We’ve all been there – staring at sharpie art on your favorite piece of furniture or crying over the tomato sauce mural on your brand-new cream-colored rug. I’m sure I can speak for a lot of Mommas out there, but in the moments where I am most likely to find out what I would look like in a crisp white straight jacket, it would be nice to have a one-stop-shop where I could find solutions to what seems like the world’s biggest catastrophes.
Essentially, what I need is a cheat sheet of life hacks. So, rather than create one and keep it all to myself, I’m sharing my favorite list of saving graces, with YOU – my favorite people!
Disinfecting Legos and Small Toys
Children’s toys are a breeding ground for germs. A dishwasher makes quick work of disinfecting washable toys, like Legos. To quickly clean Legos:
- Drop the Legos in a laundry bag to keep them contained.
- Run your dishwasher as usual.
- But, remove the Legos before the drying cycle, letting them air dry completely on a towel.
Noodles of Fun
If you need to fill up a bucket that won’t fit under your sink’s faucet, bust out a pool noodle. Set the bucket on the floor, slip the pool noodle over the faucet and run it down to the bucket. Did you know that pool noodles can single-handedly save your life in more than one way? If not, click here to find out more ways to have oodles of noodle fun!
Secret Cash Stash
I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly ready for some sand and sun! As you’re packing, don’t forget your cash stick! Sometimes, I don’t want to carry my wallet around. At the beach, for example, when I have to leave my belongings unattended while I go for a swim. But, I may still need cash on hand for food, drinks, etc. So I turned an empty tube of lip balm into a secret cash stash. You could do the same with an empty stick of sunscreen, too. A long nail works great for digging out any remaining bits of lip balm, and a cotton swab wipes away any waxy residue. Not only is the tube small enough to fit in small spaces, but it’ll also fool any potential thieves. I mean, who would steal someone’s used lip balm?
Quick Cold Drinks
Does wrapping a wet paper towel around a warm canned or bottled beverage and putting it in the freezer cool it faster than if there were no paper towels around it? Some folks theorize that the can is analogous to your body, and the wet paper towel is analogous to sweat. Since it’s well known that evaporation of sweat pulls heat away from your body, causing a cooling effect, the same should happen with a beverage in the freezer!
Who would have thought that baby wipes can be such a household essential, but they can come to the rescue when you need to get rid of household dust, spruce up leather furniture, clean the inside of a fridge; or, for more powerful messes leave a few baby wipes out for a couple of days, then soak the dried wipes in mineral spirits and use them for cleaning metal surfaces.
Flashlight Glass Finder
Cleaning up broken glass is a real pain, but it’s nothing compared to a glass shard in the foot. Get a flashlight and turn off the overhead lights. Scan the floor with the flashlight from a low angle and the shards will glisten, making even the littlest piece stand out.
I’m sure you’re just like me and stocking up on fresh-smelling candles to make your home extra beachy for the coming summer months. But, if your candles are burning too low to reach the wick, there’s no reason to go without your favorite scent. Instead of burning your fingers, light a piece of uncooked spaghetti. It’ll reach into those deep candles and burn long enough to light the candles on grandpa’s birthday cake!
X Marks the Spot
When the permanent marker has ended up in the wrong hands, vegetable oil can clean it off lots of surfaces—even skin! Then just wipe up with a damp cloth and you’re done.
Scratching Soap…Where My Gardeners At?!
Whether you’re digging in the garden or working on your car, scratch a bar of soap first. The soap will keep grunge from lodging under your fingernails. Unlike soil or grease, the soap will dissolve when you wash your hands.
Ever wish you could remove highlighter marks from a book (especially that favorite study Bible where you went overboard and highlighted the WHOLE page – oh, just me? Opps, mmm K)?
Lemon juice fades highlighter enough to make it virtually undetectable. Cut a lemon in half and get some juice on a cotton swab. Run the swab over the highlighted text and watch the color fade. Lemon juice from a container also seems to do the trick, though, not quite as well and the older the mark, the more stubborn it is to remove.
Toothpaste Isn’t Just for Teeth Anymore!
All you need is an old toothbrush and a little toothpaste to get your old sneakers looking like new! Non-gel white toothpaste works great for cleaning white-soled sneakers (colored toothpaste may stain rather than clean sneakers). Apply toothpaste to an old toothbrush and then work the paste into the dirty spots. Leave the toothpaste on the shoes for about ten minutes, and then wipe it off with a damp towel. Repeat the process if necessary.
And, it doesn’t stop there! You can use toothpaste to polish the haze off of car headlights, buff small scratches off of your vehicle or DVDs, clear up coffee rings on furniture, clean soap scum off shower doors, give diamonds back their luster, soothe burns, reduce skin irritation from bug bites, make bruises disappear quicker, remove crayon marks from a wall, take stains out of carpet, deodorize baby bottles, remove ink from fabric, treat poison ivy and stings, and even diffuse the odor of a skunk!
Now, go update that grocery list, stock up on the most unsuspecting of household items, then relax and treat yo self to a glass of wine……but be sure not to spill it on that new rug! Happy Hacking!