“Home hacks” are ways to improve aspects of your home. They include design, cleaning and organizational tips. We’ve scoured the internet for some of the best tips to bring you nine great home hacks.
1. Use mayonnaise to erase water stains from wooden furniture. Summer brings heat and ice cold drinks. Without a coaster, those cold drinks can create water stains on wooden furniture. To remove water stains using mayonnaise, put 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise on a paper towel. Lightly press the paper towel to the water stain, and let it sit for 15 minutes. If the stain remains, add ashes, usually wood ashes, to the mayonnaise. Reapply the mix to the stain for another 15 minutes before removing.
2. Organize your sheets with pillowcases. Insert your folded sheets into their matching pillowcases. Storing sheet sets this way makes for a tidy shelf and easy access.
3. Repel spiders using peppermint oil. Spiders hate peppermint oil. Keep them away from the house by spraying a water and peppermint oil mixture on doorframes, window frames or any other area where you may see spiders. In a reusable spray bottle, put 5-7 drops of peppermint oil and fill with warm water. Add a splash of liquid dish soap and shake the mixture before using.
4. Make your home feel larger by making use of vertical space. Vertical space is crucial when living in a small home. Use floating shelves a foot away from the ceiling if you don’t have the space to devote to a bookshelf. In the bedroom, add a curtain behind the headboard to give a luxurious feeling. Hang the curtain close to the ceiling to add height to the room. Taking advantage of vertical space draws the eye up, giving the illusion that a room is larger than it is.
5. Line a pathway to your house with glow-in-the-dark painted rocks. The rocks will charge during the day and light a path to your home at night. This hack is a fun and creative way to light up your house without having to pay more in electricity bills.
6. Use sticky notes to clean computer keyboards. Sticky notes are an item most households have on hand. Simply run the sticky, glue-covered part of a sticky note between the rows of your keyboard. The sticky strip will pick up dust and dirt trapped between the keys.
7. Create a magnetic spice rack. Magnetic spice racks are a win-win in the kitchen. Storing spices on the fridge opens up counter and cupboard space. Plus, they’re cheap and easy to make. There are four steps to making a magnetic spice rack: 1) glue a magnet onto the bottom of a round clear-top tin; 2) write the name of the spice you plan to use on the tin in permanent marker; 3) fill the tin with the desired spice; and 4) place it on the fridge.
8. Unshrink your favorite shirt with hair conditioner. Fill a plastic tub or sink with cool water. Pour 1/4 cup of hair conditioner into the container, and mix the water and conditioner. Lay the shirt on the surface of the water and conditioner mixture. Evenly submerge the shirt in the water with your hands, and let it soak for 15 minutes. Drain the conditioner-water and replace with cool, clean water. Gently squeeze the shirt to get rid of the conditioner-water, and then soak in the clean water for 5 minutes. Repeat until there are no traces of conditioner. Next, squeeze the water out of the shirt and lay the shirt on a pile of clean towels. Place one hand on the neckline and use the other hand to gently stretch the bottom hem down. You want to pull the hem down an inch or two to resize the shirt’s length. Keeping your hands level, grab each side of the shirt and pull the fabric in opposite directions. After stretching the shirt, leave it on the towel pile to air dry.
9. Make your home’s doors more secure. Most lock plates in doors are installed using the supplied half-inch screws, but these screws can easily come out with one kick from a burglar. Replace them with 4-inch screws that go past the doorframe into the frame of the house. A burglar would have to kick the door for a long time before it gave out. Forcing a burglar to make a lot of noise may tempt them to move on to an easier target, or at the very least, it would give you time to arm yourself.
Photography by John Sloan