From The Tips Box: Privacy Policies, Free Hangers, Cleaning Dishes

Readers offer their best tips for keeping up with different websites' privacy policies, getting free hangers from retail stores, and keeping your kitchen clean by using fewer dishes.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in — the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Use an RSS Feed Generator to Keep Track of Privacy Policies

maltesh shares an easy way to keep up on often secret changes in privacy policies:

Many web sites have Privacy Policies, which state their terms and conditions, if any, for using or not using what information you give them. Many of these privacy policies state that they can be changed at any time, and that they MAY email users if a change is made.

I've not yet run across a Privacy Policy Page that had a dedicated RSS feed to notify users of changes. However, you can use third-party page scraping services like Page2RSS to let you know through whatever feed-reader you use, in relatively short order, of changes to privacy policies that the page owner considers too minor to announce publicly.

Get Free Closet Hangers Just By Asking

Photo by Saad Akhtar.

Bobly tells us how he keeps his closet well stocked with hangers:

When you notice you're running low on hangers or just moved in to a new place, think twice about going out to purchase some new ones. Commercially acquiring hangers can cost anywhere from pennies to actually over a pound per hanger (UK) even though when you're on the way to the store to get some, you probably passed 5 or more stores that have boxes full of spare hangers just behind the tills. That's right, clothing retailers go through literally hundreds a day, and while I have no doubt they send them back to their manufacturers to be used in the next shipment, most retaillers will be very co-operative in handing some over free of charge if you purchase something. They'll sometimes even give you a spare bag and just fill it with hangers, the most customer friendly staff might even ask you what kind of hangers you would prefer. Some stores however do re-use their hangers in store in which case they might not be willing to part with their hangers but you've lost nothing by asking.

Keep a Clean Kitchen by Only Using One Set of Dishes

Mike shows us how he keeps his kitchen clean:

My wife and I went to the dollar store and bought one cup, one plate and one bowl each - my set is green and hers is red. Since we are committed to only using those dishes, we are motivated to quickly rinse them off whenever we're done eating. Our kitchen stays cleaner, we stopped using our dishwasher and we have more free time! I even went the extra step and bought one of these spoon/forks and only use it.

Save Money by Using Less Water in Your Washing Machine

valmorphorize lets us know that your washing machine probably doesn't need all the water it uses:

I save tons of money on my water utility bills by setting the water level on my washing machine to only half (or less if I have fewer clothes to wash). Even if the load is filled to the top you can wash it with less water just as good. A side benefit to this is that it also takes less time to dry the clothes because they are not as water logged as they could have been.

I also use a lot less detergent then than the "suggested" amount and have found that about a quarter of a cap (using tide at least) gets my clothes as clean and fresh as the recommended amount of detergent ever did.


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