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Make Perfectly Shaped Pancakes. Fix a Sagging Sofa. Clean with Alka-Seltzer, and other Household Tips

Updated on December 30, 2016
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.


One thing that some people can say is that some aspects of running a household is not their forte, and with that being said they need all the help they can get. For the less skilled of being a household CEO there are some really great shortcuts and tips to make running a household more enjoyable. If you don’t do well running a household a suggestion would be to keep a file of household tips near by, either taped on the pantry door, in a file, or in a notebook. Print out your favorite, if there is such a thing, household tips and tricks. Let's jump right into the fray and look at household tips and tricks that are fun and easy.

Onions and Potatoes
Onions and Potatoes | Source
  • To keep an ice cream cone from dripping - stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of your sugar cone to prevent ice cream from dripping out of the bottom.
  • To make perfectly shaped pancakes every time - use a meat baster to "squeeze" pancake batter into your pan or griddle - perfectly shaped pancakes every time.
  • Stop your potatoes for budding put an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
  • To prevent eggs from cracking as they are being boiled, place a pinch of salt in the water before boiling.
  • Stop those Rice Krispies from sticking to your fingers by running your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies into pan and they won't stick to your fingers.
  • Easily remove burnt food from a skillet by adding dish soap and water to the pan, bring to a boil, and your skillet will be easy to clean.
  • Stop staining your Tupperware by spraying your Tupperware with nonstick spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces - no more stains.
  • Keep cakes from having white stuff on the sides. When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead - no white mess on the outside of the cake.
  • Ever over salted a dish, here's how to remove some of the salt - while the dish is still cooking, drop in a peeled potato - it absorbs the excess salt.
  • Want to keep celery for a long time in the refrigerator? Wrap it in aluminum foil.
  • Want a glossy pie crust? Brush beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to get a great glossy finish.
  • Is your bag of brown sugar hard? Here's how to soften it up - put a slice apple in it
  • Make your corn on the cob even sweeter. When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.
  • Here's how to determine if an egg is fresh. Place egg in cool salted water, and if it sinks, it's fresh, but if it rises to the top, throw it out.
  • How to re-purpose leftover wine - freeze into ice cubes for later to use in casseroles and sauces. NOTE: if alcohol level of wine is less than 13%, it should freeze ok. If alcohol level is more than that the wine won't freeze completely.
  • Are opening jars giving you a problem? Use latex dish washing gloves with non-slip grip.
  • Here's how to remove food stains from your fingers - slice a raw potato, rub your fingers, and rinse with water.


Look what Alka-Seltzer can do

  • Want a clean toilet? Drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush.
  • To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets.
  • Polish jewelry by dropping two Alka-Seltzer tablets in a glass of water, then put in your jewelry for two minutes.
  • Clean a thermos by filling it with water, drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour or more.
  • Unclog a drain by dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain, then follow up with a cup of white vinegar, wait a few minutes, then run hot water.

Fix Sagging Seats of Sofas and Chairs

Purchase plywood from your local home improvement store to bolster or firm up the seats of a sofa or chair. Remove the sofa or chair pillows first. Then take a tape measure and measure the length and width of your sagging sofa or chair seat. Make sure you knock off a couple of inches so the plywood won't fit so tight to the sides of your sofa or chair. Armed with the measurements, go to the home improvement store, choose your plywood thickness - either ½ or ¾ inch is good for firm support, and get it cut to your measurements. Remove any sofa or chair slipcovers, place heavy-duty plastic on your sofa or chair seat, put down the cut plywood, wrap the plywood with the plastic, replace the slipcovers, and replace the sofa or chair pillows - VOILA! You now have a wonderfully firm sofa or chair.

Plywood to fix a sagging sofa. Removed sofa pillows and sofa slipcover.
Plywood to fix a sagging sofa. Removed sofa pillows and sofa slipcover. | Source
Replaced sofa slipcover.
Replaced sofa slipcover. | Source
My firm comfortable sofa.
My firm comfortable sofa. | Source

Save Those Plastic Take-Out Plates

If you eat out a lot and have accumulated plastic take-out plates don’t throw them out – reuse them. If you are also a weekend warrior, a DIY kind of person, and you paint, use those take-out plates for paint trays. You will save a considerable amount of money by not having to buy paint trays.

Homemade Paint Tray
Homemade Paint Tray | Source

Put Your Plants on Wheels

If you have plants that are heavy, but you would like to move them from room to room, put them on wheels. This is one of the easiest ways to move your plants around.

Beautiful Peace Lily
Beautiful Peace Lily | Source


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    • profile image

      GOODY-TOOSHOES 2 years ago

      wow some good tips

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      Useful everyday tips for simplifying life!

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi teaches12345, I wrap my celery in aluminum foil all the time - it works well.

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi BlossomSB, thanks

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This is a really good list of suggestions. I especially like the celery in aluminum wrap. We tend to lose some of the veggie because it spoils too soon. This will help! Voted way up and shared.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      What a great lot of hints! Enjoyed reading them - hope I remember to apply them, too.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      There are some useful tips here. If I remember rightly Alka-Seltze has baking soda in it, and I've used that for lots of cleaning jobs such as getting burnt food off pans, but would never have thought to clean a toilet with it!

      Putting an apple in with the potatoes sounds very useful too.

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks donnah75. I use Alka-Seltzer all the time for cleaning.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good list. I never thought of using a meat baster for pancakes. That and the alka seltzer to clean a drain will be ones I use. Thanks! Voted up and sharing.