Just when we thought we had this whole “living” thing down, these helpful Internet hacks are here to show us we’ve been doing it all wrong. From the most head-scratching to the most seemingly obvious, here are all of the household items that have gone misunderstood for all of these years.
1. There’s A Tab To Hold The Roll In Place
When it comes to dispensing aluminum foil or plastic wrap, people have been making the entire process much more annoying than it has to be. Unrolling some wrap can actually be pretty hassle-free, provided you follow just one simple life hack.
Turns out we do not have to look too far for some of these life hacks; they’re right there on the box! On the side of every box of aluminum foil or plastic wrap, there is a square that has been carved out and is actually labeled for your convenience. The instructions ask users to press the tab inwards, creating a lock that keeps a roll of wrap in place.
2. A Takeout Container Can Be So Much More
Anyone who has ever ordered Chinese food takeout is familiar with that iconic white and red box the food comes packaged in. But while most people use those carriers to simply bring their food home, it turns out we’re all guilty of using this household item wrong.
Next time, instead of simply using this takeaway box to, well, just take away, try to let it reach its full potential. By unhooking the metal handle and letting the box unfurl, anyone can turn their container into a quick and easy plate. Save time and energy of washing yet another dish, and let this box do its job.
3. Pay Attention To The Tape’s Black Diamond
Maybe everyone was just a little bit too busy actually measuring to notice a small but extremely useful detail, hidden literally between the lines. If anyone has ever noticed that there are black diamond-shaped markings on a standard measuring tape, those are not there by mistake.
The black diamonds are also known as “stud finders,” because they do just that. The markings are perfectly spaced out to show the precise center point between two wall studs. This is helpful for anyone doing simple home repairs, and can save people time and money, since they get to avoid using a stud finder.
4. That Drawer Under The Oven? Not For Storage
Finding good kitchen storage space can be pretty difficult. It seems like we’re constantly shoving just about anything into that final nook or cranny. So it comes as no surprise that many people use the bottom drawer under most ovens to hold their baking sheets and other cooking tools. But that’s not what this drawer is intended for.
Instead, the bottom drawer is actually called a warming rack. And, yes: it is designed to, as the name suggests, keep things warm. Once food is baked and ready, and before it is served, the warming rack is the perfect place to store the food so that it does not go cold in the meantime, but stops cooking.
5. There Are Clues In Road Signs
For anyone who is looking for a sign, look no further. It turns out that there is a lot to learn from a standard green highway sign beyond what is written in bright white letters. Make sure to take note of where everything is positioned on each sign.
The strategic positioning on a highway sign makes GPS unnecessary. Take a look and see at the top of each sign which side the “exit tab” is on. If the exit number sits at the top left of the sign, the highway exit will be on the left side of the highway, and vice versa.
6. Using The Right Plunger
Any standard bathroom-related backup can be made even more embarrassing and inconvenient for anyone who does not know exactly which plunger to use. And for many of us DIY bathroom fixers, we’ve actually been making the mistake of using the wrong plunger for the wrong problem.
While many just grab the closest plunger, or might think that any plunger is interchangeable, each actually serves a specific purpose. Flat plungers are actually supposed to be used only on sinks, while the model with a tapered bottom is ideal for toilets. It’s important to make sure the right one is being used before taking the plunge!
7. That Lid Is Not Just A Lid
Whether a cold paper cup is creating a ring on an expensive tabletop or its creating a circle-shaped puddle on any work desk, dealing with the condensation from a soft drink cup can be annoying and, at times, damaging to furniture. But the way to avoid this problem has been staring people right in the face this whole time.
Anyone who has been using a fountain soda lid as simply a lid has been doing it all wrong all along. On most lids, the circle with the smaller circumference is usually the perfect size for fitting the bottom of the same cup. This creates the most perfect coaster for anyone who is on the go.
8. Never Mistake Which Side The Gas Tank Is On
Pulling into a gas station can sometimes be the start of a frustrating guessing game, as drivers try to figure out which side their gas tank is on. And guessing wrong can often lead to an even more annoying situation. However, the trick to beating this cruel game has been right in front of drivers, there on the dashboard in plain view.
Next time you get into a car, check out the gas gauge. Right next to the icon that shows a gas pump, there is usually an arrow. Whichever side that arrow is pointing to indicates the side of the car where a driver can find their gas pump. See, that was much easier than repositioning a car three times.
9. The Second Use Behind A Head Rest
We are hoping that this helpful use for a car’s head rest will put some road trip worries to rest. It turns out that a head rest is much more than everyone has realized. Besides being a convenient place to, well, rest our heads, a head rest can actually save lives.
Did anyone ever notice that most car head rests can be taken completely out of their places? That function can be useful for a lot of reasons, but one life-saving reason is that it can be used to break through glass. So for anyone who is ever stuck inside of their car, simply remove the headrest and break free.
10. We’ve Been Eating Bananas Incorrectly
Get ready Gwen Stefani, because this one is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s. It turns out that everyone has been eating bananas totally wrong all these years. So, here we go: it’s high time to finally learn the proper method for premium peeling. The first step? Turn that banana upside down, with the stem facing the floor.
It might feel ridiculous to peel a banana with what has been considered to be the proper side facing the opposite direction, but trust us. According to zoologists, monkeys peel their bananas this way because it cuts out unnecessary time spent fumbling around with the fruit. Instead, pinch the brown part at the bottom, watch the banana pry open, and peel.
11. Pile On Those Condiments
When ordering a meal like a burger with fries, condiments are almost as important as the main courses and side courses. Everyone has their own ratio of ketchup to burger, or ketchup to fries, and mastering that ratio can sometimes involve having to carry several condiment cups back to a table.
But next time, instead of arriving table side with full hands, come fully equipped with this trick. Instead of taking multiple condiment cups, instead expand the condiment cups that are already there. A standard cup can actually be flattened a bit to create more space for ketchup. And truly, everyone can always use a bit more space for ketchup.
12. Flip That Carton
Ever poured out milk, orange juice, or anything else from a carton, and realizing it’s not the most graceful process? There are the “glugging” noises that come from the liquid pushing its way out of the carton, and then there’s all that mess left on the counter tops.
For years, we have been thinking that there must be a better way. And it turns out, there has been one all along, and it is much easier than anybody thought. Just turn the carton upside down. Instead of having the spout-side down, flip the carton so that the spout is farther away from the glass. Problem solved!
13. Perfectly Measure That Pasta
Add this to the list of under-utilized items in everyone’s homes. For years, we have all used the pasta ladle as a way to stir, separate, and, ultimately, serve all of our favorite pastas. All the while, we have been second-guessing ourselves about whether or not we made enough pasta in the first place. But not anymore.
It turns out that the hole in the middle of a pasta ladle is not just for separating pasta from boiling water. Instead, that hole can fit the perfect proportion of pasta for one person. So gather up some uncooked spaghetti and place it through the hole. Once it fills up, that indicates one single serving.
14. The Helpful Hole In A Pot Handle
It’s become fashionable for people to hang their pots and pans in a kitchen. On HGTV shows and in home blogs, home design influencers flaunt the trend of showcasing all of the kitchen appliances in one’s home. And while the holes in pot or pan handles make this hanging design easy, that’s not the sole purpose it serves.
The hole at the end of these handles perfectly fits most wooden spoons and stirrers. So instead of having burnt hands after picking up a hot spoon or suffering the sight of having a spoon sink slowly into a pot of sauce, stick the utensil in the hole for easy cooking.
15. Never Lose A Straw Again
Putting a straw inside of a can of soda can be a awkward experience. There are times that the straw seems to sink into the can, almost disappearing, and there are other times when the carbonation of the drink means that a straw can get pushed almost entirely out of the can. But there’s a simple solution.
Beyond just being a means for someone to open up a can of soda, the soda can tab at the top can be a perfect placeholder for a straw. Rather than all of that bobbing and weaving, secure a straw to a can by sticking it through the tab.
16. Get The Most Out Of Shopping Carts
People spend tons of time trying to maximize the bargains during their grocery shopping experiences by clipping coupons or finding the best deals in each store. But are we really accomplishing what we could be from the rest of our shopping experiences?
Next time anyone puts a carton of eggs into their shopping carts and worries about cracking these fragile groceries, remember this helpful tip. Almost every shopping cart includes loops near the back end. Those loops are specifically made to hang bags from, so that the most breakable groceries in a person’s cart will not suffer the fate of being crushed before they have even made it home.
17. No Wire Hangers!
Wooden hangers have always been popular for a few reasons. First, aesthetically, this specific type of hanger looks much better in closets than other wire hangers. But these hangers are special for another reason, and it has nothing to do with being really, really ridiculously good-looking.
Wooden hangers were created with a specific purpose in mind. The specific type of wood used in most hangers is hand-selected to repel moths and other unwanted insects and pests that can harm clothing. The wood in the hanger helps make sure that clothes are not only unwrinkled, but that they stay undamaged while they are hanging out in closets.
18. Hold That Juice Box Just Right
All the parents and babysitters out there know that whenever anyone hands a juice box to a small child, the next step should be to run for cover. By design, it seems like these boxes are just waiting to explode once children grab hold of them.
But actually, the way juice boxes are constructed, this is not supposed to happen. Has anyone ever wondered why juice boxes come with such bulky flaps on each side of the top? Not only does this obviously help seal the juice box, but once the flaps are loosened, it creates helpful handles for children to grip onto and avoid disaster.
19. Why The Dress Shirt Loop?
Has anyone else ever been tempted to grab onto someone by the little loop on the back of their button-up dress shirt? (Okay, maybe that’s just us.) But whether or not they’ve felt that urge, we are pretty sure that most people have at least questioned why almost every dress shirt includes this head-scratching detail.
The loop actually serves a useful purpose. Anyone wearing a dress shirt can take it off and hang it by the small loop in situations where a hanger is not available. This way, you can happily hang your shirt without worries that it will get wrinkled.
20. Backpack Patches Aren’t Just For Decoration
Take a look at some of the most popular backpacks available in stores today. For example, it might be easy to notice that patches on backpack brands L.L. Bean and Herschel Supply Co. have become pretty common. Usually the patch is made of leather and has two parallel cutouts.
Don’t think that this little patch is only there as decoration. It is actually called a “pig snout,” and it was originally found on outdoor backpacks so that people could attach hiking equipment or other gear to the back. Now, the pig snout has made its way onto many fashion backpacks to give them a vintage feel.
21. Cover Up Properly
Public restrooms can always be a hit or miss situation — and sometimes that is taken a little too literally. Thankfully, many of these toilet stalls have the option to cover the toilet seat with a thin sheet of tissue paper. But even so, many people are still missing the mark when it comes to how exactly to use that seat cover.
Many people either take the flap that is cut out in the toilet seat cover and either rip it off or position it to be in the back of the seat. Instead, the proper way to use one of these disposable covers is with the flap facing forward. This is supposed to help it more easily flush down the toilet.
22. There’s A Better Way To Floss
Sometimes flossing can get a little more cumbersome than it should be. With 32 teeth in the human mouth, there are tons of hard to reach places where floss seems to stubbornly slip out of peoples’ hands. But don’t blame the floss itself! We’ve just been using it wrong all along.
When it comes to flossing molars that are a little farther back in the mouth, try tying the dental floss into a knot. The knot creates a little bit more tension, creating a deeper floss, and makes it so that dental floss does not slip out of anyone’s hand. That’s a tip that will leave anyone smiling.
23. A Bottle Opener Isn’t Just For Bottles
A keychain bottle opener can be a helpful tool to carry around for anyone who needs to open up a glass bottle on the go. But part of a bottle opener goes completely underutilized, and could in fact help save people in a literal pinch.
Stubborn tabs on the top of cans have met their match when it comes to keychain bottle openers. On many of them, there is a small cutout that is meant to help pry open can tabs. No more pinching fingers under a tense soda top: just let the bottle opener do all of the hard work.
24. What’s With That Extra Shoelace Hole?
For years, people have been trying to figure out an age old question: why exactly do my running shoes have that extra lace hole that no one seems to use? And as people continue to question, many go on ignoring the lace hole entirely. But those days are about to end.
Many running shoes include an extra hole or two at the very top of the shoe so that shoes can get a more custom fit. Runners can use the extra holes to create shoelace loops that will make sneakers tighter, creating less blisters and redness. With the extra holes, runners will run into less problems.
25. Applesauce Has Always Had A Built-In Spoon
Applesauce is a great snack on the go, except for when it’s not. But what exactly is standing in its way? Well, it’s not like many people carry a spoon around with them to enjoy their takeaway applesauce. Little did anyone know that they don’t need a spoon to enjoy some applesauce whenever, wherever.
Next time anyone finds themselves spoonless, just use this trick. Carefully peel off the lid, twist one side, and create a makeshift spoon. The lid’s material ensures that the spoon is actually sturdy enough to properly shovel all of that applesauce. Enjoy, just watch where you’re walking with it!
26. Store Your Peanut Butter Jar Upside Down
Millions of people across the nation and around the world think that they’re doing things right, but they’ve been wrong all along. They come home from the market, shopping bags in hand and stock their pantry with an array of items.
When they get to that jar of peanut butter resting on the bottom of the bag, they carelessly put it on the shelf right side up and then several times down the week they end up with a dry and less then stellar peanut butter sandwich. Most of this has to do with the way they’re stocking it. Peanut Butter jars are meant to be stocked upside down. That way, all the oils are balanced and don’t end up resting on the bottom of a jar.
27. Thinner Bottles Leave For Colder Drinks
It happens all too often. It’s a scorching summer day and you look for relief in an icy bottle of water or cola. Upon that first drink, you don’t know what hit you, but you feel beyond refreshed. Sadly, this feeling doesn’t last. After taking those first few drinks, you’re left with a room temperature beverage that just isn’t doing it for you.
The trick to beating this problem is to buy thinner bottles. If you are a fan of having cold drinks, go to your sporting goods store and buy a thin bottle. You can assure yourself that with that kind bottle, you’ll always have a nice cool drink waiting to grace your lips.
28. Staple Removers Open Key Rings
It’s an all too common situation. You’re about to give your apartment key to a roommate or sublet and you realize you can’t remove the key from the key ring. Suddenly the beads of sweat start running down your face, the clock is ticking and your friend’s foot is impatiently tapping.
What should have been a simple task becomes a war between man and metal. If you would have owned a staple remover, this whole debacle could have been completely avoided. You wouldn’t have guessed it, but a staple remover is a sure fire way to open that key ring with ease.
29. The Reason Behind That Tiny Pocket
Anyone who owns a pair of jeans has seen it. That tiny pocket that sits just above the big pocket. The tiny pocket that’s so small we literally have no idea what would actually fit in there. Many scratch their heads and wonder why it’s there at all. Today, they could wonder no more.
That tiny little mystery attached to your favorite jeans goes back to a time long ago. A time that might even surpass some of our grandfathers. Before we ever whipped out cell phones to check the time or looked down at some handy wrist watch, there was the pocket watch. That tiny pocket was made to hold that old device.
30. Cola Makes a Great Cleaning Product
Most people won’t hesitate to throw back a few glasses of cola to go with their dinner. It’s bubbly, cold and depending on your brand, somewhat delicious. That said, the fizzy little drink is one of the worst things you can put into your body.
Most don’t know this, but cola is actually one of the best cleaning products on the market. It can remove grease stains from clothes with ease, wash away rust from tools, restore shine to coins and remove corrosion from car batteries. With that knowledge, just think about what that refreshing cola is doing to your insides.
31. Karate Chop Your Ketchup
Nobody hasn’t had that moment of struggle with a ketchup bottle at your local diner. The waiter put those golden fries before you and you can’t wait to shove them in your mouth. However, before you can consume, you have to get some ketchup on those babies.
Instead of shaking that bottle for twenty minutes and sticking a knife into its opening, just give the bottle a nice karate chop. This will wake up all the sleeping ketchup inside and it will tumble out of the bottle with ease. We suggest that you hold the bottle at a steep tilt after practicing this move. The last thing you want is for all the ketchup to flood your plate.
32. Wooden Spoons Will Prevent Boiling Over
It could be veggies, pasta or even festive winter soup. Once that water is boiling, it can easily begin to boil over the sides. While cooking a fine meal, many people will leave the kitchen for a tidbit of a second only to return to their soup boiling over the pot and forming a waterfall over the kitchen counter.
You don’t have to play that game of chance with your dinner anymore. You have a loyal tag team partner tucked away in that drawer and you didn’t even know he was there. We’re talking about that wooden spoon. Place him on top of that boiling pot and he’ll be your eyes when you’re away. That spoon will prevent any water from boiling over.
33. The Mystery Behind Boot Loops
So you’ve just hiked all day, right through the thick brush and over the hills. You’re dirty, sweaty and that trusty pair of hiking boots don’t look much better. As you walk through that front door, you kick those boots off and just like that, your beautiful floor is stained to the max.
Those trusty boots were never meant to touch the floor in your house. If not the floor, where are you supposed to put them? Have you ever noticed those loops on the back of the boots? Those are for hanging them up. Your boots are supposed to be hung up over the closet or by the door.
34. Chupa Chup Has Your Back
Some lollipop companies don’t give the customer a second thought. They put a piece of candy on a stick, wrap it up and have it shipped over to all the markets and kiosk. If you suck on that candy long enough, the lollipop will come right off the stick and you’ll have to hold that piece of candy between your teeth.
It’s a situation that can easily end in disaster. Unlike most lollipop companies, Chupa Chup has the customers in mind. Have you ever noticed that the stick is hollow and there are two holes, one on the bottom and one on the top. That so that the candy feels that how and stays secured on the stick.
35. Mystery Behind The Rearview Mirror Tab
The rearview mirror is one of the coolest parts about being a driver. You can always use it to slyly look at your backseat passengers. You’ll feel smooth and appear mysterious to them as they just catch your eyes looking at them.
However that cool little rearview mirror has a help tab that often gets ignored or forgotten by a driver. That tab is for those late night drives. It doesn’t matter if you’re cruising the Sunset strip or going on a night ride to Las Vegas, you’ll always have some car behind you that insists on having those brights on. That tab will angle to mirror slightly downward and save your eyes a lot of stress.
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