Taking too many showers

Happy young woman with wet hair in bathroom
Alliance Images / Shutterstock

Many Americans shower everyday and might think it is weird or gross not to.

But it turns out, over-showering can dry out your skin, remove healthy bacteria and it can even cause skin problems.

Unless you’re sweaty, stinky, or grimy, a few short showers per week should be sufficient for most people, according to Harvard Health.

Recycling

Man dropping screwed up paper into recycling bin, close up
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Recycling is great if you do it right. But most people don’t.

Turns out, there are pretty strict guidelines as to what can and cannot be recycled.

If you’ve ever chucked colored paper, non-empty aerosol cans, or greasy pizza boxes in the recycling bin, you may be doing more harm than good.

Recycling prohibited items can damage equipment in the recycling centers and cost them extra money to sort out.

To make things even more complicated, some recycling centers don’t accept all recyclable items.

Make sure you read up and follow the recycling rules set out by your local and state governments.

Eating Oreos

Oreo cookies and milk
Oreo / Twitter

Most Oreo lovers use their fingers to dip their Oreos into milk, creating a milky mess.

Sophisticated Oreo eaters don’t do that.

Instead, they stick a fork into the soft stuffing and dip the fork into the milk.

Loading your dishwasher

Smiling Young Woman Arranging Plates In Dishwasher At Home
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

Most people don’t realize that where you place your dishes in the dishwasher matters.

A study from the University of Birmingham showed that the force of the sprayer varies at different positions in the dishwasher.

Because of this, dishes with remnants of carb-heavy foods should be placed near the center of the dishwasher, while protein-packed scraps are better off situated on the bottom edges.

You should also avoid washing large kitchen knives in the dishwasher. The heat and chemicals can dull the blade.

Perfecting grilled cheese

Grilled cheese sandwich
George Dolgikh / Shutterstock

No need to clutter up your kitchen with a grilled cheese maker.

Instead, simply turn your toaster sideways, slide in a piece of bread topped with cheese, and let your toaster work its magic.

Just be careful with your cheese placement. If it oozes onto the metal deep in your toaster, good luck cleaning it off.

Cleaning your jeans too frequently

Putting Jeans into the washing machine
Wachiwit / Shutterstock

The more often you wash your jeans, the faster you’ll wear them out. Does that mean you’re stuck wearing dirty jeans?

No.

A study by the International Journal of Consumer Studies showed that jeans washed after 20 uses did not have a significantly higher bacterial load than jeans washed every two uses.

Another University of Alberta study showed no harmful bacteria on skin-tight jeans that were used for 15 months without washing.

So, they’re not as dirty as you think.

Cutting cakes

Cutting a cake with dental floss
Baking Mad / YouTube

Cutting a cake with an unwieldy knife leaves it ugly and messy.

Instead, try slicing it with dental floss. It sounds weird but it works.

Wrap unflavored dental floss around your hands on both ends so the floss essentially acts like a wire.

Then you can pull it tight, press down in a line across your cake and gently saw through it to cut it into clean, even slices.

This trick also works for soft cheeses.

Plunging a sink with a toilet plunger

Blocked Sink Plunger
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

If a toilet plunger can unclog a toilet, it should work to unclog a kitchen sink too, right?

Wrong.

First of all, that’s gross. Second, kitchen sinks are shaped differently than toilet bowls. Toilets require a flange plunger, while sinks need a cup plunger.

Using Starbucks lids

Starbucks lid as coaster
trickICR / Reddit

Sick of your Starbucks cup leaking liquids all over your table? Then take off the lid, flip it over, and use it as a coaster.

They seriously need to start printing this tip on these things.

Brushing your hair

Beautiful young woman in white undershirt is combing her hair and smiling while looking into the mirror in bathroom
VGstockstudio / Shutterstock

You might focus your hair-brushing energy on the tangles near the bottom of your hair, but this isn’t the best strategy.

By starting near your scalp and brushing all the way down, you spread scalp oils throughout the entire length of your hair. This gives hair extra shine while removing grease build-up near your skin.

Chilling a bottle faster

Bottles of beer chilled on ice in a camping fridge on a beach on a hot day with sunshine.
Davizro Photography / Shutterstock

There’s nothing worse than a warm drink. And if you forget to chill your bottle of beer or champagne ahead of time, your first instinct may be to put it on ice or in the freezer.

But there’s a better way.

Mixing salt into ice water lowers the temperature below that of ice alone, giving you more cooling power. For maximum cooling, gently stir your beverage around in the salt-ice bath.

Eating an orange

Peeled orange
Steve Owens / YouTube

There are probably people who refuse to eat oranges because they’re too much of a hassle to peel. But if you do it right, there’s no hassle at all.

Instead of gunking up your fingernails with orange peel, grab a knife, slice off the top and bottom of the orange, make a slit down the side, then unroll it into a convenient row of slices.

Unwrapping aluminum foil

female hand holds an unfolded roll of gray foil on a blue background, close up
MorphoBio / Shutterstock

Handling aluminum foil can be a pain. If you open the box too far, the roll falls out. If you don’t open it far enough, it shreds as you unroll it.

But if you take time to slow down and confront this pesky problem, you’d realize there are two tabs on each end of the box.

Push the tabs in, and the foil locks into place. Voila!

Softening ice cream

Creme brulee ice cream Flat lay. Top view. Spoon for ice cream takes a little out of the package. Macking ball of ice cream. Space for text.
Eva Orlova / Shutterstock

When you’re craving some ice cream, the last thing you want is a rock-solid carton that’s impossible to scoop.

You could nuke it in the microwave to solve your scooping struggles. But why not prevent it from happening in the first place?

Store the container inside a sealed freezer-safe plastic bag, and it’ll never be too frozen again.

Not using enough sunscreen

Sunscreen on the skin of a child. Selective focus.
Tatevosian Yana / Shutterstock

Most people don’t use enough sunscreen to adequately protect themselves from the sun.

Nobody likes squirting on too much sunscreen and have it take forever to rub in. But for proper protection, you need a decent amount.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, that’s approximately a shot glass-sized amount of lotion for your entire body.

Most people only use 20% to 50% of the amount needed to reach the SPF protection level of their sunscreen.

Peeling bananas

Monkey eating banana
Svekrova Olga / Shutterstock

When you peel bananas from the top, you waste some at the bottom. If you peel from the bottom up, you won’t have that problem.

Just pinch the bottom with your thumb and forefingers with each hand, then separate.

For some reason, monkeys know this, but most humans don’t.

Cleaning your blender

Blueberry protein powder in blender, smoothie preparation, top view. Concept of fitness healthy eating, clean eating, sport lifestyle
Vladislav Noseek / Shutterstock

If you wash your blender in the dishwasher or by jamming your hand to the bottom, you’re doing it wrong.

Simply fill it with some water and dish soap, turn it on for a few seconds, then rinse it out.

Easy peasy.

Using Chinese takeout boxes

Chinese food take out box unfolded
NJ_Nmaster / Twitter

Chinese takeout boxes are not ergonomic for eating, especially if you’re chopstick challenged.

To make life easier, unfold the box into a plate.

You won’t be able to store leftovers as easily, so only do this if you’re hungry enough that you won’t have leftovers.

Opening key rings

Opening key ring with staple remover
QuevedoDeMalVino / Reddit

If you’ve ever accidentally stabbed yourself underneath your fingernail with a key ring, this tip is for you.

For injury-free key transfers, use a staple remover to open the key ring.

This will save you the frustration of pinching your fingers or struggling to get the small ring open.

Using your microwave efficiently

Microwave on kitchen table with vegetables
ShalenaOlena / Shutterstock

There’s only so much you can fit on your microwave’s spinning plate. What if you need to heat up food for multiple people?

To nuke two bowls of food simultaneously, move one bowl to the far left side of the microwave, put a coffee mug on the right side, then set the second bowl on top of the coffee mug.

The food will take longer to heat up. But it’ll be ready at the same time so you can enjoy your meal together.

Putting eggs and dairy in the fridge door

Pick chicken egg from the refrigerator, eggs on shelf of refrigerator
jarabee123 / Shutterstock

Common sense tells us that we should store eggs and dairy products in the fridge’s egg and dairy holder.

The problem is, the door is one of the warmest areas of the fridge where food is more likely to spoil.

For cooler temps and longer-lasting food, store anything spoil-prone on the bottom shelves in the back.

Holding a glass of wine

Female hand holding glass with wine isolated on a white background
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

Most non-wine snobs don’t know how to hold their glass properly.

When you touch the bulb of the glass with your hand or fingers, it heats up the wine and changes the flavors.

To avoid modifying the wine’s intended temperature, pinch the stem of the glass with your thumb and forefinger.

And if you’re feeling really sophisticated, roll the stem between your fingers to swirl the wine before taking a sip.

Waiting for food to cool before refrigerating it

Man's Hand Taking Container Of Frozen Mixed Vegetables From Refrigerator
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to wait for hot food to cool before storing it in the fridge. According to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, you should do the opposite.

Refrigerating food as soon as possible (two hours max after it’s done cooking) helps prevent it from slipping into dangerous temperature ranges to prevent bacteria growth.

And if it’s a large batch, separate it into smaller containers for faster cooling.

Using your ceiling fan

Modern bed area including furniture, television is attached to wall, one chair close to flower pot, fan can see on ceiling, lamp table near wall, perfect lights balancing, very clean area.
JR-stock / Shutterstock

Most people use ceiling fans to keep cool in the summer, but they can actually be useful all year round.

If you flip the switch on the fan’s housing and set it to spin in the opposite direction, it will redistribute warm air around the room in the winter months.

Just remember: Clockwise for warm air, counterclockwise for cool.

Counting on stretching to prevent injury

Close up shot of athlete runner young Asian male stretching his leg on race track in the park
interstid / Shutterstock

Despite what your gym teacher and soccer coaches told you, pre- and post-exercise static stretching does not affect sports-related injuries, according to a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Some studies even recommend against static stretching before physical activity, as it seems to actually hurt performance.

About the Author

Mitchell Glass

Mitchell Glass

Freelance Contributor

Mitchell is a freelance contributor to MoneyWise.com.

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