Life Hacks Debunked: Sorry to Burst Your Bubble

Life hacks are supposed to be useful, right? That’s the whole point. While many life hacks are absolutely genius, there are some that are tested and not so true. Great hacks are meant to make your life easier and better, and those are the hacks that should be spread around. But then there are hacks that actually more trouble than doing things the traditional way. So we’ll save you some time and future aggravation by showing you which of the many life hacks are bogus and not worth even trying.

Putting Batteries in the Fridge


For some reason, we’ve all been putting batteries in the fridge. Why? Because our mothers did it, whose mothers also did it. But is there any purpose to this practice? Does the cold temperature actually extend the life of a battery? The answer is no. In fact, cold temperatures can actually do the opposite. And the condensation can lead to corrosion and seal damage. So don’t bother.

Plastic Cups Don’t Amplify Your Speakers


Apparently, the idea here was to cut a plastic cup in half and place both halves over your laptop to create volume-boosting speakers. But the thing is it doesn’t work. This isn’t like the smartphone-in-the-bowl hack (which does work). The plastic cups don’t make the sound waves bounce up and out. They just funnel them back down into your keyboard.

Speaking of speakers, see the next bogus hack…

Toilet Paper Rolls as Speakers


This seems to be a wanna-be hack of the smartphone-in-the-bowl trick. But using toilet paper rolls as speakers just doesn’t do the trick. The cardboard is going to do the opposite of what you want it to do, muffling the sound instead. Although I do approve of the eco-friendly-ness of reusing toilet paper rolls, it’s better to just recycle them or make some cute parent hack for your kids.

By the way, if you’re up for seeing parent hacks, check out this article here.

Wooden Spoon for a Boiling Pot


The idea is to place a wooden spoon across a boiling pot of water, so the water doesn’t spill over. But here’s why it’s bogus: While you might have some success with a simmering pot, a wooden spoon is not going to stop a rapid, rolling boil. Here’s an idea: stand by the pot for the last few minutes. We don’t need a hack for everything.

Microwaving Pizza with a Cup of Water


Contrary to what you heard, microwaving your pizza with a cup of water is not going to make it crispy. You’re still going to have a floppy crust, and now you have an extra glass of water that’s too hot to touch. The thought behind this hack was that the water would produce a drier heat. But that just isn’t true. Take the few minutes to turn on the toaster oven and let the pizza warm up the right way.

Ever heard of the hair of the dog trick? See why it doesn’t actually work…

The “Hair of the Dog” Hack


No one likes hangovers, and it’s no wonder why people continue to find solutions for them. But this hack just doesn’t do what it promises to do. The solution, according to this hack, is to keep drinking after you wake up with a hangover. It’s not wise, folks. You’re only delaying the inevitable. If you’re hungover, drink some water, take some Tylenol, go back to sleep, and you’ll be better in a few hours.

Turning Your Toaster to the Side to Make Sandwiches


This hack is trying to find a clever way to make grilled cheese sandwiches by turning the toaster on its side and putting slices of bread inside with a slice of cheese on each. Aside from the clear fire hazard that should be taken seriously, the method is ineffective. If your bread is buttered, it will grease the inside of your toaster, and your final product is not going to have the right texture. Oh, and you’re probably going to have a bunch of melted cheese everywhere. Good luck with that.

Next time you need to open a wine bottle, don’t use the next trick…

Nail and Hammer for a Wine Cork


When you’re opening a bottle of wine, how many of you have a nail and hammer handy? Yeah, exactly. But let’s just say you do have these tools handy. The idea is to pull the cork out of the bottle after having forced a nail into it, and then forcefully removing it with a hammer. But the only way of this working is if you have multiple nails, and don’t end up breaking the bottle in the process. Find a better way.

Pancake Batter in a Ketchup Bottle


I can see how this is an appealing life hack, at least for people who love their pancakes. Having it handy in a squeezable bottle is so much easier. But it’s actually more of a chore than you think. The ketchup bottle is going to leave a residue and smell. And who wants to pout pancake mix into a bottle that still has remnants of ketchup inside?

Don’t bother with going through the trouble of the next garbage bag hack…

Drilling Holes in Your Garbage Can for Easier Bag Removal


I’m shocked by the fact that people are drilling holes in the bottom of their garbage cans for the (false) hope of making it easier to remove garbage bags. This could be a fix, but it’s a lot more of a hassle. The idea is that the hole in the bottom of the can will make it easier to lift the bag. But then you’re going to have garbage water on the floor! Garbage cans don’t have holes for a reason, so take that as a hint.

Using Hand Sanitizer to Remove Marker from Clothing


Yes, it sucks getting permanent marker on your favorite shirt or on the drapes (kids will find the worst places to draw on). The idea behind this hack is to save the wash and put some hand sanitizer on it instead. The alcohol is supposed to pull the stain out. But the problem is that it’ll cause the ink to bleed deeper into the fabric and the friction from rubbing on the stain will spread it further. So basically, you’re screwed.

You’ve probably heard of the next hack. Just don’t waste time trying it out…

The Cherry Tomato Slicing Hack


This is one of the more popular internet life hacks, and it’s one that just doesn’t work. You’re supposed to put a bunch of cherry tomatoes between two plastic lids, push down on them firmly, and cut them with one slice. It’s a cute idea, and we all hate the time it takes to cut every small cherry tomato, but this hack is only going to leave you with a tomato mess all over your counter. And the cleanup is going to take longer than the actual slicing of the tomatoes.

Gargling Mouthwash to Relieve Cold Symptoms


If you want to relieve a sore throat, gargling with some mouthwash won’t kill bacteria lingering in your sinuses or lessen the irritation and pain. Gargling mouthwash can definitely accelerate the healing of sore throats caused by bacteria. But when it comes to the common cold caused by a virus and post-nasal drip, gargling mouthwash could irritate your already raw tonsils and throat.

Next, a hack that was debunked by ‘Mythbusters’…

Tennis Ball Unlocking a Locked Car Door


This one was actually debunked by the Mythbusters themselves. If you’ve locked your keys in your car, people say to squeeze a tennis ball against the lock which should send a column of air into it, moving the pins and then unlocking the door. Turns out there’s no science behind the technique. The air that can be squeezed out of a tennis ball simply isn’t enough to move the pins that could unlock the car door. You’re going to have to call a family member or AAA. And good luck with that.

Cleaning the Toilet Bowl with Coke


There’s no shortage of cleaning hacks out there, just as there’s no shortage of dirt to be cleaned! But this toilet bowl trick of cleaning it with coke is not one of the useful ones. The soda is just not formulated to clean the variety of stains and dirt that it needs to clean. And it’s not going to kill the bacteria that should absolutely be cleaned in a toilet bowl. Skip the Coke and buy real toilet bowl cleaner!

Next, a popcorn trick debunked…

Popcorn Kernel Trick

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This is a popular hack that claims to get the un-popped kernels out of your popcorn. All you need to do is open your bag enough so that the kernels can escape but not the already popped popcorn. So you’re supposed to hold the bag upside down and shake it until all the kernels come out. The truth is that there’s not enough room in the bag to even shift all the kernels around, meaning the hack is ineffective.

Toothpaste on a Pimple

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Here’s another age-old trick like the battery one. We were told as teenagers that toothpaste would remove pimples, right? But how many of you remember that actually working? It’s about time the hack be officially debunked. Many kinds of toothpaste contain the ingredient menthol, which can dry the skin out and also irritate it. Applying toothpaste on a pimple isn’t going to get rid of it.

Ever tried using the next clothing hack?

Salt to Keep Colors From Running


Salt is often used as an astringent to set dyes during the dyeing process of clothing. But once a garment reaches your closet, it’s too late to “set the dye.” The dye has to be set early and correctly at the proper stage of the development if you want to prevent any color from bleeding. So, adding salt to your laundry does nothing. Sorry.

The Golden Egg Hack

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Here’s an old kitchen legend that claims to make golden eggs. The idea is to shake raw eggs intensely for about two minutes before you boil them to make the eggs golden. The yolks will get some bizarre shapes, but they’re still going to be separated from the rest of the eggs. So you’re not going to get any golden eggs, folks.

Cutting Cheese with Dental Floss


This one’s a little different, in that the hack actually works pretty well, but the problem is that you can easily ruin the very subtle flavor of your expensive cheeses with the minty flavor of your dental floss. So if you really need to use this hack instead of a regular knife, make sure you use unscented floss.

Plastic Bottle Flip-Flops


These are DIY flip-flops made from plastic bottles. Sure, it’s a cool eco trend, and it might look like one of the coolest hacks ever, but they’re almost impossible to wear. And then what’s the point of unwearable flip flops? The labels that are meant to hold your feet in will snap after a few minutes.

By the way, if you’re into eco-friendly ideas. Check out some of the coolest eco trends that are happening now!

Using Teabags as Hand Warmers


This hack can be found all over the internet and ‘whaddayaknow?’ It’s a bad one. Not only is the smell of over-brewed tea and the threat of staining your skin a minus in the equation; the possibility that someone will see you holding them in your palm is just not worth the embarrassment. You’re better off rubbing your hands together and letting the friction warm them up. You know – the good old fashioned way.

Using Sunglasses as Cell Phone Stands


This is a simple no-brainer. If you want to use sunglasses as a holder for your cell phone and have it be a smart idea, then use it only on surfaces with a grip. If you do this on a regular wooden desk, the sunglasses won’t hold the phone. Here’s a better idea: use something heavier. Problem solved.

Don’t try the next hack at home, kids…

Egg Carton Hack


Laptops can get overheated, yes, but that doesn’t mean you can just go and put anything under it with the idea that it will cool down the little engine. Using an empty egg carton tray as a stand for your laptop that’s overheating might be a simple way to cool it down. That is until a fire erupts.

Using a Lotion Bottle to Store Valuables


It looks like people are getting creative with ideas on where to store valuables. If you’re on the beach and you need to keep your jewelry and other stuff safe, you might think an empty lotion bottle is a good idea. But what’s the use if they just steal your whole bag?

Next, a hack that may seem like it could work, but doesn’t…

Dropping Pennies in a Vase with Flowers


The idea behind this trick is that the copper in pennies acts as an acidifier, which can help prevent fungus or bacteria from growing, and thus keeps your flower water fresher. But this hack only works with pennies manufactured before 1982, because newer pennies contain a significantly lower amount of copper.

Separate Eggs with a Water Bottle


This hack, and the images and the videos you see of it, make separating eggs with a water bottle look so easy. But the actual process is way messier than it seems. The eggs end up all over the counter. Instead, you can use the traditional method of separating an egg: by simply pouring the egg from shell to shell until it’s divided.

Next, ever tried stemming a strawberry with a straw?

Stem a Strawberry with a Straw


This hack for sticking a straw through a strawberry to remove the stem really does look like a neat and easy trick. But in reality, straws are too weak to get through the strawberry. So in the amount of time, it takes to do it and the frustration involved, it ends up being not worth it. You’re better off cutting the stem out by making a v-shape.

Use a Dryer Sheet to Get Grime Out of Pans


Pans can get that grime that sticks, and it’s hard to remove it. So it makes sense that hacks exist for this reason. But dryer sheets aren’t the solution. Don’t bother leaving a dryer sheet in the pan overnight. It’s only going to make more of a mess. Instead, let some cola sit it in the pan. It will eat the grime rust. And then you can remember that that’s what you drink…

The Cufflinks Hack


Wearing a shirt with French-cuffs is an experience. What if you lose the cuff links or can’t find them? There’s a life hack that suggests using paper clips as “emergency cuff links.” But people will silently gaze in wonder at your choice to wear a good dress shirt with improvised cuff links. Here’s an idea: if you can’t find your cuff links at home, change your shirt!

Vodka as a Sticker Remover


Removing stickers and from your glasses and other items is definitely a chore and leads to frustration. This vodka life hack is supposed to be simple. You pour vodka over the sticker you want to remove and hope the alcohol makes it easier to remove the sticker. But his life hack fails to do the job. For one, vodka is much more expensive than household cleaning products. And second, items cleaned with alcohol can leave a smell. So just opt for the soapy water.

Next, a hack for a beer that you only wished would work…

Cold Brew on a Budget: Cooling Beer With Household Air Conditioning

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If you run out of space in your fridge to keep your beers, you may be tempted to try the “cold brew on a budget” life hack. This hack requires placing a beer next to an air conditioning unit and using hangers or tape to keep the beers in place. But chances are, your beer is going to fall down and smash on the floor. Your best bet is to put them in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Cleaning Windows with Newspapers

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This is yet another oldie hack that needs to be officially debunked. We were told that using old newspapers for cleaning glass, especially window, is the best way to do it. But using newspapers only leaves ugly streak marks and stains on the glass! You should use a microfiber cloth instead to give the windows a shiny finish.

Microwaving Your Sponges to Sanitize Them


This hack does have some science to it. Yet certain bacteria require much higher temperatures to be killed off. But the issue here is that by raising the temperature on your microwave, you’re only going to burn your sponges to a crisp.

Lemon Juice as a Stain Remover

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Apparently, the citric acid found in lemons is effective when removing stains. But the truth behind the trick is that the scent of the lemons creates an illusion of cleanliness. Lemons won’t do a lot more than keep your home smelling fresh.

Tea Bags in Your Smelly Sneakers


Quit wasting your tea bags. This life hack is a flop, and there are lots of alternatives that actually do work to get the stink out of sneakers. There are even products to help stop your feet from sweating. This tactic is used because the tea bags are used to absorb bacteria, but that doesn’t mean the odor will be eliminated.

Ever need to cut a banana with a wire? The next hack is not a wise one…

Cutting a Banana With a Wire Tray

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It seems like the scenario of needing to cut a banana with no knife on hand is enough of a problem to create the need for a hack. But this one doesn’t even do a good job, making it even more ridiculous. If you need to cut a banana yet you don’t have a knife around; you can use a wire tray to do the job. But it’s only if the banana is unripe, in which it shouldn’t really be eaten anyways. And if the banana is soft, you’re going to end up with banana mush all over the place.