When to Replace Everyday Items

Ever wonder how often you should replace the things you use every day?  Toothbrushes, razors, makeup, etc?  Even food like milk, eggs, and yogurt?  Well, look no further…

I’ve gathered a list of items that I use almost on a weekly basis and done some research to see how often they should be replaced…and hiding in shame when discovering that I’ve broken several disposal rules.  How do your cleaning regiments match up to what the experts say?  Let’s take a look:

RAZORS:

This is one category where the time of disposal is unmeasurable.  Razors should glide across your skin, especially when you’re going with the grain of your hair.  If your razor feels like it’s pulling, that means it’s dull and should probably be replaced.  To extend the life of your razor, make sure you rinse it with warm water after every use and let it air dry when you’re done shaving.  If you see rust on the blade, toss it immediately.  The life of your razor depends on the quality of the item, how often it’s used, and the thickness of your hair.  With a little common sense, you can avoid cuts and nicks by keeping a sharp eye on the blades.

TOOTHBRUSHES:

Dentists say that toothbrushes should be replaced every three months.  You should also invest in a new toothbrush if your old one shows wear in the bristles.  Worn and fractured bristles are a breeding ground for bacteria…so you could be doing more harm than good if you’re brushing with an old toothbrush.  You should also get a new toothbrush after a sickness or flu.  There’s nothing worse than continuously infecting yourself with a flu bug!  To help remind you to replace your brush, simply write the “expiration date” on the toothbrush handle.  Invest in those jumbo packs of brushes from Sam’s Club and Costco to save some money if you live with more than two people.

SHOWER FLOWERS:

Everyone has a different name for them:  loofahs, bath sponges, etc.  Basically those sponge like contraptions you use to wash your body.  My aunt once called hers a shower flower and I loved that…so the name kind of stuck.  Regardless of the name, these sponges live in a warm wet environment…a bacteria heaven.  If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your body sponge, it’s probably been too long.  These are inexpensive to buy, so I usually replace mine when I switch out my toothbrush.  If your sponge is discolored, falling apart, or has an odor, it’s time to replace it.

This holds true for dish sponges as well.  If it starts to smell, it’s time to go.  You can also put your sponges in the dishwasher to clean them between replacements.

MAKEUP:

If you are using a liquid based make up, it should be replaced every six months.  This was a shock to me.  I have makeup that I’ve saved for a year or more!  If you are using mineral makeup, that can last for up to a year.  Compact Powder and Blush lasts about 6 to 9 months. The brushes and rounds that come with them should be replaced whenever they start to get dirty. It’s easier to replace them than to wash them, unless you have your own expensive brushes you like to use. In that case, wash them.  Eye makeup, including liner, mascara, and powder, should be replaced every 3-6 months…earlier if you’ve had pink eye since using it.  I can speak from experience here…eye makeup can quickly become germ infested.  I’ve had my fair share of reactions to old eye makeup and I’m telling you, it’s not fun.  Lipsticks and gloss last for a year…those are safe to keep for a while.  As a rule of thumb, I’d say refresh your makeup every 4 or 5 months.  Luckily I’m a Clinique girl…so I wait for those Clinique bonus days, buy my favorite moisturizer, and get free makeup about every month!

FOODS MARKED “SELL BY”:

Eggs and meat are often marked with a “sell by” date.  While following this date insures the best use of the food, you can use eggs and meat for a few days after the date.  According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, the following rules apply:

Poultry, ground meat and ground poultry, fresh variety meats (liver, tongue, brain, kidneys, heart, chitterlings), and uncooked sausage can be stored for 1-2 days after sell by date

Beef, veal, pork, and lamb can be stored 3-5 days after sell by date

Cured ham (uncooked) can be stored 5-7 days after sell by date

Eggs can be stored 3-5 weeks after sell by date

Cooked poultry, cooked sausage, and lunch meat can be stored 3-4 days after sell by date

Bacon, hot dogs, and yogurt can be stored one week after sell by date

Generally it’s best to use food by the date marked on the package, but with the proper storage, food can last a bit longer if necessary.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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