In this era of online discounts and classified ads, there are many deals waiting for you. But do you know what items are safe to buy used, or what you should never purchase secondhand?
Dr. Jim Sears explained what you should avoid at a yard sale or other secondhand marketplace.
The Doctors: Don’t Buy a Used Mattress
Dr. Jim said the lifespan of a mattress is about eight years, and it’s important to know where your mattress is coming from. Otherwise you could be at risk for bedbugs, in addition to allergens such as pet dander and dead skin cells that are caked into the mattress from years of use.
If you’re still on the fence about a used mattress, a blacklight should tell you everything you need to know about your potentially used bedding. Buying from a friend you trust will probably at least give you a reasonable idea of the mattress’s age and condition.
Don’t Buy Used Sports Helmets
When it comes to used sports equipment, you can save lots of money for your children. But never buy a used helmet, because head safety is so important. Dr. Jim suggested sticking to secondhand stores that specialize in sports because they will probably be more diligent about weeding out bad equipment before you can buy it.
Dr. Jim shared that the foam inside a helmet is what protects your head. Once the inner foam has been damaged, it becomes a safety risk, even though it may look safe from the outside.
Don’t Buy Used Car Seats
Think of all the gross things babies do in their car seats. Now that you have that mental image, discard it and think about used car seats. “Just like motorcycle helmets, infant car seats are designed to be in one accident and then discarded,” Dr. Jim said.
He added that an estimated 10% of all car seats are still in use after having been in an accident. The $50 investment for a new car seat is well worth it to protect your offspring.
Used Shoe Sterilizer
You know how breaking in shoes work. They eventually conform to your feet. Wearing someone else’s old shoes can be bad for your posture and cause back pain. Old shoes probably also have mold and other grossness, so you should sanitize them before wearing them.
The Doctors: Steri Shoe Review
Dr. Jim showed a product called Steri Shoe, which uses UV light to kill fungus that causes ringworm and other bacteria. That’s good for running shoes, new or used, as well as anything else in your shoe collection you might like to freshen up.
Dr. Travis also suggested letting your shoes air out for a day or so if they are getting extra stinky. Read about How To Fix Smelly Shoes.
Old Vs New Vacuum Cleaners
Dr. Jim said older vacuum cleaners could be spreading junk around instead of sucking it up. Studies have shown that older vacuums are more likely to leak than newer models. Vacuums naturally kick up the dust and allergens in your carpet, so keeping the stray dust to a minimum is best, especially if you have allergies.