Household Items With SECRET Expiration Dates


If you’re anything like me then I’m sure you have your favourite lipgloss that you’ve been using since Christmas praying it never runs out.

Sleeping with the teddy that you’ve had since you were a small child, having never washed it? You are about to get a huge dose of reality.

I never want to let things go, but the truth is the truth – these are unhealthy relationships we have formed and it’s about time we let them go. We’re all guilty in some way or another of holding onto stuff like this for way longer than we should be doing so, and it’s easy to understand why.

Unlike food, household items don’t typically come with an expiration date, so it can be difficult to know just how often to replace these things and if they even need replacing at all. For as long as I’ve lived away from my mum – I’ve only thrown things away and replaced them when they’re broken, no longer needed in my colour schemes or becoming dingy in looks and colours etc. So now to help everyone out there on a journey of change like me, we’ve put together a guide for how often you should replace some of the most commonly overused items in your homes. Believe me when i tell you some of them may surprise you, and have you running for the shops.

The good news is – if you run a search for these products on the products section of our website  you’re likely to find one at a discounted rate.

Pillows: Every 1-3 years

(wash regularly to reach the higher life expectancy)

This is one you might not think about – ever, but if you want to freak yourself out and not be able to sleep until you get new pillows, do a quick Google search for “dust mites in pillow”. Disgusting, right? Without you even knowing it those little bugs are probably just chilling in the paradise of your pillow at this very moment, and even though you can’t see them, they could be causing some allergic reactions that make you sniffy or sluggish in the morning – which is often just shrugged away by heading straight to your morning coffee.

I’ve personally had my pillows for about two years (when i first moved in), and when I read that I needed to replace my pillows every six months I was more than a little grossed out. However, the author of that article where I read this hadn’t seemed to take into account that washing machines are a thing everyone has now. If you wash your pillows regularly (every 3-6 months), you don’t need to buy a brand new set of them every year unless your allergies are really getting in the way of your everyday life.

If your pillows have reached the point of no return, you can pick up new ones for a price you’ll love at JML. 

Toothbrushes: Every 3-4 months

I seem to remember when I was growing up, my dentist always said my toothbrush should be changed every 6 months. Although when I finally got to the age of buying my own toothbrush I moved so much between my place and my partner’s place that I probably had a new one every week.

You may think the recommendation is based on the fact that old toothbrushes get ‘germy’ and hold on to bacteria, but according to the Dental Association, this is more about the state of your bristles than anything else. Your toothbrushes cleaning powers become significantly less effective as the bristles become worn down and flat, so brushing with an old toothbrush means a lot more plaque will be left on your teeth and gums. So if your brushing technique leaves you with especially worn down bristles then you may in fact need to change things up even more frequently .

It’s also important to remember to replace your toothbrush after you (or anyone who shares a toothbrush holder with you) has the cold, a flu, mouth infection or sore throat, because that will make you and everyone you share the cup with sick again. Germs and viruses can hide out in your toothbrushes bristles whether they’re brand new or starting to lie flat, and can reinfect you even after you think you’re completely better.

If you want to leave the hassle out of running to the local shops every time you get sick or your bristles go flat, you’ll love this deal on a multi packet of brushes from Amazon.

Spices: Every 1-4 Years

In most households, spices and canned foods can sit in the back of your cupboards for years without being so much as looked at, but while you might think they’re everlasting, they do need to be replaced from time to time. According to a blog post on the aptly-named Spices Inc, if you store spices correctly (in airtight containers in a dark, cool place), this is how long you should expect them to last:

  • Whole spices and dried herbs, leaves and flowers — 1 -to 2 years.
  • Seeds — 2 to 3 years.
  • Whole roots — 3 years.
  • Ground spices and herb leaves — 1 year.
  • Ground roots — 2 years.

Make Up: Depends on the Product

Personally I am the top makeup hoarder. I don’t like to throw anything away, i love building up a huge collection of makeup and using every last piece when I plan to go out on the town. I wasn’t particularly pleased to learn that more than half my collection is now overdue for a swap out. Old makeup can contain bacteria that can cause breakouts, infections and allergic reactions – giving you reverse effects of what you’d want the makeup for.

Here’s how often to replace the most common items in your makeup bag:

  • Mascara — Replace every 3 months.
  • Eyeliner — Replace every 2 years.
  • Foundation — Replace every 6 months to 1 year.
  • Powders/Blush — Replace every 1 to 2 years.
  • Lipstick — Replace every two years.

It’s not all doom and gloom having to get rid of all your old makeup – because it does in fact mean you get to buy all new makeup! And if that’s not a reason to smile then I don’t know what is. Check out these amazing deals on Mascara , Eyeliner and Foundation from All beauty and Blush and Lipsticks from Beauty Expert.

Running Shoes: Every 300 – 500 Miles

In general, running is fantastic for your health, but as we’ve discussed in a previous article, running with worn down shoes can cause arch issues and increase your risk of injury, which are definitely not health benefits.
If you don’t have a fitness tracker to let you know when you’ve hit 300 – 500 miles you can instead regularly inspect your shoes for signs of wear and tear upon the sole. If they’re worn down beyond recognition, and the midsole feels tough instead of springy when you push your thumb into it, it’s probably time for a new pair.

If you feel you’re in need of a new pair then check out our running shoe shoe article to find the perfect fit for your feet.

Bras: Every 1-2 years

This is all dependent on how well you take care of them, but as a general rule you should replace a bra if it’s lost its shape, elasticity, gotten too big or small, or has the underwires slightly poking out of it – a pain we’re unfortunately oh too familiar with. However if you’re the organised type that will hand wash bras, keep them out of the dryer, store them carefully and have a large collection that you rotate order of wearing them, you can extend their lifetimes quite a bit. Unfortunately for me and those of you like me, they often get machine washed, they dry on a radiator and spend their time thrown in a draw with every other undergarment I own.

Personally I hate bra shopping – bras are expensive and this makes me upset, which is also the reason why many women wear them into the ground (guilty!). However if you know your ideal breast type buying them online is the best thing that can happen to you.

You’ll find fantastic deals on all bras at Pabo with up to 70% off. 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


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