8 Everyday Kitchen Tools You Probably Need to Replace ASAP

published Sep 1, 2021
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You probably spend a lot of time in your kitchen throughout the week. Whether you love trying new recipes and practicing new cooking techniques or simply cook the basics in an effort to finish the task, your kitchen sees a fair amount of action each day. That’s why it’s important to keep your kitchen working at its best; everything from efficient chopping to crafting flavorful meals can be impacted by dull tools, expired spices, and warped cutting boards.

If you’ve noticed that certain items you depend on aren’t working as well as they should or want to be sure your space is as sparklingly clean as possible, it may be time to do a clean sweep of the kitchen and get rid of anything past its prime.

1. Stinky, past-their-prime sponges

Have you ever looked at your kitchen sponge and thought, “Hmm, when’s the last time I replaced that?” Been there! The sponge is one of the hardest-working items in the kitchen, but it’s also one of the fastest to wear out its welcome. Sponges can also house a ton of bacteria, including E. coli. (Yikes!) We recommend replacing your kitchen sponge every week or so, though that timeframe depends on how much you cook or clean, among other factors. If throwing out your sponge that often feels wasteful, you can always compost your cellulose sponges.

2. Dull knives, graters, and peelers

Not only do dull knives make chopping and prepping take longer than necessary, they can also be a safety hazard; you’re more likely to cut yourself on a dull knife than a sharp one. Take them to a pro to get them sharpened or consider investing in a whetstone so you can do it yourself at home (just make sure to follow the directions or watch a few how-to videos before you try it out).

Trusty tools like vegetable peelers and graters can dull over time too; unfortunately, there’s not much you can DIY in this instance and you’re better off buying shiny (and sharp!) new replacements. You can also look for tools that allow you to swap out the blades, if you’re interested in less-wasteful options.

3. Peeling non-stick pans 

Peeling or flaky non-stick pans can be a health hazard — no one wants little pieces of pan in their scrambled eggs, nor do they want to deal with potential toxins from the coating! If you’ve noticed your go-to pan for cooking eggs is looking a little worse for wear, it’s time to say goodbye.

4. Warped baking sheets and pans

These hard working tools can become warped due to heat or dampness; for example, a baking sheet can warp if you take it from the hot oven to the fridge or run it under cold water too quickly. There are ways to fix warped pans, but if you’re finding the items don’t conduct heat well or are basically unusable due to their warping, you should replace them — the last thing you want is for grease to drip from the bent pan into the oven and cause a fire.

5. Cut-up cutting boards

Yes, your go-to space for chopping veggies and meat may need an upgrade, and here’s why: Bacteria can sneak into those little knife marks and grooves and flourish, even if you wash your board really, really well each time you use it. If you tend to cut meat and veggies on the same board, you may want to consider buying a few boards: one solely for meat and one for everything else. 

6. Mismatched and worn-out reusable food containers

If your container drawer is overflowing and overwhelming, it’s time to trim down. Get rid of lids that don’t fit; warped, super-stained, aromatic containers that you can’t bring back to life; and anything you haven’t used in a long time. The good news is that many containers are recyclable; be sure to check anything you’re considering tossing for guidelines and recycle when and where you can.

7. That box of baking soda you’ve had sitting in the fridge for months

You bought it with the best of intentions to keep your fridge smelling fresh and forgot about it. Good job being proactive, but you do need to replace it about every three months for the ultimate odor-absorbing power.

8. Bland spices

Pull out your spice drawer or open the cupboard and you may be surprised just how long you’ve had that jar of cardamom or bay leaves. While spices don’t technically expire in the traditional sense, most lose flavor after about a year or two.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 8 Everyday Kitchen Tools It’s Probably Time to Replace