Home may be where the heart is, but the heart doesn't do all those little day-to-day chores! There’s nothing wrong with finding shortcuts and trying out new ways of doing things to make the job easier.
The best home hacks get these tasks done quicker, but best of all, they save you money by using simple ingredients and common objects you already keep around the house.
If you’ve ever stored red pasta sauce in a plastic container, you’re familiar with the stains that latch on to the sides and bottom. It seems no amount of scrubbing gets rid of them. But, there are other options. Combine one teaspoon of water, two tablespoons of baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon of dish soap to create a paste in the stained container. Use a toothbrush or scrubbing utensil to work the mixture into the plastic. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes, then rinse with clear water.
Soap scum can ruin the look of your plastic or fabric shower curtain or liner. You can wash most shower curtains safely in your washing machine, even those with magnets in the bottom.
Remove the hooks from the shower curtain. Place the curtain into a washer with warm water and add a small amount of detergent. Wash on a gentle cycle at the highest water level. Throw in a couple of bath towels to make the most of their scrubbing power, which helps get rid of residue. Hang the curtain to dry afterward.
A lack of closet space is a common problem in apartments and houses, but there’s an easy fix if you keep canned beverages on hand. Before tossing the cans into the recycling bin, remove the aluminum tabs from the top. Slide the wider end of the tab over the hook of a clothes hanger so that the lower loop is on the bottom. You can hang an additional hook from the bottom loop of the tab. This hanger hack can save lots of space in your closet without any additional cost.
It’s tough to find avocados that are at the perfect level of ripeness. To ripen an avocado faster, place it in a paper bag, roll up the top, and seal it. Avocados produce ethylene, a hormone that triggers fruit ripening. The paper bag traps the hormone around the avocado, speeding up the ripening process.
Add another piece of ethylene-producing fruit like an apple or kiwi to the bag to ripen it even faster.
Remove crusted or burnt food and grime from cookware using a dryer sheet. Fill the pot or pan with a few inches of water, add a couple of squirts of dishwashing soap, and lay a couple of dryer sheets on top of the water. Soak for an hour. The sheets release the cooked-on food debris without scrubbing.
Fitted sheets don’t always stay tucked around the corners as they should. Remedy the problem by using a pair of suspenders to keep them in place.
First, make sure your fitted sheet is positioned correctly. On the bottom side of the mattress, attach the suspenders to each of the four corners of the sheet. This hack works well even if the fitted sheet is too big for the bed. The sheet stays in place, and the bunching no longer interrupts your sleep.
Most people keep baking soda for cookies and biscuits, but you can use it for an array of cleaning purposes as well. Keep bathtubs and shower stalls sparkling with just a tad of baking soda and a few drops of dishwashing soap. Mix the ingredients into a cleaning cloth to produce a lather, then thoroughly scrub all surfaces and rinse well with warm water.
Surface scratches on stainless steel appliances don’t look great, but there’s an easy remedy, and chances are it’s on your bathroom shelf. Apply whitening toothpaste onto a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush or the end of a cotton swab. Work the toothpaste over the scratch, following the grain. Wipe it away with a clean, damp cloth. Repeat the process if the scratch isn’t gone. Afterward, apply a light coat of olive oil to bring out the shine.
Accumulations of pet hair on furniture, rugs, and carpets are a fact of life for dog and cat owners. Vacuuming isn’t always effective, no matter how often you do it. Although there are a variety of products available on the market to solve the issue, you may already have the best solution on hand: a simple window squeegee.
Go over the problem area with this tool and you’ll see pet hair collecting on the rubber blade instead of around your home.
The most time-consuming part of hand washables isn’t the washing, it’s the drying. You can wring out the water from the clothes, but it’s not always an effective way to remove excess water. The more water left in the clothing, the longer it takes to dry.
Instead of trying to squeeze the water out of your delicates, throw them in a salad spinner, just like you would your favorite leafy salad greens. The process will quickly get rid of extra water, drastically cutting drying time.