If that sad old kitchen sponge has been giving you the dirty eye for the past few weeks months, it may be time to toss it out.

Take a look around your pantry, the kitchen, the bathroom and the closet. Which items have been there for over a year? There are household things we use every day, but often, we don't really consider what lurks inside of them.

Jason "The Germ Guy" Tetro, a germ expert and blogger for Huffington Post Canada, says although most everyday items don't pose any risk for a life-threatening illness, they could lead to mild or moderate infections if they're in use over a long period of time or not replaced when they get damaged.

While most of us don't think twice about our shower sponges or salt shakers, there are ways to see if a product has spoiled. Expiry dates, for example, are good bases to start with and water, Tetro adds, is often the enemy. Some everyday household cooking items can lead to bacteria growth, especially if they are moist or soaked in water.

According to a recent survey commissioned by the U.K.-based Global Hygiene Council, dishcloths were dirtier than toilet handles, according to the Daily Mail. Cloths used for cleaning dishes collected six times as much bacteria as the toilet flush. The survey also added dishcloths posed the risk of life-threatening germs like E.coli.

Here are 25 things that may need replacing this year and other things you should just keep an eye out for. As a "damage" factor, Tetro has also included the risk of infection (out of 5) of not following the rules and the chances of either a mild or moderate sickness as a result.

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  • Toothbrush

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 4/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> 3 months <a href="http://jasontetro.com/" target="_hplink">Jason "The Germ Guy" Tetro,</a> a germ expert and blogger for Huffington Post Canada says bristles lose their strength over time — which usually makes brushing less effective. If not changed, the gums could end up being injured, allowing for <a href="http://jada.ada.org/content/138/suppl_1/26S.full" target="_blank">infection and other chronic health problems.</a>

  • Hairbrush

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 2/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> You're OK for replacing, just wash it with hot water and soap twice a month. Tetro says without proper maintenance, the incidence of fungus and other bacteria could increase or end up on the scalp.

  • Undergarments

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 3/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Washed every day or second day and replaced when worn out Yes, you should probably get into the habit of wearing new underwear and bras on a daily basis. If not, Tetro says undergarments, when worn without washing, could lead to bacteria buildup (biofilms) and could irritate the skin. There's also the possibility of infection and fecal-oral transmission of infectious bacteria and viruses.

  • Sunscreen

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 2/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> After one year Although most sunscreens last for three years, once you've used one bottle for the year, get a new one. "Sunscreen can also harbour bacteria (<a href="http://www.citynews.ca/2013/09/26/badger-sunscreen-recalled-due-to-bacteria/" target="_blank">such as this recall</a>) and so it’s best not to leave it around for the winter season as there may be growth. If reused after a year, the bacteria could cause skin irritation and infection, particularly if there are cuts on the skin," Tetro adds.

  • Soaps And Shampoos

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 1/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> If your bar cracks or if your liquid soap separates (or dries out) in the bottle Soaps and shampoos have a pretty good shelf life. "Bacteria are usually able to survive in <a href="http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=4699036&fileId=S0950268800029290" target="_blank">soap although in lower numbers than needed to cause infection</a>," Tetro says.

  • Salt And Pepper

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 0/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> When you're out — unless you're using rice in your saltshakers to avoid clumping, every three months For the most part, salt and pepper are pretty safe. Bacteria needs water and nutrients to survive, so they won't be able to survive in shakers. However, if you are using rice *which can become moist) in your salt shaker to avoid clumping, you may want to replace it every three months.

  • Sugar

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 1/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> N/A (unless it is wet) "Dry sugar cannot allow bacteria to live – it needs water. If sugar is liquid or moist, consider changing every few weeks to be sure no bacteria is growing," Tetro says.

  • White Flour

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 1/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Flour can last three months in the pantry and a year in the freezer. Flour is also one of those safe ones. Tetro says bacteria would have a hard time surviving without water so the risk for infection is quite low.

  • Towels

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 4/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong>Washed once. every two weeks (even if you use it once). For personal towels, wash it once a week. Throw out when worn out. "The transfer of bacteria, no matter how small, could lead to significant growth in the fibres and lead to the potential for infection," Tetro adds.

  • Shower Sponge

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 1/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Every three months Bacteria may be there, but unless you share your shower sponge with other people, the risk of infection is pretty low.

  • Kitchen Sponge

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 4/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Once a month If you use the same sponge for months, bacteria can grow and spread during cleaning. "If the number of bacteria grow too high, the sponge could spread to dishes and then eventually to you giving you gastrointestinal upset and infection," Tetro says.

  • Abrasives

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 1/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Do not reuse disposable ones Tetro adds abrasives used to clean pots and pans, for example, should be soaked in hot water for at least 10 minutes to kill bacteria.

  • Spices

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 1/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Once a year for spring cleaning Spices like <a href="bacteria http://aem.asm.org/content/44/3/627.full.pdf" target="_blank">cinnamon, celery seed, thyme, and curry</a> are known to harbour bacteria over time, but for the most part, you should be safe from infections. If your spices get moist or wet, you should replace them.

  • Contact Lenses

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 5/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Follow the expiry date on the package Most contact lenses come with their own expiry dates, but Tetro says cases and cleaning solutions are the problem for bacteria. "The solution should be changed on a daily basis while the case should be changed every three months. Bacteria can grow in these solutions and eventually lead to biofilms that could transfer bacteria from the case to your eye," he says. Not following these recommendations can lead to <a href="http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/glasses-contacts-lasik/contact-lens-care.cfm" target="_blank">serious infections or even blindness. </a>

  • Glue And Paint

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 0/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Replaced when dry or no longer useful Glues and paints are made with substances known to kill microbes, Tetro says.

  • Oils

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 1/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Follow expiry labels When you leave oil in your pantry, bacteria simply cannot overwhelm the oil to leave it rancid, Tetro says. "However, if there is a small amount of oil left in a container, the bacteria can get in there and ruin the goodness and possibly your health. Never leave small amounts of oil to be sure this doesn't happen."

  • Water Filter

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 2/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Every three to five months Water filters do their job of reducing contaminants and pathogens, but they should be changed every few months. "If a filter is not changed, then more pathogens may grow and increase the risk for both gastrointestinal and respiratory infections," Tetro says.

  • Air Filters

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 3/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Every six months Air filters are a great way of removing pathogens from the air, but if they are not changed once a year, they can develop a buildup — sometimes even a fungus, Tetro says. Although they are not high at risk for infection, they could be a problem for those of you with asthma or respiratory problems, he adds.

  • Makeup, Like Mascara

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 2/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Three months Makeup is coated in bacteria — your own. Depending on the type of makeup, you may have to replace items more than once a year. However, if you keep makeup around for years in your makeup bag, you are risking your chance of getting an infection, Tetro says. Check out the next slides for specific types of makeup.

  • Liquid Eyeliner

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 2/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Three months

  • Foundation

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 2/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Six months

  • Blush

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 2/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Six months

  • Lipstick

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 2/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Six months

  • Makeup Bag

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 2/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Six months

  • Hand Sanitizer

    <strong>DAMAGE:</strong> 0/5 <strong>WHEN YOU SHOULD REPLACE IT:</strong> Once a month (if you are refilling travel-sized bottles) Tetro says hand sanitizers made with alcohol will eventually become less effective as the alcohol evaporates. "Though no bacteria will grow in the container, you might be left thinking your hands are safe when they are not," he says. Always replace the solution once a month or don't use it on a regular basis.

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