Weird and wonderful life hacks

WOULD you ever have thought to cook potatoes in the dishwasher, toast nuts in a popcorn maker, or store your jeans in the freezer to prevent the colour fading?

The internet continues to amaze with weird and wonderful "life hacks", and we reckon some of these are worth trying. If you want to get more out of your kitchen appliances, read on.


Possibly the most versatile machine in your house, the humble dishwasher can do a lot more than clean plates.

• Clean and cook spuds

Yes, just when you thought you had heard it all, the dishwasher is apparently ideal for preparing and cooking potatoes. Just place the spuds on the top rack, and turn on the rinse-only cycle. Not only do they come out clean, they will also be mashable.

• Poach salmon

Wrap a salmon fillet or steak in tin foil, put it on the top rack and turn on the regular cycle. Just leave out the detergent.

• Disinfect sponges

This is an oldie but a goodie - simply run your old cloths through a regular cycle (with detergent this time), to get rid of odours.

• Clean garden tools

Place your dirty metal tools on the top rack, and run them through a regular cycle to get them sparkling clean.

• Other items that can go into the dishwasher include baseball caps, range hood grills, plastic sports equipment and pads, and metal vent covers.


if you have some spare room in the deep freeze, you can store a lot of unexpected items.

• Freshen denim

Put your jeans in a plastic bag, and place them in the freezer for a week. As crazy as it sounds, it apparently kills germs and freshens the fabric without the need for washing, which causes colours to fade.

• Preserve steel wool

If your steel scrubbers are starting to disintegrate, put them in a plastic bag and store them in the freezer to keep rust at bay.

• Make candles last longer

Storing them in the freezer will make candles burn slower, and placing hosiery in the deep freeze can help to prevent holes and pulls.

• Ice cube trays for portions

Rather than just filling them with water, use ice cube trays for freezing small portions of pesto, or leftover hummus, which is great for throwing into soups.


If you only use the microwave for reheating food, you're missing out!

• Get more juice

Get more juice out of oranges and lemons by popping them in the microwave for 10 seconds before squeezing.

• Sponge sanitiser

To rid your kitchen sponges of germs, soak them in water with a spritz of white vinegar, and zap in the microwave for two minutes. Not only will it kill bacteria, but the steam will also help remove stains.

• Cure aches

To make a homemade heat pad, fill an old sock with rice, tie the end closed, and microwave for 60 seconds on high. Be careful to check the temperature before using.

Foodie tricks

• Use a rice cooker to make porridge
• A popcorn maker is good for toasting nuts
• An oven on low heat can also double as a dehydrator
• A slow cooker can be used to bake bread or cakes

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