17 Quirky Handy Household Tips

I received this list of 17 quirky, but handy household tips from my mom in my email yesterday and I thought it would be neat to share with all of you.  Have you ever used any of these?
17. You can flip a toaster on its side and grill cheese in it.
My Take:  Just  because you can doesn’t mean you should.  I’ve set too many toasters on fire to even think about trying this myself – true story.
16.  You can divide and store ground meat in a Ziplock bag.  Just break off how much you need and keep the rest in the freezer for later!
My Take:  This is a great idea and one I use frequently.  Though I don’t usually break it down so small because I cook for 4 or more people at one time.
15.  If you place a wooden spoon over a pot of boiling water, it won’t boil over!
 My Take:  Good reminder – my pots are always boiling over and why I’ve never tried this before though I’ve known the tip for a while is beyond me!  Wonder what the          science behind this is.  Do you know?
14.  Marshmallows can cure a sore throat. Perfect for kids who don’t like medicine.
My Take: I seriously challenge this one.  I am aware that real herbal marshmallow is definitely soothing or sore throats so if you can find the fluffy pillows made with REAL marshmallow root than you are good to go.  From  my own investigation with store bought marshmallows they are nothing but sugar and high fructose corn syrup with artificial flavor – BOO.  Does anyone still make these with real natural marshmallow root?
13.  You can run a paper bag through your printer!
My Take:  As with the toaster, I’d be really careful about this one.  If your printer can handle cardstock then this might just work.  Otherwise this just seems like a jamming accident waiting to happen.  I’ll use stickers, crayons, colored pencils or markers, thank you very much.
12. Cereal canisters make the perfect trash bin for your car!
My Take:  This is a great idea! I like that it closes on top and holds the bag open and in place.  This is one of those where I say to myself, “Doh! Why didn’t I think of that?”
11.  Take your bananas apart when you get home from the shop.  If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster…
My Take:  I’ll have to try this next time we get bananas, which will probably be today.  We actually use them for smoothies though so I like them to be a little overripe.  I’ll try it with a few and see what happens compared to the others.
10.  Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminium foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!  (But you can scrape off any mold and still eat the cheese without changes in flavor!)
My Take:  This works best on hard or semi-hard cheeses and they must be wrapped tightly.  I have been known to cut mold off a chunk of cheese and wash it so that I can use the rest.  Because it is a little more aged the flavor is stronger, but once the mold is cleaned off there is no moldy taste.  This won’t work with Swiss cheese very well though because the mold goes into the cavities and is virtually impossible to get out.
9.  Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.  Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are stronger flavored.
My Take:  Hmmm.  Never tried that.  I wonder if this is true within each color pepper – like there are yellow peppers that are better for eating and others that are stronger.
8.  Add a teaspoon of water when frying minced beef.  It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
My Take:  For some reason this tells me the origin of this list is English.  I don’t typically fry minced beef.  Ground beef, yes. Sliced beef, yes.  Not typically minced beef.  If I ever do, I’ll have to try this.
7.  Use a (clean) dustpan to fill a container that doesn’t fit in the sink.
My Take:  This is a wonderful idea.  IDK how many times I’ve run into this problem and just ended up filling the bucket in the tub.  Only problem with that is then the bottom of the bucket gets wet and if it’s a bucket like this with wheels, uh, how are you supposed to get it out of the tub?  Using the clean dustpan is a much better idea.
6.  Place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on, and keep paint off the side of the can.
My Take:  Best on a small can of paint or you’ll need a giant rubber band.  Pour some paint out into a smaller resealable container if the original container is just too big for this to work.
5. Use a staple remover to save your fingernails when trying to add things to your key ring!
My Take:  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve broken a nail or ruined a manicure trying to get a key on a key ring.  Next time. . . next time.
4. How to keep the straw from rising out of your fizzy drink can.
My Take: I don’t do this often; typically I pour into another cup or glass and add ice.  If you don’t like drinking directly out of the can and don’t have a cup available this is a great idea.
3. Use a micro-fibre cloth to prevent frost from forming on the windshield.
My Take:  Wish I had known about this when we didn’t have a garage.  Hubby is probably going to need this trick next fall because his new (to him) vehicle won’t fit in the garage with the family car anymore.  Looks like you have to put the cloths on the windshield the night before.  If you look at the blue one sitting on top of the  car it is covered in frost. My question is – How do you keep the cloths from flying away?
2.  Use a comb to keep a nail steady for hammering
  My Take:  Save your thumbs and fingers from the wrath of a poorly aimed hammer.  This is a great idea.  Hold the comb, not the nail!
1.  Use a post-it note to catch drilling debris.
My Take:  I guess if your walls are paper thin and there is no insulation behind where you are drilling (which technically there shouldn’t be unless you are planning on using a drywall anchor) this should work OK.  I question though how much that little sliver of paper is actually going to be able to hold.  I’ll give it a try though.  Anything to keep that dust from getting caught between the carpet and the baseboard.
What is your favorite household tip?  Please share it below.

25 comments for “17 Quirky Handy Household Tips

  1. April 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Great tips… and yes some of them make you go doh! Cereal container as a trash can.. hmmm
    Sherryl Wilson recently posted…Smash Baby Food PressMy Profile

  2. Kasara
    April 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    These are some interesting tips. I think I may try a few of these.

  3. C. McPheeters
    April 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I LOVE these!! Especially the ones for the keyring/staple remover, the comb nail holder, and the post it note to catch drilling mess! Gotta write them ALL down! Thanks!

    • April 10, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Those were my favorites too – plus the cereal container trash can.

  4. Alyssa F
    April 10, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    i am way to scared to do the toaster thing, but this is a great post! learned something new today!

    • April 10, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      The last toaster I torched was because of a tostada – yeah, I’m not trying a grilled cheese with the toaster on its side.

  5. Maria Iemma
    April 11, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Wow – these tips are fabulous although I would not use the toaster laying on its side. I do love the wooden spoon over a pot of boiling water and the rubber band on the paint can.

    • April 11, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Maria thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the tips. They are pretty clever. One of my own that I didn’t add to this list is using baking soda, vinegar and boiling hot water to unplug a drain. Works fairly well.

  6. Olivia Farr
    April 11, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    I got this email too- and I LOVE seeing your take on it, haha! Some of these ideas are pretty clever- others, a little odd. I agree about the toaster. And when it pops out, do you have dirt on your sandwich? Yuck!!

    • April 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      I hadn’t thought about that part. That would be a bit messy. I was just thinking about oily cheese dripping onto the coil and catching the whole thing on fire :O.

  7. Peggy Greco
    April 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    These tips are really inventive and useful, thanks.

  8. lisa
    April 11, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Those are good weird tips. Stuff you don’t think about. A lot of it makes sense. Thanks. My husband and I got a chuckle.

  9. April 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    These are great. Thank you very much
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  10. Laura P.
    April 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Wonderful suggestions, the wooden spoon over the pot is one that I’ll use all the time and I like the idea of a cereal container for car trash.

    • April 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks Laura. I tried to use the wooden spoon trick last night but my pot never even came close to boiling over. Maybe next time. Not that I want my pot to boil over, I just want to see it this really works LOL :).

  11. Jenna D
    April 12, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Love these tips! the dustpan tip is one that I am definitely going to try!

  12. April 13, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I had no idea about the bananas, and we have them in the kitchen all the time. I’ll try it!

    • April 13, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Another thing about bananas you may find interesting is that they are actually easier to open from the other end. The kids bucked the idea at first but then they realized they could use the stem to hold it like a popsicle and were happy to try it.

  13. Amy Orvin
    April 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Awesome tips! I love the one about flipping the toaster on its side and make a grill cheese. That’s genius!

  14. Anna Memphis
    April 16, 2013 at 12:07 am

    The water boiling over — I want to try it to see if it’s true, but on the other hand, I might burn myself in the process. Someone else test it!

    • April 16, 2013 at 7:46 am

      Just a thought – maybe we could put the spoon over the pot before it has a chance to boil over and see what happens. I’d be afraid to test it too if the pot was in mid spillover.

  15. thischickwins
    April 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

    i’m going to try the wooden spoon tip today, but i won’t leave the kitchen, just in case

  16. Rachael Portr
    April 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I always use the banana one, the wooden spoon one and the aluminum foil for cheese. I love the post it note one!

  17. Cami
    April 17, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    i have heard of most of these but the one i hadn’t was the banana!! i heard wrap foil at the top of bunch after you peel a banana off!! we just put them in the fridge or freezer cause like you we use them in smoothies or cereal and that it 🙂

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