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the new frontier of sharing useful tips might well be Pinterest
June 2, 2012 3:46 PM   Subscribe

35 Lifechanging Ways To Use Everyday Objects - such as using a banana to get the scratches out of a CD or DVD, the very popular "make a hair bun with a sock" trick, and the ever-useful how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew. "These handy little things are all things you probably own already. I know this is a topic usually reserved for moms on Pinterest..." It's true, the denizens of Pinterest are an excellent source of useful tips: how to peel a potato in 10 seconds, how to get rid of a sunburn, making emergency ingredient substitutions when you're baking, or 20 new ways to use magic erasers; why not iron your kitchen floor to get out ground-in dirt? (previously: how to fold a fitted sheet - a big list of sites that teach you how to do stuff)
posted by flex (63 comments total) 218 users marked this as a favorite

 
Apparently someone named CKF sarl wants the method of opening wine with your shoe to remain a secret. TELL ME THE METHOD DAMMIT /waves shoe, wine bottle
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:55 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the put-shoes-in-showercaps one. We always have a bunch of hotel showercaps floating around that we grabbed before checking out.
posted by jamesonandwater at 4:02 PM on June 2, 2012


Remove your shoelace and tie a knot in the end. Push the cork into the wine bottle with something handy--a stick, screwdriver, etc. Pour a bit of the wine into a glass, then work the shoelace into the bottle so the knot is below the cork. Pour the bit of wine back into the bottle so the cork floats back up into the neck. Pull the cork out with the shoelace. It works. I've done it several times, out of necessity.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:03 PM on June 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


also without a corkscrew
posted by Flunkie at 4:15 PM on June 2, 2012


also also without a corkscrew
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:18 PM on June 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've used that method of opening a wine bottle. In an apartment. For some reason it bothered the neighbors. Go figure.
posted by Splunge at 4:21 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


TELL ME THE METHOD DAMMIT /waves shoe, wine bottle
posted by stupidsexyFlanders


You can get a cork out by whacking the bottom of the bottle hard with anything that doesn't quite break it. Take the foil off, of course. Pounding the bottom against a tree is easier than beating it with a shoe. Once the cork is out half an inch, pull it the rest of the way with your teeth.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:22 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heh. With your teeth maybe.
posted by Splunge at 4:24 PM on June 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Guess I should have watched first, quit messing around ssF!
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:27 PM on June 2, 2012


That works rwally well until you to through cheap drywall
posted by The Whelk at 4:29 PM on June 2, 2012


Fold a tee-shirt in 2 seconds.
posted by Splunge at 4:30 PM on June 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Indoors, use a door jamb. Then you can pinch the cork in the door near the hinge to twist it the rest of the way out.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:31 PM on June 2, 2012


That works rwally well until you to through cheap drywall
I can imagine.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:34 PM on June 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Alright, here's another labor saving tip. Once you've put the bottle through the dry wall, coat a piece of paper with a flour and water mixture, smooth it over the hole, let it dry, and then touch it up with paint.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:37 PM on June 2, 2012 [13 favorites]


How to Do Everything podcast tried the banana to get out CD scratches trick in their last episode. Did not work.
posted by mcstayinskool at 4:42 PM on June 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


31. Rub the cut edge of cheese with some butter to keep it from getting moldy.
The mold's the best bit. If your cheese doesn't have mold on it somewhere, put it back and bide.
posted by Jehan at 4:43 PM on June 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


A quick search of Pinterest offers that if bananas don't work, you can use peanut butter, toothpaste, diet soda, & baking soda to remove CD/DVD scratches.
posted by flex at 4:47 PM on June 2, 2012


I don't think I'm comfortable taking advice on unorthodox ways to open bottles of wine from someone named StickyCarpet.
posted by yoink at 4:59 PM on June 2, 2012 [27 favorites]


I'm imagining hapless readers smearing chunky skippy on their scratched cds and then jamming them into their playstations and being TOTALLY OUTRAGED when everything goes awry.
posted by elizardbits at 5:00 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're not drinking dry wines, then you get what you deserve, yoink.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:12 PM on June 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love, love, love MetaFilter posts that are useful. Thank you for this.
posted by hypotheticole at 5:15 PM on June 2, 2012


Now how do I get the mold out of my shoes?
posted by hal9k at 5:17 PM on June 2, 2012


I have tried numerous times to do that wine bottle thing and I have never seen the cork move as much as a quarter of a millimetre.
posted by Decani at 5:22 PM on June 2, 2012


I'm imagining hapless readers smearing chunky skippy on their scratched cds and then jamming them into their playstations and being TOTALLY OUTRAGED when everything goes awry.

One could see peanut-butter-and-banana lifehacked Playstation discs being the peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich-in-the-VCR of millennial times.
posted by flex at 5:30 PM on June 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been told that the MIT Brass Rat can be used to open beer bottles. I can't figure out how to do it, though.
posted by madcaptenor at 5:57 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


A quick search of Pinterest offers that if bananas don't work, you can use peanut butter, toothpaste, diet soda, & baking soda to remove CD/DVD scratches.

Really!? People are that desperate? Is Brasso that hard to find? It's like three bucks for a bottle and it will shine up everything from your headlights, to your cds and dvds to your iPod to, yes, the brass bric-a-brac your grandma left you.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 5:58 PM on June 2, 2012


Does it count as 21 new ways to use magic erasers, if we've never heard of a magic eraser before?

Also, what on earth is going on in the iron-the-kitchen-floor pictures? The photos look so little like an actual kitchen floor that it's hard to believe they're fake. Do other people's floors actually become dirty in a surprisingly regular faux-marble pattern like that? I'm no vinyl flooring expert, but I've never seen anything remotely similar to the before photos.

But, snark aside, some of these look quite useful. Thanks!
posted by eotvos at 6:03 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The potato one BLEW MY MIND with what is, in retrospect, completely fucking obvious.

How is it that we've been tediously peeling potatoes for hundreds of years? Is it a conspiracy of the potato peeler manufacturers?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:13 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was really looking forward for the cooking substitutions but they seem mostly, well, redundant.

The replacement for "Bread Crumbs (Dry)" is "3 slices of bread, crumbled". Oh really? You don't say?

I guess the chemistry for converting between cream, milk, butter and buttermilk is kinda interesting, though.
posted by Jimbob at 6:15 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why bother peeling potatoes? Smashed potatoes are much better than mashed. French fries are better with the skins, ditto homefries. Water takes time to boil so I guess these people would rather waste a month of their lives boiling water.
posted by glip at 6:34 PM on June 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


How to fold a t-shirt in five seconds.

How to make a delicious chocolate milkshake.
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 7:08 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, what on earth is going on in the iron-the-kitchen-floor pictures? The photos look so little like an actual kitchen floor that it's hard to believe they're fake. Do other people's floors actually become dirty in a surprisingly regular faux-marble pattern like that? I'm no vinyl flooring expert, but I've never seen anything remotely similar to the before photos.

Some floors are textured like that. The pits in the texture are dirt magnets.
posted by Jpfed at 7:08 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now how do I get the mold out of my shoes?

Have you tried rubbing butter on them?
posted by arcticseal at 7:15 PM on June 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Maybe I am just old and stodgy, but the idea of drinking wine that has had shoelaces dipped in it
posted by jcworth at 7:31 PM on June 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


The mold's the best part!
posted by thylacinthine at 7:32 PM on June 2, 2012


Pour a bit of the wine into a glass, then work the shoelace into the bottle so the knot is below the cork. Pour the bit of wine back into the bottle so the cork floats back up into the neck. Pull the cork out with the shoelace...

This is the point where I have already just decanted the wine.
posted by Miko at 7:35 PM on June 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


35 Lifechanging Ways To Use Everyday Objects - such as using a banana to get the scratches out of a CD or DVD

I had a midlife crisis. I fell into the island of doubt. I didn't know where I was going. "What is the meaning of life?" sounds like a silly question until you actually feel a need to ask it yourself. I was lost and without hope. But I learned about bananas and how they could help my CD collection, and I felt a renewed energy about my existence and the future. It was lifechanging.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:51 PM on June 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


The point about Pinterest being filled with the handy and the dandy is right on. I was just on there in another window and came across a list of 35 tips for camping - and the winner has to be this really, really awesome way of making a reading lamp using a headlamp and a gallon jug of water.

Another good idea was stowing your TP in a plastic Folgers container, with a dispenser slot cut into it.

On another page, make big-ass ice cubes in muffin tins for your pitchers of iced tea and lemonade.
posted by Miko at 7:58 PM on June 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


That reading lamp tip is marvelous!
posted by arcticseal at 8:04 PM on June 2, 2012


It's true. Check out this board of "camping ideas" - I saw the one about prepping pancake batter earlier (put it in ziploc bags, then freeze it; when you go camping, thaw it and cut off a corner of the bag and you have prep-free, mess-free pancakes to go), and immediately filed it away for the preschool camping trip I'm going on next month.
posted by flex at 8:05 PM on June 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'll see you that one and raise you the pancake-batter tip from my camping link: using a cleaned dish-detergent bottle with the squeeze top.

Though I love the idea of making batter at home and transporting it, the gourmand in me notes that it's the effervescence of baking powder reacting with liquid that makes light pancakes. That subsides after a while. So I wonder if these pre-prepped pancake-dispensing squeezers make heavy pancakes.
posted by Miko at 8:11 PM on June 2, 2012


Welp, ive got a terrible sunburn, so I am gonna go ahead and soak myself in some black tea tonight. THANK YOU.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:19 PM on June 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


For the artists out there, keep your Liquin (if you're painting in oils, or gel medium if you're into acrylics, or other glaze medium of choice) in a squeeze bottle (I use the 16 oz. Gatorade ones, personally, because I like the half-twist to open or close, but dish soap works too) so you can put just the right amount on your palette. Works a treat. Will make you the genius of the century at the next painter's night.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:40 PM on June 2, 2012


This is the point where I have already just decanted the wine.

Yeah, that shoelace thing is beyond ridiculous. In the time it's taken you to fiddle about with your laces, you could have simply drank all the wine instead.
posted by elizardbits at 8:45 PM on June 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


Really most problems are solved by drinking all the wine instead.
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 PM on June 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


Really most problems are solved by drinking all the wine instead.

Yeah, that seems to be what Greece is trying.
posted by nestor_makhno at 9:47 PM on June 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'll see you that one and raise you the pancake-batter tip from my camping link: using a cleaned dish-detergent bottle with the squeeze top.

Or just bring along some gatorade for the first day. (Or even bottled water with a sports nozzle for that matter.)
posted by salvia at 9:57 PM on June 2, 2012


Sadly I can't mark this as a favorite because I know my lazy ass will never try and attempt these tricks when I will need them most. I've made peace with myself.
posted by Kloryne at 11:03 PM on June 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait. Are people really eating moldy cheese? And not just bleu cheese, but say a block of Gouda with mold on it? Really?
posted by montaigneisright at 12:38 AM on June 3, 2012


Pushing the cork into the bottle with a butter knife, or - if you want to be really libertine about it - simply smashing the neck against the kitchen counter will work. But only if you smash it and exclaim "Amontillado!" before pouring it into glasses for your friends. Especially the one you're going to seal behind a brick wall.

And there's also a really simple way to make your own puffed rice cereal.

It's the little things that make life easier that I'm most grateful for, really.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:41 AM on June 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


These aren't a patch on Viz's Top Tips.

"If you get lucky at an unexpected time and place, a jubilee clip makes a handy substitute for a cock ring."
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:20 AM on June 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


"...reading lamp using a headlamp and a gallon jug of water"
If you're backpacking and don't want to hump a gallon jug of water, point the lamp upward and drape a white plastic grocery bag over it like it was a hot air balloon. The light isn't as perfectly diffused as with the jug, but it works fine for reading.
posted by nikzhowz at 4:02 AM on June 3, 2012


The potato one baffles me.

Maybe it's a Danish thing, but we differentiate between skrælkartofler where you pre-peel the potatos before boiling then and pillekartofler where you boil potatos with skin, then submerge them in cold water and neatly slip the peel off.

Maybe it's not even a Danish thing - maybe it's a family thing in which case my grandmother was right in saying there was nothing she didn't know.

Mind blown. Sorry, gramps.
posted by kariebookish at 4:10 AM on June 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love listening to Sock Bun Girl say "sock bun."
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:21 AM on June 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


we differentiate between skrælkartofler where you pre-peel the potatos before boiling then and pillekartofler where you boil potatos with skin, then submerge them in cold water and neatly slip the peel off.

I've never made a distinction in terminology, but they definitely taste different. Also, if you're boiling in chunks (for example par-boiling potatoes for roasting, or if you're making mash in a hurry), it's much easier to peel the potatoes first. Horses for courses.
posted by howfar at 6:40 AM on June 3, 2012


Wait. Are people really eating moldy cheese? And not just bleu cheese, but say a block of Gouda with mold on it? Really?

Hell, I've been eating moldy shoes, along with peanut-butter-banana-and-CD sammiches.
posted by FatherDagon at 6:48 AM on June 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I mean, I cut off the mold and then I eat the cheese.

Give it a try--it'll change your life.
posted by box at 8:08 AM on June 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're backpacking and don't want to hump a gallon jug of water

http://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Products-Fold-A-Jug-Collapsible-Container/dp/B0024O0X5C

I have one of these for just such occasions. Carry it empty, fill at whatever your water source is in camp, handy for dishes, cooking, handwashing.
posted by Miko at 9:10 AM on June 3, 2012


A lot of it seems like Hints Fron Heloise (or is it just Heloise) only 'edgier' but here's mine -- ya know how the sides of those plastic bags in the produce section always stick together, you can't get 'em open? Pick up a cucumber, set it down and try again -- the wax from the cucumber, now on your fingertips, will grab the plastic and voila.
posted by Rash at 10:52 AM on June 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


There is wax on the bridge of your nose as well. When I threw darts in a league we would always rub our finger there for a better grip.

"I'll see you that one and raise you the pancake-batter tip from my camping link: using a cleaned dish-detergent bottle with the squeeze top."

I have never been able to get a soap bottle so clean that the taste of soap didn't transfer to whatever was put in it.
posted by Splunge at 2:52 PM on June 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


There is wax on the bridge of your nose as well.

Somewhat gross 20-something hint: running a finger along the side of your nose picks up oils which burst the surface tension of bubbles. SO, when you are filling your plastic cup from the keg and getting too much head, you can rub your fingertip alongside your nose, then lay it over the rim of your glass, and watch the head recede.
posted by Miko at 9:03 PM on June 3, 2012


Peter McDermott: Viz's Top Tips have nearly given me a hernia on more occasions than I care to remember.

"Weight watchers. Avoid that devilish temptation to nibble at a chocolate bar in the cupboard or fridge by not buying the fucking thing in the first place, you fat bastard."

And I've lost it again.
posted by Decani at 2:43 PM on June 5, 2012


Tie a tie in 5 seconds
posted by blue_beetle at 5:33 AM on June 6, 2012


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