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Break Up With These Expired Items In Your Home

February 3, 2020 | Bathroom,Kitchen | 13 Comments |

As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s time to break up – with expired items in your home!

It’s so hard to keep track of each and every item in your house, or when it expires. Expired items not only take up valuable storage space in your home, but they pose health risks and buildup of bacteria, too.

Make it a #HorderlyHabit to check on expired products regularly – you’ll feel so much lighter!

Here’s Horderly’s handy guide to keep track of which items should be replaced, and when.



Ground coffee only lasts three-to-five months and coffee beans only last six months. Teabags should ideally be consumed within 18 to 24 months. After two years, the quality of the tea diminishes. What’s tricky about the tea bags, is that they hold the expiration date on the box but not the teabag – so keep an eye out!

Dish sponges are constantly battling buildup and can accumulate dirt and bacteria very quickly. These should be replaced every two weeks. Stop washing dirty dishes with even dirtier sponges!



Getting a new toothbrush every three months is ideal — but you should also replace your toothbrush any time the bristles get worn down, or after you’ve been sick. Brushing with your “sick” toothbrush can prolong illness, and potentially spread germs to other people sharing your bathroom. Throw your “sick toothbrush” away the second you’re feeling better.

Ideally, mascara should be tossed and replaced every three months, eyeshadow once a year and lipstick every two years.

Loofahs can also accumulate dirt and bacteria and should be replaced every six months. Hang-drying your loofah can help its shelf life, giving it room to breathe and not letting it fester in water. Never leave loofahs laying on the shower floor! No one wants to be washing their body with a dirty loofah.

Since towels are made to absorb water, they can also grow mold and fungus if they’re not washed regularly or stored properly. The key here is to hang-dry towels in between washes, wash regularly and make sure the towel is completely dry before storing in a place like a linen closet. Because most people wash towels often, they can usually last one-to-three years.

Sunscreens are required by the Food and Drug Administration to remain at their original strengths for at least three years. This means that you can use leftover sunscreen from one year to the next. However, once you hit the three-year mark, replace your sunscreen so you don’t get scorched!



To increase comfortability and reduce bacteria buildup, it’s suggested that pillows are replaced every six-to-twelve months. This bacteria builds up even faster if you don’t wash your sheets as often as you should!

Create a routine and start washing your sheets and bedding once a week, or every two weeks at the latest. If you don’t, you’re at risk for a slew of bacteria buildup, which could lead to health issues.

Even your favorite slippers are susceptible to bacteria buildup. To prevent fungal infections, it is recommended to replace slippers every six months.

Even bras have an expiration date! Bras should be replaced every six months due to deterioration of the cups and straps. While wearing an out-of-date bra won’t cause you serious harm, the bras will lose its support and can begin to feel uncomfortable, often leading to back pain.

Housekeeping & Home Improvement


Paint can last more than ten years if it is stored properly. Latex or oil-based paints can last up to two years and solvent-based paint can last up to 15 years. Unopened paint has a better shelf life than paint that has been already opened.

Disinfectants lose their potency after three months – so buying cleaning products in bulk is not advised unless you’re deep-cleaning on a weekly basis.

But don’t let products pile up! When the new shipment comes in, throw away the expired items.



Keep an eye out for expiration dates on your license and passports, too! There’s nothing worse than planning a trip and realizing your identification has expired!

We love the Expires app, a platform that gives you a list of your expiration dates. Simply add a note, then the expiration date and Expires will give you an option to set a reminder for when that item should be replaced.

To learn more about Horderly – including lots of great tips, tricks and other #HorderlyHabits – check out our blog or reach out for a free virtual consultation!

Each product is independently selected by Horderly. Items you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

13 comments on “Break Up With These Expired Items In Your Home

  1. Kara

    What a helpful quick list of when to replace, wash, or throw out household items. Also love the idea of the Expires app for making sure identification is up to date!

  2. Lucile

    These are great but how can we keep cleaning our house and tossing away stuff but at the same time be ecological ?

  3. Rachel

    This was all very eye opening, especially the kitchen sponge (should be replaced every 2 weeks!). I am replacing mine TODAY!

  4. Kim

    I had no idea about the shelf life on some these products. 3 months for mascara! Who knew!

  5. Monica

    Whenever I feel a little extra cluttered that’s the time I go through the expirations on all things around the house, perfect way to simplify! Now if only I could avoid shopping for more!

  6. Diane

    Wow I didn’t realize there were so many things besides the bathroom and kitchen with expiration dates

  7. Carol

    Such good info to have. I just learned that paint is only good for 1 year after opening.

  8. Helena

    Thats insane- I had no idea- I haven’t replaced my pillows in just about a decade! And I know I have some teas that are at least 5 years old- I just always assumed they never expired! I have some serious cleaning out to do!

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