3 Things to Do With Expired Condoms

Handy tips that actually work

When used correctly and within the expiration date, condoms provide over 98% protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Whether for vaginal, anal, or oral sex (or cut up into dental dams), condoms are still the best means of STD prevention, allowing you to enjoy sex fully and with utter confidence.

But what do you do when a condom expires?

An expired condom is something that most everyone will be faced with at one time or another. And, as with expired food or expired drugs, it's perfectly natural to wonder if it really makes a difference if it's a little past its sell-by date.

The fact is it may not be, but when practicing safer sex, why take the chance? Unlike bad food that can make you ill or an expired drug that may not work as well, a faulty condom can leave you with a far more serious—and sometimes life-altering—consequence.

So, if ever you find yourself with a bunch of unused and expired condoms (either because you bought them late or they got lost in the bottom of a drawer), you don't have to necessarily toss them away. With a little creativity, you can give them a second life.


Make Sex Toy Play Safer

Condom and Sex Toy
Elizabeth R. Boskey

One of the best uses of an expired condom is to make sex toy play safer. If you share sex toys with a partner, such as a dildo or a vibrator, you should never pass them from one person to the next without first ensuring the toy is sanitized and free of possible contagions, including fecal matter.

One way to do so is to "glove up" your toys in the same way you would a penis. The expiration date doesn't matter nearly as much when used in this fashion since there is no significant downside to a breakage (other than having to clean the toy sooner and more thoroughly).

When using condoms with sex toys, they should be put on the toy before use and discarded and changed between partners.

Swapping out a condom is far easier than having to stop and sanitize a toy that you both want to share in the heat of the moment.


Waterproof Your Belongings

Condoms in Factory
Luis Davilla/Getty Images

Most people don't think of condoms as being essential for camping or other outdoor activities, but remember what condoms are meant to do: provide a water-tight barrier so that fluids cannot enter or leave.

Despite the fact that condoms appear delicate, they are extremely elastic and can easily cover a cell phone to prevent moisture damage when on a boating trip. And, rather than lugging big bottles of shampoo or body wash when camping, why not create single-use portions that you can break open, use, and throw away?

Even when embarking a long trip, placing your chronic medication bottles in a condom ensures they won't get damaged should a bottle of mouthwash accidentally break open and soak everything else.


Protect Your Hands

Patrick Foto/Getty Images

Let's say that you dropped your keys into the toilet or need to clean out a really yucky clogged drainpipe or gutter. If you find that you neither had a pair of gloves handy nor the time to run out to buy some, you can protect your hands by tugging out a condom and slipping it over your hand.

Sure, it's not the most robust hand protector you'll ever find, but condoms are far stronger than most people imagine. If needed, you can even double up with two (something you should never do during sex).

Some people will even use them to protect their hands when mixing colored plaster for art projects or preparing raw beets which can readily stain the hands.

How "handy" is that?

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