Thousands of “life hacks”, the so-called everyday tricks, can currently be found on the internet. Some are helpful, some are funny and some are totally unnecessary. Here we focus on the household and present you with smart tips and tricks that will definitely be useful to you.
The salad isn’t quite as fresh anymore? Then simply place it in a bowl of water in which you have dissolved 1 tablespoon of sugar. Leave for a few minutes and remove the salad again. The sugar gives the leaves a fresh kick and the salad is crisp again.
The bread you bought yesterday is no longer nice and crispy? Then brush it generously with water and put it in the preheated oven at 200°C for about 8 minutes. This makes the bread crispy again and tastes like it was freshly bought. And another trick to keep sweet baked goods fresh: To prevent cookies from getting dry, you can simply put a piece of bread in the tin.
Have you spontaneously received a nice visitor, but only have stale champagne in the fridge? No problem! Simply add a few grapes to the glass and the champagne will start bubbling again.
If you want to quickly cool a beverage bottle in the refrigerator, you should always place the bottle horizontally and in the bottom compartment.
Low calorie & fluffy
A trick that all cooking professionals use: rinse the dry rice in a sieve with cold water. This not only makes it particularly fluffy when cooking, but also removes excess starch (the rice therefore has fewer calories).
Don’t you have a deep fryer at home, but still want crispy fries? Then you should simply brush the oven fries with a little salt water before baking.
The meat should always be at room temperature before it goes into the hot pan. After frying, immediately wrap it in aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. This process makes the meat much more tender.
Farmers knew this trick 100 years ago: To keep the cheese fresh for as long as possible, wrap it in a cloth soaked in salt water. This means the cheese stays fresh for much longer. The salty freshness effect can also be used for vegetables in the fridge by adding a small bowl of salt. The moisture is absorbed by the salt and no longer penetrates the vegetables. This means it stays crispy for longer.
A cheese fondue can be hard on the stomach. To make it more digestible, stir a pinch of baking soda into the cheese mixture shortly before serving. This makes the fondue airy and fluffy.
Star chefs also like to use this life hack: To make scrambled eggs, waffles or pancakes fluffier, they add a splash of carbonated mineral water to the eggs or dough.
Loose with sour cream
A dash of sour cream also guarantees fluffy scrambled eggs. You can use sour cream instead of butter for mashed or mashed potatoes.
How the professionals do it
Another trick used by master chefs: when preparing dishes, they rely on the motto “less is more”. Because smaller portions that are served elevated on the plate appear more appealing than if everything is just lying flat on the plate. Accessories such as garnish rings, ice cream scoops or a foam syringe can be a valuable help. Always put something green (lettuce leaves or herbs) on your plate. This makes the food appear (even) fresher.
Did you know that a pinch of sugar intensifies the taste of a salty dish? It also works the other way around: a pinch of salt in sweet dishes also adds more flavor.
Juicy warm-up pizza and lasagne
Pizza, lasagna, etc. usually become a little dry when warmed up in the oven. To keep the treats nice and juicy, you should use aluminum foil. Form it into a dome and place it over the baking dish and put the whole thing in the oven preheated to medium heat. Afterwards the pizza is juicy and as delicious as the first day.
Aluminum foil is also a powerful cleaning agent for a dirty grill. To do this, crumple up a piece of aluminum foil, clamp it between the grill tongs and use it to scrub the dirty grill grate. Stubborn food residue in metal cooking pots and rust stains can also be removed in the same way (with a little detergent) (do not use this trick on Teflon pans!).
Easily remove burnt anything
Do you know that, too? Despite diligent scrubbing, burnt residue remains on the baking tray. Try the salt trick: Sprinkle the tray generously with salt and put it in the oven at 50 °C for about half an hour until the salt browns slightly. Then carefully pour it off and add some warm water to the baking tray. The burnt-in crusts can now be removed without any problems using a sponge.
For sparkling clean kitchen tiles, simply add a little hair shampoo to the cleaning water. This eliminates the need for re-polishing and the tiles shine like new again.
Avoid grease splashes
To prevent the tiles from getting full of fat splatters, you can use the following trick when frying meat and vegetables: Simply add a pinch of salt to the oil beforehand. This trick prevents the fat from splashing around.
Stronger than strength
Starchy food residues on dishes such as potatoes, flour, cheese, etc. can be cleaned better and faster with cold instead of hot water.
To clean stainless steel or remove small scratches, you can apply a thin layer of toothpaste in the direction of brushing the stainless steel surface with a soft cloth. Then let it dry and rinse with soapy water. Finally, dry with a microfiber cloth.
Don’t know if the eggs in your fridge are still fresh? Fill a glass with water and then carefully add an egg into it. If the egg remains on the ground, the egg is still fresh. However, if it floats to the top, you can safely throw the egg away because it is no longer edible.
Image: © Stilpalast
Exfoliate more easily
Speaking of eggs: Adding a dash of vinegar to the cooking water makes boiled eggs easier to peel. At the same time, this trick prevents lost eggs from sticking to the pot.
lid on it
For all dishes where the liquid can remain in the pot, you should always leave the lid on. This uses up to 40% less electricity than cooking without a lid. The food also cooks faster. So that nothing boils over: simply place a large wooden spoon between the pot and the lid.
Lightning pasta trick
Do you fancy a small portion of pasta but don’t have the time to stand at the stove for long? Then put the water for the noodles in a pan instead of in a pan. Because of the larger surface area of the frying pan, the pasta water gets hot faster. After draining, simply add some ready-made pesto or tomato salsa to the pasta, season with pepper and sprinkle with Parmesan – the delicious instant pasta dish is ready.
Hygienic cutting boards
To ensure that even the smallest food residue is removed from the pores of the cutting board, you can briefly soak it in a mix of lemon and salt, brush it off and rinse it. This means bacteria and mold don’t stand a chance.
Environmentally friendly cleaning product
Clean thoroughly while protecting the environment and not spending a lot of money? If you have this goal, you should use vinegar from now on. The natural product is easily biodegradable and still effective against dirt and grease in the household. You can use the vinegar undiluted or mixed with water. It’s best to use a spray bottle. This means that the natural cleaning agent can be easily dosed and applied easily.
Vinegar is ideal for grease stains on the stove, as a shine agent when cleaning windows and for lime stains on tiles in the bathroom. Caution: Acetic acid is aggressive. This is why the natural product must not be used on natural stone floors and tiles. The thin chrome layer on fittings can also be damaged.
Dirty washing machine
The washing machine doesn’t smell good and is full of black edges? Instead of buying expensive special cleaners, you can also use two dishwasher tabs. With an empty 60 °C wash cycle, they very effectively remove dirt and grease from the machine and provide a pleasant scent. By the way, we got this tip from a washing machine manufacturer.
You can also use the cleaning tabs for the dishwasher to thoroughly clean the toilet. Simply throw the tabs into the toilet, leave to work overnight or for a few hours, clean with a brush and rinse. It is best to put the brush in during this cleaning process so that it is also germ-free.
Get rid of the stuff
Even if you empty and clean the garbage can regularly, unpleasant smells can still stick around. You can eliminate these by sprinkling some baking soda (available in the baking ingredients section of drugstores and larger supermarkets) at the bottom of the bucket. This binds the bad smells. The white powder can also be used to remove unpleasant smells from the dishwasher. Simply sprinkle two tablespoons of baking soda on the bottom of the empty dishwasher. You don’t have to remove the powder as it will simply be washed away the next time you use it.
Do you have creative kids at home who love to express their artistic talent every now and then with crayons and crayons on the white walls? No worries! With a dishwashing tab and two liters of water, you can get them clean again like magic. Simply apply the mixture to the areas to be cleaned using a sponge or cloth (and rubber gloves) until they are sparkling clean again.