Wed. Oct 28th, 2020

Health guide: Expiry dates for these 10 items may shock you

Who knew sponges have an expiry date after you start using them? Or how often you need to buy a new toothbrush or pillow?

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We all know that food has a “sell by” date but who knew that many other household items do too? This list of 10 commonly used items may surprise you.

After all, they may not always display an expiration date but they are sure to lose their effectiveness over time.

Check the expiry date

This is why, whether it is food or everyday household items, it is incredibly important to check the expiry dates in order to avoid health hazards.

Expiration dates (similar, but not identical, to “best before dates”) are there for a reason. And that is to ensure that we get the most out of the product before it loses its effectiveness or nutritional value.

Now is the perfect time to be pro-active and check the expiration dates on the items listed below.

1. POWER STRIPS AND SURGE PROTECTORS

How long the item lasts: one to two years.

According to electrical contracting firm rosebrotherselectric.com, using the warranty time on this item is usually the best way to judge the anticipated expiry date.

These are household items you should replace every few years as they only have a certain capacity.

2. TOOTHBRUSH

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Image: Canva

How long the item lasts: three months.

While buying a new toothbrush every three months is ideal, you should also replace your toothbrush if:

  •  The bristles are worn out
  • You’ve had a cold or flu.

3.  PILLOWS

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How long the item lasts: two to three years.

Pillows are known to house dead skin cells and dust mites, which can cause allergies.

“Since we spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, it’s critical to understand how to maintain —and how often to replace — our pillows,” says linen and bedding manufacturer pimacott.com.

4. HAIRBRUSH

How long the item lasts: one year.

Aside from cleaning your hairbrush once a week, it is important to replace it yearly in order to keep your keep your hair and scalp healthier.

5. SPICES

How long the item lasts: one to three years.

While different spices have different expiry dates, if one were to keep this item beyond the best before date, it would lose its taste and colour – defeating the purpose of adding it to your food.

6. ACTIVEWEAR SNEAKERS

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Image: Unsplash

How long the item lasts: two years.

According to Runners Lane Shoe Store website, activewear shoes like sneakers and takkies tend to lose shock absorption, cushioning and stability over time, which could result in injury. Runners Lane advises you replace after two years.

7. DISINFECTANTS

How long the item lasts: the months.

According to the Good Housekeeping website, keeping your cleaning solutions beyond their expiry dates can cause them to lose efficacy. Keeping them too long can mean that the plastic containers degrade which in turn will alter the detergent’s formula.

8. SPONGES

How long the item lasts: two weeks.

Like towels, the moist water in the sponge makes for the perfect breeding ground for mould and fungus. While post people prefer to throw their sponge away only after it starts falling apart, it is recommended that you replace it every two weeks for health purposes.

9. PERFUME

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Image: Unsplash

How long the item lasts: one to three years.

According to perfume.com, you should keep track of the smell of your perfume if you plan on keeping it for years. In addition, applying expired perfume may lead to an unpleasant aroma or a skin irritation. In extreme cases, old perfume may even cause an allergic reaction.

10. TOWELS

How long the item lasts: one to three years.

If you did not know, towels grow mould and fungus as they are made to absorb water. Even washing your towels in hot water will not necessarily kill all the germs.

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