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Everyday and Not So Everyday Tips & Tricks


V.I.P Member
Growing up I was often amazed at the things my peers would know. Sometimes I felt like they went to a different school after school or something. By now I know it was just a matter of word of mouth information spreading, and I was the socially isolated one. Still am, it's an autism thing, or maybe it's a socially inept thing. Anyway, we have internets now, so it's easier to look up our own information, but still, I figured some kind of thread grouping all kinds of little tips and tricks could be a useful thing to have here. Some of these might be obvious, but that's kind of the point, as the obvious often remains undiscussed.

Any subject goes, just try to keep the lay-out a little consistent, for ease of perusal.


I hate them, and the usual remedies never seemed to work on me. Until someone (can't remember who; it was a long time ago) told to 'drink upside down'. How it works: I take a couple of swills from a bottle of water, but instead of leaning back, I bow my head forward, chin almost against my chest, back arched forwards. It's a bit awkward perhaps and I've never seen or heard about anyone else doing it that way, but it always works (sometimes I need two tries though.) Hiccups gone.

Laundry softening:

I never really used fabric softener, relying on my clothes drier to make my clothes all cosy soft and warm. Until the damn thing finally snuffed it, and since I'd be moving soon after, it seemed unpractical to replace it there and then. So I went through all kinds of softening agents and none of them seemed to work. Instead of making clothes and laundry soft and nice, they seemed to cover them in one irritating kind of film. Grrr. Until I read somewhere regular white vinegar would do the trick. I've started adding a cup of vinegar to every wash and it works a charm. Cheap, and it's good for the internals of the washing machine too, as the vinegar breaks down any calcium deposits and such. Every now and then I run an empty full cycle with a decent amount of vinegar for maintenance. No need to waste money on expensive anti-calcium tablets and assorted schemes.

Washing hair:

Vinegar to the rescue again. I have rather thick viking hair which gets dry and unruly after washing, up to the point where I'd have to plan washing it a few days in advance if I want a nice hair day a few days later. Conditioners don't work. Special masks do, but it's a bit of a hassle to do that every time. So I've begun using vinegar for that too. I keep a bottle with 1 part vinegar/5 parts lukewarm water to use as a conditioner. Afterwards I rinse with cold(!) water. Always rinse with cold water. It get's chilly, but my hair likes it a lot better. Oh, and the smell: it's not that bad, and dissipates very quickly.

Sea sickness:

Eat some bread. No toppings, just the bread. It stabilizes the stomach. Best to be done in advance, but even during the sickness it can make you feel better fast. My dad, who was a merchant captain most his life swore by it, have tried it myself many times and seen it work on others.

Cleaning silverware/jewelery:

No, I don't have much actual silverware or so, but I do have an old silver pendant I like to wear, until it gets too grimy. To clean it, I just use some toothpaste (plain, none of that abrasive whitening stuff) and an old toothbrush and microfiber cloth. Just rub it in, polish, rinse and let dry before putting it away and it should be all shiny as new.

There you go. It might not be much, but it's something. Add at will.
Ketchup/tomato sauce is also a good silver polish, just needs a thorough rinse afterwards :)
Vacuum cleaner bags:

These always fill up when I need them the most, which, incidentally, is also when I'm all out of replacements. No problem though, they can be reused. Just make a straight cut along the bottom, empty out into the garbage, preferably outside (don't want to suck up the dust twice), roll it back up (tight) and staple it shut. You can't do this ad infinitum, because the pores will clog up, but 2 or maybe 3 times are easily feasible. Saves a pretty penny too if you're on a tight budget.

Pealing potatoes:

I don't like it, too much work and I'm a lazy bastard. So whenever I'm making some baked or mashed potatoes, I first put them in the boiling water peel still on, and once they are sufficiently softened, scare them (rinse) under cold water. This will loosen the peel, making it easy to basically rub/take it off by hand.

Blanket/duvet covers:

After years of struggling with, swearing at and getting stuck in duvet covers, I think I finally found a way to put these on, quick.
  1. lay out the blanket in need of covering
  2. turn the cover inside out
  3. reach inside the cover and grab the corners at the opposite side of the opening (one for each hand)
  4. now grab the corresponding corners of the blanket (hands are still holding the cover, so you grab through it)
  5. shake till the cover turns back right side out over the blanket and the blanket fills the cover evenly
  6. spread the thing out
  7. on the opening side, put the corresponding blanket corners in the corners of the cover
  8. grab those corners you just put in place and wave the whole thing a few times again before letting it fall on the bed
  9. done
Brain freezes:

When you get one, take the thumb of the hand that's not holding the cold thing you are eating and touch the roof of your mouth with it. This makes a brain freeze go away much quicker.
How to move more quickly while doing a task, dishes for example, without making mistakes or causing a mishap. It takes me as long as it take me to do things, making me hurry is just going to make me miss a step or cause a mishap and, I refuse to do so.
When assembling anything that is bolted together, assemble it with all the bolts loose. After all the bolts are in place and started, then tighten everything.
If you're having problems with fruit flies, mix apple cider vinegar with a little bit of water and dish soap. They'll try to take a drink, but the soap takes away the surface tension, making them drown.

Problem pooping? Get a stool and put your feet up like your crouching and sit with your back straight. Humans are designed to go to the bathroom via squatting. So sitting high, with your legs at a 90 degree angle, puts your pelvis in an unoptimal position and may cause some issues.

Put your soaked sponges in the microwave for a minute or 2 to desanitize them. Microwaves heat the water molecules, so the sponge will be safe. Also makes the microwave easier to clean, because of the moisture.

EDIT: Don't wash your car with dishsoap! I know a auto-restorer that uses it to take off the wax, so he can put on some new stuff. Use stuff that's actually designed for cars.
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