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Tips & Tricks

Great Tips & Tricks for Daily Life

How to whiten grout?

Tile is beautiful, durable, generally easy to clean, but cleaning grout? That’s a different story. Because of its typically light coloring and porous composition, grout is prone to staining. In a tiled entry or mudroom, dirt and grime are the usual culprits, while in the kitchen, spills are more likely to blame. In the bathroom, homeowners must contend with mold and mildew.Fortunately, it’s possible to clean and restore your grout using common household products and a bit of elbow grease.

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Renew a marker

I used to just throw away a dried out marker. Now, I save a dried out marker in three easy steps. This is one of those tricks I wish I would have done ages ago. I can’t even imagine how many markers I’ve thrown out thinking they were useless when they actually had lots of life left in them.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a fine point marker, dry-erase marker, or a chubby marker. I was able to give them all extended life. I also tried all the different brands we had, and all the various ones lying around worked.

If you need to save a permanent marker, I share how to do that too thanks to an awesome reader tip!

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

How to Save a Dried Out Marker
Can I say that this is so easy!? You’ll probably wonder why you didn’t think of it…or perhaps you already do it.

Here are the 3 easy steps:

1) Wet the tip of the marker with a very slow flow of water. Thinner markers need just a little bit of water and chubby markers need a little bit more. I just held the marker under my sink for a split second and that usually was the perfect amount for the thin and dry-erase markers. For bigger markers, hold it under for a hair longer.

2) Place plastic wrap or cling film around the tip of the marker. This helps hold the moisture in.
3) Put the lid on and wait a few hours. Then remove the plastic wrap and test it out.

With thinner markers and dry erase markers, I could get the marker working in just a few hours on the first try. Other times, particularly with thicker markers, I had to repeat all the steps and place the marker upside down too.

There’s no formula to be honest. It all just depends on how dry the marker is, the quality of the brand, and the size of the marker. Keep repeating these steps if necessary to get your marker to the desired wetness. The really dead markers required a couple of rounds, and I rotate them from right side up to upside down a couple of times a day.

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Put your phone on airplane mode to save battery/fact charging

This happens because when your phone’s screen is turned off (aka in standby mode without apps running in the background) the largest continuous drain on the battery are the various wireless signals it receives, sends, and processes (Edge, 2G, 3G, LTE, Wifi, Blutooth, GPS, etc). If it cannot establish a cellular connection (or the signal is week) it will even increase power to its cellular antenna to try to establish a cellular connection.

In airplane mode, all of that energy is not needed. So that energy stays in the battery. In airplane mode, in your pocket, a smart-phone (which usually struggles to stay charged all day) will usually stay charged for days.

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Use a rubber band to remove a screw

There’s nothing more disheartening if you’ve started a project that requires you to remove a screw that has set inside a piece of wood or metal, only to find the screw is stripped. Stripped screws are common, especially if they’ve been tightened several times, but make removal nearly impossible without special tricks. Put down the hammer and instead grab your screwdriver and a rubber band.

1.Position the rubber band over the stripped screw. You will want to make sure the rubber band is laying flat, over the screw top and is being held securely in place.
Make sure the rubber band you use has a wide enough band width so that the rubber completely engulfs the screw head.
2.Push the screwdriver into the screw head, over the rubber band. The rubber band will form into the previous screw indents, creating leverage for the screwdriver.
Make sure the screwdriver is pushed far enough but not too far that it breaks through the rubber band skin.
3.Turn the screwdriver counter-clockwise to remove the screw. Work slowly as even though your rubber band will provide you with a mold, the screw is still vulnerable and most likely difficult to turn.
Re-position the rubber band over the screw head as you work if necessary. The screwdriver may penetrate through the rubber band at some point, especially if you are working with an electric screwdriver. Move the rubber band over to expose material that is in tact to continue to remove the screw.

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Clean up a nail polish spill

Today I made a huge mess. I dropped a bottle of nail polish on the hard kitchen floor and not only did the top crack right off, but it starting spinning in circles, spewing purple nail polish in a giant spiral all over the floor! Thankfully spilled nail polish is super easy to clean up and within 3 minutes the floor looked good as new.

To clean spilled nail polish off a hard floor all you need to do is dump sugar on it. Lots of sugar, and do it quickly. Thankfully, I was in the kitchen so the sugar canister was nearby. Yes, I videoed it for you because honestly, if I had not seen it work I wouldn’t have believed a floor with a whole bottle of nail polish spilled on it could get that clean again!

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Cook corn on the cob in 5 minutes

How does a 5 minute corn on the cob sound? If you’re hungry for a quick corn on the cob, it’s way easier than you think. Literally, in less than 5 minutes and no mess.
In case you missed it, we previously shared our technique on how to shuck corn in the microwave. This technique is super amazing because it’s not just fast in 4 minutes, but the corn cob literally slips out of all the corn leaves and silk. It’s a no hassle way to not just cook corn, but to shuck it as well. And of course, all you need is some butter, salt and pepper ready and voila! The corn comes out perfect juicy and smelling amazing. You’re going to love Summer even more.

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Turn inky hands into clean hands in seconds

Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.
Turn inky hands into clean hands in seconds. Households with small children are no strangers to hands covered in ink but this issue is easily solved. Just use some margarine and wipe it off with a damp cloth.

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Tennis ball

When you have a pain in the neck literally it could be caused by tension. Tension can set off a chain of events that leads to soreness at trigger points, which sometimes feels like knots in a muscle. When tension in your neck causes over-activity in the fascia of your muscles, a tennis ball pressed against the sore area can often reduce the tension and make the pain go away.

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If you receive daily newspapers in the mail, you may find yourself overwhelmed, but throwing them away is a waste. Newspapers can be used in a multitude of ways, from the crafty to the practical. No matter how many newspapers you have, you can repurpose them. If you have an open mind and creative eye, newspapers can spruce things up around the house, make outdoor chores a breeze, add atmosphere to arts and crafts, and improve the environment.
Use newspapers as stuffing:
If you receive daily newspapers in the mail, you may find yourself overwhelmed, but throwing them away is a waste. Newspapers can be used in a multitude of ways, from the crafty to the practical. No matter how many newspapers you have, you can repurpose them. If you have an open mind and creative eye, newspapers can spruce things up around the house, make outdoor chores a breeze, add atmosphere to arts and crafts, and improve the environment.

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Uses of Toothpaste

We strongly recommend you use one of the more inexpensive toothpastes””not gels, tartar controllers or whiteners unless otherwise specified. Look for a mild, abrasive stain fighter. Avoid toothpastes containing “triclosan.”

You’ll find the best prices on toothpastes with coupons from major drug stores. Also be sure to check for toothpaste coupons, because we have plenty! Get the note pad ready: here are 15 unconventional uses for toothpaste.

1. Baby Bottles. Remove that sour-milk-smell baby bottles get by scrubbing them with a water-and-toothpaste mixture. Rinse very thoroughly or toss the bottles into the dishwasher.

2. Carpet Stains. Squeeze toothpaste directly onto the carpet stain and scrub it with an old toothbrush. Then rinse and repeat the process until the stain disappears. For truly stubborn or large stains, like vomit from aging cats, you might need to go with a professional carpet-cleaning product.

3. Cell Phone Screens. Unprotected mobile phone screens become hopelessly scratched over time. No problem. Lightly rub the screen with a touch of toothpaste and your finger. Rinse with a damp cloth and dry, but be sure to not get your phone too wet.

4. Clothing Stains. If toothpaste works on your carpets, it should work equally well on cloth. Apply the toothpaste directly to the stained area with a bit of water and rub hard before popping in the washer. This may not work on all fabrics or stains but it’s quite effective on ink and shirt-collar stains. You may have to repeat this process if the stain is old. Use a basic toothpaste without bleaching agents for this.

5. Crayon on Painted Walls. Children, crayons and walls are natural attractants. No need to panic; just gently rub a damp cloth and some toothpaste on your child’s masterpiece, then rinse with a wet cloth and dry. Make sure you run a test on a small area of the wall before applying to a large area, especially for high-gloss paints.

6. Leather. Put a dab on leather scuffs, rub in with a soft cloth, and rinse with a damp cloth. Works well on shoes, purses, coats or anything else made of leather. Just be sure to use a toothpaste that is free of bleaching and whitening agents.

7. Linoleum Scuffs. Scrub scuff marks with toothpaste and a dry cloth until no residue remains. This also works for floorboards and drywall.

8. Piano Keys. Tidy up those ivories before you tickle them! Rub each key gently with a damp, cotton swab and a touch of paste. Wipe dry and buff with a clean cloth. It takes time, but you’ll be stunned by how nice your piano looks in the end.

9. Patio Furniture. Apply some elbow grease, a brush and a mixture of toothpaste and water on your outdoor furniture. Use a teeth-whitening paste on white furniture for the perfect shine.

10. Silver and Brass. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush to scrub lightly with just a dab of paste. Rinse thoroughly and polish with a dry, soft cloth. Dry again and polish. For heavy-duty grunge, apply paste and let it soak overnight. Caution: never apply toothpaste to pearls as the grit will remove the shiny finish.

11. Tennis Shoes. Use a brush to rub toothpaste onto the scuffed soles of athletic shoes. Wipe with a damp cloth and let dry. If the shoes are white, use a whitening toothpaste for added brightness.

12 Bathroom Sinks. Next time you drop a glob of toothpaste into the sink, don’t rinse it down, scrub it around. The natural abrasive works like other cleansers and deodorizes the drain at the same time.

13. Coffee Table Water Rings. This is an oldie but goody: Simply rub some toothpaste into the irritating ring with a soft cloth and wipe dry with a clean, damp cloth. Apply a finishing shine with a touch of furniture polish or oil. Then break out the coasters and make sure they get used.

14. DVDs and CDs. Remove shallow scratches and smudges from discs by applying a thin coating of toothpaste and rubbing gently. Rinse thoroughly and buff with a soft cotton cloth. The mild abrasive evens out the playing surface but too much grit will make things worse, so make sure you’re gentle.

15. Nail Holes. Toothpaste has long been known as the poor-man’s caulking agent for unsightly nail holes. If your walls are painted, you can tint the paste with food coloring or eye shadow to better match the wall. This method also works well in holes left by hanging-plant or speaker hooks, particularly on textured ceilings.

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