With our post about Summer Hacks For Your Home and Garden becoming so popular, I thought it only fitting we put together a post about winter life hacks as well! These cold weather tips include how to deal with your car in wintry weather, fast fixes for winter sports equipment and even how to make your home smell warm and inviting! If you try any of them, let me know--I’d love to know how they worked out for you.
Winter Life Hacks
Hate waking up to an icy windshield? Mix 12 ounces white vinegar with 4 ounces of plain tap water in a trigger spray bottle and spray the glass with the solution. The acetic acid helps prevent ice from forming, and you should wake up to an ice-free windshield! Want to avoid wipers sticking to the windshield? Give them a good wipe with a soft cloth doused in rubbing alcohol.
Keep a coffee can full of unused (duh), non-clumping kitty litter in your trunk. Or you can go for the gusto and keep a 20 lb. bag back there--the weight will help you gain traction! The kitty litter can be used to create traction under the wheels of your car in case you get stuck in snow or ice. By the way, kitty litter can be used in a pinch in lieu of ice melt. While it won't melt the ice, it can help you avoid sliding on slippery surfaces. (Say that 3 times fast!)
To avoid static electricity in your car, pour one capful of fabric softener into a trigger spray bottle and fill it the rest of the way with water. Spray carpets and cloth seats with the mixture and let dry. The anti-static elements in the fabric softener will reduce static electricity and you’ll avoid those nasty shocks. Plus your car will smell really nice, too!
Who doesn’t love sledding? To speed up a sled, lubricate the bottom of it with shortening, cooking spray or cooking oil before sliding down hills. This works for sleds with rails as well as flat bottomed sleds!
Before you hit the slopes, try spraying the inside of your goggles with shaving lotion then wipe clean. The foam will leave behind a protective film that will prevent them from fogging up.
To clean rust from skate blades, fill a pan with cola and stand the skates so the blades soak in the cola for about an hour. Rinse clean.
Sweaty skates? Try sprinkling in some baking soda to absorb moisture and neutralize the odor. You can also keep a couple of dryer sheets in the skates when not in use as well.
The Great Outdoors
Lubricate your snow shovels, people! I bet you never thought about this, but you can rub some cooking oil or shortening or even spray some cooking spray onto the shovel to prevent the heavy snow from sticking to it as you shovel!
Out of ice melt? No worries. After shoveling, combine one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and half a gallon of hot water in a bucket, and pour over walkways and paths. This should keep them from re-freezing!
To help an outdoor potted plant survive winter, place the pot inside a trash bag. Fill the bag with bubble wrap to insulate the roots, and seal the bag securely around the trunk of the plant with some packing tape. Set the pot on top of a wooden block to raise it off the cold ground.
While we're outside, let's check out Brad's awesome hack for splitting wood! And if you want to feel a little warm and fuzzy (and who couldn't use that this winter?), check out his reaction to seeing how popular his video is. D'awwwwww!
The Great Indoors
Want to make your home smell delicious this winter? Saturate a cotton ball or two in your favorite essential oil and place it in your vacuum cleaner bag (pine or cinnamon scents work great this time of year). No essential oil handy? Try using vanilla or peppermint extract instead. Vacuum your home as usual.
Try this for giving more light to houseplants: Wrap a piece of sturdy cardboard with aluminum foil. Place the plant between the homemade mirror you just made and the window, with the tin foil facing the window to reflect sunlight at the plant.
You can do the same thing for warming up your house: If you’ve got a wall-mounted radiator or heater, place that aluminum foil covered cardboard behind the radiator. This will help deflect all of the heat into the room.
Run your ceiling fan on low and change to the clockwise setting. This will push the warm air that generally rises back down. Oh, and just FYI--ceiling fan blades should be at an angle of roughly 12 degrees. If they are flat or nearly flat, your fan is pretty much just decorative, and is a waste of energy. It probably won't move much air at all.
Speaking of moving air, is your home too drafty? Check out these 20 DIY draft stoppers that are easy peasy to make and will help keep your home draft-free!
Clean the glass doors of your fireplace easily with a mixture of oven cleaner and white vinegar. Making sure the room is well-ventilated, spray the oven cleaner on the doors and let sit for 20 minutes. Wipe clean. Rinse the doors well with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Buff dry.
To clean the bricks around your fireplace, mix equal parts dishwashing liquid and salt. Add enough water to make a cream. Rub the mixture on to the bricks with a cloth, and let sit for 10 minutes. Scrub with a soft brush and wipe clean with a sponge and water.
Winter Hacks For You!
Sticky zipper on last year’s parka? Try rubbing a bar of soap over the teeth to lubricate. You can also run a little bit of petroleum jelly along the teeth to make it glide effortlessly.
Want to shine up your galoshes or boots? Buff a few dabs of vegetable shortening with a soft, clean cloth. If they are wet inside, crumple up some newspaper and stick them inside overnight. The newsprint will absorb the moisture. If they’re stinky, sprinkle some baking soda or borax inside to neutralize the odor.
Use a humidifier! A warm-mist humidifier can help reduce dry sinuses, bloody noses and cracked lips. Add about 8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to help relieve cold symptoms--eucalyptus softens the mucus in the passage ways by stimulating the sinus cavities, allowing the mucus to drain and relieve the overall congestion.
Boost your mood (and your immune system) by taking a vitamin D supplement. Since sunlight is limited in the winter, this essential vitamin is lacking, and the last thing anyone wants is rickets because they're not getting enough of the D.
Want even more winter life hacks? Check these out:
Have any winter hacks you would suggest? Let me know in the comments below!