5 Things in Your Kitchen That Probably Need to Be Replaced Right Now

Ideally, you don’t let food go to waste in your kitchen. But if something comes up and the spinach wilts before you can get to it or the bread molds before you finish the loaf, you know that it’s time to toss it.

When we’re so used to seeing something, too often we don’t see it, even if it’s right in front of us. These are the things we inadvertently neglect to maintain — and in the kitchen, this can be hazardous.

Here are five specific items that are probably past their prime and need to be replaced.

1. Your sponge

Kitchen sinks are one of, if not the, dirtiest places in the entire home, and sponges are virulent contributors to this state. Because they’re often perpetually moist and frequently have bits of food trapped inside them, they are ideal breeding grounds for the many kinds of bacteria that they pick up around the kitchen.

Now, this is the time to replace that sponge! Rinse your sponge out thoroughly each time you use it, squeeze it to remove as much water as possible, but, depending on how often you use it, replace your old one with a new one every one to two weeks, max.

2. Water filter

If you pause to think about it, you’ll quickly realize that anything used to filter out bad stuff will get dirty. And when it’s saturated with said bad stuff, it won’t work well. This is precisely what happens with your water filters.

 Pitcher water filters should be changed out about every two months. In general, under-sink water filtration systems require their filters to be changed every six to 12 months, but, again, this depends on usage. Refer to your unit’s guidelines and keep a regular watch for signs of buildup.

3. Spices

Life’s too short for wimpy spices. Using old spices isn’t dangerous, but the more spices age, the less potent they become. Check your spices’ best-by dates, or, if you’ve decanted them, sniff them and look at them to judge their potency.

4. Cutting Boards

Cutting boards are one of the most versatile kitchen tools. They’re perfect for food preparation, and their stable surface makes cleanup a breeze.

When to Replace: Retire cutting boards when they show signs of wear, such as deep groove marks or an unstable surface. Crevices in cutting boards can harbor harmful bacteria, making them impossible to fully clean.

5. Water Bottles

Reusable water bottles are a sound investment. Besides quenching your thirst and keeping you hydrated on the go, they can also help reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, they can last for years with proper maintenance. As a general rule, you should wash your water bottle every day.

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