What’s that lurking in your bathroom? Don’t answer. Really, we don’t want to know. Just go take a look, and you’ll probably realize there’s a lot more in there than necessary. From the medicine cabinet to those cupboards under your sink and beyond, there are things hanging out in your bathroom that need to go—for the sake of space, your health, and your sanity.
Here are 10 things you can toss immediately.
1. Old toothbrushes
How long have you been brushing with that toothbrush? If it’s been more than three or four months, that’s too long, according to the American Dental Association.
If the bristles become bent or frayed, toss the toothbrush sooner. Not only do bristles lose their effectiveness over time (hello, plaque and cavities you’re trying to prevent!), they also may collect bacteria that could lead to infections. Gross!
2. Expired medications
Check the dates on those medications—both prescription and over-the-counter varieties. According to the FDA, using expired medication can be risky, as the makeup of the drugs can change over time. They may not only be ineffective (it’s no wonder that headache won’t go away), but also harmful. Don’t just toss them in the trash, though. Check out these guidelines for safely disposing of expired medication.
3. Old makeup
So pretty, so full of promise, so difficult to part with! When your makeup is past its prime, you’ve really got to make like Elsa and let it go. Many cosmetics don’t have expiration dates, so it’s up to you to remember when you scooped them up or, better yet, write the date on them. If you can’t remember when you bought it, chances are it’s too old.
In general, most makeup shouldn’t be kept more than a couple of years, with the exception of eye products such as mascara, which should be replaced after three to four months to avoid infection.
4. Expired sunscreen
Once the expiration date has passed, there’s no guarantee sunscreen is going to be effective, and you could get literally burned. The good news: Sunscreen is designed to be effective for three years from the time it’s manufactured. However, if you use the recommended amount of sunscreen experts say you need to stay safe in the sun (about one-fourth of the bottle), you shouldn’t have it around nearly that long.
5. All those hotel toiletries
It always sounds like a good idea to grab those little toiletries before you clear out of your hotel room, but if you’re a frequent traveler, you may pile up more than you’ll ever use. (Tip: Toss them in your gym bag.) So if you’ve hoarded shower caps and small bottles of mouthwash from every trip you’ve taken since you were 10, it’s time to clear some out.
6. Nearly empty shampoo bottles
Waste not, want not is great to a point, but when your shower is full of upside-down bottles (who, me?) because you’re trying to eke out the last drop in each one, it’s time to just toss them.
7. Beauty products that didn’t change your life
Same goes for all of those hair products, lotions, and potions you just had to have that didn’t quite produce the life-changing effects you were expecting and have migrated to the back of the shelf. While most beauty products don’t have an expiration date, many will have a POA (period after opening) mark, which can typically be found on the product label or the container itself. There will be a number and an “M” to indicate the number of months it’s expected to work as promised. There are also apps such as Beauty Keeper that help you look up and keep track of your beauty product expiration dates.
8. Expired condoms
Unless you’re looking for a baby surprise—probably not, if you’re using birth control—take time to toss those that have expired. Over time, the effectiveness of spermicide breaks down, and condoms can dry out and break more easily, leaving you open to unwanted pregnancy and disease. So check the expiration dates so that when the time is right, you’re ready to go.
We’re sure your aunt thought the bath bomb would be da bomb as a gift, but if you’re more of a shower person, that ball of fizzy indulgence is probably collecting dust just like all of those other pretty little soaps, salts, and powders that seem to be the go-to gifts for many. Some people probably love them, but if you’re not one of them, then bombs away into the trash.
10. Old razors and blades
How long have you been shaving with that disposable razor? Probably too long, as experts say you should throw them out after just a few uses. If you don’t, you risk bacteria building up on the blade, which could lead to those dreaded little red bumps, otherwise known as folliculitis.
Don’t just throw razors and blades into the trash or recycling bin, though. The blades can get stuck in recycling equipment and cut sanitation workers. Instead, wrap blades in several folds of paper or cardboard before throwing in the regular trash.
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