Turns out the expiration or generally accepted toss-by date on certain products is total BS. And we hate being a sucker so we rounded up six things you can hold on to for longer than you thought. Read on, then start thinking about how you want to use the hundreds of dollars you're going to save each year.
By Zoe Ruderman
You're told to toss them after: 6 weeks
But they can really last for: 4 monthsKeep your blade sharper for longer by dipping it in rubbing alcohol after each use. And rather than leaving the razor near the shower head, where it will get sprayed with water and is more likely to rust, place it at the other end of the tub.
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2) Running shoes
You're told to toss them after: 6 months
But they can really last for: up to 2 yearsYou can quadruple the life of the shoes by keeping them at room temperature when they're off your feet. Leaving them in the garage or in a car overnight in the winter, or packing them in your checked luggage (where they'll sit in the freezing underbelly of a plane) lets cold air in, breaking down the sole and screwing up the air pockets.
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You're told to toss it after: 3 months
But it can really last for: 5 monthsThere are two reasons you have to toss this makeup: it dries out or it gets contaminated. You can ward off both of these problems by not pumping the wand up and down, which forces bacteria and also air into the tube. Instead, swirl the brush as you pull it out. And if it starts to seem cakey, experts recommend dipping the tube in boiling water for about 15 seconds. It will make the makeup gooey again and may even kill some of the bacteria.
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You're told to toss them after: 7 or 8 years
But they can really last for: up to 11 or 12 yearsAsk just about anyone (including Google) and you'll hear that every seven years or so, you have to buy a new mattress. So. Much. Money. But the Better Sleep Council revealed to us that there are ways to get your mattress to last up to 12 years. There are three tricks to getting it to last: Rotate it 180 degrees every six months. This helps keep the mattress from wearing out in the same spot and crapping out after a few years. Secondly, as soon as the bed starts to feel saggy, buy a mattress topper, which can extend the life of it up to a year. And lastly, keep the mattress and box spring on a bed frame. Sure, putting it directly on the floor seems sturdy and supportive, but it can put strain on the mattress where it's not supposed to be.
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You're told to toss it after: about 2 years
But they can really last for: 5 yearsNo need to ditch fragrances so soon as long as you keep them out of the sun. The direct light makes perfume lose its scent or even start to smell funky, but keeping the bottles in the original box or in the medicine cabinet can get you three extra years out of the spray.
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6) Nail Polish
You're told to toss it after: 8 months
Extend the lifespan to: 2 yearsSince heat and sunlight destroy nail polish by separating the ingredients and causing discoloration, keeping the bottles in the fridge will more than double their lifespan.
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Sources: Perry Romanowski, independent cosmetic chemist; Nancy Hobbs, Executive Director of American Trail Runner Association; Karin Mahoney, director of communications for The Better Sleep Council
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