8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Woman filling a glass of water
Photo by Ruslan Galiullin / Shutterstock.com

Everything you use has a shelf life. At home, it’s easy to overlook stuff that needs to be replaced. But smart households try to stay on top of these tasks.

Whether you’re forgetful or are just trying to save money, there can be consequences for using outdated or worn-out parts and products — including accidents and illness. And, if you plan to replace these items, you’re more likely to shop for a good deal than if you buy them in an emergency.

What follows are several things you should consider replacing right away.

1. Your toothbrush

Generally, replace toothbrushes every three to four months, advises the American Dental Association. Replace them more frequently if the bristles look frayed or worn.

Replace it: Buy a new toothbrush.

2. Your pillow

Pillows help you sleep comfortably by supporting your head and neck. A worn-out pillow no longer gives that support, potentially affecting your sleep and even your health.

Many doctors say you should replace pillows every two years, according to SleepFoundation.org.

Meanwhile, keep pillows clean. For detailed instructions, see “How to Clean 16 Awkward Household Items.”

Replace it: Shop for bed pillows.

3. Heating and air conditioning filters

Heating and air-conditioning filters protect you from allergens such as smog, smoke, dust, animal dander and pollen. So, when your HVAC filters don’t function properly, your health could suffer.

Your owner’s manual will tell you when to buy a replacement.

Replace it: Find air conditioner or furnace filters.

4. Worn-out tires

Don’t delay replacing your vehicle’s worn-out tires. Driving on bald tires to save money doesn’t pay off if it causes an accident.

You not only could face large medical bills, but also, if you’re at fault for causing an accident, you could be held financially liable.

Replace it: Warehouse clubs like Costco are a good bet for new tires.

5. Worn-out athletic shoes

Sneakers weren’t meant to last forever. As they wear down, the cushioning and support they provide diminishes, which could put you at higher risk of injury when you run or walk for exercise.

Ayne Furman, a podiatrist, writes for the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM) that one situation in which shoes should be replaced is when the outer sole has worn through to the midsole.

Furman explains:

“The midsole is intended to be shock absorbing and in some shoes serves to control excessive foot motion. After certain amount of repetitive load is placed on the midsole it will compress, not rebound and absorb shock or control the foot as well as it did when new. In some cases, the midsole can deform and compress unevenly, which can create an alignment change of the foot. This can lead to over-use type injuries.”

In general, though, how often you should replace your sneakers depends on how often you use them, how old they are and what signs of wear they have, according to the AAPSM. The academy explains more and offers photos on its website.

Replace it: Consider buying women’s or men’s sneakers online. You can access an amazing array of shoes for sports and leisure.

6. Kitchen sponges

Kitchen sponges especially are breeding grounds for bacteria, a 2017 study in Scientific Reports revealed. The researchers suggested replacing sponges weekly.

If you can’t bear the thought of throwing them away that often, clean your sponges in the washing machine — on the hottest setting — with powder detergent and bleach, a study co-author told The New York Times. Then use them somewhere “that is less hygiene-sensitive, like the bathroom” and get a new one for the kitchen.

Don’t bother cleaning sponges in the microwave. The study found that this method actually can enable the worst bacteria in sponges to proliferate.

Replace it: Buy kitchen sponges.

7. Toilet brushes

Perhaps the most disagreeable job around the house is cleaning toilets.

When someone has an illness, that can make the task even more unpleasant but necessary. For example, a toilet brush used after someone in your household has had a gastrointestinal illness should be tossed it out immediately and replaced, biology professor Elizabeth Scott, co-director of Simmons University’s Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community, tells NBC News Digital’s site Better.

Buy a spare brush or two so you can switch them out quickly.

Replace it: Buy toilet bowl brushes.

8. Water filters

Water filters in refrigerators, faucets and home filtration systems should be replaced regularly. Check the product manuals to learn when and how to change them.

Water filters have varying life spans. For example, Consumer Reports says refrigerator filters often need to be replaced twice yearly.

Replace it: Find the water filter you need.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Retiree Households Lose $111,000 to This Social Security Misstep
Retiree Households Lose $111,000 to This Social Security Misstep

A study finds 96% of retirees make this mistake when claiming Social Security benefits.

What is the Cheapest Grocery Store?
What is the Cheapest Grocery Store?

Aldi, Kroger and Walmart: Which grocery store is the cheapest?

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

17 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
17 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5
15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5

These products offer big value at a small price.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money
17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money

You probably don’t realize these items are worth decent cash.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

These 5 States Are the Most Expensive Places to Retire
These 5 States Are the Most Expensive Places to Retire

If you expect to have modest retirement income, you may want to avoid spending your golden years here.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.