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LifeHacks

Philippe Adrien

Have you ever heard of Lifehacks?  Most people haven’t heard the term, but it has been around for at least a decade (2004).  

The term came from computer hacking, which denotes a quick and dirty trick to break into and take advantage of any vulnerabilities a computer system might have.  Lifehack came to mean an inelegant but effective solution to an everyday problem and was included in the Oxford Online Dictionary in June 2011 that describes Lifehack as:

“A strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.”

Lifehacks have become such a viral topic that there are websites, YouTube Channels, Facebook Pages, etc. all dedicated to bringing you the latest Lifehacks.  The term Lifehack is also interchangeable for MacGyverism.  MacGyver was a popular TV series that ran during the late 80s and early 90s in which the main character used his knowledge of chemistry, physics, and technology to resolve life or death crisis employing everyday object that he readily found in his environment.  The term “lifehacks” now means creating a solution with what is readily available.

 Let’s start with some of my favourites.

Baking Soda

One of the leaders in the lifehack pantheon, if I can be permitted this term.  This natural product also known as sodium bicarbonate does more than make your baked goods taste great and your fridge smell fresh.

This product has such versatile uses that most people will know at least a couple of them.  However, many people would be surprised at the many other uses for which Baking Soda is known.

Baking Soda can be used to clean and restore the white to your oven porcelain, dishes, tea and coffee mugs, teeth, countertops, and walls (although it works best on flat white walls).  It gives a boost to your laundry detergent as well as removing smells from your drawers, shoes, cat litter, bathrooms, and closets.  It will polish silver, and cut grease and grime.  

Baking Soda is used as a water softener for your bath.  It can also treat insect bites – simply make a paste out of Baking Soda and water and apply to the bite.  Mix it with equal parts of vinegar to unclog your sink.  Discourage weeds from growing in affected areas by sprinkling a generous dose in the area.  

I will be willing to wager that you didn’t know you can keep your flowers fresher, longer by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the water in a vase.

In short, few products make the Lifehack list as often as Baking Soda.

Vinegar

The next runner up in the list of products used for lifehacks is Vinegar, which is often used in many ways other than its intended purpose.  

Besides being used with Baking Soda to unclog drains, Vinegar can also be used as a household cleaner.  If you add vinegar to a spray bottle, it can clean and disinfect your stovetop, countertop, and cutting boards.  

It is a great natural non-toxic disinfectant that can be used safely around your food.  

Mix in a spray bottle, 1 part Vinegar with 2 parts water and a couple drops of dishwashing soap.  This combo it becomes a great versatile all-purpose cleaner.

If you mix equal parts Vinegar with salt, it will get rid of rust on any metal surface.  

Add Vinegar to a piece of bread or paper towel and drop it at the bottom of your garbage can and voila, all bad smell is gone.  

Get rid of fruit flies by adding apple cider vinegar to a bowl and covering the bowl with saran-wrap; poke a few holes in the saran-wrap where the flies can enter but will be unable to escape.  Similarly, fill a container with vinegar, sugar and salt to trap wasps.  

Try wiping your underarm with vinegar if you run out of deodorant – works like a charm.  Spray vinegar on your furniture to keep pets away.

Needless to say, this topic can go on forever, covering a variety of places and things –  home, office, car, kitchen, bathroom, cottage, cosmetics, health, heating, cooling, defrosting, yard-work, summer uses, winter uses, etc.  
I hope you have enjoyed reading about lifehacks and are well on your way to discovering other eye-opening ways in which you can solve everyday problems with simple items that you might have right under your nose.

27 May, 2016

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