10 Lifehacks That Don't Actually Work

If you’ve ever seen a lifehack online and wondered, “does that really work?” you’ll love this post exploring ten lifehacks that are total fails.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
3-minute read
Episode #2

1.) Get Rid of Smells with Stainless Steel

You may have seen expensive pieces of stainless steel at kitchen shops for this purpose, or just heard the tip that tells you to wipe your hands on stainless steel to get rid of garlic or onion smells. But does it work? Our research says no. Instead, rub your hands with lemon juice (or vinegar) and salt.

2.) Separate Eggs with a Water Bottle

This viral video makes separating eggs with a water bottle look easy. But when we tried, the egg went everywhere! Instead, separate an egg the old-fashioned way: by simply pouring the egg from shell to shell until it is divided.

3.) Stem a Strawberry with a Straw

Sticking a straw through a strawberry to remove its stem seems like a clean and easy way to do it, but in reality, the straw is pretty hard to get through the strawberry, and in the amount of time it takes, is it really worth it? Instead, simply cut the stem out by making a v-shape with a paring knife.

4.) Make Pancake Shapes with a Ketchup Bottle

Clean out a ketchup bottle and make amazing pancake animals! If you’ve ever tried to clean out a ketchup bottle, you already know that this lifehack is neither quick nor easy. Instead of trying to imitate pancake-making YouTube stars (yes, there are such things) save yourself the time and frustration and just use a cookie cutter with an open top. Place it on the griddle and pour the batter into the shape, then remove it when it’s time to flip the pancake. It’s that easy!

5.) Amplify the Sound on your Phone with a Homemade Stand

You may have seen the impressive DIY phone stands online made from a toilet paper roll and push pins. A way easier and more effective option? Just place your phone or music player in a bowl, with the speaker pointing down. The sound waves will bounce off the edges of the bowl, amplifying the sound. Use a stainless steel bowl for even louder sound!

6.) Place a Penny in a Vase of Flowers to Make them Last Longer

The advice to place a penny in a vase of flowers to make them last longer is actually true—as long as the penny was manufactured before 1981. If you happen to have an old penny, save it—its copper content will keep bacteria away from your flowers. Otherwise, a capful of vodka will do just fine (add a pinch of sugar for added nutrients, too!).

7.) Put a Wooden Spoon Over a Pot to Stop it From Boiling Over

Ever heard that if you place a wooden spoon over a pot it won’t boil over? Well, apparently science hasn’t heard this hack! This old wives’ tale is definitely not true.

8.) Make a Cupcake Easier to Eat by Halving It

Halve your cupcake, then mush it back together with the frosting on the inside. While this trick is supposed to make cupcakes easier to eat, the frosting ends up spurting out all over the place. We’ll eat our cupcakes the regular way, thanks.

9.) Use a Dryer Sheet to Get Grime Out of Pans

Stuck-on grime in your pan? Don’t try leaving a dryer sheet in it overnight—it will just make more of a mess. Instead, let some cola sit it in the pan. It will eat through the grime and through rust, too! (Kind of scary!)

10.) Keep Batteries in the Fridge

Have you read you should keep your batteries in your fridge to make them last longer? Turns out, this temperature is too cold and can actually harm your batteries. Keep your batteries at room temperature, and save the fridge for things like perfume, whose life really will be extended by the colder temperature.

Have you tried any lifehacks that turned out to be bombs? Let us know on our Facebook page (where you can also get our Tip of the Day), and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Stitcher!

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.