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We all know how to check whether food is still good...there are dates on most packaged products. But there are a few common household items that you may not realize also expire. Here's a list of the top 5:
Cleaning Products. Some products list expiration dates on the bottles, others don’t. While cleaning products may not necessarily “go bad”, they do lose efficacy over time. Most products will last at least one year if stored correctly (in a cool, dark place). Linen water doesn't last too long, and mine grew lovely floating mold. Be careful with natural products that don't contain preservatives.
Fire Extinguishers. Definitely check these since they're not useful unless they work. The one time you need it, you want it working. Check out the extinguisher’s label for an expiration date – they can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. Do check out the pressure gauge every month. If the needle falls in the green range, you’re good to go. If it falls anywhere else, it needs to be serviced or replaced.
Smoke Detectors. Smoke detectors work around the clock consistently assessing the air around it. As a result, most smoke alarms have a shelf life of 8-10 years. Past that, your detector will either be less sensitive to smoke, or won’t work at all! Most newer smoke detectors have the manufacturing date printed inside. If yours doesn’t, write on the date of purchase!
Cosmetics. The main problem with makeup is the exposure to bacteria over time. Expired cosmetics might not make you sick but they can cause skin irritations. All cosmetics are different so you’ll have to do your research, but the most important one to keep your eye on is eye makeup, where the spread of bacteria happens most often. Check out this news segment that show bacteria levels in makeup.
Toothbrush. Believe it or not, toothbrushes don’t last forever. You should replace yours every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become flattened or worn out.