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Home Improvement

Hacks are cool. No matter what category they fall under, they are simply fairly memorable tips that can help to make your life a whole lot easier. Well, in honor of hacks doing just that, today I thought we should look into some that can make the cleaning up and upkeep of your home a whole lot easier to do. Some of these household hacks, you may have heard of before. Still, something tells me that within these 15 tips, you will learn at least a couple of new things. Are you ready to say "whaaaaa?" a few times?

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1. Paint Your Keys

These days, you can go to a local home improvement store and get a duplicate set of keys made in a design so that you can easily differentiate them. Still, if you are more of a DIY person, another option is to simply paint your keys; that way, you can easily tell the difference between what your house, office and car keys are. Some people even do it with nail polish. You can check out a video on how to do that here.

2. Warm Up Vanilla Beans in a Pot

I'll tell you what—something that can have the rooms of your house smelling absolutely unbelievable in under 10 minutes in a half cup of Fabuloso in three cups of water. Just put it into a pot and let it simmer on medium heat. On the other hand, if you're concerned that it could put some chemicals into the air, that's fair, I guess. An alternative is to replace the cleaner with some vanilla beans and/or cloves. Either way, both are a cool alternative to air fresheners (the scents typically last much longer too).

3. Place Straws into Your Vases

This particular hack has reminded me to get back into the habit of buying fresh flowers every Friday (I used to do it often).

Anyway, I really dig this back because, while flowers can last for up to 12 days (if you take care of them correctly), around the time that they start wilting, now you don't have to toss them out. All you need to do is put some straws into your vase, all throughout the stems and they will serve as an "anchor" so that your flowers will be able to stand upright again. Pretty cool, right?

4. Apply a Paper Clip to Tape Rolls

Sometimes, it really is the little things, y'all. I don't know about you but something that drives me completely up the wall is trying to find where the end of a tape roll starts. One way to avoid the drama is to mark the end with a paper clip. It makes the end so much easier to find. Plus, now it won't take forever to pull the end of the tape up.

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5. Secure Your Toothbrush with a Safety Pin

I keep my toothbrush in a cup, still this is kinda cool. If you're someone who'd prefer to keep your own brush off of your bathroom counter (because they tend to be on the germy side), all you need to do is put a safety pin around the "neck" of it. That way, the part of your toothbrush that you clean your teeth with will be suspended in the air and kept off of the counter.

6. Shave with Hair Conditioner

Instead of buying shaving cream for your legs and underarms, just pick up some cheap conditioner the next time that you're at the store. It works just as well as the commercial brands and it will save you a few coins. Also, if you want to extend the shelf life of your razors before tossing them out, soak them in a glass of olive or sweet almond oil. Make sure the razor part is what's in the oil. The oil will prevent rust from dulling your razors and it will moisturize your skin while you are shaving.

7. Clean Your Toilets with Mouthwash

Do your toilets need some extra cleaning?

No worries. Instead of heading out to purchase some expensive toilet bowl cleaner, just pour a couple of capfuls of mouthwash in there and let it sit for 30 minutes before brushing. It will remove the grime and hard water stains pretty easily.

(By the way, mouthwash can cut the stink out of your garbage disposal if you pour a cupful down it as well. Mint is best.)

8. Polish Your Wood Furniture with Essential Oils

There's no need to purchase any furniture polish for your wooden pieces. Just put some olive oil into a bottle, add a few drops of lemon essential oil (and maybe another scent if you'd like) and the combo will work just as well. Plus, it'll be less harsh on your furniture which is definitely a bonus.

9. Use Ice Cubes to Remove Candle Wax

What should you do if candle wax drips onto your furniture? Well, what you should definitely avoid is trying to scrape the wax off because that could damage the finish that's on your tables and whatnot. Instead, put some ice cubes into a plastic bag and place the bag over the wax. It should harden the wax enough that it will be easy to pull it off with your hands without wrecking anything.

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10. Sprinkle Some Splenda onto Your Carpets

This one is a trip. If you spill something on your carpet, you immediately sprinkle a lil' bit of Splenda on it and let it sit for 15 minutes, the Splenda should absorb most of the spill so that you can vacuum everything up without a stain being left behind.

11. Clean Pans with Alka-Seltzer

Is there anything more taxing than trying to clean up pots and pans that have "food gunk" all over them? Did you know that if you pour some hot water into them, add an Alka-Seltzer tablet, let the pots and pans sit for 20 minutes and whatever is stuck on should come right off? Try it. It just might amaze you.

12. Zap Your Sponges in the Microwave

Ain't nothin' worse than the smell of a nasty sponge. If you're someone who is quick to toss them, consider soaking them in some water and putting them in the microwave (on high) for a couple of minutes instead. Oftentimes, the issue isn't that it's time for the sponge to go; it just needs the odor-causing bacteria to be taken away from it. Your microwave is what can make that happen.

13. Scare Ants Off with Cinnamon Powder

Do you have a bit of an ant problem? Something that they hate—to the point where it kills them if they come into contact with it—is cinnamon powder. So, either sprinkle a little around their hangout spots or pour it onto them directly. It's a safer way to remove them without putting you or your pets at risk of the toxic fumes that come with standard insect sprays. Oh, and if spiders are your problem, they hate the smell of peppermint. Just for the record.

14. Freeze Your Pillowcases

Words can't express, just how much I hate going to bed when I feel hot. That's why I have a cooling mattress pad on mine, I make sure to turn my thermostat down (to around 67-68 degrees) and sometimes, I freeze my pillowcases.

If you put your own cases in a big Ziploc bag and let them sit in your freezer for about 20-30 minutes, they'll be cool enough for you to fall asleep comfortably.

15. Squeegees Are Great for Pet Fur

Last one. It's been a while since I've had a pet. Yet something that used to be a pain was the pet fur that they left behind. A cool remedy? After vacuuming up as much as you can, simply run a Squeegee over the leftover hair. It should pick everything right on up. Then you can run the Squeegee underwater and use it again as usual on your mirrors 'n stuff. It's one of the best household hacks going, chile. Enjoy!

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