Making an effort to consume less and reuse more is great, but second-hand stuff isn’t always safe to bring into your home. Some pre-owned items can come with pests and parasites, some depreciate in quality too quickly and others simply aren’t safe the second time around. If you’re in the market for one of these items, buy them new!
Upholstered furniture and throw pillows. The stuffing in furniture and pillows is an attractive home for bed bugs, mice, dust mites and other pests. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you don’t know what environment it came from, don’t bring it into yours!
Lamps. That retro lamp you saw at a neighbor’s garage sale may look rad, but it could be a fire hazard! According to FEMA, light fixtures and old lamps are among the leading causes of electrical fires in homes each year. If you have your heart set on a lamp, have it rewired!
Linens and blankets. These items are sneaky because you would assume that one wash would take care of any pest problems. But if that first wash doesn’t quite do the job, you may wind up paying big bucks for an exterminator. Is a chevron blanket really worth all that? Again, if you’re not sure where it came from, it’s best to just buy these items new.
Large appliances. When making a significant purchase like a washing machine or dishwasher, it’s best to go with something that’s brand new. That way, you’ll get the warranty that’s typically offered with the sale of new appliances. Plus, newer appliances will likely be twice as efficient as older ones, which saves you energy and money!
Blenders. The average lifespan of a blender with moderate use is around five years, so if you don’t know how often a blender was used, or when it was made, you could be paying for an appliance that’s on its last leg.
Cookware. Avoid used cookware because pots and pans can become hazardous as they wear down. If a pan is coated with a non-stick agent like Teflon that’s begun to peel away, it could release toxic gases when used, which will endanger your family (and pets, if you have birds!) and contaminate your food. To be on the safe side, opt for new cookware!