As we move through the motions of our day to day lives, we often miss tiny details that can actually make our lives easier. When you go into your home, you will find plenty of items that we all know how to use...or so we thought! As it turns out, all of us have been using some of these everyday items incorrectly. Don't blame yourself though, the people who invented this stuff failed to tell us about it! But fear not, we're here with some amazing tips for making your life 150% easier by using these hidden features on items that you probably use all the time.
1. Peeling An Orange Doesn't Have To Be Hard And Messy
Sometimes peeling oranges can be so messy. When you try to dig your fingers into the peel the juice sprays everywhere, and you are left with a sticky mess. However, there is an easier way to peel any type of citrus fruit, from oranges to clementines, without making a mess.
Cut off the top and bottom of the peel, then cut its side, and it should unroll into a clean line of orange segments. This is perfect to do for your children's lunches, so they don't struggle to peel their oranges at school. We remember the days of struggling to peel tangerines in the school cafeteria; if only we had known this trick.
2. The Right Way To Heat Things In The Microwave
When you heat up a container of leftovers in the microwave, do you ever feel like some parts are cold while others are boiling hot? If you put the food in a pile on a plate or leave it in the container, the heat won't be distributed evenly. Therefore, you should try this trick next time you reheat something.
When you put the food on the plate, create a small hole in the middle, so everything reheats evenly. Now your food will all be the same temperature, and you won't have to worry about putting it back in the microwave multiple times.
3. Every Beauty Product Has An Expiration Date On The Bottom
When you get new beauty products, you probably aren't looking at the bottom of the packaging to decipher all those symbols. However, those small symbols can tell you when it's time to throw the product away or how long you have to use it.
On almost every beauty product, there is a container with a small "6M," "12M," or "24M," depending on the product. It indicated how long you have after opening it to use the product before it expires. We should all check our products in case we have some expired things lying around.
4. A Quick Way To Clean The Blender
After making anything in a blender, you have the dreadful job of washing it out, and no matter how clean it looks, there is always the smell of whatever you made lingering inside. There is actually an effortless yet effective way to get your blender clean and smelling fresh without putting in a lot of work.
Instead of scrubbing it, throw in some water and dish soap and blend it up until its's clean. Then you just have to pour out the water and rinse it. This will save you so much time, and the blender will be free of any hidden food particles that you might have missed while scrubbing.
5. Staplers Have More Than One Function
You might not have known this - because we certainly didn't - but every stapler has multiple functions. Did you know every stapler has different settings to adjust the looseness of the staple? When you rotate the metal plate on the stapler, you can adjust the bend when you staple something.
The most common setting bends the staple back onto itself, so the papers stay together tightly. However, you can turn the metal plate and make the staple bend outwards so you can easily remove it from the documents. It also helps when you have a thick stack of papers.
6. The No-Spill Milk Trick
Who else remembers the Milk Master 2000 infomercial that Joey starred in on Friends? If only he knew about this trick, he wouldn't have embarrassed himself on TV. While you don't need to buy some special apparatus to pour milk without spilling, there is a right way to hold the carton, so it doesn't splash everywhere.
If you pour your milk from the longer side of the carton, there will be less splashing, and it's easier to hold. This way also allows the extra air in the carton to displace the liquid for a smoother pour. You don't have to cry over spilled milk anymore.
7. What Is That Extra Scrap Of Fabric For?
Have you ever wondered why they give you an extra piece of fabric and a button attached to the tag when you get new clothes? Most people know the button is to replace one that falls off, but people often confuse the extra fabric for something to patch a hole. However, it is actually for something else.
The extra piece of fabric is to see how it will react to different detergents. If you want to keep your clothes in the best condition, they recommend testing the material with detergent before washing it, so you don't ruin your new garment. It's such a practical idea that we never thought about.
8. You Might Be Using Too Much Toothpaste
When we see toothpaste commercials, the person typically uses a long line of toothpaste that covers all the bristles. While it might seem like common sense to follow what the commercial shows, that amount of toothpaste could actually hurt your teeth over time.
In reality, you only need a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to get your teeth clean. The ads use large amounts for aesthetic purposes, but if you use too much toothpaste, it can wear down the enamel on your teeth and cause you to have sensitivity and long-term problems.
9. Wooden Hangers Are The Best Option To Hang Your Clothing
When we saw people use wooden hangers in their closets, we always thought it was for aesthetic purposes, but we didn't know that they can benefit your clothing. Wooden hangers were created with a specific purpose in mind; and they are probably the best option for your closet.
Wooden hangers are made with a specific type of wood that repels moths and other pests that could damage your clothing. They also keep your clothes from wrinkling in the closet. Let's all say goodbye to wire hangers and invest in some sturdy ones like these.
10. The Arrow Next To The Gas Icon Actually Has A Purpose
Have you ever gotten into a new car and didn't know what side the gas tank was on? When you pull up to the gas station, you have to get out of the car to check which side you need to go to, and it wastes so much time. However, there is something inside every car that tells you which side the tank is on.
The next time you get in your car, look at the dashboard behind the steering wheel where the gas icon is. Whichever side the little arrow is pointing to is where your gas tank is located. Now you can easily find it and know which side to go to when you are at the gas station.
11. The Loops On Grocery Carts Are There For A Reason
When you go for a big grocery shopping trip, it might be hard to fit everything in the cart without crushing all your fresh groceries. Things like softer fruits or eggs are always carefully balanced on top of all the other groceries, but there is always a chance they could fall off the pile and break on the ground.
Instead of crushing your groceries, Use the loops on the sides and back of the shopping cart to hang bags and create more room for yourself. It will be easier to keep those fragile items upright. It would be nice to have these to carry the groceries into the house as well.
12. Use Your Microwave More Efficiently
Microwaves are sometimes inconvenient because they are small, and you can only fit one thing in there at a time. When you have someone over for dinner, and you want to heat something up, you have to do it one dish at a time. Unfortunately, while that happens the other one gets cold while the person is waiting to eat.
It would be easier if we could prepare both simultaneously, and we found a way to do that. To heat two plates at once, place the first one in, grab a mug and flip it upside down to use as a stand for the second plate. This will give you space for two dishes and less wait time.
13. Chill A Beer In Minutes
On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than the taste of a perfectly chilled beer. However, sometimes we forget to put the beer in the fridge beforehand, and we don't want to wait an hour for it to be cold. Instead of waiting, there is a way to make the beer cool within five to ten minutes.
Take a wet paper towel and wrap it around the beer, then stick it in the freezer. Be sure to set a time for about ten minutes because if it stays in there for too long, the beer could explode, and that is a messy cleanup no one wants to deal with.
14. The Tic Tac Container Has An Easy Dispenser
It's almost impossible to eat just one Tic Tac at a time, not because they come out of the container fast, but because they are just like any crazy-delicious candy. For those who have some sense of self-control, there is an easy way to get just one Tic Tac at a time without shaking the box too much.
The seal for the lid can help get one mint out at a time, so if you flip it upside down, then open the container sideways, you will have one ready to go. You could also remove the white plastic part and dump the entire box into your mouth because that's what we would do.
15. Prevent Your PC From Sleeping When You Need To Step Away
When you have to step away from your computer for a few minutes, it might be frustrating to come back and find that it went into sleep mode. Although you could simply type in the password or shake the mouse to turn it back on, some people would rather it stayed unlocked no matter what.
When you need to leave your computer for a few minutes, put the mouse on top of an analog wristwatch. The ticking from the watch will keep your computer active until you get back. Of course, you could also change the settings to keep it awake all the time.
16. Never Struggle With A Key Ring Again
There is nothing more painful than trying to put a new key on a key ring. It is a serious struggle to get those things open, but at least you know when you finally get the key on, it isn't going anywhere. If you also find it hard to put new keys on the ring, let us help you with this easy fix.
All you need is a stapler remover instead of abusing your nails. While you might think it's silly because no one carries one of these around, it will help you in many situations. The last time we used a stapler remover was in grade school, but we are running to the store to buy one for this trick.
17. An Easy Way To Keep The Tin Foil In The Box
Isn't it frustrating when you want to get a piece of foil, but the roll keeps falling out of the box? It might not seem like a big problem, but there is a simple solution right on the box to keep it in place. We only just found out about this, but the box has tabs to hold the roll.
On the side of almost every aluminum foil box, there are perforated tabs you push in, and it keeps the roll from sliding out of the box. We never knew these existed, and now we will never be able to live without using them. They should make them more obvious, though.
18. There Is A Better Way To Peel A Banana
If you have ever seen monkeys eating bananas, you will notice that they don't peel them from the stem side. We have spent most of our lives peeling bananas this way, until now. In everyone's defense, it seems like that is the function of the stem.
Instead, you should peel it from the bottom side because you won't squeeze the fruit. If it seems odd to take advice from monkeys, we understand, but this will change the way you eat bananas. This peeling method reduces the number of stringy pieces as well.
19. These Slotted Patches Have An Actual Purpose
If you have a backpack with this slotted patch on it, we bet you have never used it before. Most people think it is part of the decorative design, but it actually has a good purpose. It is called a lash tab, and it was originally invented to carry tools like axes or knives.
Today, the lash tab can be used to attach whatever you need to your backpack. Many hikers use it to attach their sleeping bag or other things that can't fit inside the bag. If you are an over-packer like us, this will save you more space in your bag.
20. Are You Loading Your Blender Efficiently?
When you make smoothies, do you ever feel like there are always unblended chunks at the bottom? It may be because you have been loading your blender wrong this whole time. We always thought the put the solids in first because it is less messy, but there is a better way to do it.
The most efficient way to load your blender is to put the liquids first, then the solids. The swirling liquid at the bottom will suck the solids down and blend everything evenly, so you have a smooth smoothie. This method works best when you use frozen fruits or veggies.
21. The Tab On The Rearview Mirror Can Help You See Better At Night
Let's be honest, when it comes to cars, we still have no idea what each little piece and button does, but we did finally figure out this tab on the mirror. If someone has their high beams on behind you or their lights are very bright, press this tab to angle the mirror down, which moves the light out of your eyes.
On the mirrors with the tab, it can also be used to go from day to night mode. It just makes it easier to see without being blinded by someone's obnoxious headlights. Some people might think this is common sense, but it took us a while to figure out, so you are not alone.
22. Say Goodbye To Dry Peanut Butter
If you are a fan of peanut butter like we are, you will know how disappointing it is to get to the bottom of the jar and find it is all dried up. It started with oil on top, but that oil must not have reached the bottom. It's disappointing to try to spread the dried, crumbling peanut butter; but it doesn't have to be that way.
After opening and mixing it, continue to store the jar upside down so the oils reach the bottom of the butter. Also, keep it refrigerated to last longer. This works for all kinds of nut butter, even homemade versions.
23. Different Plungers For Different Purposes
Although none of us want to be in a situation where we have to use a plunger, it is good to know which type of plunger you need for every type of clogging situation. There are a few different types, but the most useful are the ones with the tapered end or the big circular kind.
The flat plungers are great for clogged sink drains, but the tapered ones are actually better when you have a clogged toilet. Plungers can also be used to get dents out of cars instead of paying an expensive autobody shop.
24. Is Your Padlock Giving You Problems?
Over time and due to external elements, padlocks can rust, and the keyhole becomes hard to turn. At some point, you might not be able to turn the key anymore, and that's a problem when you need to unlock it. However, there is one thing to keep with you to keep your padlock from getting stuck.
Graphite is the best way to make your keys turn smoother in a padlock. Unlike oil, it doesn't attract dust and debris over time, and you will never have to worry about the hole getting blocked. Also, dipping your lock in liquid petroleum jelly will prevent it from ever rusting.
25. Keep Your Kitchen Sponge Clean And Sanitized
Have you ever thought about how much bacteria accumulates in a dish sponge? When you think about all the dishes you wash, it might skeeve you out at how many microscopic particles are lingering in those sponges. Although there isn't a perfect solution, there are ways to keep your sponge cleaner.
The first thing is to keep your sponge away from raw meat. Use washable towels instead so you can sanitize them in the washing machine after. To sanitize your sponge, you can submerge it in boiling water for five minutes or put it in the dishwasher or microwave.
26. Next Time You Make A Charcuterie Board, Don't Forget The Dental Floss
Charcuterie boards have been all the rage lately, and to make the perfect one, it not only has to have delicious cheeses, meats, and crackers, but it also needs to look presentable. However, cutting those softer cheeses isn't easy to do without squishing them, but there is an easy fix.
Instead of using a knife, use unflavored dental floss to slice soft cheeses. It will give you perfect slices every time, and you can throw away the floss instead of having to clean another utensil. It's an easier way to replace a wire cheese slicer.
27. Potato Peelers Can Do Much More Than Peel Potatoes
Just when you thought potato peelers only had one function, guess again. Potato peelers can be used for so many more things, and they make even thin slices without having to use special kitchen tools. Besides peeling things, they can also grate cheese into super thin pieces.
Peelers can slice onions in record time and probably reduce the amount of crying. They can also make shave carrots into paper-thin slices for salads, and once you get the skin off the potato, you can use the peeler to get thin slices to bake into chips.
28. The Drawer At The Bottom Of Your Oven Is Not For Storage
When it comes to kitchens, the goal is to maximize the available storage space and functionality. Most people think the bottom drawer in the oven is there for storing baking pans and pots, but there is actually a specific use for it, and it could really benefit you.
The bottom of the oven is actually a warming drawer. When you are making a big meal and have dishes that are ready before everything is done cooking, you can turn the drawer on and store them there, so they don't get cold sitting on the counter.
29. Keep Your Bobby Pins In Place All Day Long
Bobby pins are already a frustrating hair accessory because they seem to disappear the second you put them on the bathroom counter. They also slide off your hair, making it frustrating to style your hair. This might be because we have all been using them the wrong way.
Every bobby pin has a wavy edge and a flat edge. Most people put the flat side against their scalp, but the wavy side is actually supposed to be closer to your head. The ridges create a better grip for the hair to hold onto, and there will be less slippage.
30. The Black Dots On Your Windshield Might Not Be A Useful As Your Thought
Have you ever wondered what the black dots were for on your windshield? We always thought there was a useful purpose that had to do with radio signals, but we were wrong yet again. The black dots are actually called frits, and they have two purposes.
First, the frits provide an etched surface for the adhesive to stick to that bonds the glass and the frame. Second, they disperse heat in a gradient along the borders of the glass to prevent cracks and protect the adhesive from UV rays.
31. The Lollipop Stick Can Prevent Children From Choking
Have you ever wondered why there is a hole in the stick when you are eating a lollipop? While it does make for a nice whistle after you finish the candy, it is also there for your safety. Children often swallow things they shouldn't, and for their safety, more candy companies added this hole to the sticks of lollipops.
The hole is to prevent children from choking in case they swallow it, and it also holds the lollipop in place. During production, a bit of sugar is added to the hold to keep the sucker attached to the stick. Without that hole, the sugar ball would fall right off the stick.
32. Both Ends Of A Utility Blade Can Be Useful
We don't use utility knives often, but they are an everyday tool and can be very useful for some people. However, they have some hidden features you might not be aware of if you don't use one all the time.
The blades have perforation marks, so you can snap off the top blade once it gets too dull to use. It also has a slot on the back of the handle that you can slide onto the edge to break it off in a safer and easier way.
33. Floss Your Teeth Easily With This Trick
Whenever you go to the dentist, even if you floss regularly, they will probably tell you that you need to floss more. It must be a default thing dentists say, so you take extra care of your teeth. While flossing is pretty simple, there is an easier way to do a better job.
If you tie your floss into a circle, it increases the tension and makes it easier to move maneuver. You are less likely to lose your grip, and your dentist will notice how clean your teeth are at your next check-up.
34. The Art Of Loading A Dishwasher
Does anyone else's mother get on their case about the right and wrong way to load a dishwasher? We always filled it as much as we could so there would be fewer dishes to handwash. Our mothers might have been right all these years because there is a right and wrong way to load a dishwasher after all.
The middle of the dishwasher has the most cleaning power, so that is where the dirtiest dishes should go. Face them down on the bottom rack towards the spray arm. Also, be sure not to block the detergent dispenser with large items, or else the soap won't distribute evenly.
35. Cover The Seat Properly And Protect Yourself From Germs
As you can imagine, public toilet seats are loaded with germs, and when you really have to go, sometimes squatting isn't an option. Many bathrooms have toilet seat covers in the stalls, but many of us have been using them the wrong way all these years.
The proper way to place a toilet seat cover is with the middle flap folded forward to protect you from the toilet seat's middle part. Once you are done, flip it back, and the cover will easily flush down the toilet. These seat covers are also good substitutes when you need oil blotting paper in a pinch (a fresh one, obviously).
36. Never Mess Up Your Perfectly Round Cake Again
After spending hours to make the perfect rolled up cake, it comes time to cut it. You just spent all that time perfecting it, and you don't want to mess it up with a knife because it is so soft and delicate.
Instead, grab some handy dandy dental floss and use that for clean slices of cake every time. The best kind of dental floss is one that is unflavored and not as waxy. You obviously don't want to ruin the flavor of the cake or leave wax flakes behind.
37. The Diamonds On A Measuring Tape Can Help You During A Home Renovation
When you use a measuring tape, you probably haven't noticed all the markings on it before. If you pull one out of your drawer right now, you will see tiny black diamonds along the top and wonder what they are there for because it isn't decoration.
These diamonds are spaced every 19.2 inches to help people correctly space the floor trusses for a 4×8 T&G sub-floor with a span rating of 20” o.c. If you didn't understand what that means then don't worry, it just means you haven't worked in professional construction yet.
38. When You Have Long Nails, This Will Help You Open Cans Easily
For all the ladies with long nails that struggle to open soda cans, this trick will save you. When you have long nails, you don't want to ruin them by messing with the soda tabs, so there are alternative ways to crack them open, but this is by far the easiest.
All you have to do is flip a bottle opener upside down and slide the flat part under the tab. In seconds you can open any can, and your nails won't get ruined. This trick also works with a key or a thin coin that can get under the tab.
39. The Pointy Bit On A Cap Of Tubed Medicine Actually Has A Purpose
When you get new ointments, and there is a safety seal, do you ever struggle to get it open? It's so small and almost impossible to peel off entirely, but there is an easier way to get it open by using the cap on the tube.
The pointy part on the cap of the medicine is there to break the safety seal. Just unscrew the cap, flip it around and push the pointy part into the seal. It is usually written on the instructions on the box, which no one reads anyway.
40. Don't Remove The Plastic Disks In Your Drink Cap
When we were younger, we used to peel the plastic disks out of drink caps because we were bored. If anyone else did this, you will know that the drink would mysteriously become flat or start leaking out of the bottle, and now we know why.
These little discs act as a seal for the cap, and without them, the drink leaks and loses its carbonation. We knew they weren't putting them there for no reason, but we never knew what would happen without it.