Our homes have been through a lot in 2020. From constant sanitising to higher energy bills, to all the dirty dishes, we’ve spent so much more time cleaning, maintaining, and improving everything around us. To help with all the time spent at home, here are our best household hacks of 2020 — the tips that made cleaning easier, more efficient, or at the very least surprised us a bit.
(Full disclosure: Our infamous tip to thaw frozen food in the washing machine was not included in this list.)
How to properly care for cast iron
You know how they say to never use soap on a cast iron pan? Well “they” are wrong! This video explains everything you wanted to know about how to clean and maintain a cast iron pan — and most importantly, if soap will destroy it.
The do’s and don’ts of disinfecting your phone
Remember the early days of 2020 when we weren’t worried that every surface was coming to get us? Neither do I. Which is why this video about what to do (and what not to do) when disinfecting your phone was so handy this year.
Our favorite unconventional uses for pool noodles
Maybe you spent less time at the public pool this year; maybe you had to buy a 12-pack of pool noodles when you only need one to test a hack for your video. Either way, if you have a surplus of pool noodles, this video (and its subsequent sequel) will help you find a use for them.
Clean your dirty microwave with a lemon
We test many hacks before they make it into a video, and so many things written on the internet just don’t work. Which is why I was shocked (shocked!) when all of these microwave cleaning methods were so effective upon first try.
Our best methods to clean stained pots and pans
It may seem like pots and pans will never return to their original lustre. Luckily, all the tips in this video will take care of burnt-on or time-addled cookware. Plus, it uses Lifehacker favourite, Bar Keepers Friend, which later got its own video.
Use your washing machine to thaw frozen food
OK, fine, here’s the washing machine video. Yes, people did not like the suggestion to run frozen food on a cold cycle to thaw it quickly, but if you need a large item thawed within an hour, it works!