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Published: Saturday April 12, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday April 12, 2014 MYT 10:16:25 AM

Quick and easy solutions to solve day-to-day problems

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.

Peeling or chopping onions in water can help reduce tearing.

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.

For a better grip to open tight jars and cans, loop rubber bands around the lid.

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.

Rubbing toothpaste over a ball pen mark on the wall and wiping it away with a cloth soaked in warm water can help remove the stains.

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.

An age-old remedy passed down from the older generations in many households is cleaning glass or mirror surfaces with newspaper.

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.

Remove rust from appliances by soaking them with Coke or vinegar.

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.

Tags / Keywords: Central Region, Family Community, MOB, Top 10, life hacks, lifestyle, tips

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