Everyday Things We’ve Been Doing Wrong Our Whole LivesBy Barbara Norris
When you commit an error within the sight of others, they’re typically speedy to bring it up. Our managers, partners, and even our kids are always ready to correct us! Of course, there’s a benefit to making humiliating public blunders – you get to learn from your mistakes. In private, we all do many things inaccurately, from minor flubs in the kitchen to significant errors that could truly hurt our health.
What if we were to tell you that you’ve been doing quite a few things wrong for most of your life? These little habits are so embedded into our routines that many of them seem harmless. From washing our hands incorrectly to sleeping in harmful positions, these are some of the everyday mistakes we all need to fix immediately.
Washing Your Hands for 20 Seconds
Even when we weren’t plagued by the pandemic, washing our hands was a normal routine. This process has been taught to us since we were little. However, there’s a misconception regarding “making sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds.”
The time implied was actually just a suggestion. Indeed, washing your hands thoroughly may take longer than 20 seconds. Experts have demonstrated the proper way of washing our hands, and they spend a full 20 seconds just on lathering. Since you also need to wet your hands first and rinse them after, you can expect the full process to take closer to 40 seconds or a minute.
Putting Eggs and Dairy in the Fridge Door
To be honest, this is not even entirely our mistake since, from the get-go, eggs shelves were situated in the fridge door. Same with the dairy shelf that is built into the side of the door. According to studies, the positioning of these shelves is not ideal.
The shelves on top of the fridge tend to be a lot warmer compared to the lower ones. With that said, there’s a bigger chance of the food spoiling quickly if they are placed high in the fridge, especially in the door.
Excessive Use of Mouthwash
Gargling mouthwash on a daily basis indeed helps get rid of bad bacteria. Most mouthwash products recommend that we use them twice per day, after brushing our teeth. However, recent studies show that excessive use of mouthwash can pose a danger to our health.
A recent study found that excessive usage of mouthwash was linked to the development of Type II diabetes. Doing so also eliminates the good bacteria from the bad. It seems being excessive with anything is never a good idea, even seemingly healthy things like mouthwash.
Washing Your Jeans Regularly
For decades, there’s been an ongoing argument about the frequency with which our jeans should be washed. Those who love jeans will tell you that washing them is a total waste of time and money.
Truth be told, they are actually correct. Studies show that frequent washing of jeans can provide heavy damage, causing them to lose up to 4% of their fibers. Apart from that, the shape and color are affected.
The Right Way to Use a Washing Machine
The washing machine is one of the best inventions of mankind. Easy to use, convenient, and able to handle multiple items in one cycle, these devices have saved us countless hours of hard work. However, many people use their machines incorrectly.
How many times have we seen our friends, family members, or even characters in movies putting the clothes in first and the soap second? What you actually want is for the machine to fill with water first and for the detergent to flow in later. This can be achieved by using detergent drawers in modern machines. If you have an old top-loader, you can allow it to fill first, then add your detergent, and then your clothes.
How to Store Wine Glasses
For those who love wine but aren’t sure how to store their wine glasses properly, we have a solution for you. People tend to turn wine glasses upside down to prevent dust and other particles from getting in. While it does look great for the wine glasses to be stored upside down, this can damage the glass.
A series of tests were tried with several wine glasses that were turned upside down and others that were placed the right way up. The former were more prone to pressure cracks around the rim.
Toilet Plungers Are not for the Sink
We must admit, we have tried using a toilet plunger in our sink before, and we are ready to admit our mistakes! There’s a reason why this tool is called a “toilet plunger” – it is meant for toilet use only. Even if it works to clear your sink, the damage and mess that it will create if used incorrectly will totally mess up your day.
Remember, there are other plunger tools that will do the job you need to do. We strongly suggest that you stop using the toilet plunger in your sink.
Let the Baby Sleep
We feel guilty for doing this to our kids but we grew up with this belief that babies should be kept awake during the day for them to have a better sleep at night. It turns out that we are very wrong about this parenting move.
Not all babies have the same sleeping pattern. Forcing the baby to be asleep or forcing them to be awake will just make everyone miserable while failing to accomplish the desired outcome. If the baby feels sleepy during the day, then let them be.
Loading the Dishwasher Haphazardly
Okay, this might sound crazy, but there’s science behind this. Most of the time, we load the dishwashers according to shape, size, and area. Even when buying dishwashers, there’s no instruction wherein it states that dishes soiled with carbohydrate-heavy foods will get cleaner when placed closer to the center of the machine. However, the truth is, the meals you eat dictate where you should place your dishes.
Studies have shown that plates from protein-rich dishes fare best on the outer edges of the rack. Dishes from carb-heavy meals should go in the center. All this time, we’ve been doing it wrong! At least we know how to handle this deceptively simple task in the future.
Design with a Purpose
Let’s be honest, if this pin didn’t mess up your hair due to it not staying put, then congratulations. Bobby pins seem useful, but more often than not, they slip out of place, creating more trouble than they’re worth.
There’s a proper way of using bobby pins, and here’s the secret. The wavy part of the pin should be facing your hair or scalp. The waves will latch on to the hair which will make it immovable.
Reversing Your Ceiling Fan
It’s common knowledge that we use our ceiling fans during warm weather, but we were surprised to learn that they can be utilized during winter as well. The normal direction for any ceiling fan to run is counter-clockwise. This helps push the air down, providing a cooler breeze.
It’s worth checking the switch for your ceiling fan to see if it’s able to be reversed. This has the opposite effect, drawing cool air up and pushing warm air down.
Don’t Throw Away the Box
After the hard work of preparing your special pasta dish is done, the last step is to wrap the leftovers in a sheet of aluminum foil. As soon as you pick it up, the roll falls out of the box. This can be very frustrating and leads many people to simply throw away the box.
Always remember that the box the roll of aluminum foil came in has its purpose. If you closely look at the sides of the box, there are little tabs that say press in. These tabs will hold the roll in place, ending your frustration with foil once and for all.
The Myth of the Resistance Band
Resistance bands, also known as exercise bands, skyrocketed due to a combination of social media influencers and the need to exercise at home during lockdowns. We’ve encountered so many people on social media claiming the only thing they use is a set of resistance bands, and their bodies are like chiseled statues.
The resistance band is indeed great for strength training, but it should also be combined with traditional weight training. Resistance bands are best suited for stretching, warm-ups, and physical therapy. However, they are not enough if you really want to bulk up.
Removing Your Shirt in Less than a Second
Here’s another daily routine that we are clearly doing wrong. When we were young, we were taught how to properly put our shirts on and how to remove them. Still, there are times that we struggle since the shirt doesn’t want to come off. What if we told you that there’s a way to speed up the process?
If you are a fan of wrestling, especially WWE, John Cena used to do this. Instead of removing his shirt in the traditional way, he would grab the sleeve of one armpit, pull that arm in through the sleeve, and then in one fluid motion, pull the shirt over his head and off.
Say No to Wooden Chopping Boards?
Almost all of the cooking shows that we’ve watched tend to use wooden chopping boards as opposed to plastic. We can’t blame them since wooden chopping boards are more stylish, durable, and easy to maintain. In fact, chefs, cooks, and even butchers urge us to use wooden cutting boards.
Unfortunately, recent studies show that wooden chopping boards are like a magnet for bacteria and pathogens. So, it seems it may be time to switch over to plastic or even glass boards.
Etiquette: Napkin in the Lap
Who would have thought that putting a napkin in your lap when the food comes to the table is a major sign of disrespect to the chef and your dinner companions? Even in movies and television shows, this seems to be the standard protocol.
However, according to food and etiquette experts, you don’t have to wait for the food to arrive before you put the napkin on your lap. As soon as you are seated, the napkin should go into your lap. At least we know now!
Cleaning the Blender in Dishwasher
Many of the devices and appliances we use come without clear cleaning instructions. Most blender manufacturers claim that using a dishwasher is safe for blenders. Maybe that is true, but this cleaning method is not enough to make sure that the blender is thoroughly clean.
It is still a far better idea to clean blenders the old-fashioned way. Fill the blender with hot water, add soap, let it rest for about five minutes, then carefully hand-wash the blender.
Holding a Wine Glass 101
Remember the series Game of Thrones? How many times have we seen Cersei and Tyrion Lannister holding a wine glass by the cup? Considering that they are from the royal family, they should have known better.
Holding your wine glass by the cup actually changes the flavor of the wine due to the warmth of your palm. The correct way of holding it is by pinching the stem between your thumb and index finger. That way, the glass is perfectly balanced, and it’s easier to swirl the wine.
Brushing Your Hair the Wrong Way Damages Your Scalp
This is partly the fault of shampoo commercials. Models in these ads often get out of the shower all smiles and then start brushing their hair starting at the bottom. Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach. It’s so wrong, in fact, that it can damage your scalp.
On top of being no good for your scalp, brushing the ends first can damage them, contributing to split ends. By brushing your head from the scalp instead, you distribute the natural oils. This is good both for your hair and your scalp.
Quick Remedy for Hangovers
Have you experienced a bad hangover that made it feel like your head was gonna blow? You tried taking meds such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but they barely made a difference. Maybe you even tried coffee, but it didn’t have the usual effect.
Hangovers are mostly related to dehydration. So, the coffee may, in fact, make one worse. The best remedy to get rid of a hangover is to focus on drinking water. It’s a simple method but highly effective. Of course, you need to take it slow and not over-consume water. Pedialyte can help with replacing electrolytes.
Extra Storage Area?
How many of us actually know the purpose of the bottom drawer of the oven? How many have read the instructions that came with the oven? Apparently, we’ve been doing this wrong as it is not an extra storage space for dishes and trays.
The bottom drawer in our oven serves a brilliant purpose – to make sure that the prepared food stays warm. No, it is not a designated area for any kitchen utensils or dishes.
Too Much Ice?
Another common blunder is to submerge warm beverages in ice thinking it will make them get cold faster. While this is true if we are going to let those beverages sit for an extended period, there are much quicker ways.
Mix ice, water, and salt in a bucket or cooler, then pop the cans or bottles into this salty slurry. Doing it this way will cool your beverages faster.
Choosing Fabrics First
How many of us have painted a room and as soon as we are finished, we are dismayed with the results? It seems to make sense to choose the color you want the walls to be and base the rest of the room around that, but this is a huge mistake.
Visualizing the completed room will provide you with a better perspective on what’s best for the space you’re decorating. The furniture is what you’ll be interacting with, and you want it to be comfortable, so it’s often an idea to start there and then work other aspects, like the wall color, around the fabrics you’ll be sitting on.
Compost Pit Mistakes
Using a compost pit is one of the most convenient ways of protecting Mother Earth. However, composting does have its limitations. Certain foods should not be dumped in a compost pit because they slow the process of composting.
Onions, bread, walnuts, and any citrus peels should go out with the trash. Putting them on a compost pit is not ideal and will only attract parasites or vermin.
Protecting Your Wireless Connection
Whoever invented the wireless connection should receive a percentage of our salary. Wireless connectivity is a must these days, but it can be problematic as well, especially when it comes to our privacy. As soon as you acquire a connection from an internet service provider, it is essential to change or modify the settings of your network.
Doing this will provide more protection for your data and personal accounts. Hackers are everywhere, and hacking a system with predefined settings is a gold mine for them. So, remember to change and update your system now and then.
Proper Dining Etiquette
Who still remembers Home Economics classes? It was the class that taught you all about gardening, cooking, and etiquette. Many of the ideas are certainly old-school, but we can still learn a thing or two.
To those who are still curious about which forks and knives go with which food items at fancy restaurants, the trick is to start with the utensils on the outside of your place setting and work your way in.
It’s not summer without sunburns, correct? Remember when we were advised to wear a white shirt to help protect our skin because a light color will “decrease the heat index” scorching your body? Unfortunately, that is not true at all.
There was an experiment testing this theory, and it didn’t go so well. Instead of following baseless traditional methods, go ahead and invest in a good quality sunscreen. We’d rather spend a small amount on sunscreen than have to deal with a painful sunburn.
Why Hats Aren’t Enough
During the winter months, we are always told to have a hat on to make sure that body heat won’t escape through our heads. This theory was widely accepted, and it feels like wearing a hat is the most important thing that we should have during these months.
Unfortunately, the concept is only partially true. Having headgear helps, but having gloves, thick sweaters, and coats will make a bigger difference. According to recent studies, hats can only salvage 10% of body heat, which is still a respectable number but not nearly enough to maintain the warmth of your body.
Sleeping Position Matters
Next to eating food, sleeping might be the best thing in the world. It helps us relax, reboot, and recalibrate. Some people have bizarre sleeping patterns, and some have questionable sleeping positions. What if we were to tell you that the sleeping position pictured below can damage your respiratory system?
If you’re a stomach sleeper, now is the time to change your position. According to chiropractors, this sleeping position causes undue twisting of the spine. In addition, it restricts blood flow and can interfere with nerve signals.
What Happened to My Chocolates
Chocolate is the go-to comfort food for many people. After having one bite, you can already feel the difference. Why is chocolate on this list, though?
Thankfully, there’s no need to give up chocolate. What you should give up, though, is storing it in the drudge. Putting chocolates in a refrigerator changes both the taste and texture of chocolate, making it less of a treat to eat. It’s best to keep it in a cool, dark, but not refrigerated place.
Slicing Bread like a Pro
We are pretty sure that we are not alone with this one. How many times have you tried to slice a loaf of bread with a sharp knife but it just won’t do the job? As it turns out, we should stop blaming the knife as there is a science to the proper slicing of bread.
The trick is, you have to reposition your loaf flat side up. By doing this, the knife will easily slice through the bread, and if done perfectly, you won’t be dealing with any crumbles.
Eating Oreos Neatly
There’s something about dunking Oreos in a glass of milk that makes us feel great. We love to separate the cream from the cookies and create a huge deck of Oreos, but others do it the traditional way.
Dipping or dunking Oreos is what we are accustomed to, even if our hands are too big for the cup or glass. However, there’s a quick hack to simplify the process. Use chopsticks or a fork positioned between the cream filling and the cookie. That’s all there is to it!
Waiting in Line
Waiting in line is one of the most annoying aspects of the modern world. This is especially true when it gets crowded, and you can almost feel the person behind you breathing on the back of your neck.
Instead of standing while waiting in line, just put your shoes in line and go plunk down and unwind while waiting. It may not be conventional, but you’ll be surprised at how people respect your place in line.
We have all been visited by little hanging strings and lint in our lives? These tiny fibers get on our garments and furniture, and they can be a pain to remove. Rather than attempting to cull every one of them with your fingers, try shaving them off with a razor.
Try not to apply too much pressure as you don’t want to cut the material. It’s also best to avoid doing this with any extra delicate textiles as you don’t want to cause any damage.
The Neglected Straw Holder
How annoying is it when your straw keeps floating up out of your soft drink can? You wind up chasing for the straw, or it pops all the way out, sprinkling soft drink all over your table or lap.
Next time you pop a can open, pivot the tab over the opening and put your straw through the hole. This is what it was made for all along – to be a straw holder!
Wearing Your Earbuds Correctly
Most people have a set of earbuds to enjoy their favorite music on, but they can be troublesome when you try to exercise with them. Thankfully, there’s a trick to getting them to stay put.
Wrap your earbuds over your ear and afterward put them in your ear. That will help them stay in one spot, so you can move all you need!
Scribbling Out Messages
If you’ve written something that, for one reason or another, you don’t want another living soul to ever see, scribbling desperately back and forth isn’t going to help you. The letters will still be decipherable.
It might be harder to read, but someone could figure it out if they were so inclined. Instead of that old side-to-side motion, write other letters over the top of the letters you want to scribble out. This will truly make the text impossible to read.
Extension Cord Trick
You don’t really need to stumble over an extension cord for it to come unplugged. Indeed, they almost seem capable of unplugging themselves sometimes. Of course, we have a hack for this problem too.
When you’re using an extension cord, simply tie the two cables in a simple knot before plugging them in. Then, if someone tugs on the cord, they’ll only pull the knot tighter rather than unplugging the cords.
Cooling a Drink Instantly
If you’re not in a major rush, you can easily place your bottle in the fridge or cooler. However, if you want your drink now, what are you to do?
If you’re desperate for an ice-cold drink, try the wet paper towel method. Just wrap your beer or tequila bottle with one or two wet paper towels, place it in the freezer, wait for a couple of minutes, and your drink will be ice-cold.