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Unexpected Expiration Dates of Your Favorite Household Items

We all do it: hold on to things way past their expiration dates. And while you probably know your salad dressing and milk can probably last a few extra days; there are a few unexpected food and beauty items you should toss sooner than you may think. 

Breakfast Foods 

As most baristas will tell you, coffee tastes the best when the beans are freshly ground. Grounded coffee will only last about one or two weeks before the taste begins to deteriorate. If you’re an instant coffee fan, make sure you only keep it in the jar for two or three months, tops. Cereals last about two to three months after you open them, while eggs last about five to six weeks when kept in a cold section of the refrigerator. 

Common Condiments 

Salad dressings last about nine months after opening them, as long as you refrigerate them. Catsup holds on for about one year after bottling, but should be thrown out after four to six months once you’ve opened it. Mustard last longer, at about two years. Spices last about three years, but the potency of the spices degrades over time.  

Household Cleaners 

Laundry detergent, liquid or powdered, is its most powerful within the first year if it’s unopened. It starts losing its potency after about six months once it’s been used. Window cleaner lasts about two years for maximum cleaning power. Bleach has a shorter shelf life at three to six months. While it’s tempting to buy cleaning products in bulk, you’ll get more out of them if you use them within their expiration date. 

Beauty Items

 If you keep your extra beauty products in storage or a basement, make sure you’re keeping track of their expiration date. Mascara lasts about two years when unopened, but only about three months when opened due to the natural bacteria from your lashes. Lipstick lasts about two years, as does hair spray. Face lotion and shampoos have some of the longest shelf life of about three years.

 And here’s a little fun fact for you: honey has an indefinite shelf life. Honey found in the tombs of ancient mummies is still eatable. Just heat up the honey if it has hardened.