By Holly Barry, @HJBarry
Who doesn’t love a life hack? You will see them everywhere on YouTube and social media and the idea has taken off due to that addictive feeling when you spot something that you feel will make your life easier: ‘Well, I never knew that!’. You immediately want to share the tip with family and friends to make their lives easier too.
The trouble is, there are some rather too obvious life hacks out there, such as ‘eat around the edges of hot food as it is cooler around the edge’. There are also those hacks that you can’t ever see a need for – in the UK are you really going to put a baking tray of raw cookie dough balls into your car on a hot summer’s day to bake them in the window? Dental floss may well cut cakes brilliantly, but we would rather stick with a knife than get ourselves in a tangle with floss!
There are also hacks out there that are being shared that simply don’t work. You don’t need to put a wooden spoon on top of your saucepan to stop it boiling over, as no wooden utensil is going to stop boiling water from going over the top. Tennis balls won’t open locked car doors and weeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t work, so we’ll save you the embarrassment! Leftover pizza won’t get crisper if you microwave it with a glass of water – science says this is utter nonsense.
For the life hacks that do impress you, will you remember them? We have sifted through and narrowed it down for you. If there is one list of life hacks you need, it is this one!
Use Doritos as kindling for a fire
Now here is a way to burn some calories! If you don’t have any kindling to hand for your log burner, camp fire or coal fire, just burn some Doritos! Really. They will catch fire nicely and soon you will be cosied up in front of a roaring fire. Now, what to eat!
Use spaghetti to light hard to reach candles
To add to a romantic atmosphere and get some of that trendy hygge the Danes swear by, the warm glow of candlelight is essential. However, it is such a faff to light those hurricane lamps and lanterns when the match is too short you just burn your fingers. If you light a strand of dry spaghetti you can light all your candles with ease.
Use an elastic band threaded through the air vent in your car as a phone holder
Those phone holders on suckers are always coming unstuck and falling off the windscreen which is so frustrating, especially when you are using your phone to navigate. Just slide an elastic band through the air vents and slide your phone in. This trick is particularly useful if you have a passenger in the car on a long journey who also wants to charge their phone but doesn’t want to hold it.
Hair straighteners can be used to iron shirt collars
For the perfect collar, use hair straighteners to iron it into place and take out any folds. This is a known trick in the military – no wonder those soldiers always look smart on parade! You can also use hair straighteners to iron on name labels or badges onto your children’s school uniform.
Use a drinks can tab to save space in your wardrobe
Have you got the fashion addiction of a Kardashian, but sadly not the matching walk-in wardrobe? Just pull of the tab on a fizzy drinks can, and loop it over a clothes hanger. You can then hang another hanger from the remaining hole in the drinks tab, freeing up space on your clothes rail.
Use ketchup to clean copper
Copper in the home is bang on trend at the moment. Do you have a fireplace with copper items surrounding it? Copper lighting fittings, decorative jugs and bowls, teapots, pots and pans? Copper is a popular element in the home, but it can quickly tarnish and lose its lustre over the years.
Luckily we have a surprising and natural way to clean away the tarnish and make copper shine. Pour a dab of ketchup onto a cloth and rub it all over the item, then rinse with warm water and dry. It’ll even work on copper mods for those of you with an e-cigarette. There are copper cleaning products on the market, but nothing beats using something you have in stock anyway.
When heating up leftovers, space out a food free circle in the middle, so you have a ring of food to heat up more effectively.
Microwaves cook from the outside in, so this ensures that all your food is heated through. Heating up leftovers inadequately is a prime source of food poisoning so this hack is worth remembering.
Use a can opener to open plastic blister packs and avoid cutting yourself.
There is nothing more annoying than trying to get into a blister pack. Even if you use scissors, you can end up cutting yourself. Why not try using a can opener to simply and neatly cut around the packaging? Genius!
Mount towel rails on the inside of your kitchen cupboards to store pan lids.
Do you open your kitchen cupboard and all the pan lids come crashing down? Become one of those organised people and simply mount hand towel rails to the inside of your cupboard door and slot the lids in. You’ll want to show off by keeping your cupboard doors open!
Use Velcro strips on the bottom of rugs to stop them moving
Stick one side of the Velcro to your rug and the other to your tiled or wooden floor to stop kids and pets moving them around. This is also a great safety tip, as rugs can be dangerous if they can move as you could easily slip over. Velcro strips can also be used as a lint roller to control dog shedding in the home– 2 hacks in one!