Things You Never Realized You're Doing Wrong

Here are some things you never realized you're doing wrong!

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We all have our favorite way of doing things, but many of us are making the usage of everyday things a lot harder for ourselves than we realize. From the most efficient way to eat fast food to the only way you should be washing fruit, here are some things you never realized you’ve been doing wrong!

Big Mac Balancing Act

Fast food is an easy and convenient option when you’re on-the-go, the bonus being that it’s usually dangerously delicious. We all know that a McDonald’s takeout is one of life’s simplest pleasures but eating one on the move isn’t always the easiest task.

Whether it be while walking or in your car, the absence of a table can end with your Big Mac and fries looking like a big mess! But it turns out there is a right way to eat Mickey D’s on-the-go.

First, you flip open the burger or nugget box and place it on top of your drink, poking the straw up through the fold of the box. Next, fill the empty side of the box with your fries and voilà, you'll have your very own instant fast-food trough to eat from!

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While it may look a little gimmicky, it has been touted as the ultimate hack by the guys at the Golden Arches themselves. Easy, delicious, and a little shameful, just as every McDonald’s meal should be.

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Clean of the Crop

After diving face-first into fast food, now it’s time for something a little healthier. You might be shocked to find out that you’ve been washing fruit completely wrong this whole time!

Most people wash fruit individually under running water but turns out that running them through a cold dishwasher cycle is just as effective and washes all your fruit and veggies at once.

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While the idea of washing fruit through a soap filled dishwasher cycle sounds very unhealthy, don’t worry, there are no suds to be seen with this method.

The secret is to add some distilled white vinegar, also known as acetic acid, into the tab tray which acts as a disinfectant that can eliminate bacteria and viruses.

vinegar to wash fruit

You might think this dishwasher method would result in a big old smoothie, but it really does work with each piece of fruit making it through the washing whirl. To protect more delicate items, such as kiwis and grapes, place them on the top rack and put heavier produce like melons and pineapples on the bottom.

If that wasn’t enough, turns out your dishwasher can do a whole host of things you’d never imagined, including steaming salmon filets in tightly sealed foil by running them through a cycle with your dirty dishes for a no hassle dinner.

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Fruit Pursuit

Now that our fruit is squeaky clean, it’s time to serve it up. But chances are, you’re probably doing that wrong too. Watermelon slices are a refreshing treat on a hot summer’s day but preparing these little triangles of joy can be pretty time consuming.

Instead of messing around with complicated slicing techniques, why not opt for the easiest chopping method possible that also cuts out any fuss with presentation?

Start by slicing the watermelon in half and laying one flat side on a cutting board. Then, slice the half melon from one side to the other at even intervals, followed by cutting in the opposite direction, forming cuboid shaped chunks. And there you have it, watermelon sticks that are easy to eat and can be served as-is!

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Here's another sweet skill to add to your culinary carving arsenal. Most people just cut the top of the strawberries, but this really isn’t the most effective way to get the most berry for your buck.

Cutting the tops off wastes a good amount of the strawberry and also leaves behind some of the worst bits of the fruit!

strawberry stalk

While most attention is given to removing the stalk, most people don’t realize that strawberries can have quite a tough inner core and not removing this can result in an eating experience that’s not berry good.

The best way to serve up the most succulent strawbs is to use none other than a straw! All it takes is a quick poke and the stalk and core are removed just like that! Not only does this method work like a treat, it’s also super satisfying to watch the core slide out of the straw.

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Now that’s a whole new reason to call them strawberries!

Perfect Prep

Chopping fresh fruit and veggies can be the worst part of cooking. For many, it’s boring, time consuming and, unless you have a decent knife, just a real pain.

While I’ll bet you’ve been wasting time by slicing your ingredients one at a time, did you know that there’s actually a super easy method to slicing your ingredients all at once, no fancy kitchen gadgets required?

This trick works best for smaller produce like grapes, olives or cherry tomatoes, and you probably already have everything you need in your pantry to achieve it. Simply grab yourself two Tupperware lids, place your ingredients on one lid and sandwich the other lid right on top. This way you can cut through everything in just one slice!

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Now that you’ve got your ingredients all prepared in record time, it’s time to cook up a storm! We all know that the key to a good meal is the right seasoning, and while fresh herbs always pack the biggest punch when it comes to flavor, they tend to wilt and go bad pretty quickly.

While dried herbs are widely available, nothing beats that freshly picked taste, but there is a way to have fresh herbs at your disposal every mealtime. All you need is an ice cube tray, as well as any herbs you want to preserve.

To conserve fresh herbs, fill each ice cube tray with the herb mix of your choice followed by a healthy glug of your favorite cooking oil. Pop them in the freezer for a few hours and there you have it, your very own instant seasoning cubes!

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And if you enjoy a glass of white or rosé wine with your perfectly seasoned meals, you may know the stuff is best served between 45 and 60-degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, that often means having to wait for that bottle you just brought home from the store to chill in the refrigerator.

But when that sunny afternoon in the backyard is calling, it pays to be smarter. A few ice cubes might do the trick but icing up your wine will only dilute it! But fear not, the real solution can be heard through the grape vine.

Wine experts recommend adding frozen grapes to your glass to instantly cool down the contents without diluting it. Not dissimilar to olives in martinis, you can even eat those wine-soaked grapes after draining the glass.

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Saucy Secrets

When it comes to French fries, everyone has their perfect sauce. The problem is, in a fast food joint, you’ll find yourself getting up and down over and over to refill those pesky paper condiment cups that are far too small for purpose.

While condiment fans out there might have noticed that those teeny cups contain pleats in their design, you may not realize there’s a very specific reason for this. With just a few pulls, these small saucers are transformed into larger condiment holders!

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In its pulled apart state, the vessel can hold the amount of two cups worth of ketchup, barbeque dip, or whatever tickles your fancy. And what’s more, you can finally give your fries the full-length dunk they deserve!

Chip-tacular

The Pringles’ cylindrical container has become iconic, but it’s not exactly the most user-friendly design. While the cardboard tube protects the pringles from shattering, it also makes them annoyingly difficult to get out. But the next time you’re digging your hand into that tennis ball sized hole, stop, you’re doing it wrong!

The method of getting full access to your tube of chips is a piece of cake or, more accurately, a piece of paper! Simply fold a piece of paper in half and shove it in the can of pringles, in between the container wall and the chips. Then simply slide the pringles out and back in at your convenience!

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As for more traditionally packaged chips, though, you might see no other option than to dump them out into a bowl to serve. But instead of pulling a bowl out for chips and then trying to get the leftovers back in the bag, why not make a bowl out of the bag itself?

We all know that chip companies scam us out of a full bag of chips by filling them with air, but there's a way to finally make use of all that wasted space!

With your open bag of chips in hand, start at the bottom of the packet and slowly roll up, pushing the chips into the additional space left at the top of the bag. As you continue rolling, the chips will get pushed to the top of the bag.

As the chips get consumed, just keep rolling for more. Now you’re a party hosting pro who doesn’t even have to do the dishes!

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Pizza Power

Perhaps the best part of ordering an absurdly large pizza is the knowledge that the next day you’ll be enjoying those delectable leftover slices.

Some folks are of the opinion that all next-day pizza should be enjoyed cold for the authentic leftover experience, and when compared to the soggy mess that comes from trying to revive your slices in the microwave, they’d be right!

While using an oven is an effective option for non-sloppy day-old pizza resuscitation, it can take up to 30 minutes to properly reheat just one slice including preheating time.

As we all know, leftover pizza is not something you can wait that long for, so you'll be pleased to learn that there is a secret way to wind back the clock and restore your leftover slices back into their prime out-of-the-box state. All you need is your leftover slices and a non-stick skillet!

reheating pizza hack

First, you cook the pizza in the skillet on a medium to low heat for two minutes to restore that dough to its peak crispy state. Next, add in just a little splash of water to the pan, not too close to the slice itself, reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet for one minute and let things get steamy!

This allows the cheese on top to spring back into its melty, gooey goodness. After just three minutes, you’ve got yourself a superior slice of melted cheese, moist crust, and crispy bottomed pizza, delicious!

Even the most devoted cold pizza connoisseurs have to admit that this pan method is worth a try! After all, pizza knowledge is pizza power!

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Annoying Oranges

Despite being one of the most appealing fruits around, there’s no denying that oranges can be a bit of a pain. You can spend what seems like forever digging your fingernails into the rind, trying to pull off the peel piece by piece only to end up with sticky hands and a big old mess of peel.

While there’s no doubt that easy-peel oranges and satsumas are a stroke of inventive selective-breeding genius, there’s actually another easy way to peel a regular orange, and this method will make you look like a culinary genius.

Not only does it look like a work of art, the unraveled citrus carving you in the image below is super easy to achieve and takes just three quick steps.

orange hack

First, make two thin cuts on each end of the orange and then lightly trace the knife to make a light slice along the middle of the peel. Then, simply unfurl from where you cut your slit, flatten out the edges and reveal your orange slices, separated and ready to eat.

Now you’ve got a super easy way to get to all those succulent segments, and you’re also a bona fide food artist!

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While those citrus skills are impressive, you can save yourself even more time with the next trick, which allows you to skip peeling your orange while on-the-go altogether. To create your very own pre-prepped and protected orange, begin by creating a thin slice around the circumference of the peel by slowly rotating the fruit around.

Next, take a spoon and wedge the handle up in between the peel and flesh of the fruit to separate them. Repeat this on both sides of the orange. You can then prise off each side of the peel later, kind of like a little orange Pokéball, without having to get your hands sticky!

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While you can’t catch Pokémon with this orange to-go, you’ll certainly be catching the attention and admiration of anyone lucky enough to get a glimpse of your glorious, unsheathed orange!

orange peeling hack

Beat the Box

There are few pleasures in life that come close to ordering a Chinese takeout. Chomping down on oodles of noodles in your favorite pair of sweatpants is an experience like no other, and just the sight of that iconic Chinese takeout box is enough to set anyone’s stomach rumbling.

While you’re probably more interested in what’s inside the box, you might’ve missed the fact that the iconic vessel itself is a marvelous work of origami. The entire thing is cut from just one piece of folded card, which means there is no way your kung pao chicken can ever pow itself out of the box.

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While being leakproof already puts this takeout box a cut above the rest, its all-in-one nature holds a secret second use that not too many people realize.

If you have a traditional Chinese takeout box with a handle, start by unhooking and removing it from the card. Then simply pull apart the box, spread your food out and there you have it, a nifty paper plate!

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Don’t worry if your box doesn’t have a handle, you can do this with any Chinese takeout box including the ones held together with adhesive, with a little bit of prying. And it’s not just the Chinese takeout box that has hidden depths, the humble pizza box is also hiding a secret.

Turns out, you can transform a variety of pizza boxes into a smaller container for your leftovers in just a few simple steps!

First, rip the lid off the pizza box, leaving just the base - as well as your all-important pizza. Next, remove the two tabs on the edge of the box, leaving a "V" shaped cut in each side. Then you can close the half-box up, saving space in the fridge and securing your leftovers. Pizza smarter, not harder.

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Carton Corrections

There’s nothing better than a nice refreshing glass of juice or milk to start off your morning, and while you might think there’s no wrong way to pour from a carton, think again. There is actually an art to the perfect pour, and it all starts with how you hold the carton.

Intuitively, most people will put the carton’s plastic spout as close to the glass as possible, which results in that all too familiar, chaotic ‘glug, glug’, splash. Instead, we should be pouring the carton flipped around with the spout held high for a nice splash-free pour!

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There’s actually a scientific reason why pouring this way is better. When pouring the wrong way, the weight of the liquid inside the carton forces it out of the spout as quick as it can, leaving no room for air to escape the hole. This throws the air pressure all out of whack, creating a tsunami of uncontrollable liquid.

Flipping the carton upside down creates a gap in the spout that lets air flow in and out as the liquid pours, keeping the pressure smooth and neutral, and the liquid flowing perfectly.

milk pouring

And if you really want to be a straight-up animal and just drink directly from the carton, the reverse spout trick will allow you to glug away without even having to tilt your head, laziness at its finest!

Yolk Hero

Separating an egg yolk from the white is easily one of the most fiddly, cursed parts of baking. While the usual methods of passing the yolk from one side of eggshell to another, or running the yolk through your fingers do work, they take time and create a big old mess on your hands.

Instead, you can repurpose an empty plastic water bottle to quickly extract the egg yolk from the whites with some good ol’ fashioned suction. And when convenience is this satisfying to watch, any other method just seems egg-gregious!

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Slice Cream

Rock hard ice cream is a problem anyone with a sweet tooth or two is all too familiar with, and I for one have bent many a good spoon hacking away to no avail. The solution? Use a knife to cut that bad boy into slices instead, to create pre-portioned discs of divine delight.

What’s more, the ice slicing method also happens to be the easiest way to make ice cream sandwiches. Those delicious little discs of ice creamy goodness will fit perfectly between two cookies!

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And the benefits of the ice slice don’t stop there.

Picture this: you and a buddy are both eying up that last tub of ice cream in the freezer. Why waste time dutifully digging out an equal number of scoops into each of your bowls when you can just split that mother-tubber right down the middle? Instant bowls and instant gratification!

ice cream eating

Can Do’s

From warehouse floors to store shelves, soda cans could have played host to all kinds of uninvited climbers such as cockroaches and rodents! In fact, back in 2013, CBS found that cans sold at stores, restaurants and vending machines were covered in all sorts of different bacteria in jaw-dropping quantities.

While we can’t do away with soda cans, using a straw is a great way to protect against germs. But we all know the struggle of using a straw with a can. Often, the straw is too long and floats out of the hole, flopping over the side, making it tricky to get a hold of. But there’s a solution.

soda can hack

While the tab on a soda can’s original purpose is as a ring pull to pop open that refreshing goodness, it also has a second purpose.

For a stable straw experience, simply flip the can tab around so it’s covering the drinking hole. Then pop your straw down the middle and you'll have a built-in straw holder!

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Hammer Time

Seeing as it’s already so well-crafted for purpose, the design of the humble hammer hasn’t changed much in centuries. But in recent years, many manufacturers have added a new feature to modern hammers that most people haven’t even noticed.

Instead of holding the nail in place with your fingers and risking a potential painful finger-bash, turns out, there’s a very simply way to make your DIY a lot less dire. Some hammers now have a cleverly placed groove meant for a much safer swing!

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The indent on some hammerheads even has a small magnet inside to hold nails in place on the hammer so you don’t hit your thumb. Now that trick gets an unabashed thumbs up from me!

McFlurry Madness

It’s safe to say that no trip to Micky D’s is quite complete without a McFlurry. While you may think that the soft-serve-candy combo is a beautifully simple invention, turns out you might’ve been eating it all wrong.

If countless social media posts are anything to go by, you might be one of the many thousands who regularly look at that big hollow plastic thing sticking out of the top of your Flurry and assume that it’s a straw-spoon hybrid.

But each time you try to slurp up the frozen goodness, you’re confused by why it doesn’t work. Well, there’s a reason it doesn’t work, and it’s not because it’s the worst straw ever designed.

mcflurry spoon or straw

The hollowness of the spoon, not straw, is actually a very useful tool that McDonald’s workers use when making your delicious McFlurry. The end of the spoon is designed to fit snugly into the machine that blends in the ice cream toppings, turning the spoon into an impromptu whisk.

This McFlurry spoon secret was officially revealed by McDonalds themselves. To promote the launch of the new Caramel Brownie McFlurry in May 2021, the fast-food chain vowed to give away one of these sweet treats for free to everyone who has ever thought the spoon was a straw, so, basically, everybody!

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But, if the spoon already looks like a straw and is hollow like a straw, then why don’t McDonalds create an opening at the other end of the spoon so it can double as a straw? According to Ronald’s health and safety teams, some of the McFlurry toppings are a little too large and might cause a choking risk if sucked up too quickly.

There you have it, many things that you've been doing wrong! Hopefully these life hacks, tricks, tips and food hacks will come in handy. Thanks for reading.

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