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  4. Surprise! These 6 Household Items Expire
  • Surprise! These 6 Household Items Expire

    Expired items live other places besides your refrigerator. Get smart about when to toss six common household goods.

    Replace your pillow once a year because bacteria and dust mites can build up

    How long can you keep air filters, pillows and bleach? The short answer is probably not as long as you think you can. We rounded up the shelf lives of these items and other common household goods to help you determine when it’s time to toss or replace. Knowing the typical lifespan of these items can help keep your home cleaner and family safer.

    • Pillows

      As a general rule, it’s wise to replace your pillow every year. Odors, bacteria and dust mites can build as a result of the hair and body oils that seep into the pillow stuffing. If you want a quick visual, try the fold test. Fold your pillow in half and squeeze out all the air. If you release it and it doesn’t pop back into shape, it’s time to go shopping.

    • Bleach

      This powerful disinfectant starts to lose its effectiveness after about six months when stored in temps between 50 and 70 degrees and should be replaced after one year. The shelf life of bleach can vary based on the temperature of where it’s stored.

    • Fire extinguishers

      The U.S. Fire Administration notes that many extinguishers have gauges that indicate if the pressure is too high to too low*. Check the pressure gauge on your fire extinguisher monthly. Extinguishers are often advertised as effective for five to 15 years, but for peace of mind, it’s easy to quickly check that the needle is in the green area. Even better: plan to get your fire extinguisher serviced once a year.

    • Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors

      For the safety and health of your family and home, change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors every six months. Have trouble remembering? Make it a habit to replace batteries at every Daylight Saving Time.

    • Air filters

      Filtrete™ Air Filters trap dust, pollen, pet dander and other pollutants to help keep your air cleaner. To maintain proper airflow, we recommend you change your air filter at least every three months.