“Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” – Part Thirteen

Why Didn't I Think of That

Here on my blog, I strive to share simple, everyday tips and tricks that can help make your life a little bit easier. But sometimes, the tips that I want to share aren’t something I can write a whole blog post about! And since I simply cannot waste a good idea, I tuck them away to use at a later date. Today I’ll be sharing some of those tips and tricks with you in the thirteenth edition of my ongoing series “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?”

Missed the last installment, or want to revisit some of your old favorite tips? You’ll find links to every post in the “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” series at the end of this post!

Be sure to scroll down to see some of these brilliant hacks in action on video!

Why Didn't I Think of That

1. Remove Splinters With A Potato

Sometimes a splinter gets buried juuust deep enough that you can’t get to it with tweezers. In those cases, grab a potato! Cut off a small section of raw potato and apply it to your skin where the splinter is. Tape it on with a bandaid (or any other tape you happen to have on hand), and leave it there overnight. In the mooning, you’ll be able to remove the splinter easily!

How does it work? It’s uncertain, but some think it’s because the potato draws moisture away from your skin. Skin tightens as it loses moisture, exposing more of the splinter and make it easier to remove.

Why Didn't I Think of That

2. Microwave Your Cleaning Rag

Hot water works is more effective than cold water when it comes to cleaning, and the same is true of the water you use to dampen your favorite cleaning cloth. Use your microwave to heat up your damp cleaning cloth and watch how it powers through gunk and grime!

Soak a clean rag/cloth in water, and give it a gentle squeeze so that it’s wet, but not dripping. Pop the wet rag in your microwave and heat it in 15-second increments until it’s hot, but not too hot to handle. Reheat your rag as needed to make all your cleaning projects easier!

Why Didn't I Think of That

3. Eliminate Odors With Rice

Have a closet or room in your house that has been smelling a bit musty? You can use dry rice to freshen it up! Just put a cup or two of rice into a mason jar and add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Place a thin, breathable cloth over the jar opening (like a flour sack towel or some cheesecloth) and secure it in place with a canning ring.

Why Didn't I Think of That

Put the jar in the closet or room that needs freshening, and leave it there for a week or so. The absorbent rice will help absorb and eliminate those musty smells, and leave the area smelling much fresher!

Why Didn't I Think of That

4. Wash Small Items In Your Dishwasher

Using your dishwasher is a great way to keep things clean without a lot of extra effort on your part. But small items can be tricky, because dishwasher racks will allow small stuff to fall through quite easily. But not if you put them in a mesh laundry bag first!

This works well for keeping kitchen items like measuring cups, mason jar lids, and other small items that tend to get lost in the dishwasher. But you can also use a mesh laundry bag to safely clean non-kitchen items in your dishwasher, like LEGOs and other plastic toys. The mesh bag will keep them safe and sound, and they be clean in no time!

YouTube video
The possibilities are (almost) endless!
Why Didn't I Think of That

5. Keep Your Microwave Clean

You might already use paper towels to cover bowls and plates in your microwave to help keep it clean. But paper towels can be expensive, so why not use coffee filters instead? Paper coffee filters keep your microwave just as clean as paper towels, but they are a lot cheaper and you can buy them in bulk!

Why Didn't I Think of That

6. Grind Your Red Pepper Flakes

Love red pepper flakes, but hate those big pieces that get stuck in your teeth? Get a cheap pepper mill and use it to grind up your red pepper flakes! You’ll be able to enjoy the added heat on your pizza without worrying about what the state of your teeth will be like after dinner.

Why Didn't I Think of That

7. Travel Tip For Shoes

When you’re packing for a trip, it can be difficult to figure out how to put your shoes in your luggage without them dirtying up your clean clothes. That’s why I always keep a shower cap on hand! Put your shoes side-by-side, then wrap a shower cap around the soles of both shoes. It’s an effective and inexpensive way to avoid that problem entirely!

The “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” Series

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • This potato thing is as old as the hills… I’m 63 and my mother used to use
    Slices of potatoes to take out thorns etc…..
    It’s amazing how many natural remedies there are…..

  • I’ve been doing the coffee filter thing for years because it is so cheap and I add a little water to them to help them stay in place and keep food from drying out.

  • Love this! Worth it alone for the coffee filter tip in the microwave! We recently bought an off brand of filters that were shallower and didn’t work well in the coffee pot, so was saving them for glass cleaning and paper snowflakes, but this is much more practical and way better than paper towels because of the shape and stiffness. Thank you!

  • Those newspaper bags or plastic bags are great for disposing of food that can’t go down the garbage disposal- cucumber peels, potato peels. Also back when I worked in restaurants we would use the coffee filters for cleaning the glass and also the windows.They don’t leave the little bits behind that paper towels can.

  • In addition option to potatoe to pull a splinter is a piece of onion. Take a piece of onion and draw a knife across the skin to release the juice. Then place on your skin and tape it on. Work with wood or metal splinters, rose thorns and just about anything else you can get caught in your skin.

  • I love your series on Why Didn’t I Think of That? But I feel cheated. The hint for grinding red pepper flakes and putting a coffee filter over something in the microwave were in Part 12, so a short list of 7 ideas is really only 5. Jillee, I need more help, please!

    • I never throw those away either. They work for so many things. I have gift wrap and gift bags and tissue paper in one. I have a small one that I keep birthday cards etc. Blankets and coverlets and throws are easier for a shorty like me to get up on the closet shelf, too.

  • Some cloths can burst into flames in a microwave. I have had it happen to a sock I was using as a heating pad and to a cotton hot pad that accidentally got left onto the bottom of a dish.

    • Yes, me too – burnt a towel. Also some paper products are not safe to use in the microwave . This may eliminate use of some coffee filters.

    • Heating in 15 second intervals should eliminate that concern. Nothing is going to burn, singe or in any other way cause damage in that short period of time. And when you check each time, the cover has some time to cool down.

      A little common sense is always in order when using the microwave.

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