Food storage containers
Not all food containers are ideal for the microwave. Rectangular shaped containers have pointy corners, and these corners can heat up more than the center, leaving your food heated unevenly and some spots overcooked or still cold. Try a rounder shape container to reheat your food more uniformly. Also, some containers might be made with chemicals unsafe for microwave use, so check this.
There’s a reason your blender keeps stuttering and starting when you’re making that packed smoothie. You should pack your blender in a certain order to allow the ingredients to blend easier. Start with your liquid base, and then layer your ingredients from smallest to biggest, ensuring a smooth blend and a tastier smoothie.
Don’t use the same heat and time for every type of bread. Sweeter breads heat faster, where as heavier breads like rye take slightly longer. If you have slightly drier bread after the loaf has been opened for a few days, you may need to increase the temperature to get the bread more toasty.
Leaving the door slightly open allows the steam and hot air to escape, which helps your food develop that crustiness you’re aiming for. Also, letting the super hot air out ensures the heat stays surrounding the top of the food, instead of heating up the whole dish and further cooking it.
Salt draws in energy from the microwave, so having lots of seasoning on top of your food will leave the outer layer super dry. Avoid adding seasoning just before heating, and add your salt after cooking or make sure to thoroughly mix your seasonings into the food beforehand.
Opening the lid on your pot is tempting to give it a stir or a smell, but don’t do it. Opening the pot lets out the built up heat and steam, and messes with the cooking time of your dish. Only check up on it or give it a quick stir if there’s less than an hour left of cooking time, but avoid doing it all if you can.
Blenders have dull blades but fast motors, and food processors have sharp blades but slower motors. This is because they are supposed to be used for different things. If you want something smooth and creamy, use the blender. If you need something to make a paste or chopped ingredients, use the processor. Make sure you know the difference and which appliance is necessary to use for you.
Load your dishwasher efficiently depending on your cleaning needs. The middle of the dishwasher receives the strongest water spray, so stains like tomatoes would be better cleaned here. Whereas, the edges of the dishwasher gets the strongest detergent concentration, so egg stains here would be best cleaned.
Most stand mixers are built at the right height, but after lots of use or bad delivery the beaters can fall out of place. Between the beater and the bottom of the bowl there should space for two thick pieces of paper to fit so that the paddle can properly do it’s job, ensuring your ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
Water from the sink can get super hot, and at these temperatures the water can melt any food in the garbage disposal. This melted food can turn into a thick paste and make it so hard to clean or prevent the water from flowing freely. Make sure to clean your food of your plates with cold water.
Unless you’ve taken a cooking class, we just hold knives how we think we’re supposed to. You’re actually supposed to hold your knives by placing your thumb and pointer finger on the sides of the blade, because this way will help you get more precise cuts, and decrease the chances of your fingers slipping.
The toilet plungers we think of are those red ones with a flat bottom, but they are actually way more useful for sinks or baths. For your toilet, you’re best buying a flange plunger, which has a smaller opening so it’s easier to seal the drain and unclog the toilet.
Keep the packaging still when tearing a piece of plastic wrap. To help you, the box should have a tab on the side. When you press the tab inwards it will hold the tube in place and make it easier to rip just one piece. Also check if there is a jagged edge to help cut your pieces evenly.
Those toothpaste ads show someone with a giant spread across their bristles, but that’s not what’s recommended. Dentists say the ideal amount is pea-sized, and this is because toothpaste needs to slightly foam up for a proper clean, and too much would prevent this. It would also, of course, be a waste of the product.
Getting the ketchup out of the bottle is harder than it should be, but don’t start vigorously shaking the bottle. A Heinz spokesperson revealed a better trick to get ketchup out without a ton coming at once, which is to hit the neck of the bottle where it starts to narrow.
Button down shirts
If you thought that loop on the back of your shirt was just a design feature, you may be getting unneccessary wrinkles in your shirts. That loop was added to shirts in the 1960s so men could hang their shirts up in gym lockers, without having to fold and crease them.
Monkeys in the wild peel bananas from the bottom and they have the right idea. Try peeling your bananas from the bottom and not by the stem, and you’ll see that you no longer struggle to bend the skin back and won’t mush up the top of the banana. It should also help you to prevent getting bits of banana stuck underneath your nails.
How you brush your teeth is just as important as actually doing it. You should hold your brush at a 45 degree angle towards your gums in order to get the plaque build-up from the most vulnerable place. To get your front teeth sparkly clean, go up and down, not side to side.
It might seem easier to just file back and forth like a saw, but that is actually more damaging for the nail. Instead you should file in one direction, going from the outside to the middle of the nail, to avoid any snaps or snags. This way should also help your nails look healthier and promote normal growth.
Cone-shaped coffee filters have an annoying habit of folding in on themselves when you’re trying to brew your coffee. To avoid this, make sure to fold and crease your filters on the bottom and side. This will prevent the filter from moving and give them a sturdy flat base. As a result, you should have smooth coffee that isn’t grainy.
You know that small draw you use to store spare baking sheets in? That’s usually a warming drawer. Check your manual to see how it works, but these can be really handy for dinner parties as you can pop your food in there to keep warm just before your guests arrive. Or, if you’re baking breads or doughs, they’re great for prooving.
Q-tips are mostly used to clean our ears, but it’s actually not safe to put something like that in our ear canals. You can end up pushing the wax further back into your ear, which can then develop into bigger problems like ear ache or build up of wax. They’re okay for the outside of your ears, but nowhere else.
These little sponges are great for applying foundation, but they can be used in more efficient ways. Your beauty blenders should be soaked in water before use until they are damp (squeeze the excess water out). This will prevent your makeup from soaking up into the sponge and apply more evenly on your face. Make sure to clean them frequently too.
Ceiling fans are life savers in the summer months, but they can also keep your home cosy in the winter. Instead of the usual setting that pushes cold air down, click reverse on the fan and it will swoop up cold air towards the ceiling and help warm air to spread throughout the room.
Having a notification for every single email you receive can be so annoying and stressful because you’ll want to check every time to see if it’s important. Instead, set notifications to important things only, like business or family and let the spam just arrive in silence. This should also help you focus on any tasks you might be doing.
A lot of fridges will let you adjust the humidity levels, which can be useful when buying certain produce. Fruits and veggies that rot quickly will do better with low humidity, so if you have a big shopping haul from the farmers market, be sure to change those humidity levels.
Brushes and combs
Knotty hair is so frustrating, but don’t start angrily brushing. To tease out knots with your brush or comb, always start from the ends and work your way up. This will prevent you from damaging the hair shafts, avoid pulling out hairs, and not make the tangles even bigger. There are also different brushes for different hair textures; try finding one for your hair type.
The last holes at the top of your shoes aren’t just for decoration, but they can help with foot support too. If you like running or walking, lacing up your shoes to the last eyelet can keep them snug on your feet and ankles and prevent pain. They’ll also make you less susceptible to slipping or tripping.
If you see those little spikes on top of your tube caps, they’re actually super useful. They are used to poke through the foil that covers the opening of brand new products. Trying to peel that little bit of foil off can be annoying so if you didn’t know this hack, it can be a life saver, and make it super quick too.
Have you ever noticed that hole that’s in the middle of your spaghetti spoon? It’s not just for draining water, but often they’re designed to measure out how much spaghetti you should be cooking. Check yours or look online for packaging directions to see if it’s a single portion spoon. Most are, but some might be wider for larger portions.
Tissue paper isn’t just for packaging up gifts, but it can also be used for storing clothes. When folding clothes that wrinkle easily, lay a sheet of tissue paper inside the garment and fold like normal. The paper will help prevent heavy wrinkles from setting in.
Most people use their bobby pins with the groove side up, but that’s not how they’re meant to be used. The grooves are actually meant to help keep the pins close to the hair and prevent them slipping out of the hair, so turn inwards when pinning your hair – your updo will last longer.
Using a ton of detergent won’t make your whites whiter, but instead prevent them from actually getting clean. Using more than advised on the measuring cap can cause too many suds which can trap the dirt into the fabric rather than wash it away. It can make your clothes feel stiff, so make sure you’re using it correctly.
Storing your iron with water inside it can be damage it over time. It can affect internal parts and could leak through and discolor the sole plate of the iron. Depending where you live, the minerals in the water could degrade the iron over time. Make sure to use fresh water with each session and to pour old water away when done.
If you’re applying conditioner to your scalp first your hair may be getting greasy. Conditioner is used to bring moisture back into the hair after shampooing, so it should be concentrated on the ends of the hair. Too much conditioner at the top of your head can make your hair extra oily. When dry, it’ll look as if it hasn’t been washed at all!
It’s a habit most people have, but pumping your mascara wand repeatedly into the tube is a no-no. The motion creates air that gets pushed into the tube. This can cause the mascara formula to dry up faster, and this can make your lashes look clumpy and flakey. It’s also a waste of a perfectly preservable product.
Metal utensils should never touch non stick pans. The metal can damage the non stick coating and make it less effective, basically ruining a pretty expensive pan. Instead, always use wooden or silicone tools, and don’t stack non-stick pans on top of each other. Hang them, or store them on separate shelves if possible.
These can be hot beds for bacteria and mold, because mold loves damp and warm spaces. Just washing the pot isn’t getting it truly clean so be sure to regularly wash all parts of the coffee maker to avoid bacteria from overgrowing and keeping your coffee safer to drink.
These useful little notes are handy to have in the office, but have you noticed they curl up when stuck? This is because you’re peeling them from the bottom to the top, which is bending the paper. Peel from the side to keep them laying flat.
Organic peanut butter is delicious, but that layer of oil on the top can look a bit unappetizing. Try storing your peanut butter upside down, so the next time you grab it and turn it right side, the oil has settled at the bottom of the jar.