PEOPLE are only just realising there is a symbol on hot water bottles with a "secret code".
For the past few weeks, hot water bottle users have been sharing their discoveries across social media.
TikTok users have posted videos on the app alerting followers to the special symbol that the winter warmer comes with.
Each hot water bottle has a daisy wheel on it to let the user know when it was made.
People on the app have been showing the "secret code" and some have warned that you should throw your bottle out after three years.
Commenters were quick to check their own and were shocked.
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One wrote: "I checked mine and it was 2017! It’s in the bin now."
Another said: "My mum made me throw mine out cause it's nearly five years old."
While one woman was shocked to find that she had one at home older than her.
But what is the code and how do you when to throw your hot water bottle away?
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We went to the experts to find out.
The British Standards Institution (BSI) explained what the symbol means and how to work out the year it was made.
A spokesperson said: “The date daisy is a symbol in the shape of a daisy, with 12 petals.
“The year is shown in the middle, and the petals are filled in according to which month the bottle was manufactured.
"So a petal with 22 in the middle and the first 8 petals filled with dots indicates a bottle that was manufactured in August 2022.”
Although, the BSI didn't say exactly how many years you should keep your hot water bottle before throwing it away.
It did warn users to keep an eye out for "wear and tear" as they do thin the more they're used.
Dan Palmer, associate director of committees at BSI, said: “It’s important to check them for signs of damage before use no matter how old they are."
He added that in order for rubber or PVC hot water bottles to meet the legal standard, they should be marked with the date of manufacture.
They should also be accompanied by a safety warning together with advice on safe use.
Meanwhile, the Office for Product Safety and Standards warned that people should "always follow the manufacturers advice".
How to use hot water bottles safely
It comes as consumer champion Alice Beer told This Morning viewers last month that she had been contacted via Instagram by a parent whose child suffered third-degree burns after her hot water bottle had burst.
Alice said this was now becoming a common issue, adding that a London hospital is seeing people with hot water bottle burns at least once a week.
She said: "Half of hot water bottle injuries need skin grafts and surgeries. These are not surface burns, these go really deep."
Alice warned that a regular hot water bottle should last up to three years before people should think about finding a replacement.
She advised people to check the date of manufacture on any hot water bottle they have.
Hot water bottles have grown in popularity in recent months as people are turning to them as a way to keep warm without putting their heating on.
If you're worried about how long your hot water bottle could last, you should check with the manufacturer.
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Make sure to check it for signs of wear and tear and don't fill it with boiling water from a kettle as the temperature can cause the rubber to split.
Instead, wait for the kettle to cool before filling the bottle.
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