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Vitamins can be a fantastic thing for your body when under the supervision of a doctor. They allow a simple solution for those who are not receiving enough of the essential vitamins and minerals they need due to medical reasons. However, what are you supposed to do with expired or old vitamins when you don’t use up the entire bottle? Are they still safe to consume? Or are you able to simply throw them in the trash? In this article, we take a look at how to dispose of old vitamins, so you can take the necessary precautions to not put anyone or anything in danger.

Do Supplements and Vitamins Expire?


Now, for the burning question – do supplements and vitamins actually expire? While vitamins don’t exactly “expire” in the traditional sense, they do become less potent. Most of the ingredients in vitamins and supplements break down gradually, becoming less effective over time. tells us more about the expiry dates that are included on bottles of over-the-counter medications like vitamins in A Guide to Handling Supplements and Vitamins Responsibly:

“Prescription medications and over-the-counter medications, including vitamins and other dietary supplements, all have an expiration and “best if used by” dates. Typically, prescription medications have a one-year shelf life, while vitamins and supplements generally vary from three months to two years.”

Drop Them Off

Your best and easiest option for disposing of old vitamins is to research drug drop-off days in your area. Yes, this means that you may need to hold onto them a little longer than you’d like, but this is the safest and smartest choice for getting rid of expired vitamins.

Sara Ipatenco of SFGate tells us more about drug drop-off programs:

“One of the safest ways to dispose of old vitamins is to take advantage of drug drop-off days that most large cities and towns host over the course of a year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, these drop-off events are the first choice when it comes to getting rid of old or expired vitamins, as well as other medications and drugs. Call your local government to see if your area holds these events. Household hazardous waste collection events are another option, the EPA notes.”

Disposing of Expired Vitamins

If tracking down a drug drop-off program isn’t for you, how do you dispose of your expired vitamins? It’s extremely important that expired vitamins are disposed of properly and that they are never simply thrown in the trash. Not only can you risk children and animals in the home finding them in the garbage and consuming them, but they are not good for our environment. Even flushing them down the toilet can lead to water contamination.

The FDA recommends that you:

1. Mix the vitamins with used coffee grounds or cat litter.

2. Put the mixture into a sealed bag or container.

3. Throw the entire container in the trash.

We offer a wide variety of waste disposal options, including how to correctly dispose of old vitamins and other potentially harmful waste, with services readily available online. Reach out to us to see what we can offer you.

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