Ever heard your mother give you crazy suggestions like using sugar to scrub tea stains out of mugs? Or perhaps getting rid of grime on stainless steel pots with eggshells?
As unbelievable as they might seem, some of these home hacks that your mother or grandmother have up their sleeve actually do work! In fact, they can offer quick and easy household fixes using materials that you probably already have at home.
Check out these mind-blowing effective home hacks, all courtesy of Mum.
1. Hack To Remove Tea Stains In Mugs
If your mugs have yellow stains from coffee or tea, the mums have a simple hack for you that only requires some commonly found household items: sugar and a cloth.
Wet your mug and then give it a good scrub with a small amount of salt or sugar on a damp cloth. The friction and abrasive action of rubbing salt or sugar granules on the stain helps to take it right out of the porcelain or ceramic surface. It may take quite some rubbing, but be patient, you’ll get there!
Tip: Don’t use too much water on your mug on cloth as the salt or sugar may dissolve.
Once done, be sure to give your mug a good rinsing and then dry it off with a clean, dry cloth, or simply air dry.
2. Hack To Get Heat Or Water Stains Out Of Wood
Ever experienced the horror of white patches appearing on your wood table after resting a hot or cold mug on it? Don’t fret, there’s a way to get rid of that ugly patch.
Formed by the moisture of your mug turning the clear finish of your wood white or a milky gray, you’ll need to find a way to force the moisture under the surface back out.
What one happy mum found, was that by rubbing a little bit of mayo on the stain and heating it with a hair dryer, the stain disappeared!
- As a gauge for how long to heat the mayo for, wait until it forms bubbles and turns glossy before stopping. This should take about a minute or so.
- If you have a white patch that’s stubborn, you may have to treat it with mayo twice for that stain to come out.
If you’ve unfortunately run out of mayo at home, or are worried about wasting it, you can try using a hairdryer to draw out the moisture in the wood. Simply set it to the lowest heat setting, and run it over the heat stain on the table until it disappears.
3. Hack To Get Stubborn Stains Out Of Stainless Steel Pots & Pans
Eggs are a staple in almost every household, and with eggs, come many eggshells! These eggshells are egg-cellent for scrubbing grime and stains out of your stainless steel pots and pans.
Crush the eggshells into smaller pieces and then scrub against the stains. The abrasiveness of the shell effectively clears buildup, leaving you with a nice and shiny finish.
Note: Do not try this hack on materials that are easily scratched, or that have a protective layer on it. For instance, this method would not be suitable on non-stick pans as it may shorten the lifespan of its non-stick coating.
4. Hack To Fix & Polish Wood Scratches
If you’re bummed about your once gorgeous looking wood furniture being scratched and worn out with age, this hack should set that straight in a jiffy.
Simply mix 1 part distilled white vinegar with 2 parts canola/olive oil. Then, dip a rag into the mixture and give your wood furniture a good wipe until all the scratches disappear. Clean up the excess oil with a clean towel. And voila!
Sounds sketchy? Vinegar and olive oil work together to remove dirt, moisturise and shine the wood. Check out the video above for proof that it works, and marvel at how quickly it does too.
- For deep scratches, try going over them with a permanent colour in a matching colour first. Then, apply the vinegar and oil mixture over it.
- You can use a spray bottle to contain and apply the mixture. But be sure to give it a good shake before starting to spray as oil alone is not sprayable.
5. Hack To Get Food Residue Out Of Pans
Freaking out over a new recipe gone wrong? Burnt food residue at the base of your pans may look terrifying, but experienced home cooks have a crazy cool tip to share, so here goes!
In your burnt pan, add in water and distilled white vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. Be sure to ensure that the entire surface area off the burnt food residue is submerged in the solution. Bring the solution to a boil over medium high heat.
You’ll start to observe pieces of residue starting to come off the pan, just like magic! Use a spatula to then gently scrape the burnt bits off. Give your pan a good scrub with dishwashing liquid and a sponge and you’re good to go.
6. Hack To Keep Rice Weevils Away
It always leaves an unpleasant feeling to watch these little snout-nosed critters wandering about in your rice grains when you’re doing food prep. You may unexpectedly chance upon them in your store-bought rice packet as feed on grains and nuts.
Fortunately, rice weevils have an Achilles’ heel that will work in your favour: their sensitivity to scents.
Particularly put off by the smell of herbs, feel free to pop a clove of garlic, dried chilli or pandan leaves into your rice container to keep the weevils away. Be sure to store your rice in a rice box with an airtight lid so as to prevent attracting more weevils.
Say goodbye to those evil weevils!
7. Hack To Repel Flies
Can’t stand those pesky flies that make an appearance every time you want to cook? What some housewives have discovered is that sliced or finely chopped onion repels those little buggers!
Place cut onion near your cooking ingredients or food, such as in the image above. Flies find the pungent scent of onions unpleasant and will stay far away from the scene. After you’re done with your meal prep, you can also throw the sliced onion into your dish as an ingredient. Double score for you!
8. Hack To Make Peeling Garlic A Breeze
If you’re pressed for time but need to get your garlic peeled, why not give this a go?
Remove the outer skins of your garlic and separate them into individual cloves. Place the cloves into a bowl and pour in enough hot water to cover all the cloves.
After 1 to 2 minutes, you’ll return to find that the skins of the garlic now fall off easily, leaving you with skinless cloves for cooking.
9. Hack To Keep Cut Apples From Turning Brown
Apples are a delicious snack and a popular choice in many lunchboxes. Unfortunately, they do tend to turn brown very quickly once cut, altering their appearance and even taste.
A simple salt solution will remedy that. Mix ½ a teaspoon of salt with 1 cup of cold water, and then soak your apple slices in the saltwater for about 10 minutes. The salt will interfere with the oxidation of the apple’s cut surface area, preserving its colour.
Tip: If you dislike the mild salty taste on the surface of the soaked apple, simply hit it with a quick rinse under cold water to eliminate all traces of the salt!
10. Hack For Erasing Permanent Marker Marks
For those with young children, you know the horror of the day your child discovers a permanent marker and goes wild with it! The good news is, there are some lesser known ways to get those marks right off different surfaces.
10.1 Getting permanent marker marks off your child’s whiteboard
You might have a whiteboard at home for leaving messages or for your child to get creative on. But what happens when someone mistakenly takes a permanent marker to it?
The solution is simple: colour over the permanent marker marks with a whiteboard marker. Then, use a damp cloth or a whiteboard duster to erase.
This hack works amazingly well thanks to colour pigments in whiteboard markers. As an alcoholic chemical solvent, they’re capable of dissolving the pigment of permanent markers quickly and effectively.
Tip: This hack works wonders in removing permanent markings off stainless steel appliances as well!
10.2 Erasing marks on your skin
A situation that’s perhaps both funny and infuriating, permanent marker marks on the skin do go away, but only after about 2 to 3 days. If you’re looking for a quick fix, we have it right here for you.
Apply a small amount of olive or coconut oil to your skin and rub over it gently before rinsing. The oils first bind to the surface layer of your skin, then to the marker stains before gently removing them. You could also try this with baby mineral oil.
10.3 Clearing marks on plastic containers
If you’re the type who likes to stay organized by labelling all your plastic boxes with permanent markers, this hack is perfect for when it’s time to change the labels on your boxes!
Rubbing alcohol is very effective at removing markings as they break down the chemicals in permanent marker ink. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, it might interest you to know that an alcohol-based hand sanitiser or antibacterial soap works in the same way.
Place a small amount of hand sanitizer on the stain and then use a clean cloth or tissue paper to wipe it away. If this sounds like a lot of work and you’re looking for less hassle when it comes to organizing, you may also consider giving sticker labels for all your boxes a go!
Note: Be sure to conduct a patch test by rubbing the alcohol-based product on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the surface will not be damaged. Permanent marker ink might transfer onto your cloth, hence for convenience, use a tissue paper instead.
Absolutely blown away by all these crazy hacks? They’ve all only been possible thanks to our mothers who work hard to upkeep our homes, so be sure to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to your mum this Mother’s Day!
If you’ve got a hack your mum taught you that wasn’t featured here, let us know in the comments down below! Be sure to also share this article with friends or family to help make things easier at home for everyone.