Beware of buying used items! It can be dangerous to your health!

We all are looking to save money but I caution you to beware of purchasing used items from for sale groups.

There are so many factors you must consider when buying “used” merchandise.  Probably some you never even considered.

Remember there is no warranty and no recourse when you buy used vs. new items.  New items come with a warranty (as short as it may be these days but I have found even if the warranty is over and the items is fairly new most companies will rectify the situation to your satisfaction) used items you are on your own if something happens.  Saving a few dollars could cost you a lot more in the long run when buying used.  I look for a great deal on a new items FIRST always.  Just put in a little time to do the research and you will come out a winner every time.

Yes buying used items can save you money but me be dangerous in the long run.

Clothing may be the one exception to the rule when it comes to buying used.  ALWAYS launder clothing when you get it home.  You never know what it can be exposed to.  Even new clothing should be washed before it’s put against your body.  My daughter-in-law worked in retain management for years.  She told me that many of the garments are sprayed with chemical pesticides to prevent things like moths from eating into the fabric in transit.

Baby items – if you have to buy used make ABSOLUTELY sure there is no recall on that particular model you are buying.  Baby items are being recalled daily for safety issues.  You can check for recalled baby items on the at the US Consumer Protection Agency’s website – here!

Shoes – I’m really not a fan of buying used shoes at all.  The pediatrician told me years ago that you can hurt your child’s feet with someone’s else’s shoes.  We all form a pattern from our individual feet and walking in shoes.  You really don’t want your child or yourself (for that matter) walking in shoes that have already been formed into a certain pattern but if you absolutely have no other choice makes sure to wipe down the inside of the shoes with a cloth dampened with alcohol.  Then there is the bacteria factor, you don’t know if that person has any medical concerns that would transfer to you when wearing their used shoes.  There are things like toe nail fungus and athlete’s foot that can be a very bid issue in this situation.  Honestly if you follow me, you won’t have to buy used shoes, I post amazing deals for the entire family at the end of each season (and all throughout the year) where you can save up to 90% off.

Hair Styling Appliances – something like a hair dryer is fine but when you are buying things like used flat irons and used hair clippers you should ABSOLUTELY clean them thoroughly before you put them on your own hair.  Once again, wash what you can in hot hot water and antibacterial soap and air dry. The parts that you cannot washed, take a dampened rag with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and wipe it all down to clean and sanitize them.  Hair stylists use a product called “barbicide” (that blue solution) which kills germs, lice, etc.  You really have to be very careful buying these products used.

Washers & Dryers – you will see many ads on “for sale” groups for used washers and dryers.  Once again you can run into sanitation issues as washers can hold mold and mildew if they are not cleaned properly while they were used.  I clean my washer at least twice a month (according to the cleaning instructions) and I still get mildew even with vigilant cleaning.  Moisture causes mildew and mold to grow (and that can make your very sick after long exposure.)  The newer washers are notorious for this.  No need to buy fancy washer cleaners – the LG repair tech told me to put a few cups of vinegar in the washer and run the “cleaning” cycle.  That will do the job.

Dryers need to be wiped out occasionally as well.  I found that my dryer can get a horrible mildew smell from time to time.  DO NOT USE ALCOHOL to clean the inside of the dryer it is flammable.  Instead use a solution of 1  cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water mixed on a damp rag and leave the dryer door open for a period of time to allow the inside to dry. You never know what that person who you purchased the used appliance was putting into or washing in these items.  Could have been rags with caustic chemicals, etc.

Air Conditioners – this is one item that I never even thought about until I read a article recently about mold and mildew buildup.  Buying a used air conditioner can save you some money but you have no clue how the air conditioner was used or whether or not is was cared for an stored properly.  Once again the “mold and mildew” issue is a big factor here and can make you very sick.

Here is an excellent step by step article written by Dengarden on how to properly store and clean your air conditioner each season.  I strongly suggest you follow these steps before you use a “used” air conditioning unit.  See article here!

Refrigerators – can hold mold and mildew in places you never expected to find it.  If you buy a used one make sure to clean it thoroughly before using.

Microwaves – can also harbor hold mold and mildew in places you never expected to find it, make sure to clean it thoroughly before using.   If the person no longer has the “use and care” instructions that come with the microwave try typing in the model number in on google to see if you can find it on line.  Many appliance manufacturers now keep older model instructions and use and care instructions on PDF files on line.

To clean and sanitize your refrigerator or microwave use a solution equal parts of vinegar and water.

Here is an article I found on Webmd that talks all mold and mildew, the warning signs, and how it can affect your health.

Mold and mildew can cause some very serious health issues if you are exposed to them for any length of time.




Posted in Consumer Tips.