When to Replace Your Stuff

Man tying running shoes
••• StudioThreeDots/iStock

Replace something too soon and you're wasting your money, wait too long and it could end up costing you more. It's a tricky balancing act, but it's one that you can win. Here's the scoop on when you should replace all sorts of products:

Air Filter - Consult your owner's manual. Some manufacturers recommend a swap out at 30,000 miles, while other recommend 45,000 or even 60,000. If you do a lot of driving on dusty roads, you may need to replace your filter sooner – say every 15,000 miles.

Kitchen Sponges - Sanitize your sponges every day. Replace them when they become smelly.

Loofahs - Replace natural loofah sponges once a month. Toss mesh loofah sponges in the wash once a week.

Makeup - It depends on the product. Foundation is good for six to eight month, while eye products need to be tossed every three months. 

Pillows - Wash or replace your pillows once a year. Feather, foam and synthetic-filled pillows can all be cleaned at home.

Razor Blades - Expect to get about a month out of a disposable razor blade. Use these tips to make them last longer.

Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers - Buy replacements every 8-10 years. They lose their efficacy over time. Swap out the batteries in your detectors twice a year.

Sneakers - Replace your sneakers after 500 miles of wear. If you don't wear a pedometer, that translates into three to six months for most people. 

Tires - Replace your tires when they get down to 2/32" of tread. Consider replacing them sooner (when they hit 4/32" of tread) to maintain good traction in the rain and snow. If your tires are over 10 years old or have cracks, bulges, chunks or damage to the sidewall, they also need to be replaced.

Toothbrush - Swap your toothbrush out every three months or when the bristles become worn. Set up an auto-reminder, so you don't forget to do it.

Washing Machine Hoses - A burst washer hose will flood your house in a hurry. Inspect your hoses regularly and replace them, if they show any signs of wear. You should also buy a replacement set every five years, even if your current set seems fine. They cost less than $20, so it's worth staying on top of.

Water Filters (on your refrigerator) - Many refrigerators have a built-in filter replacement indicator light to tell you when it's time to replace your filter. If yours doesn't have this feature, replace your filter every six months (sooner if you notice a decrease in water flow to the water and ice dispensers).​

Windshield Wiper Blades - Pick up a new set every six months to a year, or whenever you notice they aren't working properly. Good visibility in the rain and snow is well worth the few bucks you'll spend replacing them.​


U.S. Fire Administration