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23 Household Tips / Life Hacks

Updated on February 7, 2012
Tips for the home
Tips for the home | Source

The following is a list of 23 home tips.

1) Toothpaste is great for polishing silver. Putting tin foil and baking soda in a pan of heated water and polishing with that works as well. This reverses the oxidization process.

2) Coffee grounds make for great fertilizer and a synthetic pesticide. Let them cool down, then sprinkle around your plants. Don't use on indoor plants as coffee grounds can grow mold.

3) If your microwave has stuck-on food, get a cup of water and vinegar (lemon juice optional) and dampen a cloth in it, put it in your microwave for about 30-45 seconds, let it sit (to cool down) then use it to wipe everything away. The steam releases all the stuck-on food so you spend less time trying to scrape everything off.

4) After putting a sheet set through the laundry, store the sheets (and one pillowcase) inside the other pillowcase. You'll never search for the matching sheet/pillowcase again.

5) White vinegar makes a good substitute for many household cleaners. It's great for quick clean-ups and is both a disinfectant and is completely voltile (it will smell for a bit, but evaporates and leaves no smell or residues). It also repels some insects.

6) To remove smells from drains/sinks, first put hot water down the drain. Then, add concentrated ('premium') chlorine bleach carefully so that it pours into all sides of the pipe. Cover/plug and then leave for 1 hour. Rinse with hot water. Repeat until the problem goes away (it will!).

7) Bi-carbonate soda (sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate ect...) is very cheap and eats odors in your fridge. You can also use it in your laundry, shoes and more!

8) Push a nail through a piece of cardboard and then hold the cardboard when you hammer so you don't hurt your fingers.

9) Meat tenderizer gets blood out of fabrics. It won't bleach or fade colours. It's also a cure for jellyfish stings.

10) If you use up all the paint in the can throw the can away and throw the lid in a Ziploc bag. Most places put a sticker on top with all the info on it to remake the paint, even if it's custom or the dried pain on the lid can be used for a match

11) WD40 dissolves glue from stickers. When you buy something that had a sticker you have to peel off, and it left a sticky residue, WD40 is a good call. Sometimes taking a piece of tape and pressing it to the glue and lifting it will remove it too.

12) The cheapest dishwashing soap is as good as the most expensive. The expensive ones that praise being antibacterial is completely trivial, since most bacteria can't stand surfanctants.

13) Mold can be a huge problem and difficult to get rid of. It can take weeks to get rid of completely, but it can be done on your own. Carpeting and leather are ruined. You're best to just throw them out. First, fix the moisture problem. Open your windows in that room, use dehumidifiers and if you can, buy a temperature/humidity meter. They are pretty cheap (10-20$) and keep the humidity under 55%. Wash away any visible mold with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner or clean with chlorine bleach. Now that the surface is cleaned, you have to kill the mold spores. Buy some distilled "pure" clove oil (ebay, health stores) and put 1/2 tablespoon into 1/2 of a cup of methylated (denatured) spirits and stir. Dilute this to 1 litre of water and wipe the moldy surface. This works great in bathtubs/showers.

14) Follow the reccomendations of how much detergent to use in your laundry washer. The most common repair on washing machines is replacing the circuit boards. People often use too much soap which causes the bubbles to fill the machine, reach the circutry and fry it.

15) Static dusters make dusting a thousand times easier. Even the disposable ones can be washed in your washing machine on the shortest cycle. Dry on low heat or hang to dry and it's good as new. They last forever!

16) Heaters that directly heat the air are much more expensive to use and are not much more effective than just putting on a sweater or a blanket. If you are heating just a small area, a radiant heater with quarts halogen bulbs are a far cheaper and more effective option.

17) Keep and make photocopies of all of your expensive purchase receipts. Especially the ones that come on glossy-type paper. These receipts tend to fade in time, or turn black with heat/friction. It may save you a world of trouble if you should need to return something.

18) Paint the bottom ring of your shaving cream cans and other like products with clear nail polish and they won't leave rust rings in your bathroom.

19) If you own a garbage disposal, using orange and lemon peels into the garbage disposal helps with odours and gives a nice scent. Coffee grinds work well with this as well. If you need to clean buildup out of the disposal, a bucket of ice does wonders.

20) Easy cleanup on your indoor grills is to simply fold over a piece of tinfoil over both sides of the meat you're cooking. Spray on some cooking spray on the side of the foil your food touches, and cook. All you'll ever have to clean is the grease trap!

21) Remove the smell of garlic from your hand by rubbing a stainless steel spoon under running water.

22) Need to clean a water bottle/mug/weirdly-shaped container that you can't fit your hand or sponge into? Put 1/4 cup of uncooked rice in there with a little soapy water, close it and shake vigorously.

23) To clear a stuffy nose, push your tongue against the top of your mouth and place a finger between your eyebrows and apply pressure. Hold it for about 20 seconds and your sinuses will begin to drain


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    • MYSHALIEGIRL profile image

      Nikki 2 years ago from PA

      Great tips!! I always love discovering new life hacks to make my life easier.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      eddiecarrara - that sounds great!

    • eddiecarrara profile image

      Eddie Carrara 6 years ago from New Hampshire

      Here's one for you terrektwo, use hand sanitizer to remove pine pitch/tar from your hands or cloths. Good hub, great tips, voted up, useful and interesting.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      StonePost - those are great tips to live by thanks a bunch.

    • profile image

      StonePost 6 years ago

      If you have mold on plastic, or any other nonporous surface, use rubbing alcohol to remove it and help prevent it from coming back(due to its drying nature). This will damage wood, so be careful not to drip. Use a cotton swab to prevent runoffs.

      Great Hub!!!

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Glad it helped you pastella13 thanks for reading too :)

    • profile image

      pastella13 6 years ago

      Lots of useful tips here. And they're all so simple - if only we knew how when these things happen! I shall keep this in a safe place!

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      thanks for reading ~Christina and thanks for the tip for cleaning the crayon I'm sure it will come in handy for me as well :)

    • ~Christina profile image

      ~Christina 6 years ago from Northern Virginia

      There are some GREAT tips here. #4 seems so obvious I don't know why I never thought of it, but I'm totally doing it from now on.

      Another WD40 tip - it gets out crayon, say if your kid colors on his wood bed frame, for instance. (as mine did)

      Thanks for following me, I look forward to reading more of your hubs!

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Thanks Brian Burton glad you enjoyed as well.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      PeanutButterWine I'm glad it helped you :)

    • Brian Burton profile image

      Brian Burton 6 years ago

      Some great tips. Favorites are the paint lid storage in a ziploc bag and how to clear a stuffy nose. I'll be back to read that again when I get sick. Liked, voted up, useful, etc.. Good tips!

    • PeanutButterWine profile image

      PeanutButterWine 6 years ago from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

      Love this! and omg the sinus thing really worked.. weirrd... I was just wondering how to get rid of some mold in our windowsill upstairs (crappy thin windows) when I saw your Hub = perfect. Voted up and interesting, can't wait to read more! :)