Some kitchen products really start to lose their oomph after years of use. So if you have an old gadget peppered with wear and tear marks or find that some of your tools just don’t cut it anymore, it’s time they go. Here are some great replacements.
From mold build-up to dull blades, more than a handful of kitchen items need regular inspection and replacement, some more often than others. Read on as we outline which items need replacement (and why!) and offer some high-quality options to replace your time-worn tools.
Over time cutting boards become excessively grooved and sometimes even warped, leaving little crevasses open for bacterial growth. Some boards also start to separate at the seam or crack so, if you see any scarring, chipping, or cracking, time to find new ones. Here are three different types of cutting boards and what makes each kind useful.
Bamboo cutting boards are hit in many kitchens for several key reasons. Not only are they inexpensive but the tight grain of the bamboo gives them excellent water resistance. That same characteristic also makes them resistant to marring from the knife blade. Plus, bamboo is a highly renewable resource, so they are an eco-friendly choice.
This set of three organic cutting boards is made without solvents, formaldehyde, dyes, or other questionable compounds that are used in the production of cheaper boards. Bamboo boards, like traditional wood boards, should not be soaked in the sink or go in the dishwasher.
People love plastic cutting boards because you can toss them right in the dishwasher—a big no-no with bamboo and wood boards that would quickly be ruined by the high heat and harsh detergent.
The only problem is they don’t last as long as other materials because the softer surface of the board is quicker to get chewed up by your knife blade. But if you really like plastic cutting boards, then give this three-pack of generously sized cutting boards designed by Gorilla Grip a try.
The boards are double-sided and the durable rubber border keeps the board from slipping and sliding on your counter. Keep in mind that plastic cutting boards wear faster, so be sure to inspect them more frequently for wear and tear.
With proper care, a high-quality wooden cutting board will last much longer than any bamboo or plastic cutting board. Also, they are just pretty to look at—if you plan on leaving your cutting board out of the kitchen island, it’s worth picking up a nice-looking board.
We love the Ironwood Gourmet Acacia wooden cutting board for its durable craftsmanship and aesthetics. Wooden cutting boards need TLC, which includes regular oiling and hand washing. Acacia wood is quite dense compared to many woods and offers a stunning appearance too, plus it’s priced nicely compared to many other wooden cutting boards.
Over time plastic food storage containers develop lingering oily (and sometimes smelly) residues that like to hang around. Plus, with years of use and washing, they lose durability and can crack or break. We love glass storage containers for their aesthetic appeal and durability. Plus, glass is a non-porous and nonabsorbent material, so you’ll never have to deal with those weird smells or tomato stains.
OXO is a trusted brand in the kitchen gadget world, and this set is proof in the pudding. The durable borosilicate glass paired with the smart seal locking tabs means no leaking in the lunch box. The glass containers are oven, microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe so that you can store them just about anywhere. We’ve been using glass for over a decade and will never go back to plastic.
Never deal with a pound of potatoes or a heaping pile of carrots—or a mangled citrus twist in your cocktail—with a dull peeler again. These little gadgets are so handy but not destined for a long service life. Thankfully they are so cheap that it’s totally worth replacing every year. Don’t believe us? Ina Garten swears by her yearly replacement.
Just like veggie peelers, paring knives get dull with frequent use but are pretty inexpensive to replace. So, when you go in for your annual veggie peeler purchase, add one of these Victorinox classic paring knives to the cart too. Combined with the stainless steel blade and Swiss handle, this paring knife is a solid option.
Aside from cutting board nooks and crannies, bacteria like to spend quality time in your dish towels as well. While you can wash and bleach them, the washing and bleaching take a toll, as does daily use.
When we use chemicals with our towels and wash them over and over, the water-retaining properties become altered and often develop a mildewy smell. So, if you’ve been using the same towels for years, and they don’t absorb like they used to, grab yourself a pack of Utopia dish towels to replace the old raggedy ones. Dish and tea towels are just too inexpensive to not be replaced when they are looking rough.
When your wooden cooking utensils are warped, cracked, or damaged in any way, it’s time to replace them. These don’t need annual replacement, but when they start to look rough like your cutting board wood, it’s time—just like with the board—to replace them.
These bamboo cooking spoons are a solid replacement for your wooden ones as they are more durable, last longer, and are easy to clean. The lightweight Riviera utensils also look nice and won’t scratch as easily as wooden utensils.
There are a lot of two-piece silicone spatulas on the market that are two pieces—a silicone head and a wood or metal handle. Even the nicer ones will often get a “leak” between the handle and the head where water gets in. You can’t effectively clean that area and if the little pocket in there is big enough it can result in gnarly mildew water getting pushed out into your pot or pan while you’re using the utensil. Gross.
Instead, opt for these sleek heat resistant silicone spatulas. They are all one piece which means there are no cracks for food to get stuck in and are dishwasher safe.
Pastry brushes are used to apply egg washes, fruit glazes, oils, and butter to delicate doughs. Don’t get this confused with a silicone basting brush used for high-heat basting (like meat on the grill). So if your pastry brush has a few burned bristles or is just plain old and starting to smell, replace it with this OXO pastry brush.
Like many other kitchen gadgets, can openers tend to lose their oomph after years of use. After all, these contraptions are cutting through tin or steel cans. So, if that old can opener literally isn’t cutting it anymore, it’s time to replace it with a new one.
This popular KitchenAid can opener is made with a stainless steel blade designed to puncture and open cans with ease. The comfortable ergonomic handles paired with the easy turn knob make these a solid option. Plus, the price is just right, and you have multiple fun colors to choose from.
Sponges should be replaced regularly because of the bacteria that live in the porous material. A good rule of thumb is to replace every week, especially if you use the sponge every day. This 9 pack of Scotch Brite non-scratch sponges will get you through the next two months at a solid price; plus, if you subscribe, you’ll save even more.
With spring cleaning season right around the corner, you might as well start with everyone’s favorite room, the kitchen.