Surprising Products That Expire

Updated on April 15, 2019
revmjm profile image

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.

Power surge protectors and power strips expire with age.
Power surge protectors and power strips expire with age.

Products That Expire Will Shock You

Most people know milk, eggs, and certain other foods expire. However, you will be very surprised that products other than foods that also expire. In fact, almost everything you own expires sooner or later.

This article contains some real shockers. Did you know a child's car seat expires? How about your fire extinguishers? What about those power surges you have around your house and office?

Now is the time to throw out those expired products. If you did, you will accumulate a lot of empty spaces in your house.

The material in a child's car seat will expire between 6-10 years.
The material in a child's car seat will expire between 6-10 years.

Child's Car Seat

Most parents have no idea that their child's car seat has an expiration date. Usually, a child's car seat does not expire when the first child is using it, but it does expire when a second child uses it.

It is not good to purchase a used car seat from a garage sale or on sites like eBay and Craigslist. The material causes car seats to expire between six to 10 years.

Fire extinguishers expire over time, even if they haven't been used.
Fire extinguishers expire over time, even if they haven't been used.

Around the House

There are some surprising things around everybody's house that expire.

  • Fire extinguishers expire even though people don't realize that. Depending on the type, an extinguisher will last from five to 15 years. Homeowners should check extinguishers periodically even though they have not been used. There is a gauge on them that show if there are safe to use.
  • Power surge protectors and power strips expire with age. Buy a new one when the one you are using begins to change color or become hot.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors expire. Don't be caught off guard with a faulty smoke and carbon monoxide detector in your house. Protect your family by replacing the detector within 10 years.
  • Batteries begin to expire as soon as they are made by the manufacturer even if they are not inserted into a battery-operated item. When stored properly, alkaline batteries can last only up to seven years while lithium batteries can last as long as 10 years. Most households use them long before their expiration dates.

Running shoes expire after 250 miles.
Running shoes expire after 250 miles.

Sports and Outdoor Products

Running shoes expire after 250 miles. Then they will begin to lose some of their cushioning. It takes the average runner from six months to one year to reach the 250-mile mark. After then, purchase a new pair.

Bike helmets should be replaced after 3 to 5 years. This should happen sooner if the helmet was worn in an accident.

Sunscreen expires after three years. Some large families have to buy a new supply after only one season.

Insect repellent usually expires after two years from its manufacturer's date. Check the date before bringing it out of the store.

If there are small children in the household, there is sure to be some Neosporin in the medicine cabinet. Check the expiration date on the package before using it.

Loofahs can house bacteria so change them often.
Loofahs can house bacteria so change them often.

Beauty Products

Most beauty products expire after a while. That includes lotions, perfume, and makeup.

  • Opened tubes of lotions and moisturizers can be used a couple of years. Lotions in bottles lose their power much sooner.
  • Some perfumes expire in only six months while others could last up to ten years depending on how often you open the bottle and if it has a heavier base and a high alcohol content. It will last longer if it is stored properly out of direct sunlight and heat.
  • To avoid getting an eye infection, toss your mascara after three months. It would have accumulated bacteria and dried out by that time.
  • Lipsticks have an expiration date of only about two years. By then, you will notice a change in its texture and smell. You will know it is time to buy a new tube.
  • Sponges and loofahs can start to house bacteria in just a couple of weeks. Plastic mesh loofahs are safe to use up to eight weeks.
  • Disposable razors should be tossed after three or four shaves. Let them dry completely after each use.

Check the expiration date on your condiments.
Check the expiration date on your condiments.

Foods, Drinks, Spices, and Condiments

Here are some foods and drinks that people might not know they expire.

  • Don't you just hate it when you buy white potatoes, and they begin to sprout before you use them? White potatoes can last about two to three months when stored in a cool, dark place.
  • One wouldn't think bottled water has an expiration date. While the water doesn't expire, the container that it is in does. If the bottle is left in the sun, the plastic will melt and leak chemicals that will cause the water to taste stale or different.
  • Many people don't know that alcoholic beverages expire. Wine doesn't expire but continues to age. Opened bottles of alcohol can last about 12 months. Some folks consume their liquor long before it expires.
  • It might be time to clean out your cabinet if you have spices longer than two to three years. Check the expiration dates and toss those older than two or three years.
  • You might think salt doesn't expire. However, some salt does expire in about five years if it contains iodine.
  • Even vinegar expires. However, all types of vinegar do not have the same expiration date. Braggs apple cider vinegar has a much shorter shelf life than white vinegar. Braggs vinegar can last up to five years, and white vinegar can last longer.
  • Both baking soda and baking powder expire like other household products. Check the box to see how long you can use it before replacing it with a fresh one.

Hydrogen peroxide will expire. You will know it has expired when there is no fizz.
Hydrogen peroxide will expire. You will know it has expired when there is no fizz.

Household Products

  • Bleach and other disinfectants have only a three-month lifespan. Anything older will not be effective to do the job you first bought it for.
  • Hydrogen peroxide can last a few months without losing its fizz. When it does, toss it because it will no longer be effective.

Two Other Items

  • The expiration date of condoms depends on the kind that is purchased. Usually, they expire after about five years if stored under the right conditions. Condoms with spermicidal don't last that long. They expire in only two years.
  • Hopefully, you will never have to find out the hard way that a bullet-proof vest has expired. They were not made to last forever. No bullet-proof is guaranteed to be effective after five years.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Margaret Minnicks


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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Louise, loofahs were not the ones that surprised me. I was surprised at a lot of them such as children car seats, and bulletproof vests. Since doing the research and writing the article, I must toss several bottles of spices that I haven't used in years now that I know they have expired.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Yes, it's surprising what does expire. I wouldn't of thought loofahs expire, but I see your point.


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