Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it—sometimes, the dumbest-sounding ideas turn out to be diamonds in the rough, real pearls of wisdom that make our lives a shade better. We’re talking, of course, about life hacks! Specifically, the kinds of hacks that sound like fake nonsense but are real lifesavers for some people.
After redditor Rat-avec-London asked other users of the site to share exactly those kinds of life hacks, they responded with over 26.6k comments. The thread quickly went viral, getting more than 75k upvotes at the time of writing, as well as attracting media attention. Check out some of the most intriguing life hacks that people shared below and upvote the ones that you liked the most. And remember—just because something sounds fake doesn’t mean it is (and vice versa).
Using your turn signal actually can help other drivers know which direction you plan to go and makes driving safer for everyone
Whenever you accidentally set off your smoke alarm, give your pets a treat so they learn to come to you when there actually is a fire and you need to escape.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with showing up to work, doing the absolute minimum to maintain a job, and going home and enjoying your life. massive lifesaver to one's mental health.
In an earlier interview, I spoke about life hacks that sound absolutely silly with British comedian Ariane Sherine, from London. She helped me settle the age-old question about whether something that sounds and looks dumb is actually stupid or not.
“It’s actually very smart, and it’s a shame if people don’t use it for fear of looking dumb!" Ariane told Bored Panda, pointing out that we sometimes prioritize our reputations over what actually works. And we’re sometimes scared to test something out because it might make us look like utter fools.
If you've forgotten an acquaintance's name, just ask them what their name is, and after they tell you, say "no, your last name." Works like a charm and they never suspect a thing.
If at a place where you don't speak the language, learn the words for please and thank you. Those, and a smile, will get you far.
if you are ever attacked by a dog, push your forearm INTO the bite. This pries the jaws apart and prevents them from clamping down. If a dog is attacking you, the best thing you can do is offer your forearm, push as far back as possible, and then grab the dog by the scruff of its neck with your other hand to hold it. The dog is now functionally muzzled and you have control of its head. The sooner and harder you push into the bite, the less damage the bite will do.
Ariane explained that people often look down on ideas that sound dumb on a theoretical level because we want others to think we’re way smarter than we might actually be. That’s how much our reputations matter to us (whether we’re aware of this or not).
Wear the same colours as the zoo employees, the animals will come right up to you.
From the amazing book ‘The Gift of Fear’ by Gavin DeBecker: “A woman alone who needs assistance is actually far better off choosing someone and asking for help, as opposed to waiting for an unsolicited approach. The person you choose is nowhere near as likely to bring you hazard as is the person who chooses you.”
If you feel suicidal or depressed....don't focus on hope. It is enough to just stay curious. Curiosity has the power to keep you alive far longer than hope ever will. Curiosity leads to engaging work and this leads to opportunity.
"Everybody wants to think they’re smart (even if they’re actually Donald Trump!) and people hate feeling stupid or being duped. If a piece of advice doesn’t sound helpful, I guess people who see themselves as clever will automatically reject it rather than try it and risk feeling dumb," the comedian said this is why we may avoid doing silly things.
When you're freaking out, need to relax, e.g. when a chiro is about to crack your neck or anything along those lines, wiggle your toes. Apparently your brain can't do both, freaking out and wiggling toes, tensing up and wiggling toes etc
25% of 18 is the same as 18% of 25. Percentages are reversible and one is easier to figure out than the other one.
It you start to cough while eating or drinking, essentially the “went down the wrong pipe”, immediately lift both your arms up in the air and keep them held up for a few seconds. The act opens your airways and will allow you to catch your breath. Also helps food or drink travel downward.
One of the British comedian’s favorite life hacks has to do with avocados and how to check if they’re ripe. Ariane pointed out that avocados have an “inbuilt ripeness sensor” that lets you distinguish if it’s still green, ripe, or overripe.
If you’ve got a splinter below your skin surface, wrap a banana peel around it. Wet side against your skin. It will draw the splinter out most of the time. I don’t know how but it fricken works. Banana voodoo. Banavoodoo. Banadoo?
If your car is overheating, turn your heat on full blast.
When you turn the heat on in a car, it pulls heat from the engine into the cab, thus cooling the engine.
If you're watching YouTube on your phone just scroll to the end and restart the vid to skip all ads.
“You know how hard it is to tell whether an avocado’s ripe before cutting into it? Simply twist the stem. If it doesn’t come off, it’s underripe; if it comes off and is green underneath, it’s ripe; if it’s brown underneath, it’s overripe. Voila—no more rock hard or mushy grey avocados!" she shared. The comedian added that it’s ironic how avocados marketed as ‘ripe’ in supermarkets are usually anything but.
Sleep on big decisions.
You think most clearly in the morning, and often after some time passes you realize you were about to make a big mistake.
Makeup remover on deodorant stains.
My husband has a lot of T-shirts with white/stained armpits, so I gave it a shot.
It worked. :o
Counting really slowly with the goal of reaching 150 is a decent way to fall asleep. If you have any thoughts during it just let them play out, and if you forget what number you're on just go from what you last remember. If you make any major movements just start again.
The goal is to force your brain in to slowing down and not having any jerky motions or thoughts, and eventually reaching such a level of carelessness that you eventually fall asleep without realising. Helped me quite a few times, especially with rain sounds, hope it helps some of you too!
Like with plenty of new ideas and inventions, chance plays an important element when it comes to discovering new and useful life hacks. Whether through experimentation or lucky coincidence, we might end up finding a pearl of wisdom among the weeds.
More life advice than a life hack, but: “A dropped knife doesn’t have a handle.” If you ever drop a kitchen knife or other bladed instrument, just let it fall. Trying to catch it will almost certainly give you a nasty slice on the hand.
Run your wrists under cold water or rub an ice cube on your pulse points to cool down all over quickly when you get overheated. It seems obvious but I didn’t realize it until last summer working in a warehouse with no ac.
If you’ve written on a dry erase board (or any glossy surface) with a permanent marker (like a Sharpie) just draw over it with a dry erase marker and it will wipe right off.
And despite how funny it might sound, life hacks are an expression of how wonderful the scientific method is, riding on the wave that is human ingenuity. We might lose hope in humanity from time to time, but just the fact that there are hundreds of people sharing useful life hacks is enough to restore our faith in our intelligence as a species a tiny bit,
Gently rocking back and forth while pooping. I’ve never had any problems in the bathroom, but I happened to be sitting on the toilet when I read the comment so I decided to give it a test drive. I was pleasantly surprised at how quick and effortless the whole experience was and I haven’t gone back to my old stationary technique since.
Dawn dish soap is better for cleaning tubs than any bathroom cleaner. Consider that when you bathe you’re mostly washing of body oils/dirt/skin. Dawn is so effective at cleaning oil it’s used to clean up after oil spills. You can use a small amount and it cleans pretty effortlessly with circles on a sponge.
When putting a paint can lid back on the can, first put down a layer of cling film (saran wrap). This will stop the lid sticking to the can once the paint on the lid has dried.
Which of these life hacks did you find to be the most useful? Which ones were a complete surprise to you, dear Pandas? Do you have any fake-sounding-but-real hacks to share with all the other Readers here? Drop us a comment below!
Crayons are flammable and will provide about an hour of light as a candle if you lit the top.
Use a wet knife to chop onions, it reduces tears if you have sensitive eyes.
It really works!! I could barely make it through chopping half an onion without needing multiple breaks before I tried this. Just keep the faucet running and dip your knife under periodically while chopping. I still get a little reaction, but nowhere near as bad.
"Pay yourself first". No matter how much or how little you make. Take 10% of your paycheck and put it in an emergency fund before you buy or pay for anything else. That strategy has saved me on numerous occasions.
Mosquitos Bites be gone!
This hack is the most valuable thing I’ve learned in my whole life.
Heat of the back of a spoon with hot water. Then apply the back of the spoon to the bite. I usually do it twice for good measure. The spoon needs to be hot enough to keep on the skin without burning yourself. So test the heat before you press it down. Keep it on until the heat dissipates. Bite will stop itching almost immediately...usually the bite ha completely disappeared within an hour.
This only works with mosquitoes from my experience.
If you're going to climb a ladder or work on your roof, wear a bike helmet.
Every male should know this. If you want to get rid of an awkward boner flex any muscle in your body maybe an arm. For a minute. The blood will rush to that muscle and away from your D. Crisis averted.
During pollen season... rinse your hair before bed. Otherwise you’re just depositing pollen on your pillowcase every night and then rolling your face in it all night. And then multiply that by how many nights you use the same pillowcase.
Rubbing vegetable oil (or any cooking oil) on your hands after you cut up jalapeños or other hot peppers. It gets rid of the awfulness that would normally be left on your hands from the peppers. I rub my hands with oil and then wash it off with dish soap. I can totally remove my contacts after doing this. It’s crazy how well this works.
The cheapest, most effective, and safest insecticide against roaches (especially those huge “water bug” roaches that we have in the South) is a spray bottle of mostly water with just a little liquid dish soap in it.
Shake the bottle & get the water a little foamy, then spray the roaches. They will run, scrabble, and attempt escape, of course, but they will die. The soap film suffocates them faster than any chemicals will.
Drinking a cup of water with your alcoholic drink, waking up Alive not dead.
I hesitantly submit squeegeeing yourself off before getting out of the shower. It's so simple I was dubious, but just use your hands to quickly wipe off excess water and bingo, you're not cold getting out.
Microwave tip: Put a cup of water on the tray with whatever you are microwaving, it always makes it taste better and "fresher".
If your ring gets stuck on your finger windex will slide it right off. Worked at a jewelry store for five plus years.
Eating candied ginger helps with nausea. Any ginger really, but candied ginger is much better tasting.
Vinegar in a plastic bag with rubber band tied around any faucet will make the faucet like-new. I'm talking decade old rust and stuff gone...and water flows like the first day.