Whether it’s a bottle of vitamins or your toothbrush, if it’s past its prime you’re not going to benefit.


Three years (if there’s no expiration date on the bottle)
Over time, active ingredients break down and the pills lose their potency.


30 to 90 days
Hacking programs can zip through 30 000 words in one second. For a password that’s tough to crack yet still easy to remember, convert a sentence into letters and numbers. For example, turn “I want to go to Mauritius in 2014” into “Iw2g2M4.”

Contact lens case

Three months
You’ll reduce your risk of eye infections from parasites and fungi that grow in the case.


One to two weeks (wash)
Germs from your skin, mouth and nose multiply on
dirty sheets and can cause respiratory, gastrointestinal, skin and eye infections.


One year
Dead mites and their poop can make up 10% of a two-year-old pillow’s weight.


Three months
Frayed and splayed bristles do an inferior job of scraping plaque. Plus, an old brush may harbour bacteria, increasing your risk of gingivitis.

Motor oil

Passenger vehicles
15 000km / light commercial 10 000km
(or as recommended by the manufacturer and in your owner’s manual) Synthetic oils are more expensive, but they do a better job of protecting your engine from heat and wear.

Razor blade

Two to four weeks
Soften your facial hair with hot water and lather, and blades stay sharper longer.


Nine to 10 years
You flatten the coils over time. A lumpy mattress can stress your back.

Running shoes

Seven months (if you’re running 15 to 30km a week)
Shoes lose their shock absorption and stability, putting you more at risk of knee and ankle injuries.

Gym towel

One use (wash)
Your towel may pick up other people’s pathogens from the machines, the floor, the change room or other areas exposed to human skin.