Many of us are guilty of trying to eke out the last breath of common household items—it’s expensive and time consuming to keep up with it all! But to keep your home and body running efficiently, check out our recommendations on when to replace everyday items.
Lifespan: One month
Signs it’s time to go: Sponges aren’t too sneaky about looking fresh if they’re not. If the sponge won’t give up its odor, becomes hard and brittle, tears or breaks apart or has food/gunk matted into it, it’s time to toss it. You can also prolong the life of your sponges by disinfecting them in the microwave. Click here for instructions.
Lifespan: One year
Signs it’s time to go: Dried herbs and spices lose their flavor over time, especially if they are exposed to the air. To tell if your spices are past their prime, open the bag or jar and take a whiff. If there’s no scent, there won’t be any flavor.
Lifespan: Keep it as long as it’s crack-free
Signs it’s time to go: Chopping boards, specifically wooden ones, are breeding grounds for bacteria. Boards that have cracks and cuts that are deep and hard to clean means they may be harboring bacteria which shows up like dark spots and splotches. Plastic boards that can go in the dishwasher will last longer than their wooden counterparts, but all boards should be washed and dried immediately after use to keep them germ-free.
Lifespan: Six months
Signs it’s time to go: You can avoid drinking unwanted chemicals, particles and bacteria by changing your refrigerator water filter on a regular basis. Most refrigerators with a water filtration system will alert you when it’s time to replace the filter—usually every six months or so. Contact your fridge’s manufacturer for instructions on where to buy replacements and how to change them.
Lifespan: 3-4 months
Signs it’s time to go: If your heating/cooling system is acting a little funny (running short cycles and inconsistent behavior), it’s a good sign that your filter is clogged and needs to be replaced. To keep your system running efficiently, filters should be replaced three to four times a year. Buy a bunch of filters to keep on hand and set a reminder for yourself to change them once a quarter—trust us, it’s a lot cheaper than calling a repairman for a burnt system!
Lifespan: Three months to two years
Signs it’s time to go: Microbe growth in makeup can cause skin irritations and infections, especially liquid cosmetics, which build up bacteria more quickly. Stay looking gorgeous by keeping mascara for a maximum of three months; other liquids and creams (eyeliner, foundation) for no more than a year; powders (eyeshadow, blush) can be used safely for up to two years.
Lifespan: 2-3 months
Signs it’s time to go: If your bristles are frayed and sticking out in all directions, time for a new one! Older bristles lose their strength which minimizes the effectiveness of your brushing, so be sure to replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months. Also, if you’ve recently been ill, avoid re-infecting yourself by treating yourself to a new brush.
Do you have any stay-healthy tips for keeping things clean and increasing their longevity? Do share!