Clever hacks that you've never gotten to work

Millions of people swear by them, but you’ve never actually gotten it to work. For example: to get crystal clear ice cubes, boil the water first. Nope.

Qualified example: light a match (back when strike-anywhere matches were still a thing) on a piece of sandpaper. This always gave me a bare stick and a piece of sandpaper with red streaks on it. What I found half a lifetime later was it would work only with the finest grades of sandpaper, like P600 = 400 grit.

Evidently the problem with strike-anywhere matches is that they literally will strike anywhere, and that includes on each other. The Post Office refuses to ship such matches because they can rub against each other and ignite. See here:

I’ll play Cal.

One thing off of the top of my head is opening a beer bottle with a Bic Lighter. I have no problem opening the bottle other ways if one must improvise, but I could never get the lighter to work.

I can’t get ANY of the peel a boiled egg hacks to work.

I used to light matches with my thumbnail until one day the match head decided to stick to my thumb as it ignited rather than the match stick.

That was the last time I ever did that.

Instant Pot.

I’ve opened beer bottles that way before. It does take some force and it tears up the lighter a bit.

Back in the day the cool way to light a match was on your Levi’s zipper.

When I was a kid back in the Paleolithic Era, most grownups who smoked pipes carried those matches in a shirt pocket. Our next door neighbor was one. One day, as he was lying on the couch, his daughter ran up and jumped on him. He suffered some serious burns when the matches ignited.

The one where garlic cloves are supposed to be de-skinned ( or very much easier to skin ) if you shake them vigorously in a covered bowl.

No joy.

Re: Garlic - Set garlic clove on cutting board or other hard flat surface. Take a chefs knife (the ones with a nice broad blade) lay the knife flat on the clove and bang the flat surface of the knife with your palm. Garlic a little crushed and skins fall off.

So noted. Thanks.

I saw a TV cooking show competition where one of the contestants needed to peel a whole lot of garlic. Instead of the knife smush, she put all the cloves on the cutting board, grabbed a big frying pan and went to town on them all. It worked, but if she was a little gentler it would have been easier to pick off the peels.

Anyway, I tried doing the one-step quick fold on t-shirts for a while. You have to take so much time setting it up it doesn’t actually save time. I later bought a folding board.

I have learned from trying that getting clear ice is way more difficult than boiling it, also distilled water is not going to do the trick. Freezing is going to create air bubbles, and if you want clear ice you need to give those bubbles a place to go. That requires some complicated rigging and maybe cutting away part of the ice.

I understand that “building up” the ice, the way an icicle does, by “drip freezing” works. But I’m not sure of the details.

I’ll bet that if you put your water container in an evacuable container and pulled a vacuum on it (which would draw out the dissolved air) you might get bubble-free ice. But that sounds like an awful lot of work.

Looking on the net gives this

Whose skins?

One that appears regularly in Popular Mechanics is the suggestion to drill holes in the rim of your paint can, in that little valley that runs around the opening, so the paint can drip back in. One time they published an article about all the tips they get, and they said that one just never, ever, works. They just publish it from time to time because so many people keep sending it in.

One that’s supposed to work but never has in all the times I tried really hard to do it: seeing for myself that the Earth is round by watching the sails of a boat get lower as it sails away toward the horizon. I can never see it that clearly, and I can’t tell if the faint little triangle is smaller because it’s getting lower and smaller or just because it’s getting smaller. And I can’t see exactly where the horizon is, either. Besides, I can’t see exactly how big the effect of differential diffraction is, so I’m not sure how to interpret what I see anyway. Yeah, I get that it should work, and I promise I have believed the Earth is quite spherical for easily 90% of my life. But I’m damned if I can see it.

This thread should probably have a disqualified clever hacks that are presented in compilation videos of clever lifehacks. More than half of them are just faked.

If you’re near a port that gets large ships, it’s much easier to see.

Here you go.

TL;DR: Put cold eggs into already boiling water. Twelve minutes later put them into ice cold water.

I’ve used this method for years with consistently excellent results.

Those of my enemies?