Eating is something we all do every day, and there’s very little eating that doesn’t start as cooking. The upside of cooking is it inevitably leads to eating, but the downside is it inevitably leads to cleaning up afterward.
If you’ve ever made a mess by dipping a spoon in a saucepan of food and then leaving the spoon out on the countertop, then this handy trick will be a lifesaver. Almost every saucepan has a hole in the handle, and you can use this to balance the spoon and save yourself the clean up after.
Tying your shoes is one of the first things you learn when you’re growing up, and most of us just leave it there once we’ve got the hang of it. When it comes to running shoes, though, there are some extra steps you can take to get better results.
The extra holes you’ll find in running shoes can be used to tighten up the laces. You can tie the shoes without them, but the tighter your running shoes fit, the less of a chance you’ll end up with blisters.
Soda Cup Lids
Who thinks about the soda they buy at the movies, or when picking up some take out? These sodas come in paper cups with a plastic lid, and you’d think it was simple enough to get right. The lid goes on top and the straw goes in the lid. Right?
Well, it all depends on where you’re taking your drink. If you want to stand around holding it, then that’s all well and good, but if you want to put it down on a surface you can fit the cup into the lid as a temporary coaster. It’s an easy way to protect your tabletops.
Dress Shirt Loops
If you’ve ever looked closely enough at a dress shirt, you’ll have seen the little loop of fabric that’s under the collar — it’s in the middle of your shoulders when you’re wearing the shirt. If you’re like us, you probably didn’t think much of this odd little detail.
It’d be a mistake to ignore these little loops, though. They can come in handy when you need to hang your shirt up without a hanger. If you spill something, if you need to take it off when you’re out and about, or if you’re at home without a hanger for some reason — hook the loop and hang your shirt easily.
Pouring yourself a glass of milk or filling up a bowl of cereal sometimes leads to accidents. There’s no use crying of spilled milk and that’s because it happens all the time. There’s something about all that liquid sloshing around that makes it harder to keep control.
Unless that is, you try this simple trick. If you pour milk from the other side of the carton there’s less milk sloshing around and it’s easier to hold it steady. It may seem weird, but give it a try and see how it works.
There are two ways to manage your wardrobe: by throwing all your clothes in a big pile on a chair, which is not ideal, or by hanging them up in the closet. We probably don’t think too much about the kind of hangers we use, though.
That’d be a mistake — it turns out there’s a secret behind the wooden hangers you can find. You might already have some laying around your closet, waiting to be used. Wooden hangers repel moths, so for added protection give it a go for keeping your wardrobe safe.
Keychain Bottle Openers
It seems like everyone has picked up a keychain bottle opener at some stage in their life. These little things sort of just seem to appear — they get handed out as promotions and are included in all kinds of gift bags, but don’t throw them away if you find them.
These things attach easily to your keychain, and they’re not just useful for opening bottles. You can turn them around and use the other side to open a can. Save your nails the trouble and avoid fidgeting about with aching fingers trying to get to your soda.
Those little cardboard takeout boxes that you get with Chinese food delivery are iconic. Who hasn’t had a quiet night in watching Netflix and munching Chinese straight from the box? Well, apparently there’s more than one way to do it.
Instead of scraping around inside the bottom of the box for the last of your noodles, you can unfold these containers and use them as a plate. There’s no need for using additional dishes, you can just eat from the plate that’s been provided. That makes it a lot easier and it saves on the washing up.
If you’ve ever been a bored passenger waiting in a car for your driver to get it together, you might’ve played around with the headrests and discovered a strange fact: they come right off if you pull them up. It seems a bit useless. Why would you remove a headrest?
There’s one particular reason why you might want to do so: if you’re ever trapped in a car, then in cases of emergency these removable headrests can be used to break a window. Be careful, and pray the day never comes that you’ll need this knowledge, but keep it in mind!
There are little details all over the place that we ignore every day, thinking that they’re just decorative, or getting so used to them that we never stop to wonder what they’re for — if anything. You might’ve noticed just such a detail on some backpacks: the diagonal leather patch.
Wonder no more! These are usually on backpacks that are intended for use in the great outdoors, and you can attach your hiking gear, your joggers, any other equipment you might need when you’re out and about.
Aluminum Foil Boxes
There are little details we ignore because we’ve got so used to them, and then there are the details we miss entirely. These are the useful little tricks that are hidden in plain sight because we never think to look. One such helpful details can be found on most boxes of aluminum foil.
On the side of the box, you’ll find a little tab that you can push in. It’s simple enough, but it holds the roll of foil in place. That makes it much easier to unroll a sheet and tear it off, solving one of the frustrations of using foil.
Soda Can Tabs
Is there anything more common than the tab of a soda can? You pull it, open the can, you drink, you forget all about it. There’s nothing special about it, there’s no little trick — or so most of us think, until we learn the use of it.
If you’ve ever lost your straw in a soda can, or had it fall out, you’ll be pleased to discover a use for the little hole in the tab. Slot your straw through and it holds everything in place, making it much easier to manage.
Measuring Tape Diamonds
Another little detail that’s easy to miss is on a tool we all have, but which we might not use all that often, our tape measure. Everyone’s seen a tape measure and most of us have used one, but there’s more to it than just stretching it out and counting the numbers.
There are tiny markings on tape measures that are there to help you find the right position for wall studs. These black diamonds are known as “stud finders,” and they can help mark the center point between two studs.
This has happened to everyone who ever cooked pasta: you think you’ve picked the perfect serving size, only to find you’ve got too much pasta. Pasta always grows when you cook it, and you can end up with way too much — or worse, with just a little bit extra, but not quite enough to save for later.
The little hole in a pasta ladle can help save the day. You can use it to measure out how much pasta you should cook, and it tends to give you just the right amount for a meal for one.
Something you get used to, over time, is which side of the car your fuel tank is on. You get so used to it that you don’t think about it — that is, until you’re driving a car you don’t recognize, like a friend’s car, or a rental. The only way to figure it out is by remembering to check before you need to refuel.
Well, there is another way! Check for the little arrow on the fuel gauge by the pump symbol. It’ll point you to the right side — the arrow indicates which side of the car has the fuel tank.
The more you cook, the more utensils and trays and pots and pans you end up needing, the more space you need to find to store it all. Plenty of people end up using the drawers in their over for just that purpose, storing whatever will fit.
There’s more to these over drawers, though — they can also be used to store food that’s been cooked if you aren’t ready to serve them immediately.
If you like ketchup or mustard or some other condiment with your fast food, you might find that the little cups they serve them in aren’t quite the right size for you. There’s hardly enough room for very much of the stuff, and it can be a hassle squeezing your food in there.
There’s a trick to this if you know how — you can flatten the cup before you pour in your condiment. That way, there’s more space for you to use, and a wider area for you to dunk your fries or chicken nuggets.
Shopping Cart Loops
Not very many of us will take the time to really look at a shopping cart and wonder how it’s designed. It’s a cart — it’s got space on the inside for your groceries, it’s got wheels on the bottom to move it around, and it’s got a handle for you to push it. That’s all, right?
Not quite — there’s another handy feature that many of us might miss. There are loops on shopping carts that can be used to hold your grocery bags, keep them upright if they have fragile items, or store extra if you’ve got a lot of groceries.
Okay, there has to be a mistake here — there’s no trick to eating a banana, right? It’s the simplest thing in the world to do. You grab the stem, you pull, the skin peels off, you eat it. Well, sometimes it doesn’t peel quite so easily. In fact, sometimes it can be a real pain.
There is another way — grab the bottom of the banana, and peel from there. The skin comes off much easier. That’s why monkeys do it this way, and when it comes to bananas monkeys know best.
There are things we don’t think about all that much, and then there are things we don’t want to think about all that much. In the latter category are plungers — you’d rather not have much to do with them unless it’s really necessary.
Spending a bit of time understanding your plungers can be useful, though, because different plungers are used for different problems. A flat plunger is fine for a sink, but if you need to use one on your toilet you’ll need one with a tapered end.
There’s nothing better than a juice box on a hot summer’s day. Sure, if you squeeze it too hard, juice can go everywhere and leave a sticky mess — but if you’re a kid, someone else will clean that up. You don’t have to worry about it.
Unless you do. If you’re the one who has to do the cleaning, you’d rather kids didn’t make a mess with their juice boxes. That’s why it’s helpful to open up the flaps on the bottom of the juice box, to give them something to hold when they’re drinking.
Getting to where you need to go can have a thousand things go wrong—issues with your vehicle, with traffic, not to mention figuring out how to get there. There are a thousand and one signs on the highway that you need to pay close attention to.
When you need to make an exit, there’s a helpful tip that will make things easier: if the sign for your destination is on the left, then your exit will be on the left. If it’s on the right, then your exit will be on the right. Simple!
There’s one thing a dentist will always tell you to do: floss. They ask us how often we do it, and no matter how convincingly we might lie about it they’ll always remind us. For something so important, though, it sure can be a pain.
Here’s a trick: tie your floss in a knot. It increases the tension of the floss and makes it easier to maneuver. It also makes it less likely that you’ll lose your grip. You’ll never have to disappoint a dentist again.
Plastic Cup Lid Spoons
A yogurt or a cup of fruit can be a good, healthy snack to keep you going through the day. The worst thing is when you’re really looking forward to your mid-morning snack and you realize that you forgot to bring a spoon.
Luckily, there’s a makeshift option to solve that problem. The lids on these plastic cups are usually sturdy enough for you to make a spoon. Twist the lid into the right shape and enjoy your snack.
Toilet Seat Covers
Sometimes, when you’re out in the world, necessity strikes. It might not be convenient, especially when a dirty public restroom is the only option, but when you’ve gotta go you’ve gotta go.
Toilet seat covers can make a big difference, but once you’ve pulled them out to use what do you do with the handle? Some people try to fit it at the back of the toilet or even rip it off entirely, but give this a try: leave the handle around the front, making it easier to flush.
Keeping your breath fresh is a matter of pride for many of us. There are people who won’t go anywhere without a pack of gum or some Tic Tacs. The trouble with Tic Tacs, though, is that they’ll come spilling out when all you wanted was one or two.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a trick to everything — even Tic Tacs. Turn the pack upside down and use the lid as a dispenser for one Tic Tac at a time. Easy!
Those little patches that come with a new set of clothes — how useful are they, really? If you ever tear your clothes, are you going to have enough fabric to cover the tear? Who even knows how to sew these days?
Well, it turns out that’s not really what it’s for. It’s a fabric sample, and you can use it to test in your washing machine or with whatever products you use for your laundry. Throw the sample through the wash and see how it fares — that way, you’ll know if it’s safe to put your new clothes through the same process.
Detergent keeps your clothes clean and fresh, but it can cause damage if you use too much of it. How can you be sure you’re getting the right balance of cleaning your laundry thoroughly, but not going overboard?
Usually, the cap of your detergent will have a marker, or there’ll be instructions on the bottle to let you know how to measure it out. That way you can be sure you’re using the right amount — no more, no less.
There are some things in life that seem so simple, we just pick them up on our own. Using a hair pin is one of those things. How hard can it be? So we don’t bother to learn how it’s done — we just jump right in.
Unfortunately, that means some of us are doing the simplest things incorrectly. When it comes to hair pins, a lot of people face the bumpy side down, but it should be the other way. Face the bumpy side up and see the difference — your hair pins will stay in much easier.
There are some items with hidden details and some items with little tricks to them that can help out when you’re using them. Then there are things like staple removers, which you can use for purposes other than their main intention.
Removing your keys from your keychain can be a tricky business. When you move houses or change jobs, you’ll have to turn in your keys, and you don’t want to hurt your fingers doing it. Just grab a staple remover and pry your keychain open — simple and effective, not to mention painless.
Going overboard can sometimes be just as much of an issue as not going far enough. When it comes to keeping your teeth clean, this is definitely true. Too much toothpaste is a waste, so you should only be using as much as you need.
This can be different for different toothpastes, so check the packaging, or if you really want to be sure about it then check with your dentist the next time you see them. If you’re using the right amount of toothpaste, your smile will thank you.
Keeping clean is great, and a hot shower feels amazing too — especially on a cold night or a gloomy morning. When it comes to washing your hair, it turns out there’s a trick to using shampoo as well.
Greasy hair is a nasty business, and you’ll want to keep yourself fresh. In that case, focus on your scalp — that’s where the oils that get in your hair come from, after all, so why not deal with them at the source?
When you’re doing your makeup, there’s one danger in particular that everyone wants to avoid: clumpy mascara. It can really ruin your routine and waste your products. Sadly, it’s happened to the best of us.
Mascara can get clumpy when it dries out, so make sure you aren’t leaving it out to dry — and try to avoid pushing air into the bottle when you’re applying it. That can dry it out as well, leading to clumpier mascara and frustration.
Sometimes, life is hard. You’ve had a rough day in the office, you’ve had a fight with your partner, your friends are too busy to talk it over. You just want to settle down and have a quiet night and eat a meal in peace. Then, the final straw: your ketchup won’t come out of the bottle.
It can be tempting (and cathartic) to smack the bottom of the ketchup bottle as hard as you possibly can — but that might not be the best way to get what you want. On a Heinz ketchup bottle, the round “57” sticker is in the perfect place. Give it a few solid taps and enjoy.
An orange is a delicious snack, it’s good for you, and it’s lots of fun to eat as well. Except once you’re done, there’s juice everywhere, and you’re all sticky. There’s a better way to do it that avoids all the mess, and makes the whole experience easier too.
Cut the orange on both ends, top and bottom, and then you can just pull it open. The orange will unwrap conveniently and you can use the skin to keep it all together. Very handy.
Natural Peanut Butter
Natural peanut butter has a lot of advantages, and that’s why it’s become so popular — that, and it tastes delicious, of course. One of the problems can be when you put your peanut butter away, and when you come back to grab it for a snack the oil has separated.
Give this a try: store your peanut butter upside down. That way, rather than pooling on top, the oil is easier to mix back in and you can enjoy your peanut butter with much less hassle.
A watched pot never boils, and a checked slow cooker just gets slower and slower. A slow cooker is a great way to prepare a meal with minimum effort, but you need to be patient. It’s called a slow cooker for a reason.
Checking your slow cooker is a great way to let all the heat out, and trapping the heat is how a slow cooker does its thing. The more heat that’s trapped, and the longer it stays trapped, the better your meal will cook. So stay patient and don’t disturb your slow cooker until it’s ready.
Dishwashers are a real time-saver, but you have to use them right to get the advantages. Stacking everything in the dishwasher is simple enough, but doing it right can make things a lot easier and can make sure everything gets as clean as possible.
Make sure you don’t get anything in the way of the detergent dispenser and keep an eye on which way the spray is coming from. Face the spray towards the dirtiest items to get the best wash.
There’s only one way to use a vegetable peeler, but it does more than just peeling the outside of a vegetable. You can use it to peel vegetables in just about any way imaginable, which can really come in handy when you have a meal to prepare.
Try using your vegetable peeler to slice onions. Chopping onions with a knife works well enough, but sometimes you want thinner strips and you don’t have the patience to slice everything up nice and thin.
Blenders are easy enough to use — just throw everything in there and turn it on. Let it whirl away for a few minutes and then you’ve got yourself a smoothie. Simple, right? There’s nothing more to it.
Except there is a trick that can stop your blender from getting stuck, and make sure your smoothie is as smooth as it can be: put the liquids in first. That way, the action of the blades will pull the solid down and it distributes everything more evenly.
What more can you do with an analog watch than tell the time? There’s a trick to keeping your screen saver from coming on and prevent your computer from locking you out, and it involves using your watch.
If you need to step away from your computer, place your laser mouse over the top of your analog watch. The mouse will read the ticking of the second or minute hand and will keep your computer active, so you don’t have to retype your password.
Moving houses can be a major hassle, so any trick that can make it even a little bit easier is welcomed by anyone making a move. When it comes to relocating your clothes, your clothes hangers can come in handy in more ways than one.
Once you’ve hung your clothes up, hang those hangers from another hanger. If you’ve got a lot of clothes, strengthen it with two or three extra hangers. That way you can relocate your wardrobe with ease.
Peanut Butter Jars
Hanging out by the water is a great way to spend a hot day or a lazy afternoon. The trouble is, we all carry around electronics these days, and electronics really don’t like water. You want to be able to keep your things safe from thieves, and safe from accidents as well.
A plastic peanut butter jar can really help you out, here. Clean it out and bring it in your bag, and use it to keep your keys, phone, and wallet dry. You can keep an eye on things, and it keeps them dry as well.
This trick is a bit different than the others on this list — it involves using something wrong on purpose. Here’s a trick that will help you get a little extra next time you go grab a slurpee from 7-Eleven.
Simply turn the lid upside down for an extra bit of space. Fill yourself up to the brim and then some, quickly and easily, and enjoy better value. Just watch out for the additional risk of brain freeze.
Coca Cola is everywhere, and there’s no denying it’s delicious. There’s a reason it’s one of the world’s most popular sodas. There are a lot of other uses for the beverage, though — some people use it to settle an upset stomach, but the acidity of Coca Cola can also make it useful for other things.
Some people will use it to clean tiles, porcelain, and to remove rust. It may seem strange, but plenty of people swear by it.
Lollipop Lifesaving Stick
Many would have noticed the little hole at the end of their lollipop stick. If you haven’t, next time you’ve got a lollipop (any kind as they all have this feature), take a look at the end of the stick. Nope, it’s not a whistle. It’s a life-saving hole that’s part of the production process.
When the liquid candy is being poured, it fills the hole, so the candy adheres to the stick and won’t get dislodged and stuck in your throat!
When working with extension cords, it’s quite easy to get frustrated, everything is set up, and you are ready to start with whatever it is, but then you lose power. To avoid the cumbersome task of constantly having to check on the cables and replug them when they’ve come undone, tie up the ends of your extension cords.
Now you will never find yourself disconnected from your source of power ever again when you loop your extension cords together like this!
Opening a Key Ring
Adding a new key to your keyring proves almost always to be difficult. Separating that tiny metal with your fingers never works as well as you need and usually, we end up with a pinched thumb or have dropped the key. The easiest way is to use a staple remover!
The idea is straightforward. Staple removers have sharp, thin teeth that easily slide between the rings of a keyring. When you chomp them down, it spreads the ring apart and makes it easy to roll a new key through.
How to Expertly Eat a Toblerone
While we might have thought that there is no wrong way of eating Toblerone — whether it’s nibbling at it, biting off a piece, or inhaling it whole — there’s certainly an easier way to breaking off those delicious triangles. According to the experts, at least. You’ve probably been breaking pieces off by pulling them to the outside.
This can take some skill and muscle power, and often results in messy pieces. Push the piece towards the bar and get a perfect segment of tasty chocolate.
Who would have thought that cupcakes make for fantastic sandwiches? Sometimes, with so much icing on the top and dry cake on the bottom, a cupcake can be an unbalanced treat. So why not eat a cupcake sandwich-style? Start by cutting the cupcake through the middle, or you could simply use your hands by twisting the top half from the bottom half.
Turn the bottom half of the cupcake upside down and place it over the top half, so the frosting is in between.
Use the rearview mirror tab to stave off those bright lights. Next time some guy has his high beams on and blinds you through your rearview mirror, remember to press down on the tab of your rearview mirror, so it angles down. That way, the light reflects downwards without impacting your field of vision.
On manual tilt versions, a tab is used to adjust the mirror between “day” and “night” positions. In the day view position, the front surface is tilted, and the reflective back side gives a strong reflection.
Padlock Hole for Smoother Use
If you have ever flipped over a padlock, you’ll see a needle-sized hole at the bottom. It turns out, there’s a reason they’re there. These little holes are for drainage and lubrication. If trapped water were to freeze without any expansion room, then in all likelihood, the locks could be damaged or even impossible to open until thawed.
Also, if the key isn’t turning because it’s rusty, just pour a few drops of oil in the hole, and it will get everything moving again.
According to the experts, you shouldn’t be applying your conditioner to your scalp first. How to properly use conditioner means starting at the ends, where your hair is the driest, most damaged, and has split ends, then work your way up. If you start on the top first, you risk making your scalp and roots oily.
Then you shampoo your hair as your hair now has been conditioned. It will protect your hair better from breakage, as well as give you better volume as the conditioner will now all be washed out and not leave your hair flat.
Wooden Spoon for Your Pasta
You’ve undoubtedly never seen this trick unless you have a beloved Italian nonna. Balancing a wooden spoon across a pot of cooking pasta can prevent the water from boiling over and creating an unsightly, sticky mess all over our stovetop. It’s almost magical, that’s how easy it is.
A dry wooden spoon destabilizes the bubbles when they come into contact with the water-repelling surface, and this makes the boiling water retreat. The wooden spoon, being considerably cooler than 100°C, thus works to break the bubbles and make the foam withdraw.
Ever wondered what the dent on a milk jug is for? Most people might not have heard of this one, this is perhaps the most useful tip of them all. The dent on a milk jug has two purposes. The first is that it absorbs any shock if and when the jug gets dropped.
The other is to expand outward when there is excess gas in the jug, thus letting the consumer know when the milk has spoiled. Isn’t that neat?
Keeping your food fresh and your cold meals cold can be a challenge. There’s a simple way to create an impromptu ice pack whenever you need it, though, just by grabbing an everyday item like a sponge. Just fill a fresh sponge with water, place it in a plastic bag, and stick it in the freezer.
The frozen sponge will stay cold for a long time. Just make sure you’re using a fresh, clean sponge — and make sure the bag you use is watertight!
If you’ve lived in one place for any amount of time, chances are you’ve accumulated hundreds of thousands of plastic bags over the years. Okay — maybe not quite so many, but it can sure seem that way at times.
What do you do with them all? Well, here’s an idea: put your plastic bags in old tissues boxes. It keeps them compact and makes them easy to reach when you need them. That’s a great way to reuse your plastic bags and your old tissue boxes, too.
Closet space comes at a premium, especially when you’ve got an extensive wardrobe and not enough space to put everything. A clothing rack can only hold so many hangers — but how many clothes can a single hanger fit?
If you reuse your old curtain rings, the answer is a lot. You can hang the rings from a hanger and put your scarves through there, or anything else that will fit, to save space and make things easier to look through as well.
Once you’re done with your bread, you’re probably done with your bread tags. Most people don’t think twice before throwing the tags out with the bread bag (and usually, the crusts, too.) There’s more that they can do than hold a bread bag closed, though.
You can use your bread tags to keep your cords organized, by clipping them together — or by writing notes on the tags, and keeping them as reminders.
A pill box is great if you’ve got medication that you need to get through, and you need to remember when to take what. There are other uses, though — if you want to stay organized, you can use a pill box to sort just about anything.
From screws and bolts to the backs of an earring and other bits of jewelry, a pill box can be a great way to organize your stuff in a convenient and easy to remember way.