Common Household Hacks And Tips To Help Navigate Daily Life A Little SmarterBy Aileen D
We were probably taught to do certain things the wrong way, and in other cases, new and better ways of doing something has been found. Whichever one is the case, we’re here to turn your life around. Thankfully, it’s not too late to change and learn new things that can make our lives easier. Maybe your friends can learn a neat hack from you once you have read this article! From how to keep your phone dry poolside to the best way to always have ice on the go, we’ve got all the home hacks you will ever need! Who knew managing a household could be so simple? With these cool suggestions, you’ll realize that life is a can be made a lot easier with some super easy tips. You’re welcome.
Right Way To Floss
Have you ever flossed only to find yourself losing a grip on the floss when you are trying to clean the teeth right at the back? It’s annoying, isn’t it? Well, here’s a solution for you that involves nothing more than basic knot tying.
We suggest that you tie a knot in a foot-long piece of dental floss. This way, you can encircle every tooth without worrying that you’ll lose grip. The knot boosts the amount of tension, so the floss is less likely to get away from you.
Going to the bathroom in a public restroom is something that can make a lot of people shudder, Anyone who is is even slightly germ-conscious will reach for a disposable seat cover before they have even closed the stall door.
The hack here, though, is that most people place the disposable cover on the seat with the flap part in the bowl, but we are here to advise that by placing the flap sticking out in front, the whole thing is actually easier to flush away when you are done.
This is the perfect tip for those who are moving out of their apartments or who need to transport a lot of clothing. Moving can be a stressful and exhausting process, and clothes can easily get creased if packed in boxes.
Use two or three sturdy hangers as a makeshift rod to hang the others on. They can be further secured in place with zip-ties as an extra fix. Once at your destination, simply hang the hangers in the closets and continue unboxing.
When you need to unplug a specific cable from a bunch of cords behind your desk, this hack will help you identify the one that needs to be unplugged in no time, and will prevent you from pulling out the wrong one by accident.
Simply keep the little tags that come with the bag of your loaf of bread, label them and place as an identifying tag around each of your cables. This will stop you from ever unplugging the tv during a crucial match in error ever again.
Take-Out Boxes As Plates
Chinese takeout is the perfect option when you don’t feel like cooking, and it’s delicious. Anyone who orders Chinese food regularly is used to seeing the uniquely shaped boxes, also known as oyster pails. What most people don’t know, however, is that they have a specific purpose.
Just in case you plan to place those boxes on the kitchen tabletop or in the dinner table, simply unfold the boxes so you will have plates. This way, your friends can easily get a few morsels from your plate. Afterwards, you can fold them back up to store away the leftovers.
Dinner for 6, but if you are not sure just how much spaghetti to boil, we have a little tip to take the guesswork out of it. Good hosts hate for people to go away hungry after not preparing enough food. So get the water boiling, and reach for your pasta spoon.
Measure that pasta using your spaghetti spoon to ensure you have enough for everyone. The hole in the middle of the spoon is the suggested serving size for a portion. So measure out the required amount, or maybe even a bit more, if you like midnight snacking.
Most people believe that to clean their hair properly, the shampoo needs to be lathered in from the root to the ends. But the truth is that it can actually dry out the hair excessively and cause damage to the ends.
Hair sebum, or oil, is produced and released from the scalp, so that is where it is most likely to pool up. During washing, the scalp is the area that needs to be concentrated on, there is no need to spend as much time lathering the rest.
Getting The Most Out Of Your PB
Naturally made peanut butter is the best, and usually far healthier than regular store-bought ones! Unfortunately, they are prone to separation after a short time, and you are left with an unappetizing layer of oil on top of the solid butter part underneath it.
The solution to this is to store them in your cupboards lying down. That way, when you turn the bottle up, the layers mix without you having to stir. Just wedge the bottle in between other containers so that it won’t roll around.
Pop Can Tab Secret
We love soda, and there is nothing better than grabbing a cold can on a hot day. You might have looked at the tab when opening your pop, and wondered what the hole in the tab was for, or if it was just there for decoration.
That soda can tab is actually meant to be used as a straw holder. Simply turn the holder over the hole and place your straw in it. Now you can sip in the comfort that the straw is in place. You do not have to break eye contact with your date, nor do you have to try fumble around while guessing where the straw is with the tip of your tongue.
Most people, when cooking, will either leave the spoon in the pot or place it on the countertop next to the stove in between stirs. The first can make the spoon scolding hot if its metal, and the second, simply creates more mess in the kitchen that will need to be cleaned up.
If you have even noticed the handle of a saucepan, you will see that there is a hole in the handle. That hole can fit the end part of your spoon, but make sure that the spoon is either wooden or metal. If it’s plastic, it might still be better to place it on a plate; it just might melt.
Taking The Plunge
Blocked drains are never fun, and almost always will need immediate attention. Be it your sink or bowl, you will need to find the right type of plunger to remedy the situation. If it makes you feel any better, we didn’t know there were different kinds of plungers either.
The flat ones are perfect for sinks because there is less solid material, and therefore suction is needed to dislodge the clog. A toilet plunger, on the other hand, is used for the bowl because it fits right into that tapered hole where suctioning is required. There is also a taze plunger to clear large pipes, but best leave this one to the professionals. They use steel rods with it.
Pillboxes are actually really versatile and can be used in every room in the house. This trick is to use them to keep earrings neatly stored in pairs. There is nothing more frustrating than looking for a missing earring in a rush.
To be generous, here are some other useful tips for pillboxes- they can be used to store beads, buttons, and bobbins for all the craft lovers out there. They make your supplies easy to store and even easier to locate precisely what you are looking for.
Tic Tac Hack
Tic Tacs have been around for a long time, and never seem to lose popularity. So, no doubt, you have probably noticed the odd engraving inside the lid. It seems to fit the shape of a tic-tac, but how do we use it, you might have asked yourself?
We are happy to tell you: With the flap facing the top, turn the container towards the lid, then open the cover. That ought to dispense one tic-tac for you to enjoy. It’s really is a bit of a tease, as we never knew that was a dispenser.
Even as adults, we often spill things when pouring them from the carton, causing rings on the countertop or splashes on the wall. To make sure you’re getting every drop of yummy goodness neatly out of the container, you need to do this:
Unscrew the cap, and with the opening at the top, start pouring. Its contents will now come out smoother because air is freely entering the carton while the liquid exits: no sloshing, no bubbles, no waste. Good job, and you’re welcome!
Every household uses hangers, and no one would be able to organize their closets without these bad boys. But not all of our hangers are equal in terms of functionality and quality. Wooden hangers are the most superior of them all.
They were made to repel moths and bugs when you store away those winter tweed jackets or delicate lacework for months on end. They are durable and well-scented. Although they are more expensive, by protecting your garments, you will end up saving money in the long run. We’ll take them all please!
We are going to say that its safe to assume that most Coca-Cola lovers will not be happy to know all the things you can do with this much- loved drink. The point is that if Coke’s acid content is high enough to clean a loo, it might be time to start drinking more water.
About two liters of Coke will do. Bring it to room temperature, unscrew the lid, then pour it down the drain or toilet bowl and leave for two hours. The phosphoric acid will break down the materials clogging the plumbing. Afterward, pour hot water to flush out the debris.
Young kids are still learning to master their motor control. That’s why when you give them a juice box, it’s possible that they’re going to end up holding on to the box too tight, causing juice to squirt out everywhere
What might come as a surprise, is that there is an easy fix for this. Simply pull out the flaps on the top of the juice boxes so that little ones can hold on to them while sipping their drink. That will save you many clean-ups for the near future.
Tie Your Shoes To Dry
After the gym or a long hike, you might want to change your shoes to something more comfortable. You might opt for sandals, allowing your feet to breathe, or perhaps your sneakers got drenched in a puddle. If you’re one of the lucky people who have got diagonal patches on your backpack, simply tie those shoelaces though them.
That way, you won’t have to place your dirty, wet shoes inside the backpack or store them separately in a plastic bag either. These “pig snouts” as they are known, can also be used to attach hiking gear as well! Who knew? We had no clue!
Ready To Go Ice
During the hot summer months, it can be challenging to keep your water bottles cold, sure, you can drop a few ice cubes in it on the way out the door, but it won’t take long before you are drinking lukewarm water.
If you fill your water bottle halfway and place it in the freezer at an angle the night before, you can take it out before you leave, and fill up the remainder of the bottle with your beverage of choice. This will keep your drink cooler for longer.
Those people who pack yogurt in their lunch as a quick on-the-go snack will appreciate this next tip. It is easy in a rush to forget to pack a spoon as well, leaving you hungry and trying to “drink” the yogurt straight from the tub.
Or you could make a makeshift spoon from the lid! Simply mold it in to shape with a handle on the one end and a scoop on the other. This will save you the embarrassment of trying to slurp your lunch straight out of the tub.
When you get a new car, the last thing you think about is what side of the vehicle the gas tank is located on. You are too busy thinking about the sleek lines, the plush interior, and perhaps, the navigation system.
If in doubt, check the gas indicator on your dashboard. An arrow or a small triangle beside the gas gauge will indicate which side the tank is. So if it’s pointing to the right, then you should park the car with the right side facing the gas pump. Bet you didn’t know that; we didn’t!
Slow Cook Better
If you want food that basically cooks itself, then a slow-cooker is the ideal kitchen tool for you. From roast chicken to lasagne, the options are endless. Throw in the ingredients for and forget about it for a few hours.
The tip here is not to keep opening up the lid to check on its progress. This will let the heat out and will take time for it to return to the original temperature. The point of this method of cooking is to keep the stirring and amount of attention needed to the minimum.
There isn’t anything out of the ordinary that we can advise you to do with a vegetable peeler. We all have one and know how to use it efficiently. There is, however, one small use that most people don’t know about.
We all know that cutting onions can be an unpleasant task and cause your eyes to tear up. Using a vegetable peeler, however, helps make this job easier and reduces tearing. This common kitchen tool also helps cut uniform slices of onions, making you feel ready for Master Chef.
You don’t have to waste money buying those blue gel ice cold packs. If you are like most parents, chances are you have a supply of sponges at home. Place a sponge in a sealable bag, fill with water, seal it, then place it in the freezer.
When someone has a fever or a sprained muscle, simply wrap the frozen sponge in a thin cloth, and place it on the affected body part. The same goes for bruises and keeping those eye bags at bay. You can also pack them in your child’s lunchbox, so those desserts stay cold until break time!
Slurpees are a classic summer drink. It’s always best to get your money’s worth by ordering the largest cup and filling it with a slushie. Unfortunately, you can only fill it once. Here is a hack to maximizing your $3.
Pay for your drink at the counter and request the convex lid. Fill the cup to half an inch from the brim, then place the cup upside down. Fill to your heart’s content. Pierce that glory with a straw and slurp away. They can watch you from the CCTV but they can’t do anything about this hack. It is totally legit!
Dose Of Vitamin C
You’re taking your chances every time you press your thumb on the stem part of that orange. Juice might spurt out. Some might even land in your eyes. That’s going to sting, but not as much as wasting the pulp within.
So the next time you want to eat an orange, slice off the top and bottom layers. Then peel the fruit open as shown above. It looks like an ammo belt of Vitamin C because that’s just what they are.
Aluminum Foil Hack
We all use aluminum foil during cooking and when storing food, but it’s usually a struggle to get it out of the box without it rolling out and unraveling everywhere. There is a little known tip to make getting it out of the box much simpler.
There is a small tab on the side of the package, and you will see a “press here to lock roll.” Try it. That tab should secure the roll while you pull out the desired length with one hand. It will keep the foil clean and stop it from landing up on your kitchen floor.
Ditching The Pail
When you need to stock up on water but your sink is too small, you could place a pail underneath the sink, wait for it to fill, then pour the contents into a bucket. But this requires that you stand by the sink, and that is a waste of time. We suggest you do this instead.
Place a dustpan under the faucet with its mouth towards the sink. Water will pour over it and straight down the handle. The stream will flow through the end, and you can collect it by placing the bucket underneath the sink.
When at the pool or beach, it can be hard to relax and enjoy the day if you are worried about keeping your phone, keys, and other valuables dry and sand-free. Here is where an empty plastic jar comes to the rescue.
Cleanse out the jar and let it dry before placing your valuables inside. With your belongings safe in the jar, you can have fun with the guarantee that even if it accidentally lands up in the water, everything will be intact and undamaged.
When ironing a formal shirt, the hardest part to get crease free is the back. You know, that loop between the shoulder blades. The iron gets stuck there. You might even have come close to damaging the shirt. We have always wondered what it was for. As it turns out, it’s made to benefit those who travel a lot.
See, when you’re staying somewhere, like a hotel or B&B, there is no guarantee that the room will come with enough clothes hangers. But with or without one, you can still hang up your polo or blouse by using that tab at the back.
After going on a shopping spree, you will often find a small bag containing the extra button and a square inch of fabric. That button is for emergency purposes, just in case you accidentally lose a button somewhere, but the fabric swathe has an entirely different use altogether.
The matching fabric is meant for you to to use as you test out your chemical products, such as fabric softeners bleach, stain removers, detergents, and the like. This way, you won’t ruin your blouse or second-guess what product is effective.
Coasters For Perfectionists
The plastic lid that you get with your soda has more than one use. Yes, we all know that it keeps bugs out of your drink, and secures the straw for easy sipping. But there is another neat thing you can do with the lid.
The plastic lids are specially made to fit the base of your cup securely. So the lid can be used as a coaster for your drink and to prevent leaving ugly ring marks when you put your pop down on a surface that can be easily damaged by watermarks.
You can tie your shoelaces several ways, and even use different color laces depending on your mood and to match your sneakers. But have you ever wondered why there seem to be extra holes right at the top of your shoes?
You could lace up without using these, but when you are sprinting, maximize the comfort of your shoes, and prevent injury by threading through them. They will hug your feet tighter and allow less of the friction that causes blisters.
Mascara can clump easily, so to maximize the price for that bottle of mascara and make sure to keep the liquid contents good for longer by using it correctly. Stop pumping the wand in and out because doing this will cause it to dry out faster.
Every time this happens, more air gets pushed into the container, which will cause the product to dry out. You will end up with more flakes and clumps on your eyelashes and will need to replace the tube more often.
Every oven can do multiple things. We all know that they can be used for baking, roasting, and grilling. They can be used for baking cakes and cookies and for creating a host of other delectable goodies. There is a lesser-known function, however, that a lot of people are unaware of.
That’s right. That is a warming drawer. It’s not meant to store your baker’s pin, aluminum foil, or other kitchen essentials. It is intended to keep the quick-melt cheese semi-liquid and glossy over that casserole, and those sides at the right temperature, until ready to be served.
If you have ever had a hard time squeezing the contents of that ketchup bottle on to your plate, you aren’t alone. It doesn’t help that it’s usually in a glass bottle either. But locate the number on it, and place the side of your palm over it.
Now apply a consistent amount of pressure over the number of years this product has been serving America, and you will find that the ketchup will pour easily over your fries. It’s the right pressure point to unleash this favorite condiment.
Sometimes more doesn’t mean better. You can floss and brush frequently. But the amount of toothpaste you use does not affect the effectiveness of your brushing. Yes, you read that right. Companies suggest that you use only a pea-sized amount.
So you’re wasting money by applying more. You just end up emptying the tube faster. Just frequently brush, twice a day as recommended, but don’t use more than necessary. Those commercials are misleading, and frankly, just want you to buy more toothpaste.
Those headrests were not just made to rest your head on to make driving a more comfortable activity, although they do help to do this. They also serve a second life-saving purpose — but only if you know how to pull it out of the seat entirely.
If in an accident and you find yourself unable to get out of the vehicle, quickly locate the button the flat part of the seat next to the headrest post. Press on that button and hold it. Without releasing, pull the headrest up and out. Use it to break the windows of your car and exit safely.
When trying to add keys to your keyring, you may find yourself using your nails and then chipping them. It can be a hard and painful endeavor for your fingers as well. There is a simple way of doing this by using a staple remover.
Wedge it in between the layers of that coil, pinch down and then insert the key on to the keyring. Slide through until it’s fixed in the center. Now you’re getting the price for your money’s worth on that remover.
Keeping It In Place
Bobby pins are an ideal way to tame frizzy hair or to keep a messed-up hair-do in place. They are easy to use, but the truth is that you have probably been using them the wrong way. Here’s how to use them correctly:
Place hairpins with the ragged edge on top. The smooth edge should be facing your scalp. We know, it sounds odd, but that’s per the manufacturers’ recommendations. This will stop the clips from falling out, and keep your hair in place for longer.
Place Liquids In Blender First
When you need to whip up a smoothie or a soup, a blender is the best kitchen tool to have for this task. It takes all the hassle out of preparing a variety of goodies. The trick is, though, to know how to load your blender correctly to get the best results.
Contrary to popular belief, we suggest you pour the liquids in first. Hit the button and wait for a couple of seconds. Then place the solids. The weight of the heavier items will be pulled towards the blades resulting in a smoother consistency. No one likes lumpy soup!
At least once in your life, you have wasted time playing with a measuring tape. You probably marked your height against the wall then measured it by laying the tape from the floor until the marking. We must admit to not studying the markings on a tape measure very carefully at all.
Next time, stretch it out and look for those diamond markings which start at the 19.2-inch mark and are there to help space out floor trusses, they work as a visual cue helping the work to get done faster.
Some fast-food chains helped make life easier by switching from condiment packages to those little pots that you can fill up by yourself. However, they don’t hold enough ketchup for everyone, and often multiple trips to the counter are needed.
The hack about using them, however, is that they actually have creases on the sides, and can be pulled out to open up bigger, allowing you to get more ketchup or mayo first time. They are also more environmentally-friendly, and less messy they the packets. Enjoy!
With or without a GPS system, there are fail-safe ways to drive on the highway without missing your exit or turn. It’s important that you know this basic tip so you will not have to swerve at the last minute.
Using those highway signs, shift to the rightmost lane if the sign of the place you’re going to is located on the right, and vice versa. So as soon as you read the sign, adjust accordingly. Turn on your signal light and carefully move into the appropriate lane.
We have gotten used to peeling bananas a certain way — from the tip to the base. Care to try differently? The advantage to it is that it’s easier and allows for a faster peel. Although this might seem harder, give it a go!
Monkeys do it this way. They peel from the base to the stem. Simply pinch off the base, then slowly tear off the peel as you would. Bite down and enjoy! Share with others — we mean this tip and that fruit.
Baking Soda OR Vinegar
Science says we don’t mix both. The acetic acid in vinegar reacts with sodium bicarbonate. Remember, in science class, then when you add an acid and a base of equal intensities, they just produce water and salt? Same concept here. The bubbles you see when you mix both is just carbon dioxide escaping the solution.
You’re simply left with a dilute solution of water and sodium acetate — most of it is water. So when using a cleaning agent, use either vinegar or baking soda. If needed, use one after the other to ensure that you get the benefits from both.
A Watch And A Mouse
We hate it when we leave the computer idle for a couple of minutes, and return to log on. Who thought of that password sign-in anyway? To make sure you don’t get locked out and needing to keep logging back in, take off your analog watch to do this.
Place it under your mouse. That moving second hand will signal the sensor that you’re “present”. You won’t have to log in every now and then, nor will you bother your roommate for his or her password into his account.
Follow The Detergent Bottle Instructions
Follow the instructions written on your detergent bottles. They are there for a good reason. Even if you add twice the amount, that’s not going to increase its anti-bacterial or cleansing properties. You just end up wasting money by the load.
Second, you might end up doing more harm than good because detergents can ruin the color and texture of your clothing, leaving it different from how it was before. So don’t go experimenting. Stick to the recommended amounts, and always follow the care instruction labels.
Sealing Plastic Bags
You probably prefer items to be packed in resealable bags or packets. Those can sometimes cost a little more. What if we tell you that you could buy the cheaper-packaged products without having to place them in air-tight containers once opened?
Cut the top part of a recyclable bottle about 5-7 cm down. Pull the open plastic bag through the hole and out of it. Fold the sides around the opening, then screw the bottle lid securely. We told you it’s air-tight!
When wheeling up and down the aisles, you might have noticed the odd protrusion at the sides of the cart. They are usually located at the back of or on the sides of the cart. Not only do they serve as additional space, but they have another handy use.
Those are meant to hang your fragile items on. Simply place your tray of eggs or loaf of bread in a bag, and hang it on the loop, so they stay intact and don’t get damaged by accidentally being placed under a heavy item in the trolley.
This can be a household or an office item. But when doing arts and crafts session at home, or preparing for that weekly meeting, try this. We do not want you to nick your fingertips. Those cutters have a safety feature on them.
That cap is meant to be used for breaking off the tip of the blade once it has become blunt. Pull the lid off, slide the blade down, then insert the dull edge into the cap. Break across the line by slightly bending the blade. Presto! You have got a sharper razor blade! Dispose of the old one properly. Wrap it in a piece of cloth or place it in a bottle before discarding it.