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When to replace common household items

Category: home

How often do you change your pillows? And how long can you stretch it before replacing your toothbrush?

With discounts across a range of homewares, manchester and more, stock take sale is the perfect time to grab a bargain and replace your towels, pillows and sheets. Although it’s always best to use something until it wears out, how often should you really be replacing these and other common household items?

Mattresses – seven years 
Although a high-quality mattress can last between 20-50 years, midrange brands should be replaced after seven years. When you start getting a stiff back or you notice lumps on the bed, this is a sign that the cushioning and springs have started to warn and it’s time for a change. Using a cover and rotating regularly is a great way to extend your mattress’ life.
If you suffer from allergies and haven’t been using allergy-reducing covers, dust mites may pose a problem – so stick with the seven-year rule. Dust mite faeces can double the weight of a mattress in ten years and even the cleanest of beds can have dust mites.

Pillows – three to four years
Like mattresses, a good quality down is less expensive in the long-run; these hold up better than synthetic stuffings which generally wear out in three to four years. When a pillow no longer looks evenly filled even after a fluffing or if you’re waking up with neck or back pain, it’s time for a new one. Most importantly – if you have allergies, they should really be replaced every couple of years.

Towels – two years

As you’re showering every day, your towels do get a good workout – especially if they’re washed frequently too. So stocktake sales are the best time to get a great deal. Replace towels when they start to wear or stop being soft from washing; it’s also a great excuse to update your bathroom’s décor!

For extra karma, donate old towels to your local animal shelter afterwards as they’re always in need.

Cosmetics and makeup brushes – three months to two years

If you wash your brushes and applicators every fortnight with mild soap and conditioner, they should last up to two years. For products though, always check the packaging for this symbol, which tells you the number of months the product is good for after opening:

Mascara should be replaced every three months, especially if you wear contact lenses but generally speaking, all products should be thrown out after two years.

Illustration of cosmetic product

Perfume – two years

Some industry experts say that perfume should be replaced every year, but if you keep it away from heat and light, they can last even longer. Avoid direct exposure to air too; although splash bottles are beautiful, decant a small amount into an atomiser for everyday use to keep the fragrance fresher for longer.

Running shoes – 500km to 800km
The golden rule is to listen to your body. Little niggles like sore arches, shin pain and other small annoyances will start to manifest if you’re not getting the proper support from your running shoes. Look at the midsole of the shoe for wear and if the overall structure of the shoe is starting to soften, it’s time to replace your runners.

Toothbrushes – three to four months
As long as your bristles stand up straight and neat, they’re good to go. As soon as it starts to splay it’s time to shop for a new one – clinical research shows that a new toothbrush can remove more plaque than one that’s worn out. Remember to always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you’ve been sick.

Whitegoods – 12 to 14 years
Another opportunity for great savings during the Stocktake sales is replacing your fridge and other household appliances. Not only do you save during sale time and not have to pay full price when it eventually needs replacing, upgrading to newer models lets you take advantage of energy efficiency improvements and save on bills too in the long run. As a guide, washing machines should be replaced every 12 years, driers every 13, standard fridges last about 14 years while microwaves should be replaced every eight years.

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