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Whether on the East Coast or the West Coast, Spring has always been one of my favorite times of the year. The warmer temperatures set the tone for new beginnings, and as a busy mom of four, one thing I look forward to most is a deep spring cleaning of our home. Like children anxiously await the Easter bunny, mom is equally excited to welcome the month of April with an urge to purge. Closets, drawers and shelves, oh my! But no matter how deep of a clean I try and accomplish, there’s one place that tends to slip my mind.
When I recently opened my medicine cabinet, it was filled with expired prescription bottles and expired over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. With the grit and determination of the deepest spring cleaner, I started to rummage through them and take an expired inventory. I am embarrassed to admit that I had over 20 bottles of expired OTC medicine? YES. And I’m not just talking about cough syrup. I felt a slight pang of guilt thinking “Why have I never done this before? Out of sight out of mind?” With four kids in constant motion in our house, I suppose my trepidation was not actually knowing how to properly dispose of expired medications. And for that, I sadly let them stay put. Who knew that expired medicines could actually do more harm than good? According to the research, it looks like I am not alone:
- 62% of adults have never sought information on how to properly dispose their expired over-the-counter (OTC) medicines
- 50% of adults say they typically dispose of unwanted or expired OTC meds in the trash but only 8% mix them with undesirable substances before tossing.
What To Do With Expired OTC Medicine
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are three steps for safe disposal of medicines:
Step One: Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
Step Two: Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag.
Step Three: Throw the container in your household trash.
Seems as though many of us moms are not #winning when it comes to checking the expiration and properly disposing of these OTC medicines. But seeing as though it’s as easy as repurposing old coffee grinds, while feeling that satisfaction of purging yet another cabinet, we’ve got this! Checking for dates is not only an easily attainable healthy habit, it also provides another reason to stay organized and relevant with so many new and improved products on the market. Thanks to the folks at Know Your OTC’s, this educational video highlights the three proper disposal steps you need to know! Have you, too, let your medicine cabinet slip through the spring cleaning cracks?! Comment Below!
I’m proud to take part as a blogging ambassador with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and KnowYourOTCs.org. This is a sponsored post. While I have received compensation by the CHPA Educational Foundation, KnowYourOTCs, all opinions are my own.