Many household items need to be replaced regularly in order to avoid unpleasant consequences, but a lot of them are pretty obvious. You know you need to replace a bouquet of flowers when it starts to wilt, and you know it’s time to replace your kitchen towels when they develop stains or holes.
Unfortunately, not everything that needs to be replaced in your home is quite as obvious as dying flowers or stained towels! In fact, there are plenty of less-obvious household items that we ought to replace on a regular basis, and the only way to know they need to be replaced is to know how often you should replace them!
And that can sound like a lot to learn, but the information in today’s blog post is sure to make this task easier! Today we’ll be exploring 11 common household items we need to replace, but that often go overlooked, so you know exactly what to replace and how often.
Bonus Tip: Use Your Calendar!
- The idea of having to remember a bunch of different dates when you should replace things can be overwhelming!
- So instead of committing them to memory, let the Calendar or Reminders app on your smartphone do the work for you!
- For example, when you start using a new tube of mascara (see #3 below), create an event or reminder for 3 months in the future to let yourself know it’s time to replace it again.
- You can also do this to help yourself remember other occasional household tasks, like changing the air filter, cleaning the gutters, or vacuuming out your dryer vent.
11 Household Items You Need To Replace Regularly (& How Often)
Aim to replace your kitchen sponge every 2-8 weeks, depending on how often you use it. If you wash all of your dishes by hand, you’ll need to replace yours more often than someone who only hand washes a couple of dishes here and there.
To sanitize your kitchen sponge between uses, boil or microwave it for a couple of minutes once a week (or just toss it in the top rack of your dishwasher!)
2. Herbs & Spices
Dried herbs should be replaced about once per year. Ground spices can be replaced every other year, while whole spices can stay fresh for up to 4 years.
You should shoot to replace your eye makeup (like mascara, eyeliner, etc.) every 3 months in order to avoid bacterial growth that could cause an eye infection. For powders like eyeshadow, foundation, blush, and bronzer, replace them after 2 years. Liquid and cream makeup will last about 1 year.
While you don’t necessarily need to replace your makeup brushes according to a certain schedule, it’s very important to clean them regularly! Learn more about how and when to clean your makeup brushes here.
Replace your toothbrush (or the brush head for your electric toothbrush) every 3 months or so. Doing so will ensure your teeth and gums are getting properly cleaned every time you brush your teeth!
I use Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program to get new toothbrushes delivered every 3 months. It’s one less thing I have to worry about, and it’s an easy way to make sure I’m taking good care of my teeth and gums! (To learn more about Subscribe & Save, read my post about it here.)
5. Water Filter
If you use a water pitcher with a filter (or if you have a fridge door water dispenser with a filter), it’s important to replace that filter regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Check the user manual to find out how often your particular filter should be replaced.
6. Vitamins & Medications
Vitamins, supplements, and other over-the-counter medications usually have expiration dates listed on the package. If you only take vitamins or painkillers every once in a while, it’s probably a good idea to check the dates of the ones you have on hand.
7. Fire Extinguisher
You should definitely have a properly maintained fire extinguisher in your home, because you never know when you might need one! And once you do have a home fire extinguisher, make a habit of checking the pressure gauge about once a month.
The needle should be in the green area, and if it isn’t, it’s time to replace the extinguisher (or have it recharged, if that’s an option!)
8. Contact Lens Case
You already know you need to keep your contacts clean, but what about your contact case? Replacing your contact case every 3 months will help keep things clean and sanitary (which is especially important when it comes to your eyes.)
9. Toilet Brush
There’s isn’t really a hard and fast rule about when to get rid of your toilet brush, but it’s safe to say that if it looks grimy or frayed, it’s probably time to replace it.
Standard toilet brushes are already magnets for bacteria, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Aim to replace your bed pillows (at least the ones you sleep on every night) every 2 years or so. Don’t worry about replacing your decorative pillows unless there’s some sort of obvious issue.
But if you wash your bed pillows regularly, you won’t have to replace them as often. Learn how to wash your pillows here.
11. Vacuum Filters
When it comes vacuum maintenance, many people only think about emptying the dust cup when it’s full. But keeping your vacuum’s filters clean is equally important, because when they get too dirty, your vacuum can start spitting dust, dirt, and dander back into the air!
Aim to replace your vacuum’s filter(s) every three to six months (or wash them, if your vacuum has washable filters.) Refer to the user manual for instructions on accessing the filters, and for more tips about cleaning and maintaining your vacuum, check out this post.
Which household item are you the most diligent about replacing?