Life Hacks

Some helpful life hacks and ideas to make life a little easier.
life hacks

Life hacks are little tricks, shortcuts or novelty methods that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life. 

Here are some that you may already know, or some that you may not know and may be helpful to you.


  • The true, correct way to peel a banana is from the bottom up. By peeling a banana from the bottom up is the most efficient way to open the fruit.
  • Store your peanut butter upside down. That way, rather than pooling on top, the oil is easier to mix back in and you can enjoy your peanut butter with much less hassle.
  • When making a smoothie, to stop your blender from getting stuck, and to make sure your smoothie is as smooth as it can be. Put the liquids in first. That way, the action of the blades will pull the solid down and it distributes everything more evenly.
  • The little hole in a pasta ladle can be used to measure out how much pasta you should cook, and it tends to give you just the right amount for a meal for one.
  • If you do end up with black or brown bananas, then overripe bananas are best for use in baking as they’re sweeter and easier to mash into batter. Perfect for banana bread
  • Revive leftover, dried-out pizza by microwaving it with a mug of water. As the water evaporates, moisture fills the microwave, rehydrating the pizza and the crust.
  • If you don’t fancy baking a whole cake, you can just make a quick and easy cake in a cup in the microwave.
  • You might already use the juices from roasted meat in your gravy, but you can also use the water from the veggies. Add the nutrient-rich water from boiled veg and any run-off from a roasting tin as well. It’ll make for a flavourful gravy packed with vitamins.
  • Sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over bread that’s a few days old, then stick it in a hot oven for a few minutes. It’ll bring your stale loaf back to life. This trick works best on whole, unsliced loaves like baguettes, sourdough or ciabatta.
  • It can be tempting to smack the bottom of the ketchup bottle as hard as you possibly can — but that might not be the best way to get what you want. On a Heinz ketchup bottle, the round “57” sticker is in the perfect place. Give it a few solid taps.
  • To make cut herbs last, keep them upright in about 5cm (2 inches) of water as you would a bunch of flowers. Shelter them from direct sunlight and change the water regularly. They’ll stay fresher for longer.
  • Whether you’ve made too much pesto or have spare sauce from a jar, don’t throw your leftovers away. Pour them into an ice cube tray and you’ll always have some on hand – plus they’ll last far longer than if you kept them in the fridge.
  • Juices and smoothies are a nutritious way to start the day but prepping can be time-consuming. When you have a moment, chop and divide fruit and veg into individual food bags and store in the freezer or fridge. Take out as and when needed, adding extras such as yogurt, water or plant-based milk before blending.
  • To stop syrup from sticking to your spoon. Try dipping the spoon into hot water first, then into the syrup.
  • If you love your steak topped with a slab of melting garlic, herb or chilli butter. Prep a batch of herby butter in advance and freeze it in ice cube trays – the cubes will just take an hour or so to defrost (avoid using the microwave, as this will heat them unevenly).
  • To help avoid soggy sandwiches, reduce the amount of liquid seeping out from ingredients such as sliced tomato or cucumber by placing them between two pieces of kitchen paper for five minutes. This will soak up any excess moisture before they’re added to sandwiches. It’s also a good idea to spread butter, cheese or mayo onto the bread first – this acts as a barrier against soggier ingredients.
  • Put ready made pancake mix into a clean empty mayo or ketchup bottle, for easy mess free use when you need it.
  • Use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a braai.
  • Use frozen grapes to chill wine instead of watering it down with ice cubes.
  • Remove the stem from strawberries by pushing a plastic straw through the centre.
  • When heating leftovers, arrange the food in a circle with a hole in the middle, to ensure it heats through evenly.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of bicarb to the water when boiling eggs, which should make peeling them easier.
  • The next time you are going to open a pack of chips, open it from the base. Due to them upstanding during delivery and timeframe of realistic usability, a large portion of the Flavor sinks to the base.
  • Trim the top and bottom of the celery (cut it off of the root if it is still attached) and drop the stalks upright into a pitcher or jar of ice-cold water to re-crisp. You can also store celery like this as soon as you bring it home—asparagus too.
  • To cut onions without crying, chill them in the fridge or freezer first.
  • Caramelize onions in half the time by adding a small pinch of baking soda.
  • Plastic egg cartons are ideal for freezing small portions of homemade sauce. 
  • Give your food a quick spritz of cooking spray before putting them into the air fryer.
  • When baking, it’s important to use room temperature ingredients (unless otherwise specified).
  • For easy cleanup, use a quick spritz of cooking spray on your cheese grater to keep the cheese from sticking. 


  • Remove pet hair with rubber gloves. When your standard vacuum doesn’t seem to get all your pet’s hair, rubber gloves will help to get the job done. Put on a rubber glove and rub down any areas that need extra cleaning. When rubber is pushed against fabric, it can generate elasticity to gather remaining pet hair. Rinse the gloves under running water when you’re done and the hair will unstick.
  • Disinfect the cloths and sponges you use every day to keep them germ free. Clean them first in hot soapy water, wring them out, then soak in a disinfectant for 15 minutes 
  • When cleaning the fridge, use a toothpick to remove food residue that has collected in the join between the surface of the shelf and the surround. And also make sure the drainage hole at the back is gunk- free using a cotton bud.
  • Lining the salad drawers in a fridge with kitchen towel or fridge liners will make it easier to remove veggie debris in between cleans.
  • Remove food stains on plastic chopping boards by rubbing with lemon juice and leaving overnight. Rinse thoroughly and dry. 
  • Microfibre cloths are great for removing grease, grime and smudges without chemicals. Just dampen with water and wash the cloth in the washing machine afterwards.
  • For sparkling windows, spray on a solution of one part distilled white vinegar to nine parts water and wipe round with a lint-free cloth, then a chamois leather or glass polishing microfibre cloth to buff them to a brilliant shine.


  • During the UK winter months you can store drinks outside to save space in the fridge.
  • During the UK’s hot summer months, put a few hot water bottles filled with cold water in your bed, use a cheap water spray bottle (the ones used to spray plants) to spray water on yourself to keep cool.
  • During the UK winter months, some people make use of the airing cupboard to hang items to help get them dry.
  • In the winter, use a small hot water bottle under your clothing to keep warm if you are having to walk in the cold.
  • Look after pets in the extreme hot weather by NOT walking them, they do not wear shoes and the hot tar can burn their paws causing them a lot of pain.
  • Keep pets in a cool place, if possible with a fan and plenty of drinking water. There are also pet cooling mats to keep them cool.
  • During the winter months, to avoid windscreens getting iced up, you can cover with cardboard, or a towel, or there are windscreen covers available to purchase.
  • During winter months allow extra time when going to work, to defrost the car.
  • If you are walking to work or school in the very cold temperatures in winter, there are hand warmers that can be worn inside your gloves to keep your hands warm.
  • Pack an extra pair of socks in your car’s glove compartment. Then if you need to get out and shovel, or if you step into a puddle, you’ll have dry socks to change into. 
  • Learn to walk like a penguin in case you have to walk across an icy surface.

General life hacks

general life hacks
  • Tie a bright or patterned piece of fabric/ribbon around your suitcase handle when travelling. This will make it easier to recognise when it is on the baggage carousel at the airport.
  • Take a photo of business cards that people give you, just in case you lose them.
  • Put newspaper at the bottom of the bin to absorb any food juices.
  • Keep a card in your wallet or purse with any medical details and phone numbers of who to call in an emergency.
  • If you live alone and have pets, keep a card in your wallet or purse to inform people you have pets at home (in case during an emergency you are rushed to hospital and unable to communicate.
  • Use a trouser hanger with clips to hold open a recipe page in a book. Clip the hanger clips to the top of the open book, and hang on the cupboard in front of where you are working.
  • Use nail polish painted on keys to identify different keys.
  • Use a plastic hanging shoe holder inside a cupboard door, or door, to hold cleaning products.
  • Put a stocking over the end of the vacuum pipe to find any small items you may have dropped on the carpet, like earrings, small screws etc.
  • To make an icepack, put a wet sponge in a ziplock plastic bag and freeze.
  • To keep the remote in a safe place where you can always find it, use double sided velcro tape. Add a strip on the remote and a strip in the place you want to keep it.
  • Use half a pool noodle attached to the garage wall to protect the door from hitting the wall.