You may be able to determine if the mystery item in the back section of the fridge has gone bad by a deep, hearty inhale, but does the nose test work on salon products? Read below to learn what it's time to throw out your stock — and how to do it without harming the earth.
Optimal storage conditions: Store in a cool, dry area, out of direct sunlight
Average shelf life: If unopened and stored properly, product can last two years, but it depends on the ingredients.
How you can tell if it's gone bad: You’ll note a change of consistency or color. If the item contains certain oils, it could emit an odor as it ages. Also, if not properly sealed, these items will begin to harden as their moisture evaporates.
How to dispose of it: Clean out the container by emptying the contents into a paper towel and throwing the product away in the garbage. Most products of this type decompose into organic material.
Optimal storage conditions: Store glue in an area that will not exceed 120° F. Keep away from products that may puncture the tube or container.
Average shelf life: Most manufacturers recommend glue be used within a year.
How you can tell if it's gone bad: Glue becomes thick, stringy, or hard.
How to dispose of it: Hardened glue can be thrown away since it’s inert.
Optimal storage conditions: Avoid direct sunlight or excessive heat. Store oil in dark glass instead of in plastic containers.
Average shelf life: Oil can go rancid or begin to lose its aromatic properties within approximately six months to a year, depending on the oil.
How you can tell if it's gone bad: You’ll be able to identify rancid oil by odor.
How to dispose of it: Pour into absorbent material (like paper towels) and dispose of material by standard garbage removal.
Optimal storage conditions: Do not store product near open flame or excessive heat. Keep in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight.
Average shelf life: If unopened and stored properly, disinfectant can maintain effectiveness for 10+ years. Once the container has been opened, the product may begin to evaporate.
How you can tell if it's gone bad: The product won’t lose its viability, but the color can change
How to dispose of it: Undiluted product may not be poured down the drain. Pour unused liquid into paper towels or other absorbent material, place in sealed container, and dispose of material according to local, state, and federal regulations. Recycle packaging.
Optimal storage conditions: Store out of direct sunlight, in a cool, dry environment.
Average shelf life: Moisturizers that are unopened can last up to three or four years, though they won’t last that long if they’re exposed to sunlight (such as sitting in a store-front window).
How you can tell if it's gone bad: Watch for a change in color, texture, or aroma (depending on the ingredients). If moisturizers are left open, the water in them can evaporate and the texture of the product will change as the water content is altered.
How to dispose of it: If the product is made of biodegradable material, it can simply be disposed of in the trash and the container recycled.
Optimal storage conditions: Store in cool, dry area, out of direct sunlight and away from intense heat. Exposure to heat and sunlight could initiate the photo activity of the product, causing it to begin to cure.
Average shelf life: Could last up to 10 years if it’s stored properly in its sealed container.
How you can tell if it's gone bad: If stored improperly or exposed to heat or sunlight, gel can harden.
How to dispose of it: Place in sealed container for disposal. Dispose according to local, state, and federal regulations for hazardous products. Recycle container if possible.
Optimal storage conditions: Store in a cool, dry area. Keep out of direct sun and excessive heat. If the product is stored in excessive temperatures, it will be compromised. Flashpoints* of some acrylic liquids could be as low as 68° F — so be sure to keep containers covered and away from any source of ignition.
Average shelf life: Stored properly, liquid should last up to three years.
How you can tell if it's gone bad: Product will begin to gel, and may eventually become a solid.
How to dispose of it: Qualifies as a hazardous product. Check local, state, and federal regulations. If less than one gallon, pour liquid into clothes or towels and dispose in a covered container. If more than a gallon, absorb with dirt or sand; shovel moistened earth material into a container and dispose according to hazardous waste regulations. If monomer has cured (polymerized) into a solid block, it is safe to throw in the trash. Do not put down the drain. ACRYLIC POWDER
Optimal storage conditions: Store in cool, dry area in a well-marked container. Avoid excessive heat (120° F) and direct sunlight.
Average shelf life: Normally up to three years, possibly longer. Powder won’t go bad on the shelf if it’s stored in a closed container. Moisture in the air interacts with the powder when the container is not sealed tightly.
How you can tell if it's gone bad: f the powder has been compromised by moisture, you will see a discoloration or a change in texture. Very old powder may lose its ability to cause the monomer to cure.
How to dispose of it: owder can cause nose, throat, and eye irritation, so be sure to place unused powder in a sealed container and dispose according to local, state, and federal regulations. Do not flush down the drain.
Optimal storage conditions: Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area, away from open flames or any source of ignition. Flashpoint can be as low as mid-50° F. Keep in well-marked container with top tightly sealed. Don’t store primer in areas where temperatures will rise to over 100° F.
Average shelf life: Primer has an indefinite shelf life if it’s stored properly.
How you can tell if it's gone bad: The product won’t “go bad,” but it can evaporate, so be sure to close the container properly to preserve the product.
How to dispose of it: Pour unused product into absorbent material; place in sealed container, and dispose of container according to local, state, and federal regulations for hazardous waste. Do not pour down the drain.
Optimal storage conditions: Store in a cool, dry area, out of direct sunlight.
Average shelf life: Nail polish will last indefinitely, but if it’s been sitting around awhile, you’ll need to give it a good shake to get it back into prime condition. Once it’s been opened, it eventually begins to thicken because of its exposure to air.
How you can tell if it's gone bad: Polish becomes stringy, thick, and unworkable.
How to dispose of it: Dispose of nail polish as you would any other paint or hazardous waste: Go down to your local waste disposal facility — usually only on certain days of the month — and turn them over to the local government to dispose of them properly.**
*The flashpoint is the lowest temperature at which the vapors of a material could ignite if they were exposed to a source of ignition, such as a spark.
**Throw all your bottles into a large container and take them to the waste facility all at once — instead of making a trip every time you’re ready to get rid of one bottle!
Finding a Disposal Site
Many manufacturers advise techs to follow “local, state, and federal regulations.” That presents a frustrating problem as you try to navigate an automated phone system to learn the best way to dispose of hazardous waste material. This may be easier: www.earth911.org. You should be able to find a number to call for the waste disposal facility in your area. Be sure to let them know you have business waste, which is handled differently from household waste.