Many household products expire
The following common household products are regularly used way beyond their shelf life. While it may not be dangerous to employ them past their prime, doing so usually results in less-optimal results.
Baking soda and baking powder
These baking essentials last a long time, perhaps beyond their expiration dates, but they eventually lose their potency, which may result in extra dense cakes, cookies, or other recipes that call for them. To test potency of baking powder, combine 1/4 teaspoon of powder with 1/2 cup of extra hot water. If it bubbles, it's good. Do the same thing with baking soda, but add ¼ teaspoon of vinegar to the water beforehand.
While expired spices won't make you sick, they will impart less flavor when you cook with them. Follow spice brand McCormick's guidelines for expected life spans: Seasoning blends-between one and two years, herbs-between one and three years, ground spices-between two and three years, whole spices (such as peppercorns)-three to four years, extracts-four years.
That cold one in the fridge may be past its prime if it's been hanging around for around three and a half months. However, high-alcohol content tends to result in a longer shelf live.
Who doesn't keep mayo around forever? Still, once it's opened, it's only truly "good" for two to three months after the "purchase by" date. After that, color and flavor may be off.
Canned ground coffee
Unopened, the stuff lasts a couple of years. But it loses its freshness after one month after it's been opened.
Hair, face, and body products
Once a hair product has past its expiration date (yes, these products have expiration dates!), it's likely to be less effective, though still safe to use.
Over time, cooking oils can smell and taste "off." Nut oils turn faster than others, but if you store your oils in a cool dry place, they will last longer.
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