When you’re going about everyday life, you use your regular household items and it can be easy not to realise that it’s been so long since you’ve replaced your essentials. We normally tend to hold on to things until they fall apart or are completely unusable. What you might not realise is that some household items should be thrown out, even if they look like they could last a little longer – and mostly for hygiene reasons more than anything else.
Sometimes you need a small reminder, and we’re here to give you just that. Here are seven items you use on a day-today basis that need to be tossed more often than you’d think. And if you ask us for a tip, it’s best to keep spares of these items in your storage spaces to save you making a special trip to the stores every few weeks!
How long should you keep your loofah? Four weeks for a natural one and up to eight weeks for a plastic one. Yes, you read that right! If you’re washing away with the same loofah after two months, you’re risking exposure to bacteria and other germs that you don’t want anywhere near your shower. Buy a handful of loofahs and keep them in the linen cupboard so that you’re not stuck, and it’s also a nice toiletry to offer if you are hosting out-of-town guests.
This one seems like a given, but are you switching over your toothbrush every three months? That’s four different toothbrushes (or toothbrush heads, if you’re using electric) in a year. Similar to the hygiene risk with the loofah, you want to replace this everyday item because bacteria can dwell inside bristles and can cause infection. Do yourself a favour and buy a jumbo pack of toothbrushes because you’ll need to switch over your toothbrush before three months if the bristles are fraying drastically too.
There are no rules on how long you should keep scented candles for if your main intent is to keep them for decorative purposes. However, if you’re holding on to them with the hope that they’re giving your space a pleasant scent, the odds are that the scent has drastically weakened, if not lost altogether, with time. This is especially true if your candles are left uncovered. Keep and light a scented candle within the first year of opening, otherwise, you may need to depend on another fragrance source for your home.
If you bought that complete set of herbs and spices but haven’t used them in over three years, they would’ve drastically lost their flavour. They wouldn’t have spoiled in a way that will make you sick, but if you’re expecting your homecooked dishes to let off fragrant scents, it will unfortunately be a bit disappointing. You’re best off buying smaller packets that will give the most taste, and replace them as needed.
A wooden spoon is like any other utensil, isn’t it? Well, no. Unlike its fellow stainless steel and plastic utensils, the wooden spoon as a life span of up to about 5 years. You’ll need to replace this kitchen staple because it is porous, meaning it can soak in liquids from the foods you cook. Cleaning it well immediately after use will expand its lifespan, but using a fresh spoon after five years is the safe thing to do.
Using your kitchen sponge until it has holes and is an entirely different colour is not the best practice. With quite a short life span, the kitchen sponge should actually be thrown out every two to three weeks. If you’re an avid dishwasher user, then your sponges should last a bit longer. While that seems like an unreasonably short amount of time to keep a household item, keep in mind that sponges are cleaning cutlery and plates from food, making it a potential petri dish of bacteria. Better to toss it than use it to clean your forks and spoons!
Last but definitely not least is the humble toilet brush. Every six months you should be replacing this necessary cleaner. If you’re meticulous about your bathroom set having the same colour or pattern, you’re best off buying a couple of the same toilet brushes so that you can switch them out without having to change your whole bathroom look. Because, trust us, your toilet brush shouldn’t hang around as often as your soap dispenser!