You may think that with cleaning every inch of your home to keep it free from dust and dirt, you can make it a safe environment that minimizes the risk of anyone getting sick.

Right? Wrong.

You’ll actually be surprised to hear that it’s not just these areas that germs can make their home in, but that they are so adaptable that they can make their home just about anywhere in your home.

It turns out there are more items that you have that you need to replace regularly in order to keep your home truly clean and germ-free, such as the following:

1. Toothbrushes and towels
Okay, this may be a no-brainer, but do you also know how frequently you need to replace both?

The answer is two to three years for towels, and for toothbrushes, it’s every three months. The reason for both is that because we expose them to water and our own dead cells every day, they can easily be a breeding ground for bacteria.

2. Bar Soap
Bar soaps usually last you up to three years (unless the label specifies an earlier expiry date), and if you don’t use your bar soap frequently, three years can actually be a long time.

You can tell if you need to get rid of your bar sop if you start seeing cracks on it. There’s no need to worry too much, though – there’s a good chance you’ll finish it long before it needs to be replaced.

3. Sponges
Depending on how often you use your sponge to wash dishes, you should get a new one between two and eight weeks.
Be sure to boil or microwave it at least once a week to keep it free from any bacteria between uses. If you have a dishwasher, include the sponge along with the dishes by placing it on the top rack.

4. Pillows and mattresses
Like towels, pillows and mattresses can be a breeding ground for things that can give you a bad night’s sleep.
Other than housing dust mites and bed bugs and collecting dust, they can also warp over time with extended use, which can lead to back and neck pains.

And if you have pets, you’re going to have to replace them a lot sooner than you think, since they’re basically furry magnets that attract all kinds of bugs and creepy crawlies that bite in the night.

5. Toilet Brush/Plunger
And last on the list, but definitely not the least, we have the toilet brush and the plunger – two items that you use on your toilet bowl – which of course also means that they’re guaranteed to be a home for bacteria.

Toss them out and get new ones every three to six months. As with most things, you know they’re going bad when they look that way, and that should be reason enough for you to throw them out.

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