What to Trash at Home and What Not

trashWhether you’re getting ready for the Holidays or moving, there are times you will want to know what you should toss out … or not. This list may help as you go through your things.

The expiration dates on medicines and food have been in the news lately. Most manufacturers of such products admit that the ‘sell by,’ ‘best by,’ and ‘best before’ dates have nothing to do with the safety of the food. A survey done by the NRDC together with Harvard University Food Law and Policy Clinic found that the current system of expiration dates is very confusing to the customer. It leads 9 out of every 10 Americans to prematurely throw away food. This “Dating Game” has to stop and there is a need to establish standard, clear language for quality and safety, they recommended.

What about the bigger items in your house? Do they have expiration dates as well?

Many things around the house have expiration dates; it’s just not stated anywhere.

Pillows –To check if a pillow is past its prime, most people just look at the cover. If you fold a pillow in two and it doesn’t bounce back, experts say it’s time to replace it.

Mattress – Do you know when your mattress is past its best? As long as there are no lumps and valleys on the surface, most would say. But they don’t take into account the dust mites accumulating in the mattress over the years. Experts suggest to change a mattress every 10 years or so.

Toothbrush – Regardless of their condition, toothbrushes must be replaced every 3-4 months. After that, they become a bacteria bed.

Mascara – To perform as it’s meant to, the mascara should not be older than 3 months.

Lipsticks – Lipsticks are breeding ground for bacteria. They should be thrown away after 2 years.

Liquid Makeup – This should be replaced every 6 months.

Facial Cleansers – Most cleansers expire after 6 months.

Towels – Towels that you use every day are expected to last 2-5 years.

Dish Washers – These are expected to last 9-11 years.

Washers – Washers can last 10-11 years.

Dryers – Dryers can last as long as 10-13 years.

Here are some household things you should not throw in the trash.

Batteries – We’re talking about the rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries. Household batteries post 1997 can be thrown into the trash.

Electronics – Again, some contain hazardous materials that are better recycled.

Energy Efficient Light bulbs – These contain small amounts of mercury, meaning they must be disposed of safely. Most hardware stores collect them.

Used Paint – Liquid paints and solvents are dangerous and flammable. They should either be recycled or allowed to dry completely; by keeping the can of paint open. Once it’s solid, you can throw it in the trash.

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