13 Everyday Items That Can Help You in Difficult Situations

2 years ago

There are times we all find ourselves in a sticky situation. Like when you have to go out and the zipper of your favorite jacket comes off, and you have nothing else to wear. Or when you are at a restaurant, waiting for your date, and realize you have bad breath and no gum. It’s a sinking feeling.

At Bright Side, we too have faced similar situations. This is why we searched for some simple hacks that could make life easier for you and for us. Next time, you can try these out.

1. Use a fork to fix zipper tabs that have come off.

We can’t do without zippers. But sometimes, it just so happens that, the tabs come off the zips. There’s a simple trick to fix this, as long as the zip is not distorted and the zipper tab is not broken. Just attach the tab onto the tines of a fork, and slip it in the zipper — as is shown in this video.

2. Remove a stubborn splinter with craft glue.

If you have a painful splinter that won’t tweeze out, reach for some glue. Make sure it’s a good brand of craft glue, the white one, that tends to dry and peel off from the skin. Pour a generous amount where the splinter is and wait for it to dry. Peel it off and the splinter is likely to come out with it, easing your discomfort.

3. Try the military method to train yourself to sleep in 2 minutes.

There’s a routine created by the military that’s been proven to help pilots fall asleep in 2 minutes, or even less, although it does take a bit of getting used to.

These are the steps to follow.

1. Relax your face, especially your mouth.
2. Drop your shoulders and let your hands drop to the sides as if they have no bones.
3. Exhale and relax your body, beginning with your chest, legs, thighs, and calves.
4. Clear your mind by imagining a peaceful scene. If you can’t, repeat the words “don’t think” over and over for 10 seconds.
5. In the next 10 seconds, you should fall asleep.

4. Gargle with salt water to fix bad breath.

Salt water is a good bacteria slayer and can tackle the bacteria in your mouth. It’s cheap and accessible, and you can also use it as a quick fix if you are out and have bad breath. Just dissolve a sachet or half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of tepid water, and gargle with it. As a fringe benefit, it can also improve oral health, and ease any respiratory tract irritation.

5. Dab smelly armpits with lemon juice or vinegar.

Another slightly awkward situation to be in is when you have to be in public, with friends or acquaintances, and realize you have BO, as in smelly armpits. Not all of us remember to carry deodorant or perfume with us. So a simple trick is to squeeze some lemon juice, or vinegar, onto a tissue and dab your armpits with it.

Lemon will work best and give off a citrusy scent but even plain white vinegar will do the trick.

6. Heal shaving nicks and cuts with lip balm.

Shaving nicks are not only unsightly, but they are also pretty painful. If you don’t have an antiseptic or a shaving nick roller on hand, Chapstick or lip balm can come in handy. You would need an unused one, or you can scrape off the top layer that has been in contact with your lips — to ensure it’s bacteria-free.

Glide it over your nick and keep it on for 30 minutes. Afterward, gently wipe it away. It will help heal the skin faster, locking in moisture.

7. Hold a nail with a bobby pin to avoid accidents.

It’s easy to miss the nail and hit your thumb with the hammer instead. And it’s painful. So the next time you need to hammer in a thin nail, use a bobby pin to secure it. Once the nail is partly in, you can remove the hair accessory and continue to hammer it in completely, keeping your thumbs and fingers safe.

8. Use diluted mouthwash to bust dandruff.

In a bind with dandruff in your hair but no anti-dandruff shampoo? Zap dandruff by first shampooing with any shampoo you have. Then, dilute mouthwash with water, at least in a 50:50 ratio, and pour it on your scalp. Massage a little and let it stay for a few minutes before rinsing it off. Afterward, condition the hair because the alcohol in the mouthwash can dry out your strands.

Remember that this is more of a one-time hack than an everyday one because mouthwash can dry out hair.

9. Tighten loose screws by applying nail polish on the threads.

Sometimes, screws just don’t want to stay put. An easy hack, to make sure they do stay in place, is to paint the grooves of the screw with nail polish. Clear nail polish will ensure that there are no unsightly marks but you can use any color you have. Let it dry a bit and then screw it in for a handy solution.

10. Remove rust from tools by rubbing them with a potato.

Potatoes contain oxalic acid which is a good cleaning agent. A neat trick to remove rust from tools is to use a potato, with a little baking soda or dish soap. Slice a potato, dip it into baking soda or dish soap to add to the abrasive action, and rub the rusted parts. If the potato turns slick, slice off a chunk and repeat to get tools that are almost as good as new.

11. Remove pet smells from carpet by spraying it with white vinegar.

When you have pets, accidents happen, especially on your carpet. Instead of using strong chemical cleaners, which may make your pet want to mark that territory again, reach for vinegar. First clean and blot out any excess with a paper towel. Then spray the stain with a solution of equal amounts of plain white vinegar and water, and spray the area. Blot with a paper towel. Repeat until the stain goes away.

You can also add some baking soda to the vinegar for more effective cleaning.

12. Clean crayon marks from walls with a little mayonnaise.

If your little one has doodled all over your wall with crayons, the solution most likely lies in your fridge, in a bottle of mayonnaise. Of course, like all hacks, it’s best to test out what effect mayo might have on your walls by trying out a small patch. If the paint does not react to the mayonnaise, put some on a soft cloth and rub the crayon marks with it to watch them disappear.

The oils in the mayonnaise break down the wax in the crayons and pull the marks off, without disturbing the paint.

13. Soothe insect bites with Epsom salt or baking soda paste.

Bee stings are not only painful, for some, but they can also trigger an allergy. So if your discomfort is intense and spreading, seek medical help immediately. If all you have is localized pain and tenderness, you can alleviate it with Epsom salt or baking soda. Make a paste with water (using either) and apply it where you were stung.

There will be instant relief. Plus, it will be easier to extract the stinger with a pair of tweezers as well.

Have you ever found yourself in a difficult situation like this? What came to your rescue? Share your tips and tricks with us.

Please note: This article was updated in December 2021 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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