45 Life Hacks Straight Out Of AsiaBy Ruby M
Life is hard. Especially as we grow older and become busier dealing with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we welcome anything and everything that can make life a little easier. Over the centuries, the human race has developed new and innovative ways to use everyday items to solve problems, and we call these “life hacks.” Did you know that a continent that has hugely contributed to these life hacks is none other than Asia? We thought it would be great to compile a list of just some of the life hacks that originated in Asia. While this continent houses about 60% of the world’s population and is made up of over 50 countries, we are only including 45 hacks here. We had to stop somewhere!
Stop those tears
Do you need to chop an onion for your dinner but dread the burning it causes to your eyes, or having to wear goggles to stop the tears they cause? Problem sorted – put your onion in the freezer. Yep! The freezer.
A few minutes before you are ready to chop your onion, put it in the freezer. The cool air will stop the compound that releases when the onion is chopped from making your eyes burn and voilà – no more onion tears!
Don’t you hate those pesky streaks that seem to never go away, no matter how carefully and often we scrub those windows? We sure do! But thanks to another life hack, we can sit inside and enjoy the beauty of the outside world through a spotless window.
Combine your old newspapers with some warm water and vinegar, and you’ll have windows so sparkly that they will look brand new! And this method will not only save you on the cost of paper towels – it’s also a great way to recycle old newspapers!
No Need to Get “Salty”
Especially if you are living in a humid climate, we’re pretty sure you’ve experienced the frustration of tasting your meal and needing to add some salt, only to realize that it has clumped together, and is stuck in the salt shaker.
Well, there is no more need for “saltiness” over your clumpy salt with this nifty rice hack. Simply add some uncooked rice to your salt shaker and there you go; enjoy your clump-free salt. This hack also works for sugar!
Soap Up Your Zipper
How often has your zipper to your favorite hoodie gotten stuck, just as you’re experiencing a stroke of heat and want to take it off, only to embarrassingly fumble with the zipper, eventually pulling it off over your head, messing up your hair, and your mood?
Well, we have got just the solution for you – and it doesn’t involve ruining that good hair day. Grab a bar of soap and rub it up and down the length of the zipper. It should act as a lubricant and loosen the zipper so it can slide smoothly.
Brown Apples? Not Anymore!
The oxidation process begins as soon as you cut into an apple or avocado – that’s what makes them turn brown. Sometimes you have to chop them up a while before you’re going to use them – but nobody wants to eat a brown apple or avocado in their salad.
Well, here’s a trick for you next time you’re hosting a dinner party! Cut a lemon or a lime, and squeeze a little bit of the juice over your apple. Then, sprinkle a pinch of salt – and you won’t have any browning!
Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That
Got no time to spend in the fitting room at the store? Or perhaps you’ve come across a thrift shop or flea market and there’s nowhere to try on that pair of jeans you just love? Here’s a cool little trick for that!
Your neck is usually the same size as your waist. So wrap the pants around your neck to check if its the right size – if the sides of the pants meet at the back of your neck, chances are they’re going to fit!
Unfortunately, no matter how often we scrub those toes, some of us just need to face the music and accept that we just have stinky feet. The problem, though, isn’t the feet – but the smell lingering on our shoes long after we’ve worn them.
Using tea bags to rid your shoes of that smell might be just the answer for your stinky-shoe problem. Just place a teabag in each shoe – even used ones – as long as they’re dry, and the teabag will absorb the smell!
Too Much Salt
Oh no, you’ve got 30 minutes until dinner with the in-laws and you realize as you taste the minestrone that you’ve added too much salt! You don’t have time to make a fresh soup – and last time your mother-in-law commented on the saltiness of the stew you made!
Not to fear – a potato is here! That’s right – simply cut open a potato and add it to your soup. The potato will absorb the extra salt – and your soup (and whole evening) will be saved. You’re welcome!
Hide The Scratches
Wooden furniture can look really nice and modern, but it tends to get scratched easily – and scratches on your dining room table aren’t great when you’re entertaining. So, without having to spend astronomical amounts on a carpenter – how do you get rid of them?
We know! Walnuts. That’s right, take a walnut and rub it over the scratches. The natural oils will decrease the visibility of the scratches, although it won’t make the scratches go away entirely. But at least they will be less noticeable.
Sock Full of Rice
If you are busy at a desk all day, or spend time lifting heavy objects, then you’re probably afflicted with back or neck pain. Well, there’s no need to spend money on Icy Hot creams, pain pills, or even electric hot water bottles – you’ve got the answer already, at home!
Just grab a sock, fill it with uncooked rice – add a few essential oils if you want to – and tie the mouth and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Place the warm sock of rice on the painful area and feel the tension ease away!
Chop-Stick it to ‘Em
Unsure about whether your oil is hot enough to begin cooking your delicious deep-fried meal? Worry not, you no longer have to waste money on buying fancy thermometers or gadgets to tell you. You probably have a chopstick lying in your drawer from the last time you ordered Chinese take-out.
All you need to do is place the chopstick in the center of your frying pan, and when you see it that it is bubbling around the end, then your oil is hot enough and you’re ready to start frying things up!
Long Live the Flowers
Isn’t it lovely decorating your home with fragrant flowers? They are so welcoming, and give your home so much more charm. It’s too bad that flowers die so fast. It almost makes them not worth investing in – even though they are so pretty.
The next time you want that bouquet of beautiful roses, and want them to last a little longer, add a little bit of sugar and vinegar to your vase before adding the water – this should help them stay vibrant longer.
Pass the Honey, Honey.
Honey is a great and healthier alternative to sugar in a lot of recipes – but its sticky texture often makes measuring rather difficult. But fear not! These innovative life hacks have come to the rescue yet again with this really simple trick.
You simply need to gently coat your measuring spoon with some oil or cooking spray before starting to measure your honey, and you’ll see the honey slide right off the spoon. No more sticky spoon hassles for you. Happy baking!
If you’re an arts and crafts lover, then you know the tragedy of being in the midst of your latest work and running out of glue. Oh gosh, you were really in the zone, and can think of nothing worse than braving the outside world to go to the store for more glue.
Grab some rice and cook it in a way that will make it sticky. Let it cool off once it’s done, and you can mash it into paste. This hack is used often in Japanese paper art, so that tells you it’s been around a long time and will definitely work.
Don’t you hate it when you leave the rice boiling for a moment to go to another room and when you come back the pot is boiling over? It’s a huge and unnecessary mess to clean up – and it can be easily avoided!
Wooden spoons have more uses than just for stirring! Place a wooden spoon over the top of your boiling pot, and this will prevent the water from boiling over. This hack will mean no more watery messes for you to clean up!
The Natural Ant-Repellant!
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you try to keep your kitchen and house clean and tidy, weather conditions may just not be on your side and may cause ants to come into your home anyway – but you don’t have to put up with finding them in your cereal.
Just use a method developed by the people of Singapore – sprinkle some dried Sichuan peppers around the house. Ants hate the smell, and it can even kill them – so next time they want to barge in, it won’t be in your home!
Cube the Herbs
When we say cube them, we don’t mean the shape of the cut. We mean prep! Prep takes up so much time in the kitchen – time you could be spending on other parts of the meal preparation. So why not save yourself some time?
Chop up your herbs in advance, place them in an ice tray with a little water and pop them in the freezer. Next time you need some cilantro for your meal, just pop one cube out of the tray and add them to your cooking pot, and you’re good to go!
Dust can be an irritant for our breathing, cause sneezing and general nasal blockages. So, it’s important to remember to scrub away the dust in your house regularly, especially in those high up, hard-to-reach places where dust tends to gather.
For example, your ceiling fan that gathers large amounts of dust. But, how can you clean that which you cannot reach? Easy! Wrap and old pillowcase over the blade, then slide it off slowly, and you’ll have a clean ceiling fan!
We all want perfect, glowing, and most of all, clean skin. There are lots of different ways to keep a good, healthy skincare routine, but there is one trick that will help to keep your skin as clean and supple as possible.
Simply allow your face to dry naturally rather than patting it dry with a towel – this will allow for your skin to absorb as much moisture as possible, and avoid any dust or dirt particles that may be on the towel.
Remove the Burnt Bits
Ever get lost in your scrolling only to remember you’ve left dinner boiling on the stove and now you’ve gone and burned it? And now there’s a huge mess to clean up to do before you can use it again?
Well, fear not, because vinegar has more uses than just to keep the plants alive. Put the pot back on the stove with vinegar filled up to where the marks are, and let it boil. This should remove all of the burnt bits easily, and you’ll have your old pot back!
Pesky Putrid Paint
Sometimes a DIY painting day is all you need to put your weary mind at ease – and it’s a much more affordable way to redecorate. The only issue when it comes to repainting is that strong paint smell that even paint-lovers get sick of after a while.
But there’s a better way to avoid the smell than lighting a box-full of incense. Just take a few onions and place them around the room you’ve painted, and they will absorb that putrid smell for you! Who would have thought?
Watermelon Rind Hack
Once you’ve enjoyed your juicy watermelon on a hot summer’s day and have nibbled all the way to the tasteless green rind, that’s usually the end of it. The rest gets thrown away, or perhaps added to the compost heap.
But there is actually a far greater use for these, as has been discovered. They are a great way to treat a sunburn. Rub it on the burns before you shower, and the natural vitamins in the watermelon rind will help to soothe the burns.
Shards of Glass
The sound of shattering glass is never pleasant. Especially when it means you have to clean it up and ensure all of the shards are picked up to avoid any glass getting stuck in your feet, which can be quite a pain.
But by making some putty out of flour and water, you can create a substance that is sticky enough to pick up all of those pesky little shards without having to worry about cutting one of your fingers in the process!
Neat and Tidy
With the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy for your refrigerator or freezer to become messy rather quickly – and there is nothing quite as unpleasant as opening a messy fridge – especially because you have to eat what’s inside!
Many families have a simple trick to avoid this sort of catastrophe – they keep all of their refrigerator and freezer contents in labelled bags and bins. That way, they can find things easily and keep things neat and tidy.
Oh no! You’ve accidentally put your brand-new woolen sweater in the washing machine at the wrong temperature and now it’s three sizes too small! No way you’re going to fit into something that tiny! And you were so excited to wear it this weekend.
There’s still a chance to save it before you give it away to your daughter or skinny friend. Combine water and hair conditioner in the sink and add your sweater to the mix. Let it soak for a couple of hours, and it should reverse at least some of the shrinkage.
The older you become, the more difficult it becomes to keep your skin soft, smooth, and youthful. Especially with the excessive use of hand sanitizer becoming the norm, more and more people are struggling to keep their hands from drying out.
Well, many Asian women have a great trick to keep their hands supple. They rinse them with rice water – the vitamins in the rice help to keep their hands hydrated. This is a great addition to your hair care routine as well.
Power of Eucalyptus
Eastern medicine and healing remedies, some of which are ancient, rely solely on natural ingredients. One of the most popular ingredients is the oil from the eucalyptus plant. Eucalyptus oil can be used to relieve symptoms of colds and many other illnesses.
It can relieve headaches, chest and muscle pains, alleviate heavy breathing, and is a great addition to a bath or diffuser for some natural aromatherapy. What we’re saying is, go out and get yourself a bottle of this stuff – it’s got so many uses, it is bound to come in handy!
Wrinkled Shirt? Easy Fix!
You’re getting your outfit ready for that big meeting you have this morning, and you realize that your shirt is wrinkled. You’re out of town, and there’s no iron at the hotel where you’re staying. You check your suitcase for spare clothes and realize that they’re all wrinkled, too!
No need to rush to the nearest department store and buy a new outfit. Just hang your wrinkled clothes on a hanger in the bathroom, and jump into an extra hot shower. The steam from the shower will get rid of most of the wrinkles, or at least make them less visible.
Usually once the milk has passed its expiration date, it’s time to chuck it down the drain and get a new carton. But for this hack, unless the milk has become thick and chunky, there is still good use for it!
If the milk is just a bit sour but still liquid, it can be used to cleanse your face and body. The contents of the milk, like the enzymes and minerals, are really good for moisturizing and softening your skin.
Chopsticks somehow tend to accumulate in the drawer, creating a collection of chopsticks that actually can be used for consuming meals other than Asian take-out. So why not use them more often? There are a lot of uses for them, like art projects.
In addition to that, they can be used to eat almost any meal. So next time you’re eating delicious chicken nuggets and you’re not in the mood for greasy hands, just grab a pair of leftover chopsticks from your drawer.
Egg for Your Bruises
If you’re into Korean television, you’ve probably seen one of your most or least favorite characters sitting on a couch after an injury, rolling a boiled egg on their bruises. It’s actually a thing – and we’re here to tell you why.
Rolling a boiled egg on the bruise will relieve the pain and swelling, and will also help the blood clots that are creating the bruise to fade away much faster than using a regular ice pack – so go on and get boiling!
Disposable Lunch Box
If you’re always losing your smaller Tupperware, or letting them sit in the car for days on end, then this might be the solution for you. Newspaper has other uses aside from lining the cat litter tray and cleaning grubby windows. They also make for a great disposable plate.
So next time you’re wanting to peel your apple or chop your tomato for lunch, why not try folding a piece of newspaper into a little bucket so that you can throw it away afterwards, instead of having to take anything home to wash?
Pickles Trapped in the Jar?
We can’t think of anything worse than being hungry, craving the pickles or jam in that jar, and it just won’t open! You’ve tried just about everything from damp towels to gently knocking it against something hard and it won’t budge!
No worries! Your craving will be satisfied soon. Just grab a rubber band and wrap it around the lid. Using the rubber band as a grip should make it a lot easier to open your jar and enjoy your snack!
Another Natural Remedy
If you don’t treat a cut or wound by cleaning it properly and keeping it that way, it can lead to a nasty infection. That’s why we have tons of ointments at our local pharmacy to treat them, but they can become rather costly. So why not try a natural Korean remedy instead?
Make yourself – or go buy yourself – some soybean paste to treat the wound. The natural bacteria in the paste will help to disinfect and heal the wound without any need to buy an ointment. And it smells pretty nice, too.
Corn Silk Method
Sometimes after spending the night doing whatever it is you do best, you wake to discover that your face is a little bit puffy. Now, we’re sure you already have a beauty hack or ten to tackle this particular issue, but we bet you haven’t tried this!
The corn silk found on the ears of your corn can be brewed into tea. The compounds of this tea have detoxifying properties. You can use it as a wash for your face which will help to reduce the swelling, or you can drink it to naturally expel toxins in your body.
It is always important to look professional, especially if you’ve worked so hard on keeping your suit ironed. It would be a shame to have your collar, which is always so difficult to iron, ruin your boss-level suit. The collar is pretty noticeable, after all.
One thing you can try is using a hair straightener in the morning. It is, after all, a tiny iron. It will iron that pesky collar perfectly, leaving you to head off to that important business meeting looking nice and smart.
Having a baby means constantly worrying about their next temper tantrum, and how loud and disastrous it’s going to be for your sleep. But we might have just the solution for you – it’s a solution that many Japanese grandmas use religiously.
Drink some water, but do not swallow it – instead, bring your mouth close to the baby’s ear and slosh the water around. The sound of the water mimics the sound babies hear in the womb, and should help to calm them down.
If you are in an area that is prone to mosquitos, you’re probably going to get a few bites. Sometimes the bites are annoyingly itchy, and even painful. But here’s a solution that doesn’t involve having to purchase any cream.
All you need to do is grab yourself a cucumber. Chop it up and rest a slice or two on the afflicted area. Let it’s juices absorb into your skin and it should help to alleviate the swelling and pain.
Fanatic For Fans
Ever really feel the heat, more so than the usual hot day, and your fan just ain’t cutting it? You need to cool down, but you can’t. The sweat is soaking your shirt and you’re starting to feel foggy-headed and annoyed?
Have we got the hack for you! All you need to do is fill some bottles up with cold water – or freeze some water bottles – and tie them to the back of the fan. The fan will draw in the cool air from the bottles, and will cool you right down!
It happens to the best of us. We go out with friends and have one too many drinks, and we feel fine! No throwing up, no dizziness – we are just having a blast partying it up with our pals. The next morning is different, though.
You wake up with a splitting headache and feel very dizzy. Apparently, a great way to stop that dizzy feeling is to take one foot and plant it on the ground while you are still in bed. Apparently, it helps your body to create a sense of balance.
Corn is a yummy addition to any meal, especially with a coating of butter if you’re feeling like a treat. It is, however, pretty messy to eat off the cob – particularly when you are on the go. But Japan has a great trick for you.
Wiggle one row of corn around until it is loose. Repeat this process until your corn has been removed from the cob. Now, you can put your corn into a bowl or plate and eat it without making a mess!
Funky Tea Bags
Sometimes you don’t use the whole onion in one go, so you put the rest of it in the fridge – and even though you’ve sealed it into a zip lock bag or even a container, the smell still seems to permeate the whole fridge – and it’s not a pleasant one.
Well, your used teabags you might be drying out to use as compost might be the solution for you! Just take your used teabags – make sure they’re dried out – and place them in the fridge. They will absorb all those funky smells!
We’ve already touched on how meal prep can take a while, and we want to help you shorten that process. Rice often takes longer to cook than the stir-fry you’re pairing with it! So next time you’re making a pot of rice, go ahead and make extra.
Rice can be placed in plastic wrap or freezer bags and kept in the freezer for when you need it. Then, all you need to do is pop it in the microwave and your rice is ready for your meal!
Soy to the Rescue
Sometimes when you’re cooking, you get a little too close to the spitting oil, or forget that the handle on the pot you’re using has already gotten hot, and you’re left with a painful burn. There are many remedies out there, but here’s one straight from Asia.
Soy sauce isn’t just a great flavor for foods, it also can be used to relieve skin burns. So next time you’re out of Burn Shield, soy sauce will do just the trick! Just apply some to the afflicted area and let it do its magic.
They say that the shoes you wear can say a lot about you. So if you’re going anywhere fancy, you’ll want to wear the best dress shoes you have. But what if it’s been a while since you’ve socialized and your shoes are looking a bit tattered?
We bet you have never heard of this one before! Even if you’re out of shoe polish, just take some old pantyhose and polish up your shoes with them – this method will get your shoes shining in no time!