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All's well and good in the kitchen...until your 15-year-old blender starts smelling like burning plastic. Make your cooking tools pull their weight by replacing them when they expire and looking for telltale signs of imminent demise. Here’s how often the most common culprits most likely need replacing.

spoons

Wooden Spoons: Every 5 years

Or when you find cracks, discoloration or soft spots. (Quit mixing your ma's marinara sauce with a cracked, porous spoon filled with scary E. coli.)

Le Creuset ($25)

spatulas

Rubber Spatulas: Every 2 years

Or when they’re deeply scratched, missing chunks, melted or embarrassingly stained. Because, honestly, is there anything sadder than an orange-tinted “white” spatula?

KitchenAid ($13)

kitchenknives

Paring Knives: Every 2 years

Or when they break, rust or no longer take to sharpening. Pro tip: Expand their lifespan by sharpening once a week with a sharpening stone or whetstone.

Farberware ($8)

kitchenpans

Nonstick Cookware: Every 2-3 years

Or when you spot surface chips or scratches...or when scrambling eggs becomes a cleanup nightmare. Pro tip: You can keep these guys from scratching by storing them hanging up or stacked with a paper towel in between each one.

Calphalon ($70)

cuttingboards

Plastic Chopping Boards: Every 3 years

Or when they develop deep marks from knife cuts. Be sure to stock up on separate boards for meat/poultry and fruits/veggies--or else live in fear of salmonella in your salad.

Stanton Trading ($13)

kitchenblender

Countertop Blenders: When you drop it or submerge the base in water

That is, according to manufacturers. Otherwise, just replace blades when they become dull (search for a manufacturer kit for your model). And keep on keepin’ on with those daiquiris you’re famous for.

Vitamix ($529)

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