Did you know that there are many items, besides food, that have expiration dates? It’s not something that often crosses our minds. But by being aware, it will help you get the most out of common household items. This is by no means an exhaustive list. But rather these are guidelines for when you should expect to replace these everyday items.
- Mascara and eyeliner – 6 months
- Lipstick – 3 years
- Lipgloss – 1 year
- Eyeshadows and cheek powders (blush, bronzer, highlighter) – 2 years
- Foundations, Concealers, and Primers – 2 years
While air filters don’t actually “expire”, they do need to be changed out regularly. This will ensure they are filtering the air properly. On average, they need to be changed out every 3-4 months. Lower quality filters may need to be changed as often as monthly. Higher quality filters can last anywhere from 6 months to a year.
The expiration date for batteries depends on the type of battery (alkaline. carbon zinc, lithium, etc). A common misconception about batteries is that if they aren’t being used, then they retain a full charge. This isn’t true as batteries start losing their charge almost as soon as they are manufactured. However, better quality batteries tend to have a longer shelf life than the cheap kind you buy from the dollar store. Below are the two most common battery types:
- Alkaline – ranges from 3-7 years
- Lithium – ranges from 10-15 years
Most car seats expire 6 years after the manufacture date. You should be able to find the manufacture date on the label on the bottom or side of your car seat. (As a side note, car seats expire for a variety of reasons, but the biggest deals with protecting the safety of your child.)
There is some debate about expiration dates on medication and a lot of factors go into determining it, but it generally has to do with the company’s ability to guarantee the medicine’s ability to maintain the potency the company is advertising it as. In general, 2-3 years is a good rule of thumb, assuming it is been stored properly (out of extreme temperatures, exposure to sunlight, etc).
You may have heard that keeping bottled water on hand is a good emergency measure, but how long should you keep it around before getting new water? While water itself doesn’t expire, the containers it is stored in can leach chemicals into the water over time, which can change the flavor. Generally, you will see a 2-year expiration on bottled water you buy in the store. However, this doesn’t mean that the water should be thrown away if you get to this point. It just means that you may want to consider a few things, such as if it’s been stored in a car (not so good) or in the dark basement (better). If you are storing water in a large barrel, it’s a good idea to check the cleanliness of the water every 6-12 months.
Smoke Alarms/Carbon Monoxide Alarms
- Smoke Detectors – every 8-10 years (but batteries will need to be changed more often)
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors – every 5-7 years
Hopefully, this list of common household items expirations is helpful to you and prompts you to think about the last time you checked each of these items in your home.