Let's face it, most of us probably don't think much about replacing everyday household items, the ones we hang onto for months or even years. But hiding in our kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms are many tools and products that should be refreshed on a regular basis to prevent illness and disease, or just to ensure that they're actually working properly.
Here are the top 10 things you might want to replace in 2019:
- Kitchen sponges: Boil it, microwave it, soak it in bleach: it doesn't matter. A 2017 study says that kitchen sponges continue to harbor disease-causing bacteria, despite our best efforts. Experts recommend replacing your sponge every 1 to 2 weeks.
- Spices: Old spices probably won't hurt you, but they won't make your food taste any better, either. Make it a habit to survey your cabinets once a year and get rid of anything that's been in there for way too long. Whole spices can last up to 4 years, but ground spices and dried herbs should be replaced every 1 to 2 years.
- Damaged pots and pans: Get rid of any nonstick pots and pans that are scratched or damaged. If the coating is compromised it can get into your food and release toxic chemicals during cooking.
- Cutting boards: A well-loved cutting board can also be a haven for bacteria and disease. If your cutting board is full of scratches and grooves, replace it right away.
- Makeup & makeup tools: Everyday items like mascara, eyeliner or concealer can carry bacteria that can cause infection or make skin worse. Replace heavy-use items about every three months. Similarly, makeup sponges, brushes and tools should be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis.
- Toothbrush: Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months, or after a trip or an illness.
- Shower poufs and sponges: The shower pouf is like the kitchen sponge of the bathroom, providing the perfect environment for bacteria and mold. Dry out your sponge in between each use, and replace it every 1-2 months.
- Sunscreen: Sunscreen loses its effectiveness over time, and even faster if it's exposed to high temperatures (like from sitting in your beach bag every day over the summer). If you have an unopened tube of sunscreen, it will be good for up to three years. Otherwise, get a fresh one.
- Filters: Filters are there to keep our air and water clean, and if they're overloaded they can't do their jobs. Follow the manufacturer's replacement schedule for air and water filters; replace more frequently if someone in the home has serious allergies or asthma.
- Pillows: Pillows can get nasty and dirty from hours of use each night. The material inside low-quality pillows can also break down fairly quickly, giving your neck and head less support. Experts recommend replacing your pillows every six months. If you have a higher quality or memory foam pillow, you can get away with replacing it every 1 to 2 years.
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