From The Tips Box: Fabric Softener, Soft Drink Cans, New York Times Links

Readers offer their best tips for using fabric softener in your laundry, opening soft drink cans without making a loud noise and linking to New York Times articles.

Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.

Skip the Fabric Softener on Towels to Retain Absorbency

Photo by Daniel Oines.

Ryan drops some laundry knowledge:

I was in the laundry room the other day, putting my towels in the washer with some fabric softener, and one of my neighbours commented that, in fact, you aren't supposed to do that. Apparently, fabric softener makes things less absorbent, which is fine for clothes, but not for towels. Who knew?

I'd never heard this myself, but after looking it up, it seems like this is a pretty well-supported tip. Save your fabric softener!

Open a Soft Drink Can Silently by Pressing Down on the Opening

Photo by Nicholas Liby.

David tells us how to keep soft drink cans from making loud noises when you open it:

I find that many times, I want to open a soda without disturbing people who might be sleeping nearby. I discovered this quick and easy method for opening a soda can (almost) silently. Most of the sound that comes from opening a soda can comes from the vibration to the upper seal when the tab is suddenly ripped away. You can muffle almost all of that sound by placing the meaty part of your palm over the pour spout and pushing down hard while the middle finger pulls up on the tab to quietly 'tear' the seal rather than popping it.

Perfect for secretly opening that early morning beer at the office, am I right?

Link to Specific Paragraphs on the New York Times Website

Hugh discovers a hidden little trick for sending articles to your friends:

I saw this on Hacker News today -- apparently, if you press Shift two times while viewing an article on the New York Times, you'll get little buttons next to each paragraph. Click on them, and you'll be able to link directly to that paragraph. Perfect for pointing to a specific piece of information in a longer article when you share with friends.

Stop Windows From Autoplaying a CD, DVD or USB Drive

Kevin shows us how to disable Windows' AutoPlay feature for a specific disc or drive:

I just read the story on the priest's porn showing up on AutoPlay, and while you can always change your AutoPlay settings from the Control Panel, you can also manually suppress it when you insert media. Just hold down Shift as you insert the disc or USB stick, and you'll get the AutoPlay menu instead of your default AutoPlay choice.


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