When to Replace These Common Household Items May Shock You!

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Keep your home safer and cleaner with these recommended replacements for household items.

man changing hdx air filter in home household items

These common household items are going bad right before your eyes…

We get it. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and let the small things slip by with little notice that’s why I’m sharing some facts about these common household item replacements and when you should be ditching said products. You may be surprised at why these common household items need to be replaced pretty frequently.

Here are 10 common household items you should replace more than you think:

1. The water filter from which you drink daily.

refrigerator water filter warning light

Whether you’re drinking from a fridge filter or a stand-alone reservoir, it’s important to keep up with your filter maintenance.

Did you know most contaminants in your water, such as bacteria, are totally tasteless?

replacing fridge filter

If you frequently use the water on your fridge, it’s recommended to replace the filter about every 6 months or sooner if the little red light comes on. Luckily, most new refrigerators let you know when the filter needs to be replaced. You may be able to get away with changing it just once a year if you don’t use it often.

2. A kitchen sponge you clean your dishes with is one of the dirtiest household items that needs to be replaced.

hand holding a scotch brite heavy duty sponge wiping down a kitchen stove replace household items

According to the NYU School of Medicine, your kitchen sponge is considered the germiest item in your kitchen. In fact, you’re more likely to get food poisoning from an unsanitary sponge in your home than in a restaurant. 😱

To avoid spreading harmful germs all over your clean counters and dishes, it’s recommended to replace your sponge every 2-3 weeks. In between replacements, it’s recommended you sanitize your favorite sponge every single day.

Here are 2 ways to properly sanitize your sponge:

  1. Put it in a bowl of warm water and microwave it for about 60 seconds. Wring and let dry.
  2. Mix bleach with water and immerse your sponge in the solution for a few minutes. Wring and let dry.

Hip Tip: Try our team’s favorite sponge (a kitchen game-changer) or our favorite replacement for paper towels which are naturally antimicrobial.

3. Your toaster you rely on for crisp toast and bagels.

stainless steel toaster on counter

Even your household appliances need to retire eventually. Not only should you be cleaning those crumbs out regularly, but it’s also recommended your toaster be replaced every 6-8 years depending on how frequently you use it. This will help prevent fires from loose crumbs and other foods that become wedged inside.

Hip Tip: Shop Amazon’s best-selling toasters if it’s time for a new one!

4. The mattress that helps you catch lots of Z’s… 😴

woman laying on bed

According to a National Sleep Foundation study, 75% of adults have problems sleeping well. Aside from any medical conditions someone might suffer, the main culprit is most likely an old mattress. It’s recommended to replace your mattress about every 8 years.

Although each mattress is different, and the quality from brand to brand can vary greatly, you should never go longer than 10 years sleeping on the same mattress.

Hip Tip: Struggle making your bed? Check out these 5 clever fitted sheet hacks to save your sanity!

5. The fluffy (or not so fluffy) bath towels that dry you off.

hands washing white towels in dirty water replace household items

No matter how much you spend on towels, they still need to be replaced eventually! And while I hope you wash them regularly, it’s recommended to replace your towels every couple of years. This is around the time when towels begin to lose all of their absorbency from repeated and frequent washing and this will happen even quicker with the overuse of fabric softener.

Consider donating those used towels to places in need, like an animal shelter. Or keep them around the house and use them as cleaning rags.

Hip Tip: Lina shared how to do laundry stripping to save those old, dingy towels, but if you’re needing new ones, our team is a big fan of these affordable luxury towels!

6. Your toothbrush you shine your smile with.

woman brushing teeth with black toothbrush

This household item is often forgotten! An old toothbrush that is becoming deformed or frayed won’t do an efficient job at cleaning your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, you should be replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months regardless if it’s an electric or regular toothbrush. You should replace it even sooner if the bristles are fraying.

7. The razor that keeps your skin silky smooth.

woman shaving underarms in bathroom
Whether you’re shaving your legs or your face, it’s recommended to replace your razor after just a few uses! Tugging, nicking, or visible rusting are obviously signs that a razor needs to be replaced. Most razor companies, like Gillette, say that razors should be replaced after 5-10 uses.

The Grooming Lounge states that “for best results, double-edge blades and cartridges should be swapped out every 3-5 shaves“. Of course, this will vary from brand to brand depending on the quality.

Hip Tip: Scoop up this entire razor kit for just $3 SHIPPED! 😱 It even includes shave gel and is perfect for men AND women!

8. Your home’s air filter for quality breathing.

hand holding an air filter

Buying an entirely new HVAC system is costly, so replacing the air filter regularly is crucial to maintaining a good running system. If you’re not replacing the filter, air won’t flow through the HVAC system properly, debris will build up and become clogged, and the motor fan will work harder than it needs to which will eventually result in overheating and system failure.

Shop air filters on Amazon that will ship free with any Prime membership! Or, have Second Nature deliver air filters right to your home!

Here are recommendations on when to replace your air filter:

  • Average family homes: every 90 days
  • Homes with 1 dog or cat: every 60 days
  • Homes with more than 1 fur pet: every 20-45 days
  • People with allergies: every 20-45 days
  • Vacation Homes or single occupant homes: every 6-12 months

Hip Tip: These recommendations also go for other filters in your home as well like your vacuum filter and stove hood vent! Make sure to take note of the recommended time to replace them according to the manufacturer.

9. Your home’s smoke detectors to keep you and your family safe are crucial household items that need to be replaced.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

We learned back in elementary school to replace smoke alarm batteries every 6 months during daylight savings. Lucky many don’t require that frequent battery changes now. However, did you know it’s also recommended to replace the actual smoke detectors in your home? It’s recommended you replace them every 10 years from the date of manufacture.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 3 out of 5 home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms should be checked every month and replaced when they’re too old. They also state that the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

hand holding blue hose in dryer vent opening

In addition to replacing your smoke alarm, don’t forget to clean your dryer vents regularly. The U.S. Fire Administration, states that 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year!

Angela recently had her dryer vents professionally cleaned and just check out the difference!

before and after lint cleaning

Hip Tip: Between professional cleanings, you can maintain your own dryer vents. This is Angela and Bryn’s favorite product to help prevent house fires in their homes (and it really works)! Angela also uses this dryer vent cleaning kit that reaches 30 feet long!

10. The router that keeps you up to speed is a surprising household item that need replacing.

black wifi router on kitchen counter

Is your WiFi slow (or not working at all)? It’s likely because you’re due for a totally new router. According to The New York Times, it’s recommended to replace your home’s router every 3-4 years. Just like you upgrade your iPhone, these electronic devices also need an occasional upgrade.

Upgrading your router will improve the speed and efficiency of your signal when streaming your favorite movies on TV, checking Facebook, or shopping online. Plus, you’re less likely to experience any more irritating WiFi interruptions.

Hip Tip: Need a new router? Check out these best-selling routers on Amazon or if you use a cable company’s router and pay for it monthly, they may replace it for FREE.

Make these eco-friendly swaps and save money instead!

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 39

  1. Ruby C

    I have to ask, where did you get the holder for the razor in #7?? So cute.

  2. Jess

    I’m pretty good at changing out most of these things. I had no idea you were suppose to change your smoke detectors! Also, mattresses are so expensive, I find that to be an easy one to keep putting off.

  3. Donna

    Your pillow. Not only does an old one not support your head, but all the dry skin, oil, etc. Yuck!

    • lydia

      I put all of our pillows in the wash every 2 weeks. And every week when I wash our sheets they get put in the dryer to fluff up. They last forever this way and stay nice and clean.

  4. Mallory Scarborough

    Your supposed to change your router? I had no idea!

    • rochellemcgee

      Mine always seem to die every 4-5 years anyway, but still, it seems wasteful to just swap out it (or any other expensive electronic equipment) unless you’re actually experiencing problems. 🤨

    • Mary

      Our WiFi has been slow and acting out lately and we didn’t know it need to be replaced lol… we have the same router for the last 6yrs.

  5. Kathleen

    Has anyone tried the MyBillie razor? The cost looks competitive to the Harry razors and they’re made for women

    • Suzanne H

      I did. I loved the razor but didn’t like the built in shave gel/soap part. I can’t remember to remove my razor from the shower every day so it always ended up getting wet (even when I hung it up) and the shave soap turned to a messy jelly. Fantastic customer service with their company though!

  6. Bryant

    I don’t agree with the mattress, sponge, or razor. Mattress every 8 years? Most folks I know haven’t changed their mattress in over 15+ years and are quite happy with their mattress performance. Every 2 to 3 weeks for a sponge seems excessive. When you maintain a sponge it should last a good month or more. And the razor, every 5 to 10 uses? lol. I’d be throwing out razors almost every single week then. Every month I change my razor heads and continue to get a great cut. I only get nicks using new razor heads, not old, so I don’t understand the warning that the old dull heads cause nicks. I do know one thing, these companies would make off like a bandit based on these recommendations. My razor budget would be astronomical.

    • Evie

      If you keep your mattress sealed and wash the outer covering and rotate. Still using mine 20 years later.
      You can clean sponges in your dishwasher and washer and dryer.
      I never replace electronics till they die. When they rush in 5g, that causes health problems, all will have to be replaced.
      Razors are used till they do not work.
      I do believe water filterations and air filters should be replaced!

      • Patricia Goff

        I agree. Mine is in plastic since the grand kids were little for those little accidents…. My pillows all have satin covers on them and I wash them and the pillows every 2 weeks. I love my pillows. Brought them from Germany with me. LOL

  7. Darla

    A kitchen sponge is the nastiest thing in the world to me! I don’t understand why anyone uses them. I use a dish cloth for washing dishes, wiping counters, etc.. usually more than one per day then throw them in the washer and dryer. Easy, clean, economical, and green…

    • Marsha R

      That’s such a good idea! We use a kitchen brush that gets hung up to dry after use and run through the sanitization mode in our dishwasher a couple of times per week. I like the idea of a cloth that I can run through the washer though! Thanks for the tip!

    • rochellemcgee

      I don’t use sponges much, either, but when I do, I just throw them into the dishwasher after use so they’re sanitized the next time I need it.

      • jenn

        Right, I stopped using sponges. That moldy smell is nearly impossible to keep away & there’s nothing I hate more than having to repeatedly wash my hands every time I touch a moldy sponge or towel. YUCK

    • Patricia Goff

      Me too. I always bring some back with me when I go home to visit my mother. Bring back kitchen towels and sheets too. LOL

  8. acgold

    Smoke detectors are made to last 10 years. There is a date on the back so you will know how old they are.

  9. tipaye

    Toaster? I just clean the crumbs out of mine!

  10. nita

    I know most people I know don’t know about the kitchen sponge issue. When I tell them, they’re amazed. Water breeds bacteria, especially if sitting in a dirty sponge 😐 I get the real scrubbie sponges from dollar tree, which are 3x the price everywhere else, cut those in half n keep switching them out.

    • Stacy

      I run my sponges in the dishwasher. After a few weeks they are so used, they need to be replaced anyway 🙂

  11. ddallavalle

    I was looking into getting a router so I would not have to pay the $14 a month rental fee from Comcast. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good one?

    • Amber

      Whenever I decide to buy one to save on the fees I go to eBay and buy the exact model the company says to get. I paid $60 for the last one. It’ll pay itself off in 4 months.

  12. Katrina

    The vent hose on your dryer needs to be replaced yearly. I just read about it recently when we changed washers. I had no idea

    • rochellemcgee

      Are you sure that they didn’t mean to inspect and clean it annually? Replacing annually is excessive.

  13. Katrina

    Hepa filter in your vacuum

    Hood filter above your stovetop needs changing too.

  14. Katrina

    Hepa filter on vacuum needs changing

    Hood filter above stovetop on vent needs changing

  15. Laura

    I’ve always lived by the motto “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I do regularly change out sponges, toothbrush heads and AC filters for sure. However, I had a toaster oven I used to make toast for over 20 years. I cleaned the crumbs out regularly and worked great. I’ve had the same bath towels for almost 20 years and wash them regularly and put vinegar in the rinse which keeps them fluffy and absorbent. The suggestion of replacing mattresses every 8 years I believe was started by mattress manufacturers for obvious reasons. A good quality mattress, especially the memory foam type mattresses, will last much longer than 8 years. I have a protective cover on my mattress and pillows so I don’t worry about dust mites, sweat, oils, etc. I appreciate a great deal as much as anyone else, but I also believe being frugal also means not being wasteful and throwing things out prematurely. I love this site and absolutely no offense intended. I just prefer to squeeze as much life out of things as possible. 🙂

    • Gscribble

      100% agree with you! Some of these are ridiculous!

    • Patricia Goff

      I agree. I have appliances from my mother and grandmother and still use them with no issues. My washer and dryer are from the 80’s and my brothers repair them when needed. They also repair my car when needed along with theirs’s. LOL We fix everything whenever possible. My father still has a 1950’s fridge in his kitchen. The handle is funny cause you pull it down to open the door.

  16. jenn

    I have yet to own a towel that loses absorbancy! And some of my favorite most absorbant towels are decades old!

    • becki

      yes- towels actually get MORE absorbent with age and washing, until they are too threadbare.
      if people have towels that are LESS absorbent after washing, it is because they are using fabric softener on them, which coats the fibers with a chemical film, causing the fibers to be unable to absorb.

  17. Rama

    I have to agree with Laura and Jenn!

  18. Patricia Goff

    My toaster is 30 years old. We use it once or twice a year and I always clean it thoroughly. Love it.
    Never been a fan of fabric softener. Bad for our septic tank so we never use it.
    I go to my dentist every three months and they give me a new toothbrush. Problem solved.
    We clean our air filters every month when we have the air or heat on. We only turn it on when needed,
    I miss mattresses that we could just turn over every month. They were so comfortable and lasted longer.

  19. Pat

    I never use sponges, except once in awhile cleaning the bathtub. And replacing a toaster every 6-8 years?? I use a toaster from the 1950’s, and have never had problems. I do unplug it after each use and am in the kitchen when using it. Ridiculous, I refuse to use an ugly plastic toaster. I use vinegar in the softener dispenser, my towels absorb nicely.

  20. Sarah

    I bought some silicone dish scrubbers a few years ago, and they can be thrown in the dishwasher to be cleaned. They work great and get truly clean in the dishwasher unlike sponges.

  21. Leslie Ramey

    Do you have a recommendation on a good mattress?

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