Here is our handy guide on when to replace common household items
How long has it been since you replaced your mattress? And when did you buy that fire extinguisher? What is the shelf life for a jar of dried oregano? Our homes are filled with so many items that often fade into the background as we go about our daily routines. Take a moment to turn your attention to many of these household items to see if it’s time to toss and refresh.
In The Kitchen
|How often should I replace the kitchen sponge?|
That go-to kitchen sponge that is constantly used multiple times of the day is the one item that needs to be tossed on a regular basis. Depending on whom you ask, it ranges from once a day to once a week. Aim for replacing it every 5-7 days. Extend its life by tossing it every day into the top rack of your dishwasher or microwave it on high for one minute to kill bacteria. Do not wait until it “looks bad.” It’s what you can’t see that you should worry about the most.
|How long do herbs and spices last?|
Of course, the answer here will depend on how often you hit up your spice cabinet when cooking. For the average cook, there are a core batch of bottled herbs and spices that get used often, like cinnamon and thyme. Then we tend to accumulate miscellaneous herbs for the occasional recipe that then rarely gets used again. The result can be a spice cabinet filled with spices that are losing their flavor. Dried spices can last up to 3 years. Take inventory and toss any that you can’t remember the last time, if ever, that you used it.
In The Bedroom
|How often should I replace my mattress?|
Generally, mattresses should be replaced every 5-10 years. There are plenty of factors to consider, like how often you sleep on it, how often you rotate it, etc. If you start to consistently experience a bad night’s sleep, or you can’t remember the last time you bought a mattress, then it could be a sign that it’s time to replace your mattress. When you do buy a new mattress, consider purchasing a mattress pad to help extend the life of the mattress.
|How often should I replace my pillows?|
Replace bed pillows every 6-12 months. Pillows accumulate all sorts of things, like dead skin cells, your body’s natural oils, drool and dust mites. Not to mention, their stuffing will eventually break down and not deliver the support that you experienced when you bought them in the first place.
In The Bathroom
|When should I replace my bathroom towels?|
Let your senses be your guide. If it seems like your towels have lost their absorbency or have a smell that won’t go away even after a washing, then it’s probably time to replace them. Did you know that there are tricks to washing your bath towels that can keep them fluffy and soft longer? Read our tips on How to Wash Towels to Keep them Looking Good and Feeling Soft.
|When should I replace my toothbrush?|
According to the American Dental Association, replace your toothbrush every three to four months or whenever the bristles begin to fray.
|When should I replace the bath pouf?|
Just like a kitchen sponge, a bath pouf can be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Plan to replace a pouf at least once a month. Hang it between uses so that it dries completely.
Throughout The House
|When should I replace the air filters?|
This can depend on your climate and your location, but generally, you should replace air filters every three to six months.
|Do fire extinguishers need to be replaced?|
Most of us add a few fire extinguishers around the house and then forget about them. Most extinguishers will work five to 15 years. If the pressure gauge needle is in the green areas, then it should function just fine. If it’s not, or if it looks like there is some wear and tear that makes you question whether it will work, then either replace it or have it serviced by a qualified professional.
|When should I replace the smoke detectors?|
Replace the batteries every year. While you’re up there, check the date of manufacture. If it is greater than ten years old, then replace the entire unit.