Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February Week 4: Hygiene Items

This week's food storage/emergency prep item is:

February Week 4: Hygiene Items -- soap, deodorant, shampoo, lotions, shaving supplies, toothpaste, nail clippers

This one is pretty simple, and the amount you store would be the same for the past weeks... store what you will use in the coming year. Buy in bulk at Costco, or look through the sales and see where you can get the best deals. I have a small bin that I keep smaller items in (like shaving supplies, deodorant and nail clippers). You might wonder why you would have a perfectly good pair of nail clippers in your emergency supply. It is so that you'll have one there that you don't use, but that will always be there (in case you need such a thing and can't find any others when you really need one), which, by the way, is the same for most of the non-consumables in your emergency supply!

For shaving supplies, my family never uses or rotates through what I store, so I never need to re-purchase them when it comes to this week every year. You know those free shavers that you get in the mail or with your Sunday paper once in a while? I throw those into that bin, too, so I have a good collection that will get us through our shaving needs if at some point we have to shut ourselves in our food storage room and live off of whatever is on the selves (Not sure why we would ever have to do that, but if we did, we'd be okay... AND we'd have nail clippers!)

For soap, store both bar and anti-bacterial hand soap. The soap, deodorant, shampoo, lotions and toothpaste should all be rotated through, so buy items that you use, and be sure to take and rotate from your shelves as you go. These items may have a lot longer than a year before they expire, so you may be able to leave them on for more than one year's rotation. Check to see if they have expiration dates on them. You can generally go about a year past the expirations on these items.

There are plenty of resources online, and you'll get a lot of different opinions on expiration dates of soaps and hygiene items. I found this list from Real Simple a couple of months ago, and they have some information on a whole smattering of items:

As a guideline, I've included a list below from Real Simple that includes some expiration dates for regular household items, including cleansers. I think some of the dates are on the conservative side, as I've used some of the items well after the time shown below, and they've still been fine.

Air freshener, aerosol
2 years

Antifreeze, premixed
1 to 5 years

Antifreeze, concentrate

Batteries, alkaline
7 years

Batteries, lithium
10 years

3 to 6 months

Dish detergent, liquid or powdered
1 year

Fire extinguisher, rechargeable
Service or replace every 6 years

Fire extinguisher, nonrechargeable
12 years

Laundry detergent, liquid or powdered
Unopened: 9 months to 1 year
Opened: 6 months

Metal polish (silver, copper, brass)
At least 3 years

Miracle Gro, liquid
Opened: 3 to 8 years

Miracle Gro, liquid, water-soluble

Motor oil
Unopened: 2 to 5 years
Opened: 3 months

Mr. Clean
2 years

Unopened: Up to 10 years
Opened: 2 to 5 years

Spray paint
2 to 3 years

2 years

Wood polish (Pledge)
2 years

Once you have decided how much of each item that you need in a year's time, go to the inventory sheet and change those numbers to reflect your family's needs. Then, put them on your grocery list, and when you have purchased what you need and have it all on the shelves, make the notations on the inventory sheet, and you will be done for the week! Yay!

If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the most up-to-date post that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.

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