50 Essential Items It’s Probably Time to Replace

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Multipurpose cleaners

Multipurpose cleaners are used to clean anything from windows to ovens and countertops. The problem is they contain 2-butoxyethanol, which actually gives the cleaners their distinct smell.

Side effects from exposure include breathing problems, low blood pressure, lowered levels of hemoglobin, and high levels of acid in the body, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Non-stick cookware

Non-stick pots and pans like Teflon have several advantages, including easy cleanup. But they are controversial because of reports about toxic chemical emissions. It’s important to not overheat them, otherwise the coating can start to decompose. If the surface has not started to peel off, you can wait as long as five years before replacing non-stick cookware.

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Batteries

People aren’t always sure what to do with old batteries, so they store them in drawers until they forget about them. The general rule is to recycle them, but finding a place isn’t always easy. It’s good to know then that ordinary batteries — alkaline, manganese, and carbon-zinc batteries — are less toxic than rechargeable ones, but they should still be recycled if possible (often electronics stores will collect them).

Batteries that contain lithium, cadmium, lead, or sulfuric acid may be hazardous and should definitely be recycled in designated collection sites. Restrictions vary by state so check the website for your local government.

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Old electronics

If you are still watching movies on DVDs and prefer to listen to programs and music on the radio, then you should keep those devices. But if you’re mostly streaming online, get rid of old electronics and declutter your home.

Some contain hazardous metals so be careful about disposal; many of them should be recycled. You can even make some extra cash by selling old electronics online.

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Old magazines and newspapers

Unless you’re running a beauty salon out of your home, there’s probably no reason to keep that pile of magazines on the coffee table or wherever else you may be keeping old editions of your favorite publications. Realistically speaking, when are you ever going to go back to them? Recycle them and clear up the space.