There are many things lying around the house which barely elicit a second glance or second thought from us, but they may be the reason behind illnesses and allergies, becoming health hazards over a period of time.

  1. Toothbrushes. According to the American Dental Association, your toothbrush must be changed every three to four months. The reason is that the bristles become frayed over time and do not clean as efficiently if this happens. They also become home to germs and bacteria, so it’s best to replace them regularly.

2. Contact-lens Cases. Health experts recommend that your contact-lens holders should be replaced every three months, because germs begin to collect in these over time, and may cause irritation or infection in your eyes.

3. Pillows. Old pillows accumulate all kinds of germs, mould, dead skin cells and dust mites. Pillow covers must be washed every week, but it’s also important to change pillows at least once  a year, because your recurring illnesses and allergies may be linked to old pillows.

4. Non-stick Cookware. Because their convenience is expensive, we sometimes hang on to old frying pans and saucepans. The teflon layer lasts effectively for about two years, after which it’s best to buy new ones. However, if they get chipped or scratched, you need to throw them away immediately, because they’ll be releasing dangerous toxins into your food.

5. Kitchen Sponge. The kitchen sponge is the best home for hundreds of germs. Ideally, it should be replaced every week, but you can make it last longer by washing it and then putting it in the microwave for a minute on high heat.