Tips to properly clean out medicine cabinet

Friday is National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day

Stock image. Pixabay (Pexels)

On one episode of the hit TV series “Seinfeld,” the character Jerry decides to take a peek into his girlfriend’s medicine cabinet while using her bathroom.

To many fans of the show, it was a hilarious episode where what Jerry found became an obsession and led to a debate of how ethical it is to look in another’s medicine cabinet.

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While that was comedy, people in everyday life likely have weird things in their medicine cabinet, and possibly have had it in there for way longer than they should.

In honor of Friday being “National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day,” here are some tips if you need to clean out that medicine cabinet and dispose of any old medicine that’s way past its expiration date.

Before getting to those tips, feel free to answer the question below.

How often should you clean out your medicine cabinet?

It’s a good idea to go through your medicine cabinet every six months, according to an article on Lifespan.

This is so items that are no longer needed or expired can be removed. Most products have an expiration date from the manufacturer, including creams, vitamins or supplements.

Prescription drugs might have a one-year expiration date.

What should be removed from your medicine cabinet?

Examples of items that should be removed are:

  • Products that are past their expiration date.
  • Products with noticeable change in color, taste or smell.
  • Prescription medications you are no longer taking.
  • Items not marked or in their original containers.

How should you get rid of old medication?

The first way to do so is to try to find an authorized drug disposal site in the area. Disposing of medications properly can aid the health of water supplies and prevent drug abuse.

Disposal sites can be found on state or local government websites.

If you can’t get to a disposal site, you can get rid of old medicine through these steps:

  • Take medicine out of original container and mix it with an undesirable substance such as coffee grounds or kitty litter.
  • Place medicine in a disposable container with a lid or plastic bag that’s sealable.
  • Remove or hide any personal information from containers.
  • Put the bag or sealed container, and the empty containers, in the regular trash.

Many expired medications are not safe to flush down the toilet, although the Food and Drug Administration has recommended flushing some prescription pain medications that are expired to prevent overdose or accidental ingestion. The label on the bottle should say whether it’s safe to be flushed.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is upcoming

On April 27, the Drug Enforcement Administration will hold its annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which is meant to serve as a safe and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs.

Click or tap here to find a collection site near you.

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.

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