Your bathroom and everything in it may look clean but think about it: every time you take a bath or a shower, you’re leaving behind hair, dead skin cells and other bits of grossness. Combine this with the heat and humidity in the average bathroom, and you have the perfect breeding ground for some nasty germs. Cleaning your bathroom often is a must but there are some things that you should just toss and replace on a regular basis.
By Doug Murray
1. Bath Towels
The general rule for washing your bath towels is to do it after three uses. However, when your towels aren’t soft and absorbent anymore, or when they smell musty even after washing them, it’s time to buy new ones.
2. Hand Towels
Because you use hand towels more often and your hands may not always be completely clean when you dry them. Change them every day or two.
3. Bath Mat
says that you need to wash your bath mat once every week or two. Depending on its quality and how often you use it, you can replace it after about two years.
4. Shower Curtain Liner
While some lifestyle gurus say that you should wash your shower curtain liner once a week, She Finds suggests that you only need to do it once you see a build-up of mould or grime on it or when it smells like mildew. If washing it doesn’t help or if it’s torn, it’s time to get a new one.
According to Women’s Health, bacteria just love living and breeding in your loofah, and this can lead to skin irritations and infections. If you use a natural loofah, you need to replace it every three to four weeks, while the plastic kind can last about two months.
says that the experts differ on how often to change your washcloth. Some recommend that you need to wash it at least after three or four uses while others say you should only use it once and then wash it. Like bath towels, you need to replace your washcloth when it becomes worn out or smelly.
You need to change your razor or blades after every five to seven shaves, not only because the blades become dull but also because bacteria build up between them. It’s also time to toss the razor or blades when they become rusty or when they pull at your skin.
If you store your toothbrush in a closed container, bacteria from your mouth will build up between the bristles. You should get a new toothbrush at least every three to four months or as soon as the bristles become worn and frayed.
9. Makeup Sponges
Sponges offer many hiding places for bacteria, and if you want to prevent skin problems, you need to wash your makeup sponges after every use. Even then, you need to replace them after a month, according to All You.
10. Makeup Brushes
Makeup brushes, like makeup sponges, need to be cleaned after every use. Depending on the quality of the brushes and how often you use them, you need to replace them after between one and five years.
11. Mascara and Eyeliner
Bacterial build-up in mascara and eyeliner can cause eye infections. You should replace your mascara after three months, liquid or gel eyeliners after three to six months and pencil eyeliners after a year.
12. Foundation and Concealer
According to All You, foundation and concealer generally last a year or so. However, they can go off faster if you use your fingers rather than clean sponges or brushes to apply them, because bacteria can be transferred from your fingers to the products.
Lipstick usually lasts about a year. However, you need to toss it if it becomes hard or if small beads form on it.
14. Lip Gloss
According to All You, lip gloss that has a wand applicator should be replaced after six months because bacteria build up more easily on these applicators. Lip gloss that you squeeze from a tube can last up to a year.
You may want to change your moisturizer according to the season anyway, but How Stuff Works explains that you generally need to replace it after about a year.
Some moisturizers, especially those that are all natural, may not even last that long and you need to get rid of them as soon as they change colour, texture or smell.
Most sunscreens are effective for up to three years. However, many sunscreens also have an expiration date, so toss them when they’ve expired or if they change colour, texture or smell.
17. Hair Products
According to Hair Boutique, once you’ve opened hair products such as shampoo, conditioner and styling gel they generally last about 18 months. However, you should replace them immediately if they develop a strange smell or change colour or texture.
says that perfume can last up to five years if you store it away from sunlight or heat. If it changes colour or smell, you need to toss it because not only will it not smell like it should but it could cause skin reactions.
Supplements such as multivitamins can last for as much as five years before they start losing their potency. They can even be safe to use after their expiration date.
The trick is to keep them in their original containers and away from sunlight, heat and humidity, so you may want to stop storing them in the bathroom.
20. Digital Bathroom Scale
Your digital bathroom scale can last for years, depending on its quality. However, if it keeps giving you different readings during the same weighing session, you should replace the batteries.
If the problem continues, you may need to replace your scale or, even better, get rid of it and stop worrying so much about your weight.