The best and worst hacks of 2021
Home hacks, cleaning hacks, storage hacks, life hacks. We’ve all heard of them. We know that baking soda is the ultimate smell reducer, and that vinegar cleans pretty much everything. We’ve been there and tried that. Some of them work and some of them are ridiculous (who wants to store their toilet rolls in an old oats box?). When you do find one that works for you, it can be a life changer (Storing bedclothes inside the matching pillowcase – genius) but many of them are a complete waste of time. So how do you know which work and which don’t and are there any new ones out there?
We’ve taken some time to check out the latest hacks for 2021 and we’ve separated the wheat from the chaff, to find out which ones are worth trying and which ones are best ignored. Here’s what we’ve found.
Coffee grinds – Use it
They say: Coffee grinds can be used to unclog drains. Just mix some coffee grinds with hot water and some dish soap and pour it down your kitchen or bathroom plug hole. The coffee grinds will help blockages to disintegrate, it even works on hair in the shower drain.
We say: We knew that coffee grinds could be used as fertilizer but using them to unblock drains was news to us. They’re cheap, easily accessible and environmentally friendly, so we think this hack is a keeper.
Empty cereal boxes – Lose it
They say: Use empty cereal boxes to store your magazines. Simply cut off the top of the box and then slide your magazines in for safe keeping.
We say: Do you really want an empty cereal box around your home? Why is it any more attractive than a neat pile of magazines?
Tennis balls – Use it
They say: Tennis balls act as handy shock absorbers. If you have a toddler (or a child of any age) who pushes the door back until the handle hits the wall (and leaves a mark), you can protect your wall by cutting open a tennis ball and sliding it over the handle.
We say: another cheap and easy to find item, tennis balls can also be used to clean scurf marks off wooden floors and skirting boards, so this hack gets a thumbs up.
Tea bags – Lose it
They say: Used tea bags make great hand warmers, just wrap them in cling film and then hold them in your hand.
We say: We’re not sure that carrying around a kettle and a box of tea bags is the most efficient way to warm-up cold hands. Isn’t that what gloves are for?
Rubber gloves for hair – Use it
They say: Rubber gloves are a great way to remove long hair, or pet hair, from carpet. Just put them on and rub your hand along the carpet. The hair magically sticks to it.
We say: Those sticky bits of hair can be very frustrating, whether they’re walked into the carpet or stuck into the crack in the stairs, the vacuum can’t get to them and you could spend all day plucking them out with your fingers. If rubber gloves can fix this problem, we’re all for them.
Vinegar and baking soda – Lose it
They say: Mix baking soda and vinegar for the ultimate cleaning product.
We say: Sorry, but science has to come in somewhere. Separately these two items are great for cleaning, together, not so much. Vinegar is an acid, baking soda is alkaline, so when you combine them, you are cancelling them out. Cleaning with this solution is just like cleaning with water.
Frozen grapes – Use it
They say: Use frozen grapes instead of ice cubes to chill your wine. Simply freeze them and drop them in.
We say: This is what life hacks are all about! What a great way to chill your wine without diluting it. Grapes look pretty and taste great as well, so it’s win-win with this one.
Hairspray – Lose it
They say: Spray hairspray on an ink stain to clean it up.
We say: That may have worked at one time, but these days they’ve removed the alcohol from hairspray, so it won’t have any effect. Applying alcohol to the stain will remove the ink, but maybe don’t use red wine.
Can tabs – Use it
They say: Double the hanging space in your wardrobe with the tab from a soft drink can. Just pull off the tab and slide one end over the hook of the hanger. Then you can hang a second hanger through the other hole in the tab.
We say: Anything that adds space in the wardrobe is worth a try. Can tabs are easy to come by and this hack is simple to use. Give it a go.
Coke - Lose it
They say: Use coke to clean the inside of a toilet bowl.
We say: Yes we’ve all seen what coke can do to a penny. But really, coke is made to put in your stomach, so it is in no way strong enough to clean a toilet. Not only that but last time we checked, toilet cleaner – that is actually designed for the job, is no more expensive than coke. So do yourself a favour and dump the hack, or in this case, drink it.
Researching these hacks made our team laugh out loud at times. There are definitely some useful hacks out there, but there are plenty of useless ones as well. If you can find something that makes your life easier, then go for it, and let us know. But don’t be surprised if some of these hacks turn out to be more hassle than they’re worth.