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What To Do With Home Products You Didn’t Know Were Expired

When you think of expired food, images of moldy bread and buggy peanut butter probably come to mind. But there are many household products that can go bad and expire, too. From air freshener to dish soap and even hand sanitizer, almost any type of cleaning product has an expiration date. Even if you store your cleaning products correctly and use them before their expiration dates, they will eventually go bad. It’s not a matter of if but when. Luckily, most expired home products are harmless as long as you don’t drink them or eat them! Here are some things you might have in your home that have gone bad…

Air Freshener

You might not realize it, but air fresheners will eventually lose their fragrance and start to smell stale. If you’ve had your air freshener for a while and it smells off, the scent may have just completely worn off. However, air fresheners can also grow bacteria that may cause health issues like asthma, allergies, skin irritation, and infections. Once the scent fades, it’s best to throw it out and replace it with a new air freshener. When to replace it: You can follow the same rules as you do for food and go by the “best by” date on the product. If you don’t see a date on your air freshener, consider the scent. If it has faded, it’s time to buy a new one.

Dish Soap

Dish soap is a great product for cleaning dishes, hands and just about anything else around the house. It’s also something that you’ll find in almost every household. While dish soap is very useful, it’s also something that a lot of people don’t think about when they’re cleaning. Dish soap is something that you’re going to want to replace once or twice a year. This is because dish soap can go bad and start to break down. If your dish soap reeks of sour milk or something else funky, it may have gone bad and is best to toss it and buy a new one. When to replace it: You can follow the same rules as you do for food and go by the “best by” date on the product. If you don’t see a date on your dish soap, consider the scent. If it has become sour or funky, it’s time to buy a new one.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is a great product for keeping yourself clean and free of germs and bacteria. But the problem is that it doesn’t last very long. If you keep your hand sanitizer in a place where it gets warm (like in your car or at your desk), it will break down and lose its effectiveness. Hand sanitizer will typically last you between 6-9 months before it loses its effectiveness. If your hand sanitizer doesn’t foam when you squirt it out, it’s probably time to throw it out and buy a new one. When to replace it: You can follow the same rules as you do for food and go by the “best by” date on the product. If you don’t see a date on your hand sanitizer, consider the scent. If it has become sour or funky, it’s time to buy a new one.

Shampoo and Conditioner

Shampoo and conditioner are two products that a lot of people forget about. These products are typically used quite frequently, so it’s easy to forget when they’re about to expire. Shampoo and conditioner typically have a shelf life of 6-9 months. After this time, the products lose their effectiveness and are best to throw out. If you forget about your shampoo and conditioner and don’t notice a change in your hair, it’s a good sign that they are expired. When to replace it: You can follow the same rules as you do for food and go by the “best by” date on the product. If you don’t see a date on your shampoo and conditioner, consider the scent. If it has become sour or funky, it’s time to buy a new one.

Toothpaste

Toothpaste is one of those products that people usually don’t pay attention to. Unless you have a fancy toothpaste dispenser where you can see when the toothpaste is running low, you probably forget about it. After about 6-9 months, toothpaste will break down and may lose its effectiveness. Once your toothpaste is expired, it’s best to throw it out and buy a new one. When to replace it: You can follow the same rules as you do for food and go by the “best by” date on the product. If you don’t see a date on your toothpaste, consider the scent. If it has become sour or funky, it’s time to buy a new one.

Hand Soap

Hand soap is something that you’re likely using at least once per day if you’re washing your hands. And, just like other cleaning products, it’s likely that you don’t pay attention to when your hand soap is going to expire. Hand soap typically has a shelf life of 6-9 months. After this time, it loses its effectiveness and is best to throw it out and buy a new one. When to replace it: You can follow the same rules as you do for food and go by the “best by” date on the product. If you don’t see a date on your hand soap, consider the scent. If it has become sour or funky, it’s time to buy a new one.

Conclusion

Most people don’t realize that cleaning products expire, too. While most expired home products are harmless, it’s best to throw them out and replace them before they start to break down and become a health hazard. Next time you’re at the store, don’t forget about the cleaning products!

Photo by Sarah Chai

Daniel Averilla

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Daniel Averilla

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