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When To Replace Common Household Items

{Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

Have your allergies been bothering you more than usual? Are you having trouble getting rid of that lingering cold? The solution may be simpler than you think. When was the last time you replaced the filters in your air ducts? Have you bought a new toothbrush lately? The following is a helpful list of how often you should replace common household items and why. Some of them may surprise you!


These should be replaced once a month as soap and mildew can build up in them due to constant exposure to moisture. Be sure to squeeze them out thoroughly after each use, and hang them in a dry area to reduce mildew buildup in between replacements.

According to The American Dental Association, you should replace your toothbrushes every three months. This time frame should be reduced to 6 to 8 weeks if you have gum disease. If you feel the need to sanitize them in between, you can boil them or soak them in mouthwash. Do not place your toothbrushes in the dishwasher, however. This can damage and weaken the bristles. If you think replacing your toothbrushes might slip your mind every three months, sign up for Amazon’s Subscribe & Save automatic delivery and receive a discount!

While many modern vacuum cleaners come with washable Hepa filters now, it is still necessary to check them often for build-up. You should wash or replace your vacuum filter every 3-6 months, depending on how often you use it. If this filter becomes too clogged, your vacuum will lose significant sucking power and could actually blow dust and allergens back into your air.

All of your heating and air duct filters should be checked monthly for build-up during times of high use and replaced every 3 months. This is something that is often overlooked, by both renters and homeowners, and contributes greatly to allergy issues.

Kitchen sponges should be replaced every few weeks depending on how often you use them. In between replacements, sponges can be sanitized by wetting and popping them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or by running them through a high heat water cycle in the dishwasher. It is especially important to sanitize your sponges often if you use them to clean dishes and cookware that were exposed to raw meat.

{Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

Most newer refrigerator models have a water and ice system built into the door. If the filter doesn’t have a replacement notification built into it, you should replace it at least every 6 months. This will vary depending on how little or how often you use the system.

    • Salt in a Water Softener System

The salt in your home’s water softener system should never get below the halfway mark in the tank. Check it often, especially during times of high water usage. Depending on your family’s water usage, the salt should be replenished every 2-6 months.

Arm and Hammer recommends replacing boxes of baking soda in your refrigerator and freezer once a month to ensure freshness and effectiveness.

Smoke detectors should be tested once a month to ensure they are functioning properly and that the batteries are still working at capacity.

The actual container of oil should be replaced every 3-4 weeks in an oil-based plugin or before it has burnt out. Check it daily to ensure it hasn’t burned down too low. This could result in a fire. The plugin base should be replaced every 3 months, as it builds dust and oil residue over time (which can reduce its effectiveness).

Be sure to check out Amazon’s SUBSCRIBE & SAVE option for many of your household replacements!



  • American Dental Association


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