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The 31 Household Items That Are Dangerous After Expiry!

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Last updated on August 30th, 2022 at 01:21 pm

It is common knowledge that household items last for different amounts of time. And while others do not pose harm after the specified expiry date, other items can get quite dangerous after expiration.

So, which household items should you be wary of after they’ve ticked their expiration date?

Surprisingly, many household items become pretty dangerous when they expire. These include canned food, cleaning products, cosmetics, disposable razors, toiletries, mouthwash and rubbing alcohol, cables, extension cords, and sponges. So, you should always dispose of these materials to reduce the risks of harm, especially if you’ve kids at home. 

31. Cleaning Products

Cleaning Products

Each cleaning product becomes bad after a specific period; then, it loses effectiveness. Well, it’s pretty easy to believe that stuff like bleach lasts timelessly.

However, even the containers housing these products affect their composition and quality because these containers degrade after some time.

You should also understand that detergents for laundry and dishwasher degrade. Despite their germ-killing abilities, it’s always best to check their expiration dates before we use them.

30. Sponges


It doesn’t matter if they are loofah or kitchen sponges; you should replace these frequently to avoid a cluster ball of germs in your home.

Sponges harbor bacteria easily simply because you always use them in wet and moisture-filled environments that support bacterial growth. 

So, if you do not replace the sponges in your kitchen, you increase the risk of bacterial illnesses caused by E. coli or salmonella.

The best practice is to replace your kitchen sponge twice a month and your loofah sponge once a month.

29. Box Wine

Box Wine

“Oh, she’s aging like fine wine.” This common phrase accompanies the notion that wine gets better with age. This is true to an extent; however, there is always a limit at which there’ll be spoilage.

So, if you’ve purchased some wine sealed in a box, you have about six to eight months to enjoy it, or it begins to pose a danger to you.

In some instances, the containers produce substances that become harmful.

28. Pepper Spray

Pepper Spray

If you keep some pepper spray handy for defense, you would want to keep track of its expiry date. Most pepper spray products begin to deteriorate four years from manufacture.

So, you wouldn’t want to draw your weapon and realize it isn’t loaded, right?

27. Old Pillows

Old Pillows

Unsurprisingly, most people quickly get pretty attached to their pillows. These fluffy objects’ warm and comfortable feeling keeps us glued to one for a long time.

However, these beautiful pillows absorb your body oil, dead cells, and hair.

In the end, it becomes a perfect environment for the growth and development of mites and other minute organisms.

So, regularly change your pillows to prevent them from becoming breeding spots for these dangerous organisms.

26. Extension Cords And Cables

Extension Cords And Cables

Although electrical cables and extension cords do not have laid down expiry dates, these become dangerous at a certain point.

These begin to pose a danger to you when they are subjected to tears which expose the live wires underneath

If you frequently step on wires, pass them between doors, or generally come in contact with them, you should always consider regular replacements.

This is because the plastic insulation peels off at a point and exposes everyone to the risk of electrical shock.

25. Rubbing Alcohols And Mouthwash

Rubbing Alcohols And Mouthwash

Like other manufactured products, rubbing alcohols such as hand sanitizers and mouthwash become much more ineffective.

This occurs when the alcohol component in these materials dissipates and fades away, so their bacteria-killing strength dies down. 

And, even though this process takes quite some time and maybe become obvious three years after, you should always take note of expiry dates.

This is important because you do not want to be confident that you’re protected from disease-causing bacteria when you’re not.

24. Toiletries


You should always take note of the expiry dates of toiletries such as deodorants, soaps, shampoo, conditioners, and shower gels.

Although most of these would simply lose effectiveness, others harm your skin. So, after expiration, see if these would irritate your skin.

You should especially pay attention to the toiletries you apply to your facial area.

Also, be wary of materials in contact with your eyes; you do not want to pick up certain eye infections.

In addition, do not forget to replace your toothbrush after three months.

23. Mascara


It is not a good idea to use old mascara. This is because bacteria push to an unhealthy level after opening a mascara product after a few months.

For instance, bacterial growth reaches 36% after just three months.

Staphylococcus epidermis is a prevalent microbe that thrives in these kinds of conditions.

Generally, this can cause eye infections, eyesight deterioration, and fungi and bacteria transmission. So never forget to replace your mascara after three months.

22. Disposable Razors

Disposable Razors

You shouldn’t keep disposable razors around after a few times of use. This is quite clear in the nominal description of the item.

Usually, you should dispose of disposable razors after using them about ten times. 

After a while, your razor blades would become far less effective and blunt. Consequently, this would result in razor burns.

Internal growth, skin irritation, and rashes would come afterward with repeated use of the razor, which should be disposed of.

In addition, you are more likely to cut yourself while using old razors.

21. Cosmetic Products

Cosmetic Products

Expired cosmetics are highly dangerous to your skin. But also, the application tools are suitable sites for bacteria to breed and grow.

When these bacteria grow and reproduce on your makeup kits, you will begin to feel irritations on your skin.

It is always a great practice to regularly clean your cosmetic tools, such as your makeup brushes and sponges, to avoid bacterial outbreaks.

At a point, you should ensure to change the brushes. But pay particular attention to mascara, as bacteria readily attack the eye.

20. Eye Drops

Eye Drops

Have you ever felt that your eye drop creates more pain than the real issue? This occurs because eye drops are ideal for about a month before they lose their medicinal properties.

In normal circumstances, you should dispose of eye drops after four weeks. If you keep using it after this time, you’re exposing yourself to high risks of bacterial diseases.

19. Cooking Oil

Cooking Oil

It is entirely vital to keep a close watch on your cooking oil. You will eat this because you wouldn’t want to eat something dangerous, would you?

Most vegetable oils stay suitable for up to six months after opening them. Anything other than that poses an imminent danger, and you shouldn’t consume it.

This damaged oil can cause gastrointestinal complications, which result in issues such as nausea and pain in the abdomen.

18. Batteries


Because of the low cost of batteries, hoarding and storing them is sometimes excusable. This makes it easier to access them than going to the store each time you need a pair.

However, these batteries expire just like any other product. Because batteries begin losing power from the point of manufacture, older batteries may not possess enough energy to propel your appliance. So, this can easily cause damage.

17. Slippers


That pair of slippers you’re attached to can become a hub for bacteria to breed if you hold onto it for too long.

This will become a problem if you’re not fond of washing your slippers regularly; bacteria proliferate, so there’s an infestation before you know it. Experts recommend that you get new slippers each year.

16. Old Herbs And Spices

Old Herbs And Spices

It is always relatively easy to forget that spices and herbs also expire. It’s typical of most people to keep them in their pantries and spice chest that they forget to purchase fresh ones. 

Well, these spices and herbs can last for years, no doubt. However, they expire after about three to four years, developing the potency to create issues in the digestive tract. 

In the long run, you should dispose of those if you do not want to destroy your bathroom during convenience.

15. Canned Food

Canned Foods

Despite the feeling that canned foods may be immortal, they can pose significant harm when expired or when you don’t store them properly.

Although botulism rarely occurs nowadays, there are still risks associated with consuming these expired canned foods.

In addition, you should never forget that foods with high acid levels are more short-lived than others, such as peas. So, always store your canned foods in cool, dry places.

Also, avoid consuming foods in rusted and bulging cans.

14. Cutting Board

Cutting Board

Your cutting board is one item that encounters many different food materials in its lifetime.

And although washing and cleaning it is very important, you would have to replace it at a point.

After being subject to many knife slashes, your cutting board develops depressions that allow food to stick. So, this can easily hold and breed bacteria.

13. Sunglasses


It may seem unnecessary to insist on changing sunglasses. However, this is an essential idea.

This is because your sunglasses work by blocking sun rays and preventing them from directly coming in contact with your eyes.

So, when you use these glasses for a long, they lose their ray-capturing ability, thus exposing your eyes to the sun.

12. Medical Supplies

Medical Supplies

It is common knowledge that all medicines become ineffective when they expire. However, some of these medicines also become harmful after expiration.

So, using medications after they’ve expired can negatively affect your health. 

For instance, meds like insulin and certain aqueous antibiotics pose toxic effects when they expire.

So, if you’re unsure about the safety of any drug, it is always advisable to consult healthcare personnel for advice.

On the other hand, it is better to dispose of medications that have stayed long in your medicine chest.

11. Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce stays for quite a while because it contains high levels of sodium which helps to repel bacteria. However, after a few years, it begins to lose that flavor.

So, you must keep a watchful eye on your soy sauce and look out for changes in aroma and texture.

10. Paint


Sometimes it’s unavoidable to keep paints for extended periods. For instance, you may need a small quantity of paint to fix a minor dent, but you’ll purchase a full paint bucket.

Unfortunately, you can’t toss the rest away, so you’ll be forced to store them in the basement.

But one thing is, paint has a shelf life of two years. So, using an opened bucket of paint after this stipulated time only creates a risk of damage to your walls or furniture.

9. Toothbrush


Medical personnel says you must change your toothbrush after four months. Changing it more frequently if you have intermittent cold bouts is advisable.

It is pretty easy for germs to grow in your toothbrush’s bristles.

So, failing to dispose of your toothbrush after a specified time exposes you to gum infections that cause bad toothaches. Well, place a four-month alarm if it helps. 

8. Sunscreen


Although sunscreen can last for as long as three years, several factors, such as storage, affect this duration.

Also, while there are recommendations that sunscreen should carry expiry dates, others do not.

So, the best thing to do is mark the date of purchase. From here, you would count the age and determine its expiration.

Then, always ensure to dispose of it once it hits the three-year mark.

7. Eye Contact Cases

Eye Contact Cases

It is essential to change the solution when you use contact lenses. Researchers have admonished that you swap them at least after three months.

Studies have indicated that certain bacteria form a film surface on the lenses called biofilm. So, swapping this solution prevents bacteria from growing to a dangerous level.

And although the biofilm protects the bacteria from the solution, this phenomenon increases the risk of eye infections. 

6. Running Shoes

Running Shoes

Shoes provide cushioning to your feet when you walk, run or go on exercises.

So, when these shoes expire, there is no adequate cushioning, and the stress on your feet increases significantly.

This leaves you prone to injuries, pains, and specific aches.

Because of this, it is always advisable to replace your running shoes after running about 250 miles.

However, do not wait for signs of wear and tear because the risk of injury always increases with more use.

5. Bathing Towel

Bathing Towel

Your bathing towel is a sensitive item you should look out for. This is because towels work in moist conditions, so it’s a suitable place to grow disease-causing microbes.

Therefore a certain period of usage, you should change your towel. Do this before it oozes mildew, indicating skin infection risk.

4. Hairbrush


The hairbrush is one household item with an infinite lifespan due to its wooden or plastic framework.

However, after a certain period, your hairbrush starts gathering your hair and products.

This can create a situation where your hairbrush becomes clogged and doesn’t allow smooth hair brushing anymore.

Also, the hair products gathered in the brush can cause skin irritation. Always ensure to replace your hairbrush every six months to prevent these.

3. Vitamins


Most vitamins carry dates that indicate when they would begin to break down.

These dates, which are sometimes characterized as “Use By,” describe when these vitamins start to lose effectiveness

So, you should avoid these expired products even if they do not become lethal after expiry.

Sometimes, your vitamins may retain their effectiveness two years after the ‘Use By” date.

Nonetheless, proper storage preserves these substances.

2. Bike Helmet

Bike Helmet

After expiration, your bike helmet is prone to failure in an accident.

This is because the cushioning strength of the helmet depletes with age, so you may think you’re protected, but in the end, it wouldn’t be so.

Always replace your helmet if it’s been in a crash or damaged even in the slightest way.

1. Bug Spray

Bug Spray

Although many bug sprays do not carry expiry dates, their effectiveness subsides with time.

And while they don’t become dangerous in the real sense when they’ve expired, they give you a false sense of protection from bugs.

Unfortunately, this false sense of security can be lethal to a point. So, check the shelf life of bug sprays before you purchase. 


Although many ignore the expiry dates of several commonly used household items, there can be severe consequences.

And while others do not pose direct harm, it is still a great idea to stick to items in their optimal functional lives.

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