Time to Toss!

Amber Randhawa Homeowner and Homebuyer Tips

If only everything we purchase came with a helpful expiration date like a gallon of milk! We’d even settle for a tag on a major purchase that says “realistically this should last XX years.”  Unfortunately those tags don’t exist, but we have done the research for you, and compiled this helpful list of how long some of your household items should last, and what to look for when you think something might be on it’s way to the grave.

Kitchen Appliances

The average lifespan of a refrigerator is 15 years, while a dishwasher may need to be replaced in as little as 8-10 years. Refrigerators that are running louder than they use to or are hot to the touch are showing signs of age. You’ll know your dishwasher is on its way out when your dishes are no longer hot to the touch right at the end of a cycle. Stoves and ovens usually last longer, anywhere from 15-20 years, with gas units lasting slightly longer on average than their electric counterparts. If your oven is taking longer to preheat, or your tried and true recipes are no longer coming out as thoroughly cooked, your oven is probably nearing the ends of its life.


Bacteria is the main reason you need to replace your toiletry items on a regular basis. Manual toothbrushes and the heads of electric toothbrushes should be replaced after three months, both to due to bacteria and fraying of bristles. All eye makeup should also be replaced on a three month schedule to avoid infections caused by bacteria, and the same is true for your contact lens cases. The rest of your makeup should be replaced if not used within one year, or two years for nail polish and lipstick.

On to the Bedroom

If your pillow and mattress are still comfy, that means they’re just fine, right? Not quite. Pillows collect a lot of things you may not want to think about, from dust mites to dead skin cells.  Replace them every two years to avoid an overgrowth of bacteria. If you wash your pillows regularly you might be able to extend their life as far as cleanliness goes, but laundered pillows become less supportive over time, so you’re still looking at about two years of life expectancy.  Mattresses should be replaced every 7-10 years for the same reasons, and since you can’t wash them, the it’s best to stick to the guidelines. Due to settling and material breakdown over time, your sleep may eventually be affected by an elderly mattress.

Keeping Fit

Replacing your running shoes depends on the number of miles you’re putting on them, so fitness tracker apps can help you time the life of your kicks!  At 500 miles, your soles are likely worn enough to cause injury and arch issues.  At 300 miles, begin inspecting your shoes regularly for signs of wear and tear. Yoga mats should be replaced yearly, even if they seem to be in good shape, as bacteria can build up on them over time even if they are wiped down after each use.  And your bike helmet?  Replace after any crash that involves helmet contact, even if there appears to be no damage.

Play it Safe

Everyone should have at least one working fire extinguisher in their home – preferably one for each occupied level. Check the pressure gauge monthly to make sure it is in the green area. If the needle is no longer in the green, your equipment should be replaced or recharged. Smoke detectors should be replaced fully every 10 years and batteries should be changed yearly even if they seem to be working. And protect your home’s air quality by replacing your air filter every 90 days, 60 days if you have pets, and every 30 days if anyone in your home suffers from asthma or serious allergies.

Read on for more helpful household tips!