From The Tips Box: Folding Socks, Magic Erasers, Bad Tasting Water

Readers offer their best tips for folding socks without stretching the elastic, getting the most out of your Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, and drinking water in cities you're not used to.

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

Fold Socks Without Stretching the Elastic

leshy shares a new way to fold socks that keeps them in better condition:

I was looking for a way to fold my socks in pairs, but with a method that did not stretch the elastic and took up as little space as possible since I'm cramped for space. After trying a few methods I came up with a solution that works for me. Start by pulling one sock inside out. Now stick your arm inside that sock, and with your fingers grab the tip of the other sock so that your holding both socks together by the toes with one hand. Then simply unravel the inside-out sock over your arm and it will cover the other sock. Essentially your putting one sock inside the other, but this method keeps your from shoving it in there which leaves you with a huge bulge, plus this doesn't stretch the elastic like some other methods.

Cut Up Magic Erasers to Make them Last Longer

Photo by Megan Soh.

Valmorphorize shows us how to stretch out the usable length of your Mr Clean Magic Erasers:

Save money by cutting up your "Magic Eraser". I cut my Mr. Clean Magic Erasers in half and use each one for different jobs. One stays in the bathroom, another in the kitchen. Do what you want, but this saves me a lot of money. Also, by the Walmart no name ones, they work just as well and at half the cost.

Melt Ice When Your Hotel Water Tastes Bad

Photo by Tom Mascardo 3.

Juansmith shares a tip for those more picky about the taste of their water:

Here's one for travelling for business or pleasure. If you're heading for a place where the water is safe to drink, but tastes like crap (I'm looking at you, California), you've basically got two options... Drink it, or load up on bottled water, which can get expensive really fast.

What I'll often do when returning to my hotel room in the evening is grab a bucketful of ice. The next morning, voila - ice water that tastes better than the tap. I presume this is because water going into the ice machine is often filtered. And even lousy water tastes better cold.

Soak Foaming Gel Toothpaste Cans in Water to Cut Down on Debris

Photo by grggrssmr.

Shortcutter tells foaming toothpaste users how to keep their cans clean:

If you have ever used foaming gel toothpastes, then you know that a little bit leaks out after every use and hardens into a shell that has to be wiped out before the next use (unless you like using rocky toothpaste). A simple and efficient solution is to invert the can in a cup of water. The little bit of leakage dissolves in the water and you get a minty cup of water that should be changed weekly with no hardening formations.

This probably works for shaving cream cans too that leak after use.


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