Winter is a hard time of year to get through, freezing temperatures and snow can make our lives pretty difficult. Once the holidays wrap up, January and February feel never-ending…tis’ the season of loads of snow and little to no sunlight. These winter hacks will save you energy, money and time…what’s better than that?
Cover Your Socks With Sandwich Bags
There’s nothing worse than cold feet, and we’re not talking about the figurative kind, we’re talking literally. Even waterproof boots are prone to moisture, it’s really pretty impossible to escape it. Layering sandwich bags over your socks provide you with an extra layer of insulation and protection from the snow and rain.
Keep Your Windshield Wipers Safe
Windshield wipers can easily crack or break from harsh elements such as snow, ice, and rain. Keep yours safe by covering them with a pair of old socks. They may not be safe in a record-breaking storm, but they’ll definitely lessen the damages.
Use Newspaper To Dry Your Shoes
Newspapers serve as great mats to absorb excess snow and water. They can also be stuffed inside your shoes to absorb moisture. If you want to go green, a tray filled with small stones can also do the trick.
Park Your Car Toward The East
Getting your car out of the snow in the morning is not always a pleasant experience. The ice and snow around your vehicle and on your windshield won’t be a problem for you if you park toward the east. Save energy and time before heading off to work by simply changing your parking angle.
Get Rid Of Pills With A Razor
Pills on old sweaters and wool coats are quite a nuisance. Get rid of them by shaving off the pills with a razor from the dollar store. Buying new clothes every time they get pilly can get expensive, try this proven trick next time before reaching for your wallet.
Invest In A Hot Water Bottle
Hot water bottles are rubber bottles covered in soft fabrics. Before heading off to bed, boil water and fill your bottle to the brim. You won’t have to endure the cost of having an electric blanket on all night. You’ll be in shock when you reach for your bottle in the morning and find that it’s still warm.
DIY Wool Insoles
All shoes can use some extra insulation, especially if they aren’t too warm to begin with. Grab some wool and a pair of scissors and get cutting. Your new insoles will keep your feet warm and snug even on the coldest of days.
Cover Your Mirrors With Sandwich Bags
Another part of the car that needs protecting is side mirrors. Ice is often quite difficult to get off your mirrors so cover them with plastic sandwich bags. You’ll have one less thing to scrape away at before heading off to work.
Reverse Your Fan’s Direction
During the colder temps, you should run your fan in the reverse direction. This does the opposite of what a fan does in summer – cool the room. Your fan will now bring warm air down to the floor level. Heat rises, but when a fan works clockwise, the warm air is sent downward instead. Save money on heating bills with this cool hack.
Give Your Snow Shovel An Update
Snow shovels are imperative to clear snow off of your driveway, but sometimes, they do have flaws. The next time you find that the snow clings too much to your shovel, grab a bottle of cooking spray. The material will prevent snow from sticking to your shovel meaning you’ll get a lot more snow-clearing done.
De-Ice Your Driveway For Cheap
De-icing your driveway can be costly. If you want to save some cash, this combo is for you. Make your very own de-icer with 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap, half a gallon of hot water and 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. You’ll be amazed at the results!
Bask In The Sunshine
Although this hack won’t save you time or money, it will brighten your mood and your day. Sitting in the sun for a mere 5 minutes can substantially improve your mood. Head outside on your next lunch break and soak in some rays.
Put Cat Litter On Your Tires
Getting stuck in the snow is bound to happen to you at least once this coming winter. Who knew kitty litter could help? Cat litter can provide traction for your tires, making it easy to get out of deep snow in a flash. Sand can also do the trick.
Homemade Hand Warmers
Forego buying expensive hand warmers and make your own! You’ll need water, two sandwich bags (one large and one small) and calcium chloride. Pour the compound into the large bag, and then pour the water into the smaller bag. But the smaller bag into the larger one and break it. This will create a chemical reaction and it’ll become warm. Warning: do not let this touch your skin.
Bubbles In The Cold
Although this may not be a hack, it is fun! When it’s chilly out, head into the cold and blow bubbles with dish soap. Make sure your soap is cold and the outside air temperature near freezing, your bubbles will freeze in minutes…or even seconds!
A Credit Card Doubles As An Ice Scraper
When in doubt, use your credit card. We don’t always have an ice scraper on hand, and sometimes you need to make do with what you’ve got. The good thing about a credit card is it won’t damage your car and vice versa. After you de-ice, go use your credit card to buy yourself a real ice scraper.
Loosen Car Door Locks With Hand Sanitizer
If you’re having trouble getting your key into the door, you can bet it’s frozen. The alcohol in hand sanitizer thaws materials, so ice, begone! Simply squirt the liquid into the lock, give it a few seconds and put your key in the hole. If this doesn’t do the trick, heat up your key with a lighter or match, then insert to melt the ice.
Prop The Oven Open
Heating bills in the winter are off the chart expensive. Instead of walking around the house with double socks on and 5 sweaters, just try cooking with the oven. When you’ve finished preparing your meal, turn the oven off and leave the door ajar. Your house will heat up in seconds!
Fill Your Boots With A Pool Noodle
Winter boots often go flat and lose their shape when not worn daily. Make sure they stay looking as good as ever by cutting up a pool noodle and putting it into your boots. They’ll never lose their shape…or their style!
Fasten Zip Ties To Your Bike Wheels
Not many bikes come with snow tires, but do not fret, we’ve got a trick for you! Ensure extra traction by securing zip ties to your bike’s wheels. Zip ties may keep you from losing control and crashing when going over an icy or snowy patch. Is summer around the corner? Simply cut them off using a pair of scissors.
Block The Draft
Pool noodles make another appearance! It seems they’re more useful than just lounging around in the pool. Get rid of cool drafts by sliding a pool noodle underneath the door. Cut the noodle and slide it under the door frame, ensuring it fits the door snuggly. Add a pair of old pants for extra protection, and for a fashion statement!
DIY Basement Tarp
Who else hates snow, ice and mud falling off their car and into the garage? All you need is a tarp, duct tape, and pool noodles. This DIY parking hack will keep your garage clean all winter long. All it takes is some imagination and willpower!
Traction Mat For Tires
Although this isn’t a hack but more of a product pitch, we’re going for it anyway. If you don’t have this, you need to buy it asap! Reliancer’s Traction Tracks Mats make dealing with the snow and mud easy. The ladder design allows tires to grip the tracks easily, getting you out of a pinch, whenever and wherever.
Close The Doors
While this may seem obvious, it’s so crucial that we have to mention it anyway. If you aren’t using a room, shut the door to allow heat to concentrate to the room you are using. You’ll be appalled when your thermometer shots up a few degrees!
Use Tin Foil In Your Fireplace
Cleaning a fireplace is such a hassle, which is why this hack is a lifesaver. Simply make a tray using kitchen foil (2 layers) and put it underneath the fire. After it has burned to ash and had time to cool, ball up the tin foil and dump it into the trash. While it may not get every little piece of ash, it’ll definitely get most of it!
Use A Bathtub Humidifier
The air during the winter months is often extremely dry. Those who suffer from dry hands and lips know what we’re talking about. While lip balms and hand creams help, most people need more. If you take baths, once you finish, let the water sit and only drain it when it reaches room temperature. The water will add humidity to not only your bathroom but also to the rest of your house.
Use Grapefruit Seed Extract
Stay ahead of cold and flu season by boosting your immune system with grapefruit seed extract. The fruit has numerous antioxidants and antimicrobials, killing yeasts and bacteria in your system. Whether you get capsules or a liquid concentrate, be sure to follow the instructions on the package.
Garlic Oil Should Be Your Go-To
Garlic oil is another supplement that’ll help you stay healthy during these winter months. Garlic is not only antibacterial, but it also has antifungal and antiviral properties. If you don’t have access to garlic oil, cooking with the plant can also do the trick.
Make Your Own Hand Warmers
Why buy hand warmers when you can make your own for free? Take an old pair of socks, cut the toes off and cut a hole in the heel. Then sew the top of the sock where you cut the toes off. Slip your fingers through the top and your thumb into the heel hole. Say goodbye to freezing fingers!
Keep Your Face Warm
While it may look ridiculous, who wouldn’t mind looking funny to stay warm? If you have long hair and you’re suffering from a freezing cold nose and cheeks, this hack is for you. Tie your hair together in the front of your forehead, pull the sides to the front and tie the 3 sections all together.
Cover Your Windows With A Tarp
This might seem a bit odd, but trust us, it really works. You can use a simple tarp that you would find at a hardware store, or you can spend a little extra money to get a higher-end sealant for your windows. Doing this allows natural light to still get into your home, but adds an extra layer of protection between you and the bone-chilling breezes that are blowing around outside.
Warm Your Bed Up Before You Get In
Tossing Your Blanket in the dryer for five minutes before putting it back on your bed or using an electric blanket to warm your bed up before getting in can make a world of difference for you each night. There’s nothing worse than already being cold and then getting into an equally cold bed.
Defog Windows With Shaving Cream
When you’re in a hurry and you’re already late for work in the morning, the last thing you want to do is sit in your ice-cold car waiting for the defrost button to start working so you can see out of your front windshield. If you take any can of cheap shaving cream and spread a thin layer on the inside of your window, then wipe it clean with a towel, your windows won’t fog up in the first place! Shaving cream and defoggers have some of the same ingredients, surprisingly.
Check Your Tires With A Penny
A great trick to check your tire’s traction levels without going into a shop is to use a penny. That’s right, stick your hand into your piggy bank and grab out one penny. Stick the coin in between two grooves on your tires; if you can’t see Abe Lincoln’s head once you’ve placed the penny, your tires are good to go for winter, but if your tires are worn down to the point of still being able to see his head, you may want to get new ones before the first snowfall of the season.
Spray Your Car Doors
It’s pretty scary to have to play tug-of-war with your car door after a snow or ice storm, especially if your car is on the older side of its life. Sometimes ice and snow can cause your car door to freeze shut, but we have a trick to make this go away. Take your favorite cooking spray and use it on the rubber edges of your car doors. Once you’ve sprayed a generous coating on the doors, dab it off, only leaving a very thin layer. This will act as a sort of lubricant against ice so it won’t stick to your doors.
Use Cat Litter To Defog Your Windows
Cat litter is super absorbent when it comes to moisture, which can be very beneficial when your car windows are put at risk of fogging up. If you fill a few socks with silica cat litter and put them around the window edges in your car, it will absorb all of the moisture around that is causing the fog to form on your windows.
Put A Rug On Your Windshield
If you see that a big snow storm is about to come your way, throw a rug or tarp over the windshield of your car after you’ve parked. This will create a layer of protection against your windshield so that no snow or ice sticks onto it. This will save you lots of time from scraping snow off of your car before leaving for work in the morning!
Use A Broom To Clear Snow From Your Car
Often times people neglect to clear the snow off of the roof of their cars, probably because it’s so hard to reach, but this is actually quite risky and dangerous. Not only can the snow slide off in a giant and heavy chunk and block your view, but it can also fly off of your car and onto someone else’s. It’s actually becoming a law in many states that you can get a hefty fine for leaving piles of snow on the roof of your car while driving. It makes sense!
Use Your Car’s Floor Mats If You’re Stuck
If you find yourself stuck in an unexpected snow storm and your tires just can’t make it out of your parking spot, try to use your floor mats for a bit of extra traction. Place them on the snow in the path that you need to drive on and slowly accelerate to move your car through them. The dry surface with a good amount of traction will help ease your car out in a bind.
DIY Washer Fluid
Especially in the winter months, washer fluid seems to disappear instantly. It’s not so cheap to buy pre-made washer fluid from an auto shop, so why not save some money and make your own? Mix a gallon of water with one tablespoon of dish soap, half a cup of vinegar, and some blue food coloring. To prevent the wash from freezing you can also add a cup of isopropyl alcohol.
Keep Ice Off Of Windows
Try mixing three parts vinegar and one part water into a spray bottle and using it on the outside of all the windows in your car. This will prevent ice from sticking to your car’s windows! Though it will not prevent snow from piling on, it will make sure that no ice chunks form. This will already make your life much easier.
Utilize Heat From Natural Light
Though sunshine is visible for far fewer hours each day in the winter months, when it is out, the sun is still warm. Especially if you have south-facing windows, make sure to keep your shades or curtains open during the daylight so that natural light–and heat from the natural light–will make its way into your home.
Put Thick Curtains Over Your Windows
Place thick curtains over your windows to act as a barrier to trap the cold air in. Thin curtains won’t do the job, but multi-layered curtains will. If this trick works to your liking for your windows, you can also try it over your door to cover the cracks between the frame and the actual door.
Insulate Your Garage Door
By insulating your garage door, you’ll be keeping out huge amounts of cold air from coming into your garage and your house if they are attached. In turn, this will keep your car warmer, too! It’s a situation with no bad sides to it, really.
Aluminum Foil Behind Your Radiator
Radiators project heat from both sides, even if one side is up against a wall. Instead of paying money for your heat to go nowhere, place a layer of aluminum foil along the back side of your radiator or space heater. This will reflect the heat off of it and project it back to your room.
Take Shorter Showers
We know that this sounds like a horrible idea when you’re suffering from the cold and all you want to do it sit under a stream of steaming hot water forever, but this hot shower water actually dries your skin up really quickly. By taking shorter showers, you’re reducing the amount of time your skin has to start drying out.
Use Dry Shampoo To Get Rid Of Hat Hair
After you’ve come inside after being out in the miserable, freezing cold winter weather, you’ll likely want to find a quick and easy solution for that unsightly hat hair. Look no further, because the answer is dry shampoo! Dry shampoo will help lift your roots up and bring your hair back to life.
Wear Cotton Gloves
Especially in the winter months, it’s so easy for your skin to dry out and lose its moisture. By placing a pair of cotton gloves over your hands or a pair of socks over your feet after moisturizing, it will lock in the moisture to your skin. The best trick is to do this before you go to sleep at night and not take the gloves or socks off until morning.
Keep A Teakettle Boiling
When you’re at home for the day, keep a teakettle filled with water and natural spices or essential oils boiling throughout the day. Doing so will help keep the air moist from the evaporating water, and it will make your home smell fresh and clean from the spices and oils.
Take Vitamin D Supplements
You are likely in the sun much less during the winter months when it’s icy cold outside, which means that your body is not getting as much vitamin D as it does during the summer when you spend a lot of time outside. Taking vitamin D can lift your mood and keep you from falling into that horrible winter slump that everyone knows all too well.