This week’s Quick Tip Tuesday brought to you by BrightNest
Household items like loofahs and pillows collect bacteria like Daniel Day-Lewis collects Oscars, so you don’t want to keep them past their prime.
Here are 13 items that don’t age well (and the best times to replace them):
One Month or Less
Toss every 2-3 weeks.
Why: Bacteria absolutely loves to grow in the damp nooks and crannies of your loofah. It’s like a soapy petri dish in there. Toss sooner than three weeks if you notice mold or if your loofah smells like mildew.
Replace every 2-3 weeks, or if your sponge is frayed or smelly.
Why: Sponges are damp and porous, which makes them BFFs with bacteria. If you use a filthy sponge to “clean” surfaces like your kitchen countertop, you’ll actually spread bacteria around instead of removing it. To keep things extra clean, disinfect your sponges once a week by microwaving them for two minutes. Let the sponge cool completely before using it again.
Baking Soda (in the Fridge)
Replace every month.
Why: Baking soda absorbs fridge odors, but over time will lose its de-stinking power. That’s why Arm and Hammer recommends replacing your baking soda boxes in the fridge or freezer at least once a month for maximum effectiveness.
Refrigerator Water Filters
Replace every 3 months (or as advised on package).
Why: When past its prime, your filter can build up mold and bacteria. This means if you don’t regularly replace your fridge’s filter, you’re actually adding unhealthy stuff back into your water, instead of filtering it out.
Replace every 3-4 months.
Why: The American Dental Association says that at four months, your toothbrush bristles become worn and won’t clean your teeth nearly as well – making your pearly whites more prone to cavities and decay. Tip: Instead of tossing your over-the-hill brush, use your old toothbrush for cleaning hard to clean spots like grout.
Change every 3-6 months.
Why: A dirty air filter will make your furnace or A/C work harder, wasting energy and costing you money. It can also contribute to indoor air pollution and more dust in your home.
Replace every 1-2 years, disinfect every 6 months.
Why: We hate to break it to you, but dirt, dust mites, body oils and dead skin all get trapped in your pillow. Be sure to wash your pillows every six months, and part ways with them at least every year.
Toss after 1 year.
Why: Most ground spices begin to lose their potency and flavor after two years (some experts say you should replace them every six months, but we think that’s a little intense).
Toss after 1-2 years.
Why: Think about it: bath mats usually sit on your floor, soaked with water from when you get out of the shower. It’s a triple-whammy of floor, feet and water – an environment mold and mildew thrive in.
Windex, Wood Cleaner and Mr. Clean
Toss after 2 years.
Why: These cleaning products don’t have expiration dates on the bottles, but they will lose their potency and effectiveness after about two years.
3 Years or More
Replace (or service) every 5 years.
Why: Over time, fire extinguishers lose pressure, making them less effective and unsafe. Inspect your fire extinguisher once a year and check the pressure to make sure your extinguisher is up to snuff.
Replace every 5-10 years.
Why: After ten years, almost all mattresses will stop offering the support you need for a good night’s sleep (some start slacking after just five).
Replace every 10 years.
Why: After ten years, smoke detectors wear out and will become less effective. And, about 30 percent of smoke detectors that are ten years old don’t work at all! Check the age of your smoke detector today.