13 Popular ‘Life Hacks’ That Are Actually Total Nonsense

You may be familiar with the term “life hack.” This usually refers to a simple tip or trick that makes your life easier, whether you’re cooking, cleaning, or even just trying to entertain yourself.

The Internet has made it easier than ever for people to share their favorite life hacks with the rest of the world. Yet, as is so often the case with the web, you can’t always believe what you’ve heard!

Here are 13 of the most popular life hacks that actually make no sense at all. Not only do they have no basis in science, but they can actually be counterproductive!

1. Use toilet paper rolls to make amplifiers for your phone: The cardboard tubes don’t actually make anything louder. In fact, they can actually muffle the sound! Putting your phone in a bowl, however, should do the trick.

2. Use nails to uncork a wine bottle: You may have heard that pushing a nail into a tight cork can ease it out, but unless you have several nails in the cork, it won’t work. Just bite the bullet and buy yourself a normal bottle opener!

3. Use ketchup bottles to pour pancake batter for the perfect pancakes: Besides the fact that it can be a mess to get the batter into the bottle in the first place—not to mention that you can only get small pancakes out of it—even a trace amount of ketchup in your pancakes isn’t really worth the risk.

4. You can remove the unpopped kernels out of a microwavable bag of popcorn simply by shaking it: This may theoretically work if you have enough time on your hands, but it takes so long to get the kernels past the puffed-up popcorn that you might as well just deal with the ones that inevitably end up in your popcorn bowl.

Mark Turnauckas / Flickr

5. You can open a locked car door with a tennis ball: Even the famous TV duo on Mythbusters themselves have disproven the idea that, by pressing a tennis ball with a hole in it into a locked car, you can somehow unlock it.

6. You can make decent grilled cheese in a toaster: Besides the fact that you could start a fire this way (which should be reason enough to not do it), this method is both messy and it ruins your sandwich’s texture.

7. Placing a wooden spoon on top of a pot of water will stop it from boiling over: Once the boiling gets intense enough, there’s nothing stopping it from easily engulfing your puny spoon as well! Just stir it and turn down the heat.

Chad King / YouTube

8. You can make batteries last longer just because you put them in the freezer: In fact, the cold could actually decrease the amount of time that they can be used! Plus, you can get seal damage or corrosion from the condensation.

John Seb Barber / Wikimedia Commons

9. You’ll have an easier time slicing cherry tomatoes by holding them between two Tupperware lids and cutting horizontally: Skip this hack. This method can get pretty messy, and the cuts will be uneven. Plus, you might just squish them!

10. You can amplify the speakers on your laptop with two halves of a plastic bottle: All this does is create a funnel for the sound into your keyboard instead of making the sound waves bounce more.

11. Microwaving leftover pizza with a glass of water will make it crispier: Microwave ovens rely on radiation to heat the moisture in your food from the inside. A glass of water on the side might create a little steam, but that’s not going to help your pizza do much but get soggy.

Curryrojo / Flickr

12. You can reduce the pain of a jellyfish sting by peeing on it: No matter what that one episode of Friends may have had you believe all these years, urine can actually make the pain worse. Just use an oral analgesic.

13. You’ll get rid of your cold worse if you gargle mouthwash: Post-nasal drip may simply be mucus, but the common cold itself is actually a virus. If your tonsils are already raw, the mouthwash will just further irritate them!

Heidi De Vries / Flickr

The next time somebody tries to convince you that one of these hacks works, you can tell them that you know they’re full of it. Don’t waste your time trying any of these!

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