Should You Throw It Out? Experts Reveal When Household Products Should Be Tossed

INSIDE EDITION takes a tour around one household in order to show how, believe it or not, many common household items do have expiration dates.

We all know food can go bad and needs to be thrown out, but it may surprise you to hear there are lots of everyday household objects that also can expire.

Jill, a suburban New York housewife, was shocked to learn that many of the items in her home that her family uses everyday should be thrown out!

INSIDE EDITION’s Diane McInerney showed her how to do a “pillow test” to see if her pillow was still in good shape.

“What you do is, you take the pillow, you fold it in half, if it bounces back, it’s good. You can keep it.” McInerney explained. “If it doesn't bounce back you have to toss it.”

Good news: the pillow bounced back, meaning Jill could keep her pillow.

But another pillow in her home was yellow and stained. The verdict? Throw it out!

Then, it was onto the next item.

“How long have you had this mattress?” asked McInerney.

“We've had this mattress for 10 years,” Jill said.

Experts say a good quality mattress should last up to 10 years. But, if you start noticing sagging, it's time to toss the mattress.

“Oh my Gosh! McInerney exclaimed when she saw the mattress. “It's caving!”

“I know,” Jill said. “We sit here. We put our shoes on here. We dress the kids after bath here. It's a mess.” 

McInerney also noticed Jill’s mattress was sagging in middle. “It's like a huge dent in the middle of the mattress.” 

Sagging mattresses can cause poor sleep, and as a mattress ages, it collects dust mites, along with sweat and dead skin. Gross!

Next, they inspected the bathroom and Jill’s family’s toothbrushes.

“How old are these brushes?” McInerney asked Jill.

“They're all two months old.” She said.

Good news: they don't need to be thrown away yet. But, according to experts, you need to replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

Next, it was onto Jill’s makeup bag.

“How old is [this] mascara?” asked McInerney.

Jill replied, “That’s probably a year and a half old.”

McInerney informed her, “The shelf life of a mascara is only three months.”

“No!” Jill replied in surprise, as McInerney tossed the old mascara into a garbage bag.

Rachel Rothman of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute says old makeup is a breeding ground for bacteria. She recommends throwing away powder cosmetics and lipsticks every two years, and liquid makeup every six months.

“I think consumers will be surprised to find out how long beauty products are supposed to last for,” said Rothman.

Good Housekeeping also says many facial cleansers expire after only six months.

McInerney asked Jill how long she’d been holding onto hers: “The facial cleanser you have here, tell me how old it is?”

“It's about eight months old,” said Jill.

“I hate to break it to you, but we have to toss it,” said McInerney.

Next, McInerney checked out Jill’s appliances, starting with her vacuum.

Turns out, your vacuum may need to be replaced, even if it's still working.

Jill’s husband, Billl, informed McInerney their vacuum was about 12-years old.

“Did you know that they only have a shelf life of about 5-7 years?” McInerney asked Jill and Bill.

“No,” They both replied.

“Because they don't work as well.” McInerney said.

Here are some other things experts say you may not know:

- Towels you use everyday last 2-5 years

- Dishwashers are good for about 9-11 years

- Washing machines last for about 10-11 years

- Dryers last for about 12-13 years

- Smoke alarms need to replaced every 10 years