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Saturday April 12, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday April 12, 2014 MYT 10:16:25 AM
by choo woon lim
Use a spaghetti stick to light up hard to reach candle wicks without fear of burning your hand.
THE saying goes that there is no shortcut to success, but there are definitely short cuts to helping one out with household chores and other simple things, which would otherwise cause us endless annoyance.
This week, MOB tries out 10 interesting life hacks to help make life easier.
1. Light small candles
easily with spaghetti
Save on matches by using an uncooked spaghetti stick to light up candle wicks in hard to reach places or to light many wicks at once.
The long length of the spaghetti ensures that you can take your time without worrying about burning your fingers or the flame running out.
2. Cutting or peeling
onions in water
When it comes to food preparation, onions are dreaded. Peel or cut onions in water to help stop the tears from flowing due to rising vapours.
Alternatively, running water over the onions while cutting can also do the trick.
3. Use rubber bands to
open tight jars and cans
Loop rubber bands around the circumference of the lid for a better grip when opening jars.
A towel or cloth also works well.
For bottles and cans with metal lids, pop it into a bowl of hot water.
The heat will cause the lids to expand, enabling you to open it with ease.
4. Remove ball pen
marks from a wall
If you are in a household with young children who treat the house walls as their personal canvas, try removing ball-point pen marks with toothpaste.
Rub a small amount over the affected spot, leave for a few seconds and scrub off with a cloth soaked in warm water.
5. Clean glass or
mirrors with newspapers
This is an age-old remedy passed down from the older generation in many households.
The gritty surface of newspaper cleans glass and mirrors efficiently, leaving them streak-free. They also come at no extra cost and leave little residue or lint.
6. Vinegar or cola
can help remove rust
Washing rusty kitchen appliances with the liquid left it significantly shinier and with less rust.
Try soaking small rusty items overnight and scrub in the morning. The acidic properties are said to help remove rust. Vinegar is useful but may oxidise the surface of metal.
7. Zipper-down no more
If you are always checking to see if your fly is open, try using an old key ring to prevent it from coming loose.
Hook the key ring to the zipper, pull up and loop the ring over the top button before fastening it into place.
No more embarrassing social faux pas.
8. Cleaning drains
A popular household hack is cleaning drains with baking soda and vinegar.
The mix creates sodium acetate (water and salt residue), which acts as an abrasive to scrape away stubborn stains and get rid of small clogs.
Pour hot water into the drain, and add half a cup of baking soda.
Let it rest for five minutes before pouring in half a cup of white vinegar.
There should be a fizzing reaction.
Rinse by pouring hot water through the drain.
9. Removing permanent
ink on whiteboard
Most people use thinner or other solvents to get rid of permanent marker ink on a whiteboard.
If you do not have that on hand, get a regular whiteboard marker and draw over the former before rubbing it off with tissue paper or cloth. While this does not completely remove the stain, it does help to remove most of the ink.
10. Recycle plastic bottles to keep food in opened packets fresh
Use plastic bottles as package “clippers”.
Unfinished packets of potato crisps or chocolates can be kept fresh by putting it through the mouth of a cut plastic bottle from the bottom and to seal it with the bottle cap.
Disclaimer: These life hacks were tested by the writer and is not a testament of fact to their effectiveness in other households.
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