5 Winter Life Hacks

Winter and the holidays seem to blow in quickly and although they happen every year, somehow we are always caught off guard. We have rounded up five helpful life hacks (that actually work) to get you through the holiday season and snug into winter. Here are the C21 Canada winter hacks: 

For the silverware:

Maybe it been a while since Great Aunt Joan sat at your table, or maybe you are trying to impress the new in-laws. Either way, the holidays call for well-polished, sparkling silverware. But who wants to spend hours scrubbing fork tines? Instead, try this fast and effective method:

1. Boil 1.5 cups of water.
2. Add 1 tablespoon each of baking soda and sea salt to an aluminum baking dish, or line a glass dish with aluminum foil (a kitchen sink will work too). 
3. Pour in ½ cup white vinegar.
4. Pour in your boiling water and then add the silverware. Make sure each piece is touching aluminum and that the silverware is not overlapping. 
5. After 1 minute use tongs to remove the silver and buff off any remaining spots. 

For the driveway:

As much as we all anticipate a White Christmas, an icy driveway almost guarantees a trip to the emergency room. Ensure your driveway is ice free and your visitors are safe with this easy alternative to salt. 

1. Mix one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and two liters of hot water. 
2. Pour over ice. This concoction will melt your slippery driveway and it is less damaging than salt.
3. For extra traction, you can use kitty litter, ashes from a fire place, or planting soil to add traction. The darker materials will also attract the sun to speed up melting. 
4. If the amount of snow requires shoveling, save your back by spraying cooking spray on your shovel. Snow will slip off your shovel and make shoveling much easier.
For the (inevitable) stains:
 
Accidents happen, and sometimes red wine is spilt all over your beautiful white table clothes. Here are the three golden rules for stain removal
  • Dab, I repeat DAB, with paper towel, and do not rub!
  • Do not use hot water as this will set the stain into the fibers
  • Apply one of the following liquid solutions 
1. Pour club soda over the stain and then spread salt liberally. Let it sit overnight. When you wake up in the morning the salt should have absorbed the wine and the club soda fizz has agitated the stain out of the fibres. 
2. Create a mixture of 3 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part dishwashing liquid (you might as well store this mixture close to high stain areas). Pour this solution on the stain and let it sit, add more until the stain disappears.

 

For the air:
 
This tip does double duty. One, it adds much needed moisture to your home which helps with dry skin in winter. Two, it makes your home smell delicious!
1. Boil a large pot of water on the stove to act as a humidifier. Use a timer as a reminder to not let the water completely evaporate. The steam created will add moisture to the air which will help your skin, hair, and plants in your home. 
  • If this technique seems like too much responsibility, you can put bowls of water on heating vents and vases of fresh flowers in water by sunny windows. 
2. For the stove top option add your favourite holiday spice mix to give the steam a wonderful scent. This is a much healthier and natural alternative to deodorizing sprays and candles. Our favourite mix for this time of year is:
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Apple peels
  • Orange rinds
  • Whole cloves
For the car:
 
In the dead of winter leaving home can become a chore because of all the scraping, de-icing and shoveling involved. Here are five quick tips to make leaving your home a little easier:
1. Park your car facing east to maximize the power of the sun
2. Put plastic bags over your side rearview mirrors to prevent ice on them. Two less things to scrape.
3. Before big storms put socks on your windshield wipers so ice doesn’t build up on them. Stand your wipers up as well.
4. Make your own windshield washer fluid with 1 liter alcohol, ½ cup water and ½ teaspoon dish detergent. 
5. Have an emergency dig out kit in your car. Include matches, candles & blankets a long with shovels, traction (kitty litter works great), and an extra ice scraper. 

 

 

 

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