We always remember to check the expiration date of milk, and we know how long we should keep our beauty products. Unfortunately, we don’t pay attention to items in our house that surround us longer than they actually should.
We advise you to start checking expiration dates…and not just the stuff in your fridge!
1. 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.
Solution: Check the pressure in the gauge often, and make sure to recharge (aka refill) after any use.
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.)
Solution: Check for the expiration date on the individual model and don’t buy used versions unless you know the history. If you’re uncertain, there are car seat inspection stations that will check the seat for you.
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.
Solution: Buy new mascara every couple of months, and don’t share with anyone else.
Sponges and natural loofahs can start to breed bacteria in just a couple of weeks. Plastic mesh loofahs are safe a little longer, up to eight weeks.
Solution: Rinse and dry all your loofahs after each use. Replace natural loofahs every couple weeks, and mesh ones every other month.
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.
Solution: Store batteries in a dry, room-temperature location, and check the date.