Cooktop Cove: Solve all those annoying problems around the house with these 12 hacks
By Jacinta M. Carter
Whether you're a homeowner or just renting an apartment, you've likely dealt with various issues that spring up throughout your home. While none of these problems are too serious, they do require time and money to be fixed. But what you spend on these issues is entirely up to you.
Not every household problem calls for a professional to come in and fix things. In many cases, you can take care of annoying issues by yourself. All you need are a few simple items that can be found around your house.
1. Rust stains
The easiest way to clean your dishes is to load up the dishwasher and let it run for a cycle. But some kitchen items aren't designed to hold up after multiple turns through the dishwasher. Steak knives, for example, will start to develop rust stains after multiple cycles. To remove these stains, fill a glass with lemon juice and let the knives soak for a few minutes. When you wipe off the excess lemon juice, the rust stains will be gone as well.
2. Hanging photos
Have you ever finished hanging a bunch of pictures only to step back and discover that half the pictures are crooked and the other half aren't exactly where you intended to hang them? Instead of relying on guesswork when hanging your photos, put a dab of toothpaste on the back of the frames where the nails should go. Press the frame against the wall, transferring the toothpaste to the wall. Then you just have to put a nail into the toothpaste-marked area to guarantee that your photos will hang straight, right where you want them.
3. Microwave space
If you're hungry but don't want to take the time to do any real cooking or you just want to heat up some leftovers, the microwave is your best choice. But most microwaves lack the space for more than one dish at a time. If you're in a hurry to make your food or don't want one item to get cold while you're heating the other, try putting one bowl or plate on an overturned mug. This will create enough space for two dishes to heat at the same time.
4. Sandwich packing
Do you pack a lunch for work or school every day? Do you frequently pack sandwiches because they're easy to make and don't require any reheating? Do you often open your lunch to find that the mayo or toppings on your sandwich have created a soggy mess? Avoid this problem by wrapping your sandwich in plastic wrap or parchment paper before putting into your lunch container. If you're carrying it in a Ziploc bag, you can also use a straw to suck the air out of the bag before sealing it. Or, if you want a somewhat fancy-looking, non-soggy sandwich, you can tie it up with butcher's twine.
5. Permanent marker stains
Sharpies and other permanent markers are great to have around the house. But they can also spell disaster if used where they shouldn't be, like on your walls or on a dry-erase board. Fortunately, a graphic exists to help you out in case you accidentally end up with permanent marker artwork somewhere it doesn't belong.
6. Icy sidewalks
For some people, winter is the worst season, especially if you're in charge of removing the ice and snow from the sidewalk in front of your house. You could always buy deicers and salt, but you also have the option of making your own "ice melt." All you need is 1/2 gallon of warm water, a few drops of dish soap and 2 ounces of rubbing alcohol. While the water is still warm, pour this mixture over the ice and shovel it away with significantly more ease.
7. Stale cake
The best way to prevent your cake from going stale is to just eat the entire thing in one sitting. If you can't do that for some reason, you'll need an easy hack to keep your cake moist. Take a few slices of bread, place them over the cut areas of the cake and hold them in place with some toothpicks. This way the bread will go stale while protecting the inside of the cake.
8. Furniture scuffs
Wood is always a classy look for furniture, until it starts to get scuffed. There are several methods for buffing out these scuffs and scratches, but one way is significantly cheaper than the others. Simply take a walnut and rub it over the scuff until it disappears.
9. Clothes storage
As the seasons change, so will your wardrobe. But what do you do with all of those clothes that are either too warm or too cold for the current temperatures? You could leave them to take up valuable space in your closet, but there is a more convenient way to store your clothes. Use large garbage bags around several articles of clothing, holding them all together while keeping the hangers from falling off. You can then move the clothes to another location, or just push them to the back of your closet where they won't take up as much space.
10. Bobby pin organization
If you or someone in your house uses bobby pins, you know how often they get lost. Even if you just bought a new pack of them, they always disappear right when you need one. Instead of trying to keep them all hooked onto the original package, attach a magnetic strip to the inside of a drawer or your medicine cabinet. You can now just stick your bobby pins to the strip when you're finished with them and they'll still be there when you come back.
11. Sheet storage
Once you've managed to work the magic necessary to fold a fitted sheet, you need a way to store these sheets. If you have several sets of bedding, you don't want to just pile everything haphazardly in the closet and then search for the pieces you need later. Instead, fold your sheets and slip them inside of the matching pillowcase. Now everything stays together and you'll save yourself some space and time.
12. Slippery rugs
If you have linoleum or hardwood floors, you probably have a few rugs throughout your house. These come in handy when it's cold or you don't want people to track dirt into the house. But rugs are also kind of a pain because they refuse to stay in place. Fortunately, you can prevent your rugs from sliding all over the floor by sticking a Velcro strip on each corner and hooking them to Velcro strips on the floor.
With these hacks, you can prevent or fix some of the minor annoyances that frequently spring up throughout your house. And make sure you share this list with your friends on Facebook in case they need some new tips as well!
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