Toss or Keep? A Guide to Household Item Shelf Life

Your everyday household products are on a time clock. Items can become moldy and ridden with mildew and bacteria. It's important to know when it's time to toss out household products for the sake your health.


It's time to toss your shower curtain if mildew has traveled up  past the tub line, if the hook holes are torn, or if the curtain is ripped.

Spraying, wiping down, and rinsing your plastic shower curtain or liner with bath/tub/tile cleanser each time you clean the shower can give the curtain more longevity. For a deeper clean, use the washing machine. Place the curtain in a warm cycle along with detergent, half of a cup of bleach, and two white bath towels. The bleach will kill the mold and mildew.


Smell is a great indicator to know when to throw away these items. Odor indicates that bacteria has settled into the fibers. Throw them out!  Toss them if they are ripped, tattered, or torn. These tears create crevices where bacteria can grow.

You should allow your sponges to dry completely at least once a week. Sanitize sponges or brushes in the dishwasher on the top rack during a cycle. You can also microwave them for 1-2 minutes to help eliminate germs and bacteria.


Grab a new one if the build up and grime won't come off or if the material coating is rubbed away.

Sink/shower drains and the flaps of a garbage disposal are over run with bacteria. If the drain pops out - do so! Soak them in hot water and vinegar, and then scrub them with a toothbrush to remove food and hair. A metal or rubber stopper can be cleaned in the dishwasher on the top rack. In order to clean your garbage disposal, use gloves to open the flaps and use hot, soapy water to scrub underneath.


Tupperware containers are no longer food safe if they have started to bubble or blister. Get rid of them!

Make your container last longer by removing stains and odors with lemon juice or a combo of hot water and hot vinegar. Filling the container with lemon juice and water and letting it sit in the sun will help bleach out the stains.

Follow these tips for a healthier you!


  1. Yes!!!! We are replacing all of these once we move to our new home in June. It's time and it's always good to start fresh.

  2. I neeeeed to go through my house and purge all these items!

  3. These are all such great tips! We change our shower curtain liner rather frequently because the mildew freaks me out but I need to get better at changing out plastic food containers!

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