10 Household Items That You Need to Replace Regularly

There are items in your home that need to be replaced on a regular basis. Some of the obvious ones are the flowers that are starting to wilt, an empty bottle of shampoo, your supply of bottled water, and more. However, there are the not-so-obvious ones that if not replaced regularly can compromise you and your family’s health. Read on below to find out what those household items are:

1. Sponges

Depending on how often you use a sponge, you will need to replace it every two weeks. But if you use a dishwasher, you can replace it every eight weeks. In addition, you need to boil or microwave your sponge once a week.

If you do not have the time, you can simply toss it on the top rack of your dishwasher to make sure that it is dry.

Doing so allows you to sanitize your sponge to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.

2. Food Storage Containers

Just because your food storage is made of plastic, it does not mean that you can reuse it over and over. The safety of a plastic container varies depending on the recycling indicator found at the bottom:

  • 1 Polyethylene Terephthalate (PTE): Can be recycled into bottles and polyester fibers.
  • 2 High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE): Can be recycled into bottles and bags.
  • 3 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): Non-recyclable and a major environmental health threat.
  • 4 Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE): Can be recycled into bags and other food wrappings.
  • 5 Polypropylene (PP): Can be recycled into bottles and other food containers.
  • 6 Polystyrene (PS): Also known as styrofoams, it is difficult to recycle but it can be reused.
  • 7 Other: A mixture of everything and generally non-recyclable.

Regardless, the general rule is to throw a plastic container that is cloudy, warped, stained, or scratched.

3. Water Filters

The filter that you used on your water pitcher or your fridge’s water dispenser needs to be replaced as indicated in the manual that comes with it. The replacement procedure should also be indicated in the manual.

Otherwise, you should replace it every six months. As for your pitcher water filters, it should be changed every 40 gallons of water or every two months (whichever comes first).

Unreplaced water filters can harbor bacteria, as well as make it difficult for your water filtration system to work. Thus, your water will not be potable and you cannot make a hydroponic solution at home.

4. Refrigerator Filters

To protect yourself from chemicals and hazardous mineral exposure, you will need to replace your refrigerator filters every six months. Otherwise, your drinking water could be subject to chlorine or lead.

5. Spices

While old spices do not pose a health risk, it loses its flavor and health benefits eventually.

The rule of thumb is that you should replace your dried leafy herbs every year, your ground spices every two years, and whole spices every four years.

Nonetheless, it is best to make the best out of your spices such as turning them into insect and pest repellant or mixing them with water for a fun painting activity.

6. Toothbrush

Aside from bristles wearing out and going fray, your toothbrush can be a breeding ground for bacteria eventually. Thus, it is advised that you replace it at least every three months. This ensures that you are keeping your teeth clean and that you are not ingesting bacteria.

Got to no time to buy a new toothbrush every quarter? You can use Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program to get a new toothbrush shipped to your doorsteps every three months.

7. Bath Towels

Just like sponges, it is important to keep your bath towels clean and dry since it is usually covered with bacteria like coliform and E. coli. The risk is definitely high when the bacteria come in contact with flesh wounds.

It is advised that you replace a bath towel every two years or when it starts to wear and lose its absorbency. If you are renting your property to guests, make sure to take note of this when you hire a cleaning service for Airbnb.

You can choose to donate your old bath towels to animal shelters, turn them into pet mats, or reuse as cleaning rags.

8. Mattress Cover

The problem with an old mattress is that it is an invitation to bed bugs and it can worsen your posture.

Sure, using a mattress cover can make your mattress last longer. Nonetheless, you should replace it every five to ten years. You can even replace it sooner than expected if you are starting to experience back or neck pains or you are having a hard time to sleep.

What can you do with an old mattress? They can be recycled with the help of facilities like Bye Bye Mattress.

9. Carpet

Your carpet can hold a lot of pollen, mold, and allergens. If you have a pet, there is a big chance that it peed on it multiple times. Breathing in pet urine can cause allergens, asthma, and skin and eye irritation.

That said, it is advisable to replace your carpet every 10 years. It can be sooner if it already endured a lot of pet damage.

If you think this is too much of a hassle, then you can start with replacing the carpet that is most damaged or those that are in the high-traffic area in your home.

There are also carpet reclamation facilities that can help you take off your old carpet without sending it to the landfill.

10. Clothes Dryer

If you clean your washer, dryer hoses, and dryer ducts at least once a year, it can last for 10 to 15 years.

The best way to get rid of your old clothes dryer is to contact The Salvation Army to know if they pick up appliance donations.

What other items should we replace regularly? Let us know in the comments!

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