Life hacks have one purpose: to make life easier! Here are 20 life hacks you can try that’ll help you save both time and money.
20. Get Wrinkles Out of Your Laundry Easily
Yes, you could break out the iron and ironing board to get wrinkles out of your clothes. You could even spend extra money on wrinkle-release spray or wrinkle-resistant clothing. But, if you’re interested in saving both time and money, you’ll want to try this neat little hack instead.
To remove wrinkles from your laundry with ease, toss a few ice cubes or a wet washcloth in the dryer with your wrinkled clothes. As the ice melts and the water turns to steam, it will get the wrinkles out of your clothes. And, there you have it. As easy as 1-2-3.
TIP: This hack isn’t all that effective on heavier clothing.
19. Freshen Up Your Garbage Disposal with Lemons
If you were to stick your nose in your garbage disposal (we don’t recommend you do this, by the way), you’d probably gag from all those nasty odors in there. Thankfully, there’s a quick and easy solution to help freshen things up a bit. And, believe it or not, this solution requires you to put more food in your garbage disposal. Here’s what you need to do: cut up a lemon and run a couple of slices through the garbage disposal. Not only will it freshen up your garbage disposal, it’ll freshen up the entire kitchen as well.
18. Deodorize Your Sneakers with Salt
Your canvas shoes can get pretty smelly, especially when you wear them without socks during the summer. But, there’s an easy, free (we say free because you probably already have this item in your home) solution to this problem. Sprinkle a little salt in your canvas shoes and leave it overnight. Then, dust your shoes well in the morning. Not only will it get rid of nasty odors, it will also soak up moisture.
TIP: If necessary, you can do this every night to keep odors at bay.
17. Boost Corn on the Cob Flavor with This Kitchen Staple
Nope, it isn’t butter. It isn’t salt either, although these two ingredients will definitely enhance the flavor of your corn on the cob. For this boost, you will need to grab some milk. Adding 1/4 cup of powdered milk to the pot of boiling water before you toss in the corn will make your corn on the cob taste both fresher and sweeter. Of course you can always add butter and salt after it’s finished cooking for even more flavor.
16. Get Fog-Free Bathroom Mirrors with This Car Protectant
Don’t you just hate it when you step out of the shower only to see your bathroom mirrors have fogged up? Well, there’s a simple solution to this problem — much simpler than repeatedly wiping them with a cloth or towel. This solution will prevent your mirrors from fogging up in the first place. So, what is it, you ask? Car wax. Apply a small amount of it to your mirrors and let it dry. After it has dried, buff your mirrors with a soft, dry cloth. Now, when you take a hot shower, your mirrors will be fog-free.
15. Bubble-Wrap Your Ice Cream to Keep it Cold
Not only does bubble wrap protect our valuables from getting broken, it also acts as a powerful insulator. That being said, you can use it to keep your ice cream from melting when you’re en route to a picnic or other destination. Not only will it stop it from melting, it’ll actually keep your ice cream firm for hours!
TIP: If you’re heading to a picnic, you can wrap your sodas and other frozen or chilled picnic foods in bubble wrap, too.
14. Clean Your TV Screen with a Dry Cloth
Did you know that you’re not supposed to put Windex or water directly onto your TV screen? Yep, it’s true. Your television’s screen is too sensitive for water and chemicals, and as a result, can end up becoming damaged if you clean your TV with them. Instead, you should “gently wipe the screen with a dry cloth to remove dust and other debris, but don’t press too hard,” John Walsh, a photographer with Consumer Reports who cleans 250-plus televisions a year, told Best Life.
13. Scrub Your Cast-Iron Skillet with a Potato
When it comes time to clean your cast-iron skillet, forget about using a harsh Brillo pad or other abrasives that can cause the pan’s seasoned coating to flake off or rust. Reach for a potato instead. Yes, you read that right. A potato. Here’s how to do it: Cut a potato in half, pour some coarse salt into your cast-iron skillet, then use half a potato to rub it in. This will break up any messes so they can be easily and safely rinsed away.
12. Get a Machine-Washable Mop
Did you know that if you store your mop when it is wet, it will support so much bacteria that even harsh chemicals won’t be able to disinfect it?! Yuck, right? But, unfortunately it’s true. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to this. Ditch your traditional mop and purchase a machine-washable mop instead. The Libman Spin Mop and Bucket is one such mop. The head is removable from the handle and can go straight into the washing machine to be cleaned.
11. Extend the Life of Your Sharpie
Has your Sharpie dried out? Before you toss it in the trash and spend money on a new one, follow this neat little hack from The Family Handyman:
“Remove the back from the maker. This will be different for each brand of permanent marker, for Sharpies simply remove the back nib. Next, deposit a few drops of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol onto the felt material inside. Shake the marker a bit to ensure the rubbing alcohol is absorbed. It’s the solvent that the ink is mixed with that dries out first, making the pigment unable to flow. Once the felt absorbs the rubbing alcohol for a couple of minutes the marker will be practically good as new!”
10. Keep Ants Away with Coffee Grounds
Do you ever feel like your home is a summertime getaway for ants? Before you call an expensive exterminator or before you decide to pack up and leave the house to the ants, you might want to try this hack: sprinkle some coffee grounds near your doorways. Coffee is high in nitrogen, and nitrogen burns bugs. So, when you sprinkle coffee grounds near your doorways, the ants won’t want to walk across it, thereby preventing them from reaching your house in the first place.
9. Keep Your Baked Goods Soft with White Bread
To keep your leftover cookies, cakes, muffins and other baked goods as soft as they were the day you baked them, place them in an airtight container with a slice of store-bought white bread. The baked goods will absorb the moisture from the bread, keeping them soft — and keeping your family and friends happy.
-You can use this same trick to keep your brown sugar soft.
-Make sure you store soft cookies (chocolate chip, peanut butter, gingerbread, etc.) separately from crispy cookies.
8. Locate Lost Small Items by Wrapping Your Vacuum Cleaner Nozzle with a Stocking
It really sucks when we lose or misplace something — especially when it’s a small item that’s hard to find and easy to get sucked up into a vacuum cleaner. So, before you go vacuuming the whole house only to have to open the vacuum cleaner bag to dig out the item you were looking for, wrap a piece of stocking (pantyhose) around your vacuum cleaner nozzle first, then turn on the vacuum. The stocking is thin enough to let the vacuum do its job while keeping the lost item from getting sucked inside.
7. Easily Remove Gum from Your Carpet
There’s a reason why students aren’t allowed to chew gum at school. Because the teachers and staff know that that gum will end up in places where it isn’t supposed to be. The same thing can be said for when kids are chewing gum at home. They often play with it more than chew it, pulling it out of their mouths slowly to see how long they can stretch it, rolling it into a little ball between the palms of their hands, etc. And, when (not if) they get it stuck to your carpet, don’t freak out. Just place a sandwich bag filled with ice cubes on top of the gum and let it sit for about a half hour. When the gum is frozen, break it apart and pull it out of the carpet. Voila! Gum-free carpet.
6. Make Your White Sneakers Look Like New
Forget about tossing your white sneakers in the washing machine. Forget about using sneaker shampoo, too. Reach for non-gel white toothpaste instead. Apply it to an old toothbrush and work the toothpaste into the dirty spots on your shoes. Leave it on for about ten minutes, then wipe clean with a damp towel. Repeat if necessary.
WARNING: Not all toothpastes are made the same. Some may contain ingredients that could possibly damage your sneakers. That being said, try this method on a small spot first before applying it to the whole sneaker.
5. Effectively Get Rid of That Annoying Line of Dust
Don’t you just hate that annoying line of dust that never goes away no matter how many times you sweep it? Well, there’s a way to get rid of it once and for all. And, it’s so easy, too. Just tape the front of the dustpan to the floor with blue painters tape before you start sweeping. The tape will act as a seal between the floor and the dustpan, allowing you to sweep up each and every speck of dust. Yay!
4. Get Dents Out of Wood
If you happen to have dents in your wood floors or furniture, you can fix them with a hot iron. First, plug in the iron and put it on the hottest setting. Next, wet the dent, then put a damp towel over it. Then, press the hot iron over the towel in a circular motion for a few minutes. Remove the towel, and voila–the dents are gone (or, at least hardly noticeable anyway)!
TIP: If your tile floors are wrinkled (a.k.a. warped), you can iron them, too. Cover the tiles with aluminum foil, then press the hot iron over the foil to soften the flooring. Gently pull up the warped section of flooring just enough to scrape off any dried adhesive. Then, add new glue, put the flooring back down and press with a heavy object to set it in place.
3. Make Your Own DIY Ice Pack
If you need an ice pack but don’t have one on hand, you can make your own using this little hack from The Family Handyman:
“Purchase an inexpensive pack of sponges or just find some old ones around the house. Grab a big bowl of water and let the sponges completely soak up as much water as they possibly can. After soaking the sponges, put each sponge in a small sandwich bag with a zip close. Now, freeze the wet and bagged sponges overnight. In the morning, all you need to do is toss the ice pack into your lunch container.”
2. Steady Wobbly Furniture with Coins
If you’ve got a wobbly table or chair, and you don’t have the time or money to purchase furniture feet from Lowe’s, Home Depot or a similar store, reach for the coins in your piggy bank instead. Here’s what to do: use hot glue to attach a coin to the wobbly end, adding additional coins as needed. Keep in mind that this is just a temporary fix that will last until you get to the home center to purchase more furniture feet.
1. Hang Pots and Pans with Command Hooks
If you’re tired of all the clanging of your pots and pans on your cupboard, or if your pots and pans are taking up valuable cabinet space, use Command Hooks to hang them on the wall instead. Good Housekeeping writer Lauren Smith recommends starting with the biggest items first, then moving on to the medium-sized ones, and finishing with the smallest pots and pans. “Now, these clunky items are easier to grab when I’m making dinner and I can hide less appealing items (like my storage containers) in the cabinets my pots would otherwise occupy,” Smith said in an article published on Good Housekeeping‘s website.
Your turn! Share your life hacks with us and our readers in the comments below. Thanks!