Spring Cleaning- Out With The Old, In With The New

Spring is here and that means it’s time to clean, organize, and throw out household items.  Here is a list of what you should throw out and when!

Sponges

o    Replace a sponge every 2-4 weeks or as soon as it starts to smell because that could indicate bacteria is growing on it

o   To get more use out of your sponges, use one color sponge for cleaning the sink and another color sponge for plates, pots and pans. You can keep the sponge for pots and pans a lot longer if you only use it to clean food off of plates and cookware. Once that sponge is used to clean the sink, you really don’t want to use it again on the clean surface of a dish or a pot.

o    Avoid cleaning raw meat juices with a sponge as that can contaminate your sponge.  A paper towel is better for that.

o    I replace my sponges every two weeks or sooner if they are stained or start to smell.

 

Spices

o    Replace whole spices every 4 years, ground spices every 2-3 years, and leafy herbs every 1-3 years.

o    Avoid sprinkling spices and herbs directly from the bottle over a steaming pot or there will be loss of flavor and cake the contents.

o    Avoid storing spices and herbs over the stove.

o    Store in airtight bottles in a cool dry space.

Makeup

o    Replace mascara every three months to avoid spreading bacteria to your eyes. Do not pump the mascara wand as this traps air and bacteria dries out the product.

o    Blush and eye shadows- Replace very two years or if you notice the color is darkening or the powder is all cracked.  I like to wipe down my powders with a clean makeup wipe every few weeks.

o    Eyeliner- Clean your pencils by sharpening and wiping with a little alcohol. For liquid liner that go directly to the eye, the three month rule is always good.

o    Foundation- If you do not use foundation often, replace once per year or sooner if the consistency or smell begins to turn.

o    Lipstick- this is good for a year after opening it but I would not keep lip gloss wands around more than 3-6 months and do not share them!

o    There is a date at the bottom of makeup that will tell you when it expires. Take a picture with your cell phone so you can magnify it and read how long it will last.

Vitamins and OTC meds

o    Vitamins and OTC meds usually have an expirations date.  This date indicates the date by which the manufacturer guarantees potency.  So, it might still be okay after the expiration date but its best to replace everything so you know the medication is working as it should.  Tip: Buy smaller bottles so you finish them sooner and do not have to waste pills by throwing them out.

o    Some vitamins and probiotics need to be refrigerated for freshness so you need to check the label. Avoid storing spices and herbs over the stove.

o    Store in a cool dry space. Avoid cabinets with under counter light that could be heating up your tablets or capsules.

Pillows

o    Pillows attract dust mites which grow in your pillow due to the hair and oils that get absorbed by your pillow as you sleep. Replace every 1-2 years.

o    You’ll know it’s time to replace your pillow if you notice any of the following:

  • There are noticeable lumps in the foam or filler materials
  • There are noticeable, permanent stains from body sweat and oil
  • You wake up with aches and pains, particular in your neck or shoulders
  • You wake up with headaches or are developing tension headaches
  • You wake up sneezing from the dust mites
  • You constantly have to re fluff your pillow to get comfortable (feather pillows only)
  • If you fold your pillow in half, it stays that way instead of expanding back out (feather pillows only)