20 Life Hacks People Only Discovered After Doing Things The Hard Way

Ashley Hunte
A drawing of a lightbulb on a sticky note.
Unsplash | AbsolutVision

There's nothing worse than doing something the same way for years, only to learn there's an easier way to do it. That's the feeling I get whenever I find out about a really good lifehack I'd never heard of before.

And like these Redditors, who learned these easier methods the hard way, I'm just glad I know about them now.

"Cleaning the damn microwave." - patti2mj

A white microwave. They're much easier to clean than you might think.
Unsplash | Erik Mclean

"I struggled to scrub all the dried up bits off then a friend told me to just put a small dish of water in it and turn it on for a couple of minutes. Everything wipes right out. I was such a dumb ass."

Put a bit of vinegar in the water, and you'll get everything sparkling.

"CTRL backspace to delete entire words instead of letter by letter." - chrisdante05

A computer keyboard. There are probably a lot more key shortcuts than you know about.
Unsplash | Alexander Sinn

Another user added, "Ctrl+delete does the same but in the opposite direction. You can also use CTRL+Shift+Arrow keys to select entire words instead of individual characters."

Wow, it all works!

"My dishwasher is across the kitchen from my utensil drawer. For years, while unloading the dishwasher I would stuff as many utensils as I could in my hands." - regcrusher

There's an easier way to unload utensils from your dishwasher.
Unsplash | Nathan Dumlao

"I’d inevitably drop some, and there are a few nicks in my hardwood floor from dropping forks and spoons."

"One day at work, a coworker unloaded the dishwasher and removed the utensil basket and carried it over to the utensil drawer. I never felt so dumb."

"Clean your blender by making a hot water and dish soap smoothie." - AlterEdward

Blenders can get really messy, and are kind of hard to clean with normal methods.
Unsplash | Andrea Niosi

I can't believe I never thought to do this until now! I guess using a blender doesn't have to be as scary and annoying as it usually seems.

"For dusting things like baseboards, windowsills, and picture frames, the best tool is a (clean) paintbrush." - leftthestrick

Cleaning things like the windowsill or baseboards/framing are easier with a paintbrush (without the paint).
Unsplash | Nicolas Solerieu

"I always used to either use a cloth or something made specifically for dusting, but the paintbrush is much faster and easier. I keep a cheap 2-inch paintbrush exclusively for dusting now. Also works great on cobwebs."

"Parchment paper. No more scrubbing off baked-on cheese and sauce. If it goes in the oven, I use parchment paper." - ethottly

Parchment paper is non-stick, and protects your pan from grease and food stains. Truly lifechanging.
Unsplash | Priscilla Du Preez

Another user added, "Not to be confused with WAX paper do NOT use wax paper in your oven."

Make sure you know the difference. Seriously.

"I've been opening pistachios with my thumbs for 30 years until I saw my wife use half a shell to wrench her next one open and then my mind exploded." - man-panda-pig

A pile of shelled pistachios, which can be tricky to peel.
Unsplash | Theo Crazzolara

This one is for the pistachio lovers out there. There's a simpler way.

"Put an absorbent-fabric scrunchie on each wrist before washing your face." - plutosdarling

A clean bathroom sink. Getting water down your arms when you wash your face is very annoying.
Unsplash | Sanibell BV

"They stop the water from running up your arms when rinsing and getting the insides of your robe sleeves uncomfortably wet."

Wow. I'm definitely doing this from now on.

"Hanging pictures. I used to meticulously measure and line up so my nails so they’d match the hardware on the back of the frame." - Navyblazers2000

A picture frame hanging on a bedroom wall. It's way easier to hang one up than anyone thought.
Unsplash | Ilya Ilford

"Now I just use a piece of painters tape, lay it on the back of the frame, mark hardware on the frame and then remove the tape and place it on the wall and that gives you the exact placement for your picture hanging hooks and nails."

"That you turn the deodorant to lift the hard plastic off." - dissaray07

Taking the plastic tab off the top of a new thing of deodorant is easy if you just roll it a bit.
Unsplash | Ana Essentiels

"Learned this about 5 years ago. I'm 36 years old. I struggled needlessly for so long trying to pry that damn thing off."

When I finally figured this one out, I felt really dumb.

"If you hold down the 0 (zero) button on an iPhone it will bring up the ° degree symbol." - Texan1964-

A phone open to its home screen.
Unsplash | Rahul Chakraborty

For the record, this works on any smartphone (not just iPhones). Pretty handy if you want to talk about temperature.

"Alt+Tab to navigate through open windows. I didn’t know this was a thing until college and it changed my life." - 1collin830

It might be a good idea to look up a list of keyboard shortcuts, because you never know what you might learn.
Unsplash | Clay Banks

I feel like there are soooo many keyboard shortcuts that no one tells us about. This is another really cool one I didn't learn for a long time.

"I thought working hard (giving 120%) brought many benefits. Turns out, I still get the same benefits + my sanity by only working 80%." - SuspectNumber6

A person writing in their calendar. It's okay to take a step back from your job if you're feeling burnt out.
Unsplash | Marissa Grootes

That's basically what everyone's calling quiet quitting these days. Who knew it took burnout to figure out you don't always have to go above and beyond in a job?

"Putting a towel over the sink to catch your hair when you shave." - GoodolBen

If you shave your face, don't just leave the hair in the sink.
Unsplash | Supply

"For like 20 years I had to feel like i was trying to do counterforensics to not invite the ire of every woman I've been around. One drunk night with a buddy I was talking about making some kind of electrostatic hair catcher and he's like 'Why don't you put a towel down?' Mind= blown!"

"I didn't know what cruise control was in my car until my bf turned it on for me one day. Life-changing on long trips." - DeckTheHalls_WithMe

A sports car driving down a winding road. The driver probably isn't using cruise control.
Unsplash | Erik Mclean

To this day, I've never used cruise control (but I should, probably).

"You can’t outrun a diet. I mean you can but you’ll dedicate your life to it." - maraca101

If you want to lose weight, diet is more important then exercise (but hitting the gym or finding an activity you like will still help!).
Unsplash | Humphrey Muleba

"I ate whatever I wanted and then I stationary biked from my phone battery of 100% to 0% i.e. 8 hours straight for an entire summer and developed tendonitis. And I didn’t lose any weight, just maintained it."

"You can double-click to highlight a word, right? Well apparently you can triple-click to highlight the whole paragraph." - SebastianSilver

A person looking through text on a website on their computer.
Unsplash | Agefis

This would've saved me a lot of time when finding quotes for essays in university... And yet they still gave me the degree.

"The fuel gauge in your car has a little pointer letting you know when side the cap is on. If it doesn't, it's on the same side that the fuel gauge is on." - GreasyGinger24

Pumping gas isn't fun, but it doesn't have to be difficult.
Unsplash | Jean-christophe Gougeon

I actually look at the little arrow any time I need to get gas. It saves so much time!

"It took me many, many years to realize you can double knot shoelaces." - joehighlord

A person wearing Nike shoes - with the laces tied.
Unsplash | Joseph Barrientos

Apparently, there are a lot of really cool methods to tie your shoes.

But for me, double knotting is probably the best thing.

"When changing pillow covers, flip the pillow cover inside out, then grab the pillow with it and pull. Saves a lot of time and effort." - Kotaro_14

A bed with white sheets, including a pillowcase that's been properly put on a pillow.
Unsplash | Nathan Waters

Wow. You seriously learn something new every day, huh?