We all know that a bit of moldy fruit or a carton smelly milk probably won't do us much good. But what about all the other stuff in your house which doesn't come with a use by date? How long should you keep scrubbing your teeth with that suspect-looking toothbrush?
According to the Daily Mail, we need to pay wayyyy more attention to how long we're hoarding household items. Here's the lowdown.
1. Pillows: six months
Neville Moore, managing director or bedding company Slumber Slumber, says how long your pillow lasts depends on the quality and filling material.He adds: "It's easy to get used to sleeping on thin, lumpy, sub-standard pillows, but they can lead to neck and back pain—and, if not washed and cared for correctly, can fill with dirt, oil, dead skin and dust mites, which can exacerbate allergies such as asthma. A good pillow should support your head and neck and keep them aligned with your spine when you are lying down."
2. Toothbrushes: 30 days
Dr. Amer Saeed, clinical director of London dental practice Garden Square Dental, explains why you should change your toothbrush each month:"A combination of wear and tear and poor brush maintenance can cause a huge build up of bacteria which can lead to contamination of the gums and possible infection."
3. Bras: 8 months (!!!)
Yup, apparently that bra you've been treasuring since forever is NOT OK. According to bra manufacturer Gossard, even a top quality bra will start to become less supportive within 8 months.
4. Kitchen sponges: seven days
Tests have found that there can be up to 10 million bacteria living in a square inch of your kitchen sponge, including one called campylobacter which comes from poultry and can lead to paralysis.
5. Cycle helmets: three years
Children's helmets need to be replaced more frequently than this because of their growing heads, FYI.
6. Bleach: seven months
Once the bottle has been opened, you've only got three months before bleach starts to degrade and won't work as well.
7. Trainers: six months
Trainers start to lose their flexibility after you've walked or run 500 miles in them.
(H/T Daily Mail)
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan UK. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.