18 household items you need to throw away for better health 3



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Most health improvements require buying something new or a joining fee to get active. But this list won’t hurt your budget! This health list will actually clean the junk out of your life and prepare you for a new healthy version of yourself.

Find out why you should throw away these 18 items for better health.


1. Air fresheners 

Many air fresheners contain phthalates, which is a chemical that helps the fragrance last longer but it can have harmful effects on our health. Try to figure out the cause of the smell in your home, rather than trying to conceal it with a chemical perfume.

2. Old plastic containers 

Take a look at any clear and/or plastic stamped containers with a 7 or “pc” (polycarbonate) stamp on them. These may contain BPA. Manufacturers now have taken BPA out of their containers but older versions probably have it and they can start to leach the chemical. Generally speaking, choose glass containers when possible.

3. Anti-bacterial soap

Just use the regular stuff. Anti-bacterial soaps are no more effective and can be dangerous. These soaps contain the ingredient triclosan, which has been proven to cause health problems in children. Scientists suggest that this could be the result of reduced exposure to bacteria and they’re said to create antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

4. Your pile of diet soda 

You’ve been told many times to get rid of your soda habit and now there is even more evidence that the non-caloric sweeteners may cause problems with your gut bacteria. It can lead to weight gain, not weight loss.

5. Over-used running shoes

When your shoes have been worn-out they do not provide the right cushioning and are less capable of absorbing the impact of your foot landing. As a result, you could be causing problems with your muscles and bones, which causes unnecessary aches and pains.

6. Smart devices

Don’t throw your phone away but maybe take a break and unplug from your devices from time-to-time. There is so much information always available right at our finger tips but this can sometimes lead to anxiety. It’s important to give your brain a break!

7. Musty, clogged air filters

Air purifiers are a great way to clean the air in your home. Just don’t forget to replace the filter! If you don’t, it could start growing mould and bacteria so the device is actually blowing bad air.

8. Stretched-out bras

You wear it everyday but probably don’t remember the last time you bought a bra. The elastic in your bra stretches over time and therefore it provides less support. This can cause greater back pain so it’s important to continue replacing your bras every now and then.

9. Stale spices

These old spices won’t cause health problems but they definitely won’t add flavour to your food. Fresh spices can help make a bland (healthy) meal more exciting!

10. Frayed toothbrush 

Using your toothbrush twice a day, will cause the bristles to become frayed and worn faster than you realise. Generally they begin to fray after about two months so it’s important to be aware of this so you can keep good oral hygiene!

11. Dirty contact lens case 

A dirty contact lens can cause discomfort and eye infections. You should also make sure you care for and replace your lens case every few months.

12. Clutter

If you pile lots of stuff around you sometimes it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. Toss things that are consuming or cluttering your life, for instance socks that don’t march or an overflowing kitchen drawer. The goal is to whittle objects to ones that help you feel energised to accomplish your goals. This also relates to your wardrobe – you don’t need to keep clothes that don’t fit you anymore. Have you worn them within the year? Only keep the items that make you feel good!

13. Leftovers lingering in the fridge 

Eat, toss or freeze. Take note of perishable foods in your fridge and make sure you toss away items that have gone bad. If you eat something that has gone off you can get very ill so it’s important to regularly check what’s in your fridge.

14. Old mascara 

Mascara can harbour a lot of germs. Throw away tubes every three months. You contaminate the brush each time you apply it and then put it back in a moist environment that can encourage bacterial growth.

15. Old lip gloss

You don’t want to put something near your mouth that has collected bacteria sitting in a moist old tube. Then, if you do apply the gloss and its gets into a cut or crack on your lips, it may cause problems. A general rule of thumb is to throw away lip gloss that has been opened for more than six months, or by the expiration date.

16. Kitchen sponge

Put the sponge in the bin. It is one of the most germ-filled things in the house. When you use a sponge to clean the cutting board where you just cut the meat, the sponge soaks up the meat juices and bacteria. Use a washcloth that dries more quickly between washes, which can help slow bacteria grow. Or simply, don’t use a sponge.

17. Plastic cutting boards

Once the bacteria gets into the tiny scores on the surface, the bacteria can begin to grow and it is difficult to get rid of. Switch to a wooden cutting board; wood contains resins that are antimicrobial meaning the bacteria doesn’t grow like with plastic!

18. Your chair

Many studies have shown that the average person sits for 7.7 hours per day. Though, you may be retired and not at your office desk anymore, but it is important to be aware that excessive sitting can impact your body’s metabolic system.


Tell us, will you be throwing away any of these items? Are you surprised by any of these items?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Agree with these comments except for my wooden chopping board which I’ve had for over 40 years! Give it a good scrub daily. My family never prone to upset tummies

    1 REPLY
    • maybe that’s why the article only said the throw out your plastic chopping boards as wooden ones have anti-bacterial resins that protect against contamination
      I ‘rinse’ my boards well then coat with salt as an extra measure esp. if I have been cutting chicken or fish

  2. I put the sponge in the dishwasher to clean I am also fussy where I use it

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