4 Household Tricks to Make Life Easier

I’ve recently learned a few household tricks that have made life so much easier for me. Here are my 4 favorite life hacks:

1. Fruit Fly Trap

Summertime, and the living is easy. Unless, of course, you’re a fruit fly. Then you’ve got about a day of mature adult life and it’s a mad scramble to reproduce.

No one wants fruit flies reproducing on their produce, though! Here’s a great trick I learned for trapping the nasty little buggers so they don’t swarm your fruit.

A simple trap for those pesky fruit flies.

What you’ll need:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Piece of paper
  • Jar (preferably larger than the one pictured here)

Pour about half a cup of apple cider vinegar into your jar, then squeeze a couple squirts of dish soap into it and stir it up. Yum! Then, fold your piece of paper into a cone shape and stick it into the jar so that it’s not touching the liquid.

The apple cider vinegar will attract the nasty little fruit flies and the dish soap will ENTRAP them when they try to take a drink of the forbidden liquid! Then, even if they do manage to fly out of vinegar, the cone-shaped paper will make it harder for them to escape the jar.

Voilà, no more fruit flies.

2. The Lazy Woman’s Shoe Polish

My dad has this amazing shoe polishing kit, full of different-colored polishes for all their pairs of shoes. He’ll pull it out on a Saturday afternoon, set down some newspaper, put on an old apron, sit on a stool, and get to work polishing and buffing his and my mother’s shoes to a gorgeous shine.

I’m far too lazy for that. Plus, it’s hard to find the right color of polish these days.

When my Chico bought me a leather bag for Christmas (yes, you can be jealous), he asked for some care tips from the guy at the store.

The gentleman said the best way to both clean and polish leather is to buff it with a plain old moisturizer.

My favorite boots always shine! This Norwegian stuff seems to do the trick.

I find it works about as well as polishing, and my shoes are always bright and shiny.

Note: I would always re-waterproof your shoes after you buff them with moisturizer.

3. Use Boiling Water on Berry Stains

This is a classic old household trick that so many people have forgotten!

Berry stains come out with boiling water. Berries include blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, mulberries… Whatever! But, most importantly, this also includes the killer: red wine.

Spilled some red wine on your white shirt? No problem! Boil up some water in your electric kettle (because everyone has one of those, right??), place a pyrex measuring cup inside the shirt under the stain (because you don’t want to pour the wine stain through one side of the shirt to the other) and simply pour boiling water over it.

It’ll turn a kind of gray color at first, but if you keep pouring it on it will fade slowly. Be sure not to let your pyrex cup overflow, though! And don’t burn yourself!

Bonus: Bloodstains come out with a good soak in ice water. If you cut yourself shaving, gentlemen, just grab some ice cubes from the freezer and place the shirt in a container. Soak it with the ice cubes and very cold water and the blood stain should come out in a cold water wash.

4. Water Stains on a Wood Table

Now, to be honest I haven’t tried this one. But my grandmother has and she said it worked like a charm.

Take water stains out of your wood table with a drop of mayonnaise. Yes, mayonnaise!

Just put some on a paper towel and rub in a circular motion over the water stains. My grandmother said you’ll have to switch out for a clean paper towel to dry up the mayonnaise, but it should take out a relatively fresh water stain.

I doubt it’s very effective on old water rings. That’s what coasters are for, people.

Share Your Household Tricks!

Call ’em what you want: tricks, tips, life hacks. But share them! I’m curious to know, for instance, if an aspirin at the bottom of a vase of flowers really helps keep them fresh. Tell me!




The Brain In Jane works mainly in the rain. It's always raining somewhere. Find me on Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

3 thoughts to “4 Household Tricks to Make Life Easier”

  1. I have tried the aspirin in a vase trick but did not notice any appreciable difference in cut flower longevity. It could be that all aspirin are now coated to prevent stomach irritation. A footnote on the boiling water hint to remove berry stains: it works on linens and cottons but may not be as effective on fabrics containing polyester.

    A great help for those who may iron table linens or cotton tablecloths: sprinkle or spray the item with water then place it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until it’s good and cold. Makes ironing cotton shirts easier as well. Does anyone still iron?

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