When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? If you're struggling to remember, chances are, you're not doing it often enough.
Most of us don't realise, or perhaps even know that many everyday items (including toothbrushes, toilet brushes, razor blades, makeup and even cooking spices) need replacing regularly.
With so many things to replace, there's no time to waste! Let's get started...
STOP! Before continuing, be sure to sign up to the Expert Home Tips newsletter to get even more home hacks, living tips, competitions and more.
1. How often should I replace my toothbrush?
The age-old debate - how often does your toothbrush really need replacing?
Our mouths can be pretty dirty places, and all that scrubbing at food and bacteria can soon take a toll on out toothbrushes.
Pretty gross, right?
Colgate say how often you should get a new toothbrush really depends on the individual and your usage, health and personal preferences. Some toothbrushes also wear much better than others, which is something to bear in mind.
As a rough guide, look to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. If it's stored in proximity to others', you've been sick, or the bristles are looking particularly worn, however, it'll need replacing sooner.
2. How often do razor blades need replacing
Many of us are guilty of only replacing our razor blades when they're as blunt as a butter knife and no longer do their job properly.
It's not just effectiveness that needs to be considered when replacing razor blades. A build-up of dry skin and body hair along with wet conditions mean razor blades can grow bacteria fairly quickly.
It's because of this that dermatologists recommend replacing razor blades every five to seven shaves and never keeping them for longer than a month.
3. How long should I keep a kitchen sponge?
Did you know that kitchen sponges are actually the germiest item in the whole home?
Pretty shocking, right?
Kitchen sponges can pick up bacteria from faeces carried on raw meat and soil from fruit and veg, and their often damp, warm state encourages bacteria to multiply.
That's why it's so important to carry out the correct cleaning procedure when using them. Kitchen sponges should be disinfected after every single use, and kept no longer than a week.
TOP TIP: you can use lemon essential oils to disinfect your sponge between uses. Alternatively, microwave on high for 30 seconds to kill germs.
4. Does alcohol go off?
We've all got that one bottle of spirit that hasn't been touched for years. Whether it's Sherry, Baileys or Vodka, it will definitely have an expiry date, which is often sooner than you might have imagined.
It may surprise you to know that...
...as soon as you open a bottle of alcohol, the air will react with it, weakening its strength and quality. Some spirits such as vodka will still be ok after 2 years, and bourbon can last up to 10. Rum, however, tells a different story, and should be consumed within 3 months of opening. For Tequila it's even shorter - 2 months.
Liquors that contain dairy, such as Baileys, can spoil even before the bottle is opened, so it's important to keep an eye on their expiry dates.
5. How often should I change my shower pouf/loofah?
Scrub-a-dub-dub, feels so good.
There's nothing that gets those itches quite like a shower pouf, but if you're not changing it regularly enough, it could be doing more harm than good.
One of the reasons scrubbing with a loofah feels so good, is that it exfoliates the skin, removing dead and dry skin cells. All these skin cells then remain in your wet pouf - the perfect breeding ground for germs and other bacteria.
The secret to staying clean?
Change your shower pouf every 3 weeks to keep your shower as hygienic as you intend it to be.
6. This is how often your water filter needs to be replaced
When was the last time you changed your water filter? Did you even know it needed replacing?
You'd better listen up...
Turns out, water filters need replacing much more frequently than we thought. Hard water and other elements in the water can cause the filter to become clogged, and reduce performance.
You should look to change your water cartridge at least once a year, but if you notice your water tasting off or a reduction in the water flow in the meantime, it's worth getting a new filter ASAP.
7. Do herbs & spices go off?
Dry store ingredients are often neglected. As they don't contain moisture, it's easy to see how we could think they'd last forever.
But it's far from the truth.
Even dry foods such as spices have an expiry date. Although they don't actually 'go off', they will lose their potency over time.
If you want really flavoursome food, replace whole spices after 4 years, ground spices after 3 and leafy herbs after 2.
8. How often should I replace my toilet brush?
You don't need us to tell you that toilet brushes can get dirty.
Toilet brushes arguably have the dirtiest job in the home, so it seems logical that they'd need replacing over time.
Providing it's not looking too worse for wear, and is disinfected regularly, you can get away with replacing your toilet brush once a year.
TOP TIP: Toilet brushes should be cleaned using diluted bleach and boiling water. Where possible, you should always leave your toilet brush to dry out - a damp environment encourages germs to grow and breed.
9. Does makeup have an expiry date?
Makeup? Expire? Surely not.
We've got some bad news...
...even your cosmetics have a lifespan, and it's probably a lot shorter than you'd think.
We've all been guilty of lathering year-old foundation onto our faces before, and 3-year-old mascara you've found lurking at the bottom of your gym bag can't do too much harm, right?
Well, turns out makeup expiry dates should, in fact, be adhered to. The molecules in skin products can break down over time, and have adverse effects on our skin including inflammation, redness, bumps and even swelling.
Not only that, but over time, cosmetics can develop and grow bacteria, which could lead to all sorts of nasty infections.
If in doubt, replace:
- Mascara - every 3 months
- Lipstick - every 1.5 years
- Eyeshadow - every year
- Foundation/powder/blusher - 1 year
Are there any other household items your replace regularly? We'd love to know about your routine in the comments below.