Essential 10: Totally Random but Utterly Useful Tricks

We may be anything but Suzy Homemakers around here, but that doesn't mean we don't appreciate housewifely tips and tricks. Here are ten of the Outblush editors' favorites for your (hopeful) edification. Got some of your own to share? Tell us in the comments below!

1. In a hurry in the a.m., but your shirt's all wrinkly? Heat up your flat iron (take out any separator combs/attachments) and use it to smooth out the cuffs, collar, & hem, which are usually the places that need smoothing. You won't have to dig out your ironing board or wait for your iron to heat & then cool down.

2. Instead of doing the "Ow, oh, ow, ow, ow mommeeee!" dance when you get an ice-cream headache, press your tongue to your soft palate. The heat of your tongue helps the blood vessels to re-expand - they contracted from the cold, hence the headache right behind your eyes.

3. Coffee filters have way more uses than you'd think. Use them as teabags for loose-leaf tea (tie with a bit of string). Tie a bunch of spices & herbs up in one and use as a bouquet garni to flavor soups & stews. Place one inside a colander to strain out yucky bits of fat from broth for rich, flavorful dishes without the fat.

4. Flesh-toned eye shadow is often better at concealing red spots than concealer, and it comes in a bigger variety of shades. Go for one without sparkle or sheen, and set it with a makeup sealer like Model In A Bottle.

5. You know those plastic zipper bags multi-packs of socks & underwear come in? They're awesome for stashing toiletries in when you fly. It's cheap, you're reusing materials, the TSA can see right through them, and they're just about the proscribed "quart size."

6. Install strips of adhesive-backed metal to the inside of the door of your medicine cabinet, and then put little adhesive-backed magnets on your makeup packaging and brushes. Presto! Instant, organized makeup storage.

7. Lingerie bags aren't just for washing bras. Stuff all your socks into them and run them through the washer & dryer - you'll never lose socks to the Dryer Monster again!

8. Burnt a pan trying to make dinner? Fill the pan with hot water, place a fabric dryer sheet in the water, and let sit for an hour or so. Then use the dryer sheet to wipe out the pan.

9. Lose something tiny, like a hard contact or an earring back? Stick a leg of old nylons over the hose on your vacuum and swoosh it around the floor. The suction will keep the lost item in place on the nylon, without it getting lost forever in the vacuum bag.

10. Strange stain removers: a little shampoo helps pre-treat & remove greasy stains, and you can scrub away lipstick stains with a washcloth soaked in a little rubbing alcohol before washing. (PS - ALWAYS do a patch test first.)



Posted on 04.12.10 at 4:41 PM

Dawn dish soap will get any grease stain out of clothes, even old ones.


Posted on 04.13.10 at 6:15 AM

You know, I always thought my flat iron was good for something other than hair!


Posted on 04.13.10 at 9:03 AM

I gotta remember the nylon trick!

Coffee filters do not work well for tea: they are much thicker than tea filters. However, they do a great job at keeping potting soil from coming out the holes in the bottom of the pots.

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