Expiration Dates

Expiration Dates

Maxwell Ryan
Aug 18, 2006

We recently read an article in Shop Etc. that talked about the expiration dates of common household articles like mattresses, pillows, air purifier filters and dish sponges (you know, the items you have around your house for, sometimes, years on end without thinking all that much about them).

We bought a new bed earlier this year not because of want, or that expiration date had come due (it had by a few years), but due to the pure fact that my back, at 37, was going on serious strike and was preventing me from walking upright for more days then I cared to tally.

While researching, we had a salesperson 'talk the talk' and one tidbit that caught my attention was that (I can't verify this is true) but that the average bed weighs approx 10 lb+ more when they remove it from a home than when it was purchased due to sweat, skin, dust and the stuff I care not to think about much. All I can say is Ewwww Gross!

Here is the recommended shelf life of some common household items that you may want to give thought too, next time you cozy up to your favorite pillow you've had since your first apartment.

Mattress: 5-7 years
Or when you find yourself waking up with aches and pains. Try flipping your mattress [some new ones don't require this] if you still don't get resolve it's time to pony up the big bucks. If you have a bad back…a recent study found that sleeping on a new mattress minimizes pain in just 30 days.

Pillows: 1-3 years
All I have to say is this: One-Tenth of the weight of a two-year-old pillow is dust-mite droppings healthyhomecarpet.com

Sheets: 5 years
Not because of health, but due to just plain wear and tear. A good rule of thumb [bachelors take note] when the pilling or fraying begins, start shopping. You can go the normal Macy's route or try hunting for a bargin at bluefly.com which has notable designers such as Dwell, Frette and others.

Air Purifier Filters: 6 months
With childhood allergies; our poor parents tried everything to help us breathe better. Looks like that air purifier may have been part of the problem not the solution. I think the thing had the same filter for my entire childhood.
Replace filters every 6 months to avoid recirculating dust and other allergens.

Toothbrushes: 3 months
According to Oral-B "clinical research has shown that a new toothbrush can remove up to 30% more plaque than one that's 3 month's old". Hummm, that toothbrush that's nearly flat in the cup in the bathroom, it's not working so much any more. Pony up for the 3$ and do yourself a big favor.

Shower Curtain Liner: 8 months
Again, for the bachelors out there…when mold begins growing it's a telltale sign your due for a new one.

Dish sponges: 2 months
When the sponge begins to smell that's a good sign you're in need of a new one. I think we've all done the 'put it in the dishwasher' or drown it with bleach to make it to the next Target run. At $2 it's not so much of a wallet breaker.


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