When it comes to storing items in our homes, many of us have no idea what we’re doing and,  as for things with use by dates, we’re even more clueless!

Home and Garden on Female First

Home and Garden on Female First

From coffee to tea bags, makeup to bath sponges, how many out of date items do you think you have in your home? Vlatka Lake, Marketing Manager at self storage provider, Space Station, shares the top ten out of date items that people have lurking in their cupboards.


With the British weather being hotter than usual this May, many of us are reaching for the old, trusty bottle of sunscreen. As sunscreen only tends to come out of our cupboards for a short period in the summertime or when we’re preparing for a holiday, it is often left neglected for years at a time. Sunscreen has a three year expiry - which gives you plenty of time to get use out of the bottle, but always double check the product before you use it.


Having a large makeup collection with a lipstick, eyeshadow and mascara to suit any occasion is the goal for many women, especially with the rise of Instagram and beauty bloggers showcasing their hauls. However, all these products come with use by dates and it can become quite a costly affair purchasing makeup that you will never fully use. Mascara should ideally be replaced every 3 months, eyeshadow after a year and lipstick after two years.

Bath Sponge

Bath sponges are often found lurking in bathrooms for months and years at a time and many of us would assume that they never expire. However these sponges can accumulate dirt and bacteria very quickly and should be replaced every three weeks!


Ground coffee only lasts three to five months while coffee beans only last six. The coffee with the longest shelf life is the reliable and firm favourite of many - instant coffee, lasting typically between two to 20 years. So if you have a taste for expensive coffee, you may be wasting your money if you don’t drink it fast enough.

Tea bags

It’s not only coffee that goes out of date, tea bags also expire. How many of us have impulsively bought lots of fancy teas that we never use? If you have had them more than two years, the quality can diminish as tea bags should ideally be consumed within 18 to 24 months.


Every woman has a favourite bra that she finds comfy and holds on to for years, but did you know that bras have an expiration date too? Bras should be replaced every six months due to deterioration of the cups and straps. While wearing an out of date bra won’t cause you harm,  the bras will lose their support and can begin to feel uncomfortable.


Your cosy pair of slippers that you wear every day when you get home from work could be harbouring a high level of bacteria and germs due to us being on our feet all day. To prevent fungal infections, it is recommended to replace them every six months.


Paint can last more than a decade if it is looked after properly. However, this is dependent on whether it has been opened and the type of paint you have been using. Latex or oil based paints can last up to two years, whereas solvent based paint can last up to 15 years.


There’s nothing more that many of us love than getting into bed at the end of a long day. However, those cosy pillows where we rest our heads could be accumulating a lot of bacteria whilst we sleep. While pillows do not come with a conventional expiry date, for optimum comfort, it is recommended that pillows are replaced every six to 12 months.


Disinfectants tend to lose their potency after three months, so if you’re planning on a big seasonal clean out, it might be worth replacing your bottle if you have had it lingering in your cupboard. If you are doing light cleaning, you might be able to stretch the product out that little bit longer.

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