25 household items that surprisingly have an expiration date


KNOXVILLE (WATE) – We always remember to check the expiration date on milk, but there are several items that surround us longer than they actually should.

While stocking up can seem like a smart move, not everything can be stored forever. Some items may be about to go bad.

Cleaning supplies

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m guilty of keeping ancient cleaning supplies buried under my sink.

Part of the reason I never toss them is because I thought cleaning supplies lasted indefinitely and my frugal self couldn’t say goodbye to something potentially useful. However, according to Good Housekeeping, cleaning supplies can degrade over time and lose their effectiveness. The plastic containers they’re stored in may also affect their formulas over time.

Good Housekeeping says you can use these rules of thumb when it comes to deciding when cleaning supplies expire:

  1. Laundry detergent — Lasts six to 12 months
  2. Fabric softener — One year
  3. Multisurface cleaners — Two years
  4. Cleaners with antibacterial ingredients — One year
  5. Dishwasher detergent — Three months
  6. Dish soap — 12 to 18 months

Bathroom essentials

Okay, just because your dentist gives you a new toothbrush every six months doesn’t mean you can use that brush the entire time between visits. To keep your teeth clean and healthy, you should change brushes every three months.

Toothbrushes are just one example of how many bathroom essentials expire. In fact, most of the beauty and hygiene products in your cabinets will eventually go bad and collect bacteria over time.

Clean My Space has put together a comprehensive list of expiration dates for common cosmetic products and toiletries:

  1. Toothbrush — Three months
  2. Mascara — Lasts three months
  3. Lipstick — Two to three years
  4. Oil-free foundation — One year
  5. Deodorant — Three years
  6. Shampoo/conditioner — Three years unopened
  7. Bar soap — Three years
  8. Shower pouf – Six months
  9. Hairbrush – One year

Linens and clothing

Over time, pillow of any type start to become home for dust mites and can cause neck pain due to the inevitable loss of shape. Other items can be the perfect environment for bacteria growth.

Other items, like bras and tennis shoes may lose their cushioning or elasticity, which means they could put stress on your body.

Brightside put together a list of items of linens clothes that have an expiration date.

  1. Pillows – Two to three years
  2. Slippers – Six months
  3. Towel – One to three years
  4. Bra – One to two years
  5. Running shoes – One year


If your baby is in the same car seat your 10-year-old used, it’s time to go shopping.

Car seats are another unexpected item that will expire. You can usually find the expiration date printed on the label on the side of the seat. Many seats often have expiration dates ranging from six to 10 years.

The seats may expire because the plastic degrades over time, but safety innovations are another reason. Technology is constantly evolving, and 10 years from now, a better and safer car seat should have been developed.

Also latex pacifiers have to be replaced regardless of how long they are used and hteir appearance. Latex breaks quite easily and cracks may breed germs.

  1. Child car seats – Six to 10 years
  2. Pacifier – Two to five weeks

Other items

A fire extinguisher is a classic get-it-and-forget-it item — until you need it, to put out a stove-top flame and it doesn’t work. As it turns out, fire extinguishers do expire.

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors says “extinguishers expire for different reasons. Over time, the seal on the neck will weaken and allow compressed gas to escape and if too much pressure was lost, it will not operate. It is advisable to replace or recharge questionable extinguishers.

Other items like power strips goes bad and may cause serious problems. Hydrogen peroxide will actually turn into regular water in two months if the bottle is open. A closed bottle shouldn’t be stored for longer than a year.

  1. Fire extinguisher – 15 years
  2. Power strips – One to two years
  3. Hydrogen peroxide – 2 months

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