7 Things That Never Expire – and How to Store Them

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Woman changing a lightbulb
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Buying in bulk is a time-honored way to save money. However, not everything can be purchased in large quantities, and even things that can will probably go bad eventually.

Still, there are some household goods that will never expire so long as you store them properly. Here’s a look at common items with no expiration date.

1. Ice melt

Ice melt in the ice
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Whether snowstorms come seasonally to your area or are a rare occurrence, you can safely stock up on ice melt and be prepared to clear slippery walkways. Modern deicers can be made of various chemicals, but thanks to the chloride that almost all of them contain, they never expire.

To ensure your ice melt doesn’t dissolve or clump, it needs to be sealed, stored in a dry space and placed out of direct sunlight. Put it inside a plastic bin in that dark corner of your garage, and it should do just fine.

2. Cat litter

Cat in a litter box
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You don’t have to be a cat owner to stock up on kitty litter. This versatile product can be used to soak up stains, dispose of paint and provide traction in the winter months. Of course, using it in cat litter boxes is probably its most popular purpose.

Regardless of why you buy it, your cat litter should never go bad. Arm & Hammer says its litter isn’t affected by humidity, but it’s best to store it in a dry place. If clumping cat litter comes in contact with water, it will, well, clump.

3. OxiClean powders

OxiClean in stores
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Who could resist being enthralled by those early OxiClean commercials? A scoop of powder was all it took to transform a bowl of purple water into one that was clear. If you happen to have a tub of OxiClean powder tucked away on a back shelf, pull it out. Chances are it’s still good.

OxiClean says its Versatile Stain Remover and Versatile Stain Remover Free powder products don’t expire so long as the container is kept closed and the contents dry. If moisture gets into the powder, it will clump, but you can still use it by pre-dissolving it in hot water.

4. Toilet paper

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If there is anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s the importance of keeping a healthy stockpile of toilet paper. As a bulky product, toilet paper can be difficult to store, but under the right conditions, it should last indefinitely.

That means keeping it in a cool, dry place. Paper that gets wet can mold while tissue exposed to heat can dry up and deteriorate.

Storing toilet paper in its original plastic wrap is one way to keep it in tip-top shape. Also, be wary of placing it under sinks where it could be ruined by leaks.

5. Lightbulbs

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Unused lightbulbs shouldn’t expire, but they are delicate, which can make long-term storage tricky. Keeping them in their original packaging is best, but if that’s not an option, you can use tissue, newspaper or bubble wrap to keep them safe.

It’s also best to keep them in a cool, dry place. Moisture or heat could degrade the elements and shorten your lightbulbs’ lifespan.

6. Furnace filters

Senior man changing a folded dirty air filter in the HVAC furnace system in basement of home
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When you see a deal on furnace filters, go ahead and snag some extras. They won’t go bad so long as you store them in a cool, dry place. If they are wrapped in plastic, keep them in that packaging until its time to use them.

Of course, once you put a filter into your furnace, you have only about three months or so until it needs to be replaced. A clogged filter can reduce the effectiveness of your furnace, increase your energy costs and allow allergens to circulate throughout your house. So mark your calendar and don’t miss this vital home maintenance task.

7. Storage bags

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Plastic can seemingly last forever. That’s bad news for the environment, but it means you can safely stock up on plastic sandwich and storage bags whenever there is a deal.

But before you run out and fill your cabinet with plastic bags, consider that reusable containers could save you money in the long run.

For more eco-friendly ideas, check out: “9 Simple Ways to Cut Plastic Waste.”