Normally, we pay attention to expiry dates on food, but did you know that there are expiry dates on the things that you didn’t eat as well?

Here’s ten everyday items to look out for!

1. Toothbrush: expiry date – 3 months

You brush your teeth three times a day, but have you considered how long you should use your toothbrush? The toothbrush has no expiration date, especially if it is unused. But the more you use it, the less effective it becomes over time. Most dental associations recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months unless there are obvious signs of wear, such as splayed bristles. Wear and tear mean your toothbrush won’t do its job properly and can even wear down your tooth enamel, making you more susceptible to cavities and sensitivity.

2. Hand sanitizers: expiry date – 2-3 years

Whether you are concerned about cold, flu season, or COVID-19, you’ve probably heard that washing your hands is the most effective way to protect against germs. Hand Sanitizer is the next best form of hand hygiene. Does hand sanitizer expire? Yes, it does!  You should find an expiration date on the label or listed on the bottom of the container. After a few years, your hand sanitizers will start to lose potency and germ-killing efficiency. The same goes for household disinfectants. 

3. Pillows: expiry date -1-2 years

To get a good night’s sleep, you need to have a comfortable pillow to rest your head. But what if the pillows aren’t in good shape anymore? To check if a pillow is past its prime, look at the stamp printed on the cover. Pillows absorb body oils, dead skin cells, and hair, providing a perfect environment for dust mites to thrive.  

4. Mattress: expiry date -7-8 years

The importance of a supportive, comfortable mattress cannot be overstated. A good mattress can make the difference between a restful night’s sleep and restless tossing and turn. Even the best mattresses will wear out over time, but how long should you expect your mattress to last? Mattresses are exposed to a great deal of close bodily contact and are therefore prone to bacteria and mites. Many mattresses will have lost tension in the springs as they approach a decade, potentially contributing to back health and sleep issues.

5. Slippers: expiry date – 6 months

Many people keep their slippers for years after finding a comfortable pair, but they should be replaced every six months or so. Slippers are typically soft and fuzzy, similar to socks. Unlike socks, they are not frequently washed. As a result, slippers are more likely to come into contact with dirt, allowing fungal infections and germs to spread.

6. Towels: yearly

The length of use that you get out of your towels will vary dependent on the quality and the level of care. But with proper care, towels should last at least a year unless they begin to fray or tear. If they have a damp, musty odor after washing that means that bacteria must have built up over time and it’s time to let go.

7. Sponges: weekly

Weekly replacement may seem absurd to some, but given all the food spills they come into contact with and food debris stuck on their surface, the sponge is constantly exposed to germs and bacteria.

8. Chopping Boards: yearly

Deep cuts are the ones to watch out for if you’re using a wooden chopping board; this is where bacteria and germs like E.coli and Salmonella begin to build up, resulting in those unpleasant vomiting episodes that no one wants.

9. Disposable razors: every 5 uses.

Now, raise your hand if you’ve used your razor more than five times, or even a month. After a few uses, the blade on disposable razors becomes dull and can nick you. You should toss your razors after 5 uses to avoid bacteria buildup and razor burn. Ideally, replace your razor every week and let it dry in between uses.

10. Makeup sponges: expiry date – 3 months

Makeup sponges have a short shelf life. According to experts, makeup sponges only last three months. If your skin starts to break out, it’s time to replace your makeup sponge, or better yet, switch to a silicon sponge so you can clean it right away.

Article first appeared here

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