We asked some of our readers for life hacks on how to make life easier. Here are some suggestions.


You may have started hearing the phrase ‘life hack’ and wondered what it meant? Well, it’s a newly minted word for an old expression – basically a life hack is a tip. Something that makes things easier and makes you think “that’s a good idea”.

Here are a few of our favourite life hacks from Field readers.

Squeaky doors

If you live in an old house that has more than its fair share of squeaky doors, rather than use oil on the hinges, use vaseline. It doesn’t run and leave streaks on the paintwork.

VB – Devon (April 2023)

old vegetables

Using old vegetables

If I have any vegetables that are starting to sprout or wrinkle, instead of throwing them away, I peel, dice and sauté them. Once cool, I freeze them and they make an excellent addition to soups, stews and pasties.

FG, Shropshire (March 2023)

odd socks

Odd socks

Sorting out drawers for the new year I came across quite a few odd socks, their companion long gone. I have found they make excellent cleaning and polishing mitts, slip them over your hand and get to work, they seem to reach in a variety of tight places.

SB Cumbria (January 2023)

tweed coats

Drying wet coats

I find hanging a hot water bottle inside a wet coat really helps speed up the drying process. Place the coat on a decent hanger and suspend the hot water- bottle, better than hanging over a radiator which can potentially damage your coat. (Read how to repair a wax jacket.)

LHB by email (December 2022)

vase flowers

Leaking vase

A neat trick if you have a leaking vase, make sure the vase is dry, then melt some wax and patch the leak.

BS Hertfordshire (November 2022)

Cleaning diamond rings

A handy little trick to clean up a diamond ring is to place a denture tablet in a glass of water, place your ring in the glass and leave for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the ring and rinse thoroughly to reveal its former sparkle and shine. Perfect after a good morning in the garden.

LMC – Winchester (November 2021)

bars soap

Sticking drawers

With visitors now able to come and stay, I have noticed that the drawers in a chest have got sticky. I was recommended to rub the bottom of the drawer and the supports they rest on with a bar of soap. Works a treat, my advice is to choose a mildly scented soap!

PL. Kent (October 2022)

Smelly feet

Sage is great for helping prevent foot odour, I tend to crumble a couple of leaves into my boots before I put them on and at the end of the day shake out the remains. The sage helps kill the bacteria that grows on feet in warm moist environments, with the added bonus of helping the boot room smell sweeter. (Read how to remove dog odour from your car.)

JK Norfolk (September 2022)

Removing flies

It’s that time of year again and I hate flies circling the room. I am loathe to spray a cloud of poisonous aerosol into the space I share with dogs et al… The very effective and non-poisonous solution I have found is: spray a cloud of hair spray into their flight path. A word of warning though, it might not endear you to the owner of the hair spray . . ..

M-AC by email (August 2022)

Softening sugar

A useful tip from granny, if your bag of brown sugar goes hard, soak a cork, completely submerge it in cold water, for about 20 minutes. Then push the cork into the hard sugar, seal or cover the bag and in about an hour it should be soft.

TW Cumbria (July 2022)

boiling eggs

Using up egg water

We eat a lot of boiled eggs and until last year, the water used was just tipped down the sink. Now I let it cool and use the nutrient-filled water to water plants.

MT by email (June 2022)

Watering houseplants

During the warmer months to stop your houseplants drying out, repot them, but tuck a damp sponge into the bottom of the pot before filling it with soil. The sponge acts a bit like a reservoir plus has the added advantage of holding the water if the pot is overwatered.

Mary W – Kent (April 2022)

Boot room springclean

After a long, damp and cold winter the boot room is in a sad way, a water mark on the ceiling and various small stains. Until the new puppy has grown there is no point repainting but rubbing a stick of white chalk over the marks until it has lightened and in some cases disappeared has made all the difference. It’s a neat trick.

AS Lincolnshire (March 2022)

Sloes post gin

When decanting your sloe gin, save the sloes and pop them into the freezer. They add an extra alcoholic dimension to a cocktail and are particularly good in a Sloegasm.

WH, Berkshire (February 2022)

Drainpipe blockages

A hose pipe seems to have many uses, when your drainpipe and guttering are clogged with leaves I find pushing a hose up the drain pipe and poking it through dislodges the blockage easily, without the need to turn the hose on, as the water in the gutter flushes the debris out. Nice and simple.

DO Rutland (November 2022)