14 Things We Thought Lasted a Lifetime That Actually Have an Expiration Date

It makes economic sense to use a pre-loved car seat for your baby. But even car seats have expiration dates, and it differs from brand to brand. The thing is, we usually check the best before dates only on perishable items like food, medicine, and cosmetics. It’s good to know and remember that even non-perishable items have a shelf life.

We at Bright Side got down to finding some of the more uncommon things that can also lose efficacy over time. These are the surprises we came across.

1. Portable power strips should be changed after 2 years.

Power strips and extension cords don’t come with expiration dates. But as they age, their efficiency dwindles. So, if you cannot remember when you bought your power strip or outlet, it’s time to replace it. Also if you notice any burn marks around the socket or find that anything connected to it flickers, it’s time for a change.

Remember, power strips are little-known fire hazards. Any shorting or sparking can lead to electric fires, so it’s best to change them within 1-2 years.

2. House slippers need to be changed every 6 months.

Simply said, household slippers can be very unsanitary. From using them in the bathroom to the kitchen, slippers can become unhygienic over time. Even with regular washing, it’s good to change slippers every 6 months. And it is good for your feet as well.

3. Bras go bad in 6 months to a year.

Bras, and even underwear, last as long as you use and wash them right. If you are wearing a bra regularly, don’t expect it to last for more than 6 months to a year. If the bra is no longer providing support because of loosened elastic or has crushed cups and an underwire poking through, it’s time to change.

The same rules apply to underwear, any fraying, discoloration, or tears means it is time to go lingerie shopping.

4. Spices lose flavor and appeal in 1-4 years.

Most store-bought spices have an expiration date on their container. But if they are no longer visible, or you make your own spices, you can follow this guideline. While spices don’t really “expire,” they do lose their aromas and properties.

Dried herbs can last 1-3 years and ground/powdered spices last 2-3 years. Whole spices can last up to 4 years if stored properly.

5. The average shelf life of a perfume is 3 years.

If you have a favorite bottle of perfume, you may not need to toss any out as long as you end up using it within a year. But if you like a lot of perfumes and have a collection, most perfume brands claim a shelf life of 3 years.

That said, you can continue using the perfume as long as the scent remains the same. Perfumes start to go bad after a while and the fragrance can turn sour, acidic, and sometimes even eggy. That’s when you know it’s time to get a new bottle.

6. Replace your pillow every 2-3 years.

The simple act of using a pillow is also dirtying it. Over time, pillows absorb body oils, dirt, dead skin cells, and dust mites, as well as various stains and spots. They can become harboring grounds for bacteria and allergens.

Remember to spot clean and sundry your pillows every month or 2, and wash them with gentle detergent every 6 months. Even after this, ideally, it’s good to change pillows every 1-2 years.

7. Wooden spoons and ladles last 1 year.

Wooden spoons and ladles develop tiny chips and cracks over time. Plus they soak up oil. Even if you clean diligently, chances are, the nooks and crannies in them are bacteria breeding grounds.

A good way to check is to soak your wooden spoons and ladles in boiling water. If the water smells or looks bad, it’s time for a change. But don’t wait for them to get this gross, just make an annual change. The old ones can go help in the garden.

8. Running shoes have mileage.

Most running shoe companies say that running shoes should be replaced every 450-550 miles. Meaning if you run 5 miles a day, you will need to replace them in 90-110 days.

Of course, if you use your running shoes sparingly, or are more into gym training than running on the asphalt or ground, they could last longer. Generally, the moment a shoe begins to feel uncomfortable or causes foot pain is an indicator that it’s time for a change.

9. Towels generally last 3 years.

If you wash your towels after every 3-4 baths and hang them out to dry, perhaps even in the sun, they are likely to last a long time. Of course, this also depends on the quality of the towel. Remember that since you are wiping your body with them, it’s easy enough for towels to become unhygienic pretty quickly.

Even after regular washing, it’s a good idea to replace towels every 3 years. Reuse the old ones as rags instead.

10. Hairbrushes should be changed after 6 months.

When you brush your hair, dead cells and product residue are transferred to the hairbrush. Over time this accumulates and makes hairbrushes unsanitary. The fraying of the bristles also lessens a hairbrush’s life. Cleaning out the hair after every use and washing the hairbrush once a week can prolong its life.

But even then, replacing it once every 6 months is a good idea to keep your scalp and hair in the best possible shape.

11. Body sponges and loofahs need to go after 1-2 months.

A warm, wet, and humid bathroom environment is an ideal place for bacteria and fungi to grow. And loofahs or bath sponges are particularly more vulnerable to attack. So experts recommend that natural loofahs be replaced every month or so, while synthetic mesh ones can last up to 2 months.

Remember to wring them out and hang them in an airy place to dry after every use.

12. Child car seats need replacement after 6-10 years.

It’s easy to take up a friend’s offer to use their pre-loved child car seat for your new baby. But before you accept, remember, car seats expire as well. Generally, they last 6-10 years.

It’s not just wear and tear that causes them to not be viable anymore, but also changing safety regulations, recalls, and limits to the manufacturer’s testing.

13. Helmets last about 3-5 years.

Most branded helmets come stamped with an expiration date inside. But if wear and tear have made it so that you can’t see the date anymore, remember that most helmets last 3-5 years once in use. Excluding any damage, that is.

If the helmet has been sparingly used, replacing it after 7 years is a good idea. The foam insides and glue can only last that long.

14. Salt lasts 3-5 years.

Salt in itself does not go bad. But salt comes with various additives like iodine and anti-clumping agents that can make it lose its flavor and efficacy, and make it lumpy. So it’s a good idea to replace salt every 3-5 years. You can check this guide for more info.

What are the expiration dates that took you by surprise? Are there any more that you know of?

Preview photo credit Pixabay.com, Pexels.com
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