Did you know there are probably items around your house that have expired could potentially be dangerous for you and your family? It’s true– and you need to get these things thrown out now! Here are 15 surprising items that expire and need to be thrown out.
Dried spices often last for two to three years, but it depends on the kind, how they were dried, and how they are stored.
2. Car seats
Because they are made from materials that expand and contract with age and temperature, and the car itself changes temperature so frequently, most car seats expire six to 10 years after their manufacture date, which should be stamped somewhere on the bottom or side. Previous damage or car crashes can also affect the safety of the seat, which is why it isn’t a great idea to buy a used model. (For more info on buying or selling a seat, go here.)
Bacteria (like the kind that causes pinkeye and other infections) can start to grow in an open mascara tube within three months of use. Plus, with lots of pumping, the product will begin to dry out around the same time. Some products even have a hidden expiration date.
4. Fire extinguishers
Most fire extinguishers don’t expire for five to 15 years, depending on the type, but things like cracks in the hose and the pressure can affect how well they work.
5. Power strips
Cheap power strips or ones that have been overworked can be a fire hazard, and use a lot of energy in your house. Even good-quality surge protectors are only designed to last for a certain amount of joules, which is the amount of excess electrical surges they absorb. Neither products typically come with an expiration date, but the product warranty is a good way to gauge how old they are.
The common potato and other plants of the same nightshade family (like tomatoes and eggplants) contain traces of a toxic chemical called solanine that can be very dangerous and even deadly. The toxin is minimal in raw, unspoiled potatoes, but if sprouted, overexposed to the sun, or stored near other vegetables that increase spoilage (like onions) for a long period of time, the concentration of this chemical can become harmful. When stored correctly, ripe potatoes should stay good for two to three months.
Bleach loses some if its potency around three months. This shouldn’t be a problem for household laundry, but the disinfectant qualities fall below the EPA standards around this time, which means it isn’t effective for cleaning.
According to the Mayo Clinic, most sunscreen works at full strength for around three years.
Sponges and natural loofahs can start to breed bacteria in just a couple of weeks. Plastic mesh loofahs (like the one pictures here) are safe a little longer, up to eight weeks.
Batteries start to expire as soon as they’re made, so the expiration date printed on them or the package is based on this and not when or how they’re used. The shelf life differs between types and sizes of battery, as well as where they are stored.
Unlike wine, which continues to age even in the bottle, unopened liquors will stay good indefinitely. But an opened bottle of liquor will begin to lose its taste and potency after about a year. But unless you’re a connoisseur, you probably won’t notice a big difference until much later.
Lotions and moisturizers in a tube should be good for a couple of years when opened, and after that will start to dry out and lose their effectiveness. But lotion in a jar that you use your fingers to apply can become a breeding ground for bacteria even sooner.
13. Hydrogen peroxide
When it’s opened, hydrogen peroxide only lasts a few months before it becomes ineffective (aka turns to water). Unopened, it should be tossed after a year. You’ll know when it’s bad when it stops fizzing.
Lipstick that’s exposed to air starts to dry out and change consistency after around two years. You should be able to tell by a change in smell and texture. Some products also have a hidden expiration date.
15. Disposable razors
Sure, you know that disposable razors are supposed to be disposable. But do you know how often? To prevent bacteria buildup and razor burn, you should toss your razors every week, or every three to four shaves.