Kitchen sponges are dirtier than your toilet: Replace them often and other things to throw away

Sponges are dirtier than your toilet. Yes, you read that right.

They were proven to be the biggest reservoirs of active bacteria in the whole house, a recent study found. 

The study also recommended replacing sponges as often as once a week or every other week.

But you may that it is a waste to throw out something that can still be used. You're not alone.

However there is some wisdom in forking out a little money to get affordable, new items than to keep or use those expired, old ones. 

Hanging onto old things may even put your life at risk. 

Here are some household items that need to be replaced regularly.

1. COSMETICS 

Throw away: Every 2 months to 2 years 

Are you guilty of keeping make-up from eons ago? These products have limited shelf life and you don't want to be messing around with eye make-up, especially.

According to Allure, the product that you should be replacing most often is mascara which has a shelf life of two to three months, tops.

If you get an eye infection, no amount of make-up is going to help cover that up or make you look pretty. 

2. ATHLETIC SHOES 

Throw away: Every 300 to 500miles, or after 45 to 60 hours of use

An old sole is likely to cause you injury. You can tell when a pair of shoes is worn out from the (lack of) threading on the soles. 

3. KITCHEN SPONGES 

Throw away: Every 1 to 2 weeks 

Sponges that often in warm, wet conditions, containing traces of food, is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Okay, 'nuff said. You get the drift, which is why you need to replace them regularly.

4. PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS 

Throw away: When deformed or discoloured 

Do you have stacks of takeaway plastic containers stashed away in your kitchen cabinet?

You didn't want to throw them away since they are 'reusable' and are great for food storage. Well yes, but they are good only for a couple of times.

The plastic components on these containers can leach into food when the plastic is heated. The biggest offenders are those that have been washed hundreds of times, according to Wall Street Journal.

5. NON-STICK COOKWARE

Throw away: When the coating is flaking

Just think about it: Isn't it gross eating part of your pan?

Well of course, if you preserve your pots and pans well, they could last a long time. 

6. PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION

Throw away: About a year after the expiration date

Old drugs won't actually harm you, but they may become less effective. But there are some drugs that can turn toxic. So it's better to err on the side of caution. 

7. FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

Throw away: After 3 to 12 years

Depending on the model, good ones last quite some time. But it is better to check the label to be sure. Afterall, you'd want them to work when an emergency calls for it.

on SPH Brightcove

maryanns@sph.com.sg

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