visible mold, it’s time to dispose of the product immediately. While not all mold is dangerous, flour can produce mycotoxins that can activate vomiting and diarrhea in those who digest it.
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