This time of the year is all about cleaning, purging and reorganizing. While we all want to jump in and make big changes around the home you can start slowly by replacing these household items.
11 Household Items That You Need To Replace
I love the New Year, it always feels like a great time to start new and clean. When I start looking around our house I actually get totally overwhelmed because I know there is so much purging we should and could be doing this time of the year. But for this week I will be focusing on a few key household items that I know need to be replaced and a few that I had no idea needed to be replaced so often.
Spices and Extracts
This surprised me. We have had our spice rack for years, I never thought about throwing out the spices and started fresh. Even dry foods such as spices have an expiry date. Although they don’t actually get bad, they will lose their potency over time. Ground spices should be replaced every 2 years, and the whole spices can last for up to 4 years. Extracts will last for 4 years. Keep in mind that you must keep the spices correctly for them to last this long.
I am not a big sponge user because they kind of gross me out. Good reason I guess! HA! Did you know that sponges collect some of the grossest things in your kitchen, and can become breeding grounds for bacteria like E.coli, salmonella, yeast and mold. YUCK! That being said, they can be cleaned daily in hot, soapy water, zapping wet sponges in the microwave for a minute or two, or running them through the dishwasher. But even with these cleaning options those sponges will need to be replaced every week or so, or when it gets slimy or stinky!
Disclosure, I still have some of the cutting boards we registered for when we got married in 2003!! So obviously this whole replacing cutting boards is news to me! Now I am not talking about that high quality wooden cutting board, I am talking about those plastic ones. Plastic cutting board can become scarred (which happens much more quickly than with wood boards). Knife scars on plastic boards are not clean incisions. The cuts fracture, creating a microscopic web of fissures below the surface which provide a safe harbor for bacteria. Yikes. So the advice given is to replace those plastic cutting boards every two years or invest in a good wooden cutting board and keep it clean and dry.
Our mouths can be pretty dirty places, and all that scrubbing at food and bacteria can soon take a toll on out toothbrushes. So gross when you think about it. How often you should get a new toothbrush really depends on the individual, usage, health and personal preferences. Some toothbrushes also wear much better than others, which is something to bear in mind. But a rough replacement time should be every 3 months. Obviously, this can change if it’s stored in proximity to others’, you’ve been sick, or the bristles are looking particularly worn.
Just like your toothbrush a hairbrush needed to be replaced really depends on the usage and preference. It is important to replace hair brushes if you contract lice or if the bristles show wear. To be on the safe side wash your brush in warm water and shampoo every few months and if worn replace.
Contact Lenses Case
Your eye safety is so important. You know how to take care of your actual contact lenses but have you considered the cases you place them in overnight? You should replace your contact case every 3 months to avoid the risk of getting an eye infection. Just like the toothbrush and hairbrush suggestion you should replace the contact lenses case more often if you are dealing with an infection.
Make-Up and Make-Up Applicators
Okay, I am totally missing the boat on this one. Make-up expires, did you know that? I mean, I usually thrown my old make-up out when I get something new or updated but I have so much old make-up that I obviously need to throw out. Over time, cosmetics can develop and grow bacteria, which could lead to all sorts of nasty infections. OH GROSS!!
Here are some general guidelines:
- Mascara – every 3 months
- Lipstick – every 1.5 years
- Eyeshadow – every year
- Foundation/powder/blusher – 1 year
So we talked about the make-up but what about the applicators? The make-up brushes should be washed in warm water and baby shampoo weekly and replaced every 3 years or so. The make-up sponges should be replaced monthly. I do know that some people wash those as well. General rule – when in doubt toss it out!
You use your pillow every day for at least 8 hours (hopefully!). You should replace your bed pillows every 2 years or when the pillow stops feeling supportive. Pillows can harbor bacteria, dead skin cells, and dust mites. Sounds lovely right? Some people also wash their pillows every month to help keep them clean.
This one that I probably do more than others. I love buying new bathroom towels. There really isn’t a rule here but most research I have found suggests you should do this when the towels lose their absorbency and fluffiness, which is usually every 2 years or so. Another thing to watch, or smell for, is how your towels smell. If they stink after they have been freshly laundered it is time to go shopping!
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the toilet brush is an item that should be replaced. Toilet brushes arguably have the dirtiest job in the home, so it seems logical that they’d need replacing over time. That being said, if the brush is not looking worn or dirty and it is disinfected regularly, you can get away with replacing your toilet brush once a year.
Change your shower pouf every 3 weeks to keep your shower as hygienic as you intend it to be. Why so often? One of the reasons scrubbing with a loofah feels so good, is that it exfoliates the skin, removing dead and dry skin cells. All these skin cells then remain in your wet pouf – the perfect breeding ground for germs and other bacteria. Stock up on these to insure you are keeping your body clean.
While this isn’t all of the household items that should be replaced it is a good start and I am excited to get started now that we are in the New Year.
What are some household items that you replace often?
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