Kat Jackson

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Know When To Throw These Items Out

Housewife washing dishes

Photo: Getty Images

Spring cleaning season is here, but you may not have thought about some things you really ought to get rid of.

Better Homes & Gardens assembled a list of household stuff that's probably past its expiration date in your house, such as:

Sponges. Trash after one month. Sponges come in contact with a lot of bacteria. To avoid spreading germs around your kitchen, it's important to replace your sponge about once a month. In between changes, be sure to clean them regularly using vinegar, bleach, or high heat.

Cooking oils, herbs and spices. Toss after a year: Oils will smell rancid when they're no longer good, and spices will lose their distinctive aromas.

Pillows. Toss every three to five years. The dust, oil, and debris from your face can transfer to the pillow's surface and interior space. Dust mites also accumulate, which can be troublesome to people suffering from asthma or allergies.

Toothbrushes. Throw out after three months. Brushings wear down toothbrush bristles and reduce their effectiveness. Plus, stray bacteria or food debris may lodge in toothbrushes.

Eye Makeup: Trash after six months. Bacteria from the environment or your face can transfer to the brushes and then the makeup itself, which can cause irritation or even infection.

Bleach. Toss after three to four months. Yes, spring cleaning even applies to cleaning supplies.The chlorine in bleach dissipates over time, causing the cleaner to lose its effectiveness.

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