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17 Hacks to Make Life Easier

For our first podcast, we're sharing the best tips and hacks we've ever found to make household items last longer, clean your home for pennies, keep bugs away, and more.

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
Episode #001
life hack

Use Hair Conditioner as Shaving Cream

Instead of buying expensive shaving creams or foams, try shaving with hair conditioner. (Buy the cheapest kind.) The conditioner will soften the hair and provide a layer of protection between your blade and your skin. You’ll even get a closer shave!

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Keep Razors from Getting Dull

If your razor gets dull easily, it’s probably due to rust that you can’t even see. Keep rust away by storing your razor blade-down in a glass of olive oil. As a bonus, any olive oil left on the blades will help moisturize your skin!

Dryer Sheets as Air Fresheners

Tape a dryer sheet onto your heating or air-conditioning vent and it will freshen the whole room. You can even use sheets that have gone through the dryer!

Make a Funky Kitchen Sponge Fresh Again

When your kitchen sponge smells funky, just dampen it, then heat in the microwave for 1 minute on high to kill the odor-causing bacteria. You can even use white vinegar instead of water to clean the microwave! Then the steam from the sponge permeates the cooked-on grease and grime, and then you can just wipe it down with a damp rag or paper towel afterwards.

Use Splenda or Salt to Stop a Stain

If you (or a clumsy guest) spills something on the table cloth or carpet, immediately cover the stain with salt—or better yet, Splenda artificial sweetener. It will absorb the liquid before it sets, and you can simply vacuum it up later.

Hydrogen Peroxide Miracle Cleaner

If salt didn’t save the stain, use our hydrogen peroxide miracle cleaner, the most-shared post ever on our Facebook page. Simply empty one-third of a hydrogen peroxide bottle, then fill it up with dishwashing liquid. Add a spray bottle nozzle and you’re ready to fight food stains and even dirty grout and mold.

Save Money on Cooking Spray

Never pay for cooking spray. Instead, buy a giant jug of vegetable oil and add it to a clean spray bottle as needed. It’s the same thing and will cost a fraction of the price.

Make Herbs Last 3x Longer

Fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro will last about three times longer if you store them in a jar of water. Just place the roots or bottoms of the stems in a jar with water in it, like you would with flowers. Cover loosely with a plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator. It also works for scallions!

Make Lemons and Limes Last 5x Longer

Lemons and limes will stay fresh longer than you ever thought possible if you store them in a bowl of water in the fridge. Just change the water every week.

Use Vinegar to Clean Your Kitchen

Did you know that you can clean countertops and stainless steel appliances with white vinegar? Just dilute it by adding double the amount of water as white vinegar in a spray bottle. Then use it as you would a regular household cleaner. Just make sure to completely dry stainless steel after cleaning so that it doesn’t spot!

Get Rid of Water Rings with Mayonnaise

If you’ve got kids, they’ve probably left white watermark rings on your finished wood table (or you like to blame the watermarks you’ve left on them). Use mayonnaise to easily remove them. Just rub the area with the mayo and let sit for 30–60 minutes. Then rub again with a soft cloth—the stain should disappear.

Olive Oil for Cleaning Wood

Save money on wood cleaners by using olive oil instead. Just add a few drops to a dry rag and rub on wood furniture. If desired, you can mix in a little lemon essential oil for the scent.

Keep Ants Away with Cinnamon

Believe it or not, ants won’t cross a barrier of cinnamon. Find out more in our recent post DIY Solutions to the 6 Worst Bug Problems.

Make a Roach Spray with Cat Nip

To repel roaches, make a “tea” with catnip by submerging the leaves in hot water and straining them. Then spray the solution in your kitchen, bathroom, and other areas where roaches like to stray. Repeat every time you mop or vacuum to permanently keep cockroaches away.

Keep Mosquitoes Away with Vanilla (and the Right Clothes)

Make an effective DIY mosquito repellent with vanilla. Just mix equal parts water and pure vanilla extract. It smells great, too! The easiest way to keep bugs away, though, is to simply wear the right clothes. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark blue clothing. If you usually have trouble with mosquito bites, trying wearing light, pastel clothes when you’re outdoors.

Mow a Wet Lawn without Sticking Grass

As we told you in our post on lawn mowing hacks, you can use cooking spray (or your spray bottle of vegetable oil) to mow your lawn even after it’s rained. Just spray some on the blades of your mower, and wet grass won’t stick.

Brown Sugar and Olive Oil Facial Scrub

Finally, Jeanne’s favorite beauty tip—make a simple yet luxurious exfoliating scrub by slowing adding olive oil to brown sugar until you have a paste. (Add a drop of essential oil for scent, if desired.) Rinse your face and then gently rub this scrub over it to get rid of dead skin and keep your skin moisturized. It’s the same scrub that’s sold at fancy shops, at a tiny fraction of the price!

Listen to the full Who Knew? podcast episode in the top right hand player or on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or Google Play.

Did we miss any of your favorite tips? Did you enjoy our very first podcast? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page! And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter!

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.

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