Everyday Items You’ve Been Using The Wrong Way

Every day, you probably use all sorts of household items the way you think they’re intended to be used. Little did you know there are some tricks to using them you’ve probably been missing this whole time. Prepare to be amazed.

Additional reporting from Simplemost staff.

‘End Locks’ On Aluminum Foil And Plastic Wrap Boxes

Did you know that there are locks on the ends of aluminum foil and plastic wrap boxes to help hold the foil and wrap in place as you tear some off? If you didn’t, this will be a game-changer for you!

Use Red Solo Cup Lines To Measure Drinks

We’ve probably all used red Solo cups at some point, right? Have you ever noticed they have a few different lines on the outside of the cup? Well, they actually can help you measure your drink. For instance, if you pour to the first line, it’s one ounce (just under a standard shot amount), up to the second line, it’s 5 ounces (like a glass of wine), then 12, 16 and 18 ounces. Though those lines seem pretty perfect, those measurements are apparently not officially what they’re for. Regardless, we love the coincidence!

Put Bobby Pins In Your Hair … With The Grooves Closest To Your Hair

Yes, I know — we’ve been using bobby pins incorrectly! It turns out you should put the grooves closest to your hair. That way, they’ll help keep your hair in place better. Try it and you’ll see!

Use Your Chinese Take-Out Container As A Plate

Yes, there’s no need to use a plate when you want to eat your Chinese food leftovers. Instead, unfold the take-out container and use it as a plate. Easy, right? And no dishes to do afterward!

Use A Dustpan To Fill A Bucket With Water

If you need to fill a bucket in a small sink, put your dustpan to use. Just grab a clean dustpan and balance it in the sink so that the handle is hanging over the edge of the sink to create a narrow waterfall into the bucket on the floor.

Pull Post-Its From The Top

If you want a Post-It Note to lay flat on the surface you attach it to, you need to stop pulling the note off the pad from the bottom like most of us do. Instead, you should pull the sticky note from the side, not the bottom. To have the sticky note lay flush to the wall, simply start at a top-corner and then peel horizontally across when pulling one from the stack.

Swipe To ‘Undo’ A Number Entered In Your iPhone Calculator

Did you know there’s a secret backspace function in your iPhone calculator? The next time you make a mistake when using the calculator app, instead of clearing the whole thing and starting all over again, just swipe right to delete the last number entered. This is going to save you so many headaches!

Use A Wooden Spoon To Keep A Pot From Boiling Over

If you aren’t already doing this, prepare to have your life changed! The next time you boil pasta, place a wooden spoon over the top of the (uncovered) pot. This’ll stop that sneaky surge that seems to occur the minute you turn your back on the pot. Make sure to only use a wooden spoon for this. If you use plastic, you’ll have more than just sticky pasta water to clean up afterward.

The Easiest Way To Clean A Pan

Speaking of boiling water, the easiest way to clean a stainless steel or nonstick pan is to fill it halfway with water (enough to cover any areas that have caked-on food), then bring it to a boil for 10-20 minutes. For nonstick pans, you can add vinegar and for stainless, you can use a wooden spoon to scrape away loose food. In both cases, let the water cool before you give your pot a final cleaning with soap and a sponge or cloth.

Remove Strawberry Stems With A Straw

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If you don’t have a strawberry huller at home, you can easily remove stems with a drinking straw. Simply insert the straw into the tip of the berry (the end opposite the green stem), push it through and the stem will pop right off!

Store Your Peanut Butter Upside Down

If you buy natural peanut butter, you know the pain that is mixing the oil and butter after opening a fresh jar. Even a thorough mixing job sometimes leaves unmixed butter on the bottom of the jar. Rather than be left with this thick paste, try storing your peanut butter upside down. Let gravity work its magic distributing the oil and butter throughout.

Choose The Right Plunger For Your Toilet

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There’s more than one type of plunger on the market — and for good reason! The best type of plunger for your sink is a cup-style plunger, whereas the ideal plunger for your toilet has a flange — a narrower extension within the outer cup — that is made to optimize suction on the toilet drain.

Use Soda Tabs As Straw Holders

Who knew we should be using the tab on soda cans to hold our straws in place?! No more chasing the straw around when you want a sip. Note: This works with reusable straws, too.

Tap The ’57’ To Get Heinz Ketchup Out Of The Bottle

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You may have heard of this tip but wondered if it’s true. If you want to make Heinz ketchup come out faster, tap on the “57” on the side of the bottle. It really does work — for glass bottles, that is. Try it the next time you’re in a diner and can’t wait to get that ketchup on your plate!

Rest Your Spoon In Your Pan Handle

This probably won’t work with every pot and pan in your kitchen, but many offer a hole in the handle that allows you to hang your cookware. It also allows you to rest a spoon while cooking if you don’t have a spoon rest handy. Keep your counters and stove cleaner with this handy trick!

A Sign Your Milk May Be Spoiled

You know how plastic milk jugs have an indented circle on one side? If you’ve never noticed it before, you will now! The jug is designed to weather any type of expansion that may occur — whether from pressure when you drop it, in case the milk gets frozen or if the gases from bacteria in your milk start to build up. In other words, the indent is designed to pop out and give the liquid inside room to expand. If you hate using your nose to identify if your milk has gone bad (and who can blame you?), checking out the side of your milk jug could be an easy place to start. If the circle’s popped out and the milk is past its expiration date, you may want to proceed with caution.

Peel Bananas From The Bottom Up

Yes, I know, I know — we were probably all taught to peel bananas from the top down. But, truly, you can peel them from either end. Some people swear this method is easier, but this seems to be a matter of personal preference.

Turn Your Pill Bottle Top Upside-Down

If you don’t have young kids at home, traditional push-down-and-turn prescription bottle tops may be unnecessary. Did you know you could flip the top over and gently screw or push it in upside down? The next time you need a pill, just unscrew the lid or pull it out in a flash.

Don’t Add Cheese To Your Burger While It’s On The Grill

Adding cheese to your burger while it’s still on the grill can cause three burger problems. The first is that the high heat will melt the cheese quite quickly, which will make it run off the middle of your patty and onto the sides. The second is that your cheese may get burnt or end up tasting like your grill, which isn’t ideal. The third strike? Melted cheese is a pain to clean off of your grill.

Instead, remove the patty from the heat, then add the cheese. Take it a step further and add the cheese to the inside of the top half of the bun. Place your patty there to ensure your cheese stays evenly spread on the top of the patty, then stack fixings and condiments on the bottom half of the bun. When you’re ready, flip the top half on the bottom half and voila! The perfect cheeseburger.

To Save Packing Space, Roll Clothes

Many people think they know the ins and outs of packing, but this tip works wonders. Instead of folding your clothes, roll them. You can even compare and contrast, first packing by folding, then by rolling. Just wait till you see how much space you save when you roll!

Yogurt ‘Flip’ Cups

Yogurt with fruit, nuts or other add-ons are increasingly popular. You’ll find these from brands like Chobani and Fage. Did you know the side with the toppings actually “flips” so you can easily add them into the yogurt side? Just look at the seam, and that’s where you fold the cup to flip the toppings over. Genius, right?

Pour Liquids From A Carton ‘The Other Way’

This tip is one that’s really hard to believe until you try it yourself. When pouring from a rectangular carton, you want the carton to be positioned so that the spout is farther away from the vessel you are pouring into — rather than closer to it, as most of us would think to do. This method results in a smoother pour and fewer drips.

There’s A Right Way To Load A Blender

If you’re a smoothie fan, you may have already learned this trick through trial and error. While everything gets blended eventually, there’s a right way to load a blender to make your smoothie-making process run, well, smoothly. You want liquids first, followed by leafy greens, then anything chunky like nuts followed by softer foods such as bananas or yogurt and finally frozen food added on top. Blend at a slow speed to start.

Make The Blender Clean Itself

If you’ve ever tried to scrub a blender — particularly after the food inside it has dried — you’ll appreciate this pro tip. First, you want to try to rinse out the blender as soon as possible after using it. Then, add a couple squirts of dish soap to the blender and fill it about halfway with water. Put the blender back on its base and let it run. Voila! You’ve just put your blender to work cleaning itself.

Don’t Scrub Your Microwave Until You’ve Done This

Microwaved a bowl of soup without a cover? There’s an easy way to fix splatters and spills in the microwave, even if they have cooked and hardened. Put vinegar, lemon and water into a microwave-safe bowl, then set the microwave for five to 10 minutes.

When it’s done, the set-on stains and bits of food will be softened. Hence, you can simply wipe up with a sponge quickly, instead of scrubbing away or using chemical-laden cleaners.

Stop Struggling To Peel Garlic

You probably know that pressing down on a garlic clove is one way to loosen the skin. This kinda-sorta works, right? Here’s a trick to getting garlic to easily shed its skin, and it’s one you’ll definitely want to use if you have a bunch of cloves to peel. Simply pop the garlic in the microwave for 15 seconds, and the skin will easily slide right off.

Dispense Tic Tacs A Whole New Way

I know, you’re probably thinking: How hard is it to dispense a Tic Tac? Well, apparently there is a right way that we have NOT been following. Take a look at this video from Food Beast for a short tutorial.