If you do household shopping, you know there are staples you buy regularly if not every week. Maybe your staple items include things like toilet paper, eggs, and cereal—things you go through quickly. And then there are the items you don’t buy regularly. Maybe you needed an ingredient you normally wouldn’t use for a dish you’ve never made before. Or bought some nail polish to match a specific outfit.
You might be surprised to realize how many of these non-staple items accumulate over the years. You might be even more surprised to know that some of the more common ones, like that lip balm buried at the bottom of your junk drawer, have unspoken expiration dates. Here are some of the items in your home you should be replacing regularly, and how often to replace them.
You probably wash and change your sheets regularly, but what about your pillows? Pillows can easily trap things like dirt and dead skin cells (sorry, but it’s true). In turn this can make you extra sneezy or stuffy in the morning. Washing your pillows regularly can help, and be sure to wash the whole pillow, not just the cover. Experts recommend washing pillows a couple times a year and replacing every 1 to 3 years.
If you haven’t done a deep dive into your makeup bag lately, you may have some products due for replacing. Old makeup can grow bacteria that can cause allergic reactions or breakouts. Plus, some products dry out and change texture over time, leading to clumpy application. Mascara should be replaced every 3 months, while you can typically use powder products for up to 2 years. (And don’t forget to clean your brushes!)
You probably have a comfortable pair of sneakers you like to walk or run in. They might even be broken in just right. However, if you’ve had them for a while, make sure they’re still okay to use. If your soles are flat and worn down and the midsole has lost its cushy spring, it’s probably time to start searching for a new pair.
That jar of dill that’s been sitting in the back of your cupboard forever? Probably not going to taste the same when you finally need it again. While seeds will store for 2-3 years, ground spices and herbs will probably only last for about a year before they lose their potency.
It’s a good idea to replace your toothbrushes regularly. Though you may think it’s because they grow bacteria over time, what you really want to look out for is flattened bristles. Brushing simply isn’t as effective when the bristles are all bent out of shape. Replace about once every 3 months, and after you’ve been sick with cold, flu, or other throat issue. Germs or viruses can sometimes hang out in your brush and reinfect you. Gross, right?
Hopefully you have one of these somewhere in your home. Hopefully it’s up to date. Most extinguishers are good for between 5 and 15 years, but check the pressure gauge. If the needle isn’t in the green area, replace it.
A good rule of thumb is to check the batteries when you change the clocks for daylight savings. Or, once every six months. If you live in a rental, this is your landlord’s responsibility, and you can and should ask them to check and change your batteries as needed.