8 household items that can expire


(ABC4) – It’s that time of year again – spring cleaning. You may be cleaning out the garage or your closets, but did you know there are items you may have around your home that have expired?

As we sort through our things, here are a few items you might want to replace, according to Lowe’s

Extension cords and power strips

They’re likely behind your TV or hanging in your garage, and it may be time to swap them out. 

Lowe’s explains that power strips and extension cords are only designed to handle so much electricity. Experts say that if your product came with a warranty, and that warranty has expired, it’s probably time to find a replacement. 

Additionally, if you have extension cords outdoors in the garage or shed, or repeatedly drag it across rough terrain, Lowe’s encourages you to check that it’s in good condition and the protective coating isn’t wearing down. 


It’s not uncommon to have some leftover paint sitting around. Depending on the type of paint and how you store it, Lowe’s says it typically has a shelf-life of up to five years. 

To best store paint, experts recommend keeping it in a cool, dry place with a piece of plastic film on top, under the lid – this will help keep moisture out. 

When it comes time to get rid of your paint, be sure to check your local disposal procedures – you should never throw paint in the trash, and it usually cannot be recycled with other recyclables.


Weatherstripping can help keep your home’s energy costs down, but it won’t be that effective if it’s worn out. Lowe’s recommends holding a lighter about an inch from the stripping and, if you see the flame move at all, it’s time to replace the weatherstripping.

Cleaning products

We all have cleaning supplies around our homes, but did you know they can become less effective over time? Even the bottles they are stored in can affect the products’ formulas. 

If you’ve had a product for over two years, Lowe’s says it is time to ditch it. And if you have homemade cleaners with bleach in them, experts say the bleach can lose its effectiveness quickly once diluted, sometimes even in one day.


You should be able to find an expiration date on either the batteries or the packaging it came in. 

While an expired battery may still work, it won’t perform to its full charge. This is because the power continues to decline beyond its expiration, according to Lowe’s. 

When storing batteries, it’s best to keep them in a room temperature area.

Fire extinguishers/smoke detectors

Experts say you should not only check your smoke detectors every six months, but replace the batteries, too (make sure the batteries aren’t expired either). Smoke detectors themselves should be replaced every 10 years. 

In terms of fire extinguishers, Lowe’s says they should be recharged every six years and replaced every 12, at least.

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