50 Essential Items It’s Probably Time to Replace

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Hair dryer

Hair dryers can be dangerous if they are not used and stored properly. They can emit sparks and flames, and can even burst into flames, burn, and explode. How often you should replace a hair dryer depends on how often it’s being used. Unless you have been cleaning the vents frequently — where lint gets trapped — and have used the dryer only a few times a week, you should probably replace it right now. Many electronics stores have recycling bins for old electronics and appliances.

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Manuals

In the age of YouTube and virtual assistants, do people still take the time to go through manuals? Every appliance comes with one, but do you really need to read about how to use a toaster or how to clean a humidifier? Go through your drawers and you may even find a manual for a VCR you no longer have. You can also download manuals and store them on your computer. Remember to recycle them — or shred and add them to your compost.

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Mascara

Of all the beauty and makeup products women use, mascara is the one that needs replacing most frequently. It should be thrown away every two to four months after opening, according to the FDA.

Staph and other bacteria occur naturally on the skin. They tend to cling to the wand and end up in the tube every time you re-insert the brush. Bacteria can grow in the tube, eventually ending up on your eyelids or eyes, causing an infection.

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Makeup brushes

A high-quality brush is essential for putting on makeup since so many kinds of cosmetics can’t even be applied without one. Brushes should be replaced at least every three months — or sooner if they develop a strange smell or start to shed — because they can be hosts to bacteria, fungi, and other organisms that may lead to an infection.

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Mothballs

Mothballs contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, both of which are toxic chemicals that, when exposed to air, can irritate the eyes and lungs. There is also some evidence they may be carcinogenic. Several countries have even banned mothballs that contain these two chemicals because they are especially dangerous to babies and children.