Join design and installation specialist of kitchens in Glasgow, DM Design, as they discuss the common replacement times for these essential household items:
How long before you should replace them: Every two years maximum
Your pillow can accumulate bacteria, mould, sweat, dead skin cells and even dust mites. Considering you will be resting your face on your pillow at the end of each day, it’s vital that you replace them at least once every two years.
If you can see stains on your pillow, if support has reduced or if it smells, it’s likely you’ll need to replace your pillows. You can also extend their period of usefulness a bit by washing pillowcases on a weekly basis.
How long before you should replace them: Every eight years maximum
Mattresses are important, especially when you consider we’ll spend a third of our lives asleep! However, both those associated with the mattress industry and the Sleep Council have recommended that you replace your mattress at least once every eight years, as this is found to be the time when the item will have lost most of its original comfort and support.
Flip and rotate your mattress once a year as a minimum. However, telling signs that it’s time to get a new one will be if you wake up in the morning feeling tired, have noticed worn, lumpy or visible sags around your mattress, or if your body is stiff and sore after a night’s sleep.
How long before you should replace them: Every three months (even if you have an electric toothbrush)
As recommended by dentists, toothbrushes or electric brush heads should be replaced every three months. This is because the items are magnets for bacteria, which can accumulate from toilet spray when a toilet is flushed with the lid up, splashes from a bathroom sink while washing hands and also bacteria present in your mouth — between 100 and 200 species of oral bacteria can exist in your mouth alone! All of the bacteria mentioned can be harmful and may lead to tooth decay or gingivitis.
Minimise the number of bacteria on your toothbrush by rinsing it thoroughly after use, allowing it to air dry and occasionally soaking in an antibacterial mouthwash. However, bristles becoming frayed is a sign that it’s time to replace your toothbrush.
Item: Toilet brushes
How long before you should replace them: Every six months maximum
Through use, your toilet brush will trap moisture within its bristles. This, in turn, will lead to bacteria thriving and spreading around your toilet and bathroom.
Change your toilet brush roughly every six months. Keep an eye out if the brush looks grungy and grimy though, as these are signs that the item should be replaced as soon as possible. Plus, it’s not like you’re going to be spending a fortune on each toilet brush!
In the kitchen essentials
Item: Fridges & washing machines
How long before you should replace them: Between 15 and 30 years, depending on the manufacturer
Appliances like fridges and washing machines are designed to be used over a long period of time. Depending on the manufacturer that you’ve opted for, these essential items of your kitchen or utility room could remain effective for between 15 and 30 years after you first purchased it new.
Generally, replacement of these items is recommended once your appliance reaches 15 years old. This is because fridges and washing machines built today are known to use a lot less energy than models that were manufactured even 12 years ago.
Don’t forget to change your fridge’s water filter at least twice a year if it has one. This is due to these filters collecting bacteria and building up mould over time.
Item: Chopping boards
How long before you should replace them: Once a year maximum
Studies have found up to 200% more faecal bacteria on wooden chopping boards than our toilet seats. This is in spite of the idea that wooden chopping boards are often deemed to be the more hygienic of the different types of chopping boards available!
Regular, thorough cleaning can rid your chopping boards of this bacterium. However, colouring stains and deep cuts are clear signs that it might be time to buy a new one.
Around the home…
Item: Smoke detectors
How long before you should replace them: Every ten years for the entire unit, once a year for the batteries
Having no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms causes three out of every five deaths from home fires, according to The National Fire Protection Association. It’s statistics like these that should act as a wake-up call to ensure your home’s smoke alarms are in good working order.
Replace your smoke detectors at least every 10 years to protect against the alarm malfunctioning. However, the batteries for a smoke detector should be replaced on an annual basis at the very least. Remember to test your smoke detector on a regular basis to ensure it is still functioning.
How long before you should replace them: For an apartment-grade carpet — between 1 and 5 years maximum; for a medium-grade carpet — between 5 and 15 years; for a high-grade carpet — between 15 and 25 years maximum.
There isn’t an exact date for when you should replace your home’s carpet, as it depends on the quality of the carpet and how it has been maintained.
If large chunks of your current carpet have become matted, it is filled with large rips and tears or has lost its tuft, it’s time to invest in a new one.
Carpets can also start to smell. While this can be sorted out with a thorough, regular clean of your carpet if a lingering smell remains then it’s a sign that the odour has penetrated deep into the fibres of the carpet, the carpet pad or the subfloor. A new carpet is often the most cost-effective solution here.