On My Desk


Savvy hacks for cold weather

First off, someone call Al Gore, man was right on. We’ve been having a seriously wacky winter in the East Coast. That said, it’s inevitable that it’ll freeze up again, and I found the best cold weather hacks to get you through.

Salt your stairs without salt, warm your feet with spices in your pantry and spray salad dressing on your windshield, these and more savvy tricks you definitely don’t know about – yet!

TRICK #1: Driveway De-Icer

You know how you can put a bottle of vodka in the freezer and it never gets frozen? Well, same premise here, folks! If you ran out of salt or you’re tired of dealing with salt that’s ruining your driveway and Fido’s paws, mix 50/50 hot water and rubbing alcohol solution, add one tablespoon of Dawn detergent. Pour over sidewalks to melt black ice.

TEST YOUR HACK: To make sure your solution has the right proportions, especially if you decided to use less alcohol, leave the solution outside overnight, if it gets slushy or freezes, add more rubbing alcohol!

TRICK #2: Sweaty Socks / Cayenne Foot Warmer

Cayenne pepper’s active ingredient, capsaicin, causes the blood vessels under the skin to dilate, increasing circulation throughout your body, and that includes to your extremities, read: your fingers and toes. So what does this do, you ask? It works to keep make feet toasty warm!

There are a few ways to do this, but the basic premise is that by sprinkling just a bit of cayenne onto your feet, you’re topically heating it through the capsaicin. The hack to the hack – apply lotion on your toes so that the cayenne has something to stick to!

• Method 1: Two-sock sprinkle
Spread one teaspoon of cayenne pepper inside a thick pair of socks. Put on a thin pair and layer the thicker socks over them.

• Method #2: Cayenne + powder mashup
If you like living on the edge, mix a bit more than one teaspoon of cayenne with some talcum powder or cornstarch, then sprinkle it in your socks, or right onto your shoe.

Things you really need to know:

  1. Warming may begin immediately, or over a half to a full hour. Resist the urge to sprinkle more cayenne until you know how it will affect you personally. If you have really sensitive skin, may want to avoid this hack all together!
  2. Your feet and socks will turn red. Your feet will smell like bean chili.
  3. Don’t use cayenne on your feet if you have any cuts or blisters. Someone will need to peel you down from the ceiling cartoon-style.
  4. The heat may intensify if you use too much on a sock and place it inside a shoe.

TRICK #3: Frost Vaporizer

If you hate having to scrape early morning frost from your windshield, just spray it away! Mix three parts vinegar with one part water and spray the mixture onto your windshield to prevent ice from forming the night before – or even the morning of!

TRICK #4: Cooking spray, two ways!

1. Spray cooking spray in the cracks of your doors and on the rubber will prevent them from freezing shut at night. Water that melts during the day runs in between your doors and freezes, but cooking spray keeps the water from resting in the cracks in the first place.

2. Apply cooking spray liberally to a shovel so snow slides off when you’re shoveling!

TRICK #5: DIY Car Deodorizer

Make your own car diffuser to take away any damp smell with just a clothespin, some pom poms and essential oils!

What defogs cold windows, AC or heat?

Once and for all – because we’ve all had arguments about this – what defogs cold windows during the winter, AC or heat?

Per Lifehacker: The fogging occurs because of the temperature and moisture differential between the inside of the car and the outside of the car. Outside it’s cold and dry—it might not seem dry with all the snow and slush but winter air has very low humidity—and inside it’s warmer and moister thanks to your body heat and the moisture from your breath being trapped inside.

In an emergency, when you need the window defogged right now, the fastest way to do so is to rapidly lower the inside temperature so that the moisture stops condensing on the glass, so turn on that AC, guys! Bummer. And for those of you that have been vindicated – congrats! 



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