Since we just set our clocks back for daylight saving time which always prompts the usual changing of not only clocks but smoke alarm batteries, I came across an article from the NYTimes suggesting other household items that need replacing.

Every few months:

Toilet brushes, earbuds, water filters, and mascara.  Why?  Bacteria. I’ve definitely heard about replacing mascara tubes, but I hadn’t considered the toilet brush replacement. As the bristles on your brush flatten over time, the brush handle could start scraping the porcelain bowl, providing new places for germs to burrow.

Replace every few years:

Surge protectors, infant car seats, plastic cutting boards, soda-stream bottles, sunscreen (I knew this one. I throw mine out at the end of summer and refresh with new bottles), and air purifier filters. Interesting note on the surge protectors, if they lack an auto-shutoff feature, they’ll continue to pass power to your devices long after their surge protection has worn out, effectively rendering them useless. The article also suggests replacing surge protectors after any large event—like multiple outages in rapid succession or a lightning strike nearby—regardless of how long you’ve had them. Good to know since the homes on either side of ours have been hit with lightning in the past year.

Replace Every Decade:

Smart and dumb smoke detectors, and convertible car seats, and booster seats. All smoke alarms, whether or not they are smart, need to be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture—not the date of installation. You can find the date your alarm was made printed on the unit itself. If your smoke alarm doesn’t have a date, that means it was manufactured before 2000, when expiration dates were legally required to be printed on the unit. You’ll definitely want to replace that one.

Replacement Time Varies – but keep an eye on these:

Bike helmets, pillows, foam rollers, and mattresses.

Be sure to access the article so you can get all the details.