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What to Trash at Home and What Not 

What to Trash at Home and What NotWhat to Trash at Home and What Not. Whether 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 and 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 a 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 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 changing a mattress every ten years or so.


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


Mascara – Mascara should not be older than three months.


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


Liquid Makeup – Replace every six months.


Facial Cleansers – Most cleansers expire after six months.


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


Dish Washers – These should last 9-11 years.


Washers – Washers can last 10-11 years.


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


Now that you know what to trash at home; here are some household things you should not throw in the trash:

Batteries – We’re talking about 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 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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