It’s Probably Time for a Replacement: 8 Easy-To-Forget-About Household Items

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Breanne Johnsen)

You’ve got a lot going on at home so it’s no wonder a few things slip through the cracks now and then. That’s where we come in. You probably have all these things in your home right now and chances are at least some of them need replacing. Don’t wait until you need this stuff to realize it’s expired/used up/grimy or dried out. Get proactive and conquer this list today.

1. Sponge — The thing you’re using to clean needs to be clean! You can make it last as long as possible by washing after every use and allowing it to dry completely, but don’t hesitate to replace it often (as in twice a month) or immediately if it develops any sort of smell.

2. Spices — Dig out all those dusty jars in your cupboard. If they smell bland then they’ll taste bland and it’s time to toss ’em.

3. Makeup — Yep, it’s a bummer when it’s time to ditch your expensive cosmetics before you’ve used them all up, but the last thing you want is to spread bacteria-laden lotions on your gorgeous face! Rule of thumb here: replace mascara after three months, foundation (and other liquids) at one year and powders after 2 years.

4. Sports Shoes — This is tricky because even if shoes look pristine on the outside (thanks to indoor gyms), the support they provide on the inside may have deteriorated without you realizing it. If your shoes don’t feel as supportive as they used to (or you’ve put over 500 miles on them) then it’s probably time to spring for a new pair. Remember, you’re working out in order to make your body healthier, and well-functioning equipment is essential to keep you in top shape.

5. Toothbrush — Even through you use it everyday, it’s easy to forget to replace your toothbrush (chances are you’re using it when you’re groggy in the morning or sleepy at night). Since you’re wide awake right now, take this as a sign to pick a new one up on your way home tonight.

6. Water Filter — Water tasting a little tinny? Filters often degrade so gradually that we just don’t notice. So do a careful taste-test of your water right now or simply switch out the filter and make the commitment to keep track of the time-to-change dates from now on.

7.Vitamins/Painkillers — If, like me, you’re somewhat gun-shy when it comes to pill-popping, then that nearly full bottle of Advil may be long past its prime. Or perhaps, you’re lax when it comes to your vitamin regime? All pills have an expiration date and, once passed, won’t perform properly (and could very well be dangerous) so check your labels before you pop.

8. Fire Extinguisher — Even if you’ve never used it, over time a fire extinguisher can become de-pressurized, leaving it useless. The last thing you want is to discover that your extinguisher’s a dud when you actually need it, so replace or have it serviced every five to ten years.

We’re feeling better (and more prepared) already.

Re-edited from a post originally published 7.2.14-NT