Medicine Cabinet Cleanup
While you’re in the midst of fall cleaning, redecorating and getting your home ready for the holidays, plan to add your medicine cabinet to the list and give it an annual overhaul. Even over the counter medications come with expiration dates, and can spoil and become ineffective or dangerous if consumed past their prime.
During your medicine cabinet cleanup, you’ll want to focus on getting rid of old products, while also paying attention to how you’re storing others. Believe it or not, many medications, creams and ointments don’t belong in a medicine cabinet with a working tub or shower nearby (all the heat and moisture), and those items need to find a safe new home in your bedroom, hall closet, or other cool, dry place in your apartment.
Follow these steps for conducting a thorough and effective medicine cabinet cleanup, and get ready for fall, cold weather and a new year of good health at home!
Throw Out Expired Products
The expiration dates on your over the counter and prescription medications, sunscreens, lotions, etc. is a guarantee from the manufacturer of their safety and potency. Without that guarantee, you place yourself in harm by using expired products. Check expiration dates carefully, and make a list of items that need to be replaced, so you can pick them up at the drugstore the next time you’re out.
Toss Spoiled Products
Even if your vitamins, medications, creams, etc. haven’t expired, if they show any signs of spoilage, they need to head for the trash. If you notice changes in color, melting, crumbling or changes in texture, your best bet is to toss out. If you aren’t sure, you can consult your neighborhood pharmacist or doctor at your next visit.
Toss Old, Unused or Recalled Items
Even if an item doesn’t carry an expiration date, if it looks old, smells bad or looks altered (think adhesive bandages or thermometers), it’s probably time to let it go. If you’ve been storing up old chapsticks, nail polishes or other items that are going unused, it’s also probably best to get rid of them, too. You’ll want to continually check to see if any of your products have been recalled to prevent using an item that has been deemed unsafe. Check for government recalled items here.
Move Out of Your Medicince Cabinet
Believe it or not, many over the counter and prescription medications do not belong anywhere near your bathroom and bathtub. Heat, air, light and moisture can affect a medication’s potency. These items would be better stored in a hallway linen closet, in your bedroom or other cool, dry area in your home that is safe from pets or small children. Products you’ll need to move are:
- Allergy meds
- Pain relievers
- Cold and cough meds
- Fever reducers
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Rubbing alchohol
- Hydrogen Peroxide
*Not all medications and products can be thrown away safely in your waste bin. To carefully get rid of medications and expired products, you’ll need to follow these guidelines for safe disposal. Once you’ve determined how you’ll “throw out” your expired or soiled products, you’ll be on your way!