Amazing Everyday Life Hacks from Over 100 Years Ago


The use of life hacks is nothing new.

Life hacks became popular during the most unlikely of scenarios: being printed on paper packs of cigarettes.

The Gallaher Group may not be as prevalent as they were in the 1900’s but they’ve left a footprint in modern society. The everyday life hacks they included within their products are relevant to this day.

These clever hacks cover problems like:

  • Reviving cut flowers
  • Treating sprains
  • Stopping a runaway horse
  • Picking up broken glass
  • Removing stains from shoes

… and the list goes on.

Type “life hacks” into YouTube and you will find nearly 16 million results for the term. Google Trends shows ‘life hacks’ exponentially growing through the years.

Many of these have been repeated ad nauseam but in a different fashion using different product or techniques. The results? Still the same.

The results?

Still the same.

Are they better than their 100-year old counterparts?


Technology has come a long way so certain everyday life hacks from back in the day don’t stand the test of the time. But here’s the thing… many of them do!

These hacks are 100+ years old. And they get the job done if you’re in a tight pinch. Or want to try something out of the ordinary to make your life easier.

What are these popular, everyday life hacks that have stood the test of time?

Let’s find out right now.

Everyday Life Hacks: 100 Years and Still Going Strong

It’s already 2017. We still find ourselves in similar situations as the 1900’s.

We still want to find ways to reduce our waste, save money/time, and do something creative with the everyday routine.

Want a few examples? Gladly…

1. The “Splinter Trick”

A classic: Add a bit of hot water to a wide-mouth bottle and apply it to the affected area. The suction caused by the steam will help pull at the skin and remove the splinter.

2. The “Reviving Cut Flowers”

Toss the stems into hot water until it’s cooled. Cut off the stems. Then add to cold water to keep them fresh!

3. The DIY “Fire Extinguisher”

Take two quarts of water, a pound of salt, 1/2 a pound of sal-ammoniac. Mix it all into an old liquor bottle. When a fire breaks out? Bust it over the flame and find yourself at ease!

4. Wine Cooling (Without Ice)

Need a quick way to chill the drinks?

Wrap a bottle in a washcloth and toss it into a bucket of cold water. Take 10 minutes. Now you’re good to get tipsy without it being too warm!

5. Picking Up that Broken Glass

Pretty simple.

We’ve all been in those moments when we’ve broken a glass.

Cleaning up has been like what those have done long ago. Take a damp cloth, pat the area, and clean the item to the trash. You’re good to go!

6. Treating a Sprain


Sprains aren’t fun but they don’t have to last forever.

This old school example of everyday life hacks wants you to use wrap the sprain in a strip of cloth connected to a jug of water above the sprain. This lets the water circulate throughout the bandage ad keep a constant relief to the area.

7. A DIY Fountain for Birds

Easy enough.

Take an old bottle, fill it with water, and place it into a bowl of water.

As birds are taking a sip it will slowly feed water into the bowl. Replace the water in the bottle when empty versus spending money on a bird feeder!

8. Cutting Bread (Thin)

Thick bread?

No thank you. Especially not on sandwiches.

How to do it better?

Dip the knife into hot water, wipe clean, and then make your way through the loaf. The hot knife will cut the bread like butter so you can do thinner cuts.

9. Predicting the Weather

This one is rather easy:

Take a look at what the cloud formation is within the distance. Along with the wind direction and size. You can guess what type of weather you’re expecting soon.

10. Lighting a Match in the Wind


The wind is our enemy when we’re in need of striking a flame. Combat this by shaving a few areas of the match around the striking end so once the fire catches — hold it has extra areas to burn.

Practical these days? Eh. Still cool, though!

11. No More Wasting those Cracked Eggs

Digging through the dozen and found a cracked egg? Broke one when bringing it home? No problem.

You can cook a cracked egg with this old school life hack.

A bit of vinegar added to the water will help prevent the egg from boiling out!

12. Balancing a Vase

This would have been a problem in the past?

Anyway, add a bit of sand to the bottom of a vase to prevent it from tipping over. Plain and simple.

13. Keeping Clean with a Paint Brush

Painting can get messy but not with one of these everyday life hacks from back in the day…

Take a piece of card or tin, cut out a part, and feed the paint brush through the area to stop drippage.

14. Cleaning Bottles

Fresh bottles are cheap these days but if you’re the DIY type you may want to keep those you’ve been using.

Clean the interior bottle by adding a mix of sand and water. Shake it hard. Then you’re all good to go. Nice and clean!

Nice and clean!

15. Removing a Tight Ring

This one is a little odd.

The everyday life hacks of this one showed an old image of what was the ring finger (hmmm) but the information is good nonetheless…

A bit of soap will do the trick. Gasp!

16. Say Good-Bye to a Stump

You’ve trimmed the tree. Now you’ve got the stump.

A stump grinding service can be quite expensive. Cut those costs by drilling holes along the top and sides of the stump. Add a mix of salt and solignum and that stump will be gone before long.

Oh, about that solignum?

You’ll need to search around online or hardware stores for that.

17. Making a Simple Padlock Cover

Padlocks are at the mercy of the weather.

Protect it by adding a nailed, leather flap over the eye screw of the padlock and use a peg to keep this piece in place.

18. More Eggs (Preserving Them, That Is)

Let’s say you really, really want to stretch your dollar or perhaps you’re a doomsday prepper. No judging. These everyday life hacks come in handy.

Take a container of dry salt, bury the freshly hatched eggs, and place it in a cold place. Remove all possibilities of air reaching the shells and you’ll have eggs that will survive the apocalypse!

19. Stopping that Pesky “Steaming Eye Glasses” Thing

Moisture and fogging aren’t helpful when you’re wearing glasses.

A bit of soap and polishing, every day, can create an invisible film of soap that will prevent these issues on your day-to-day routine.

20. Detecting Gas Leaks

This one is particularly helpful because… well … it could save a life!

Paint an area you suscept that’s leaking gas with a strong soap mixture. If you see it bubbling then you know you have an issue. Bubbles will rise from any escaping gasses which should prompt you on taking action to fix the problem.

22. Treating Squeaky Boots

You’ve got two ways:

  • Adding brads (these days you could go with thumb tacks)
  • Soaking the sole in oil

Simple? Of course.

Did you think of it?

Maybe not off the bat.

23. Pullin those Long Nails

Stop struggling.

Take the edge of piece of wood (or really any item to create a fulcrum) and pivot the nail up and out of the area.

You’d think this is common place but times were different back in the day.

24. Mending China

Let’s not get political.

Wash your fine china with hot/cold water, heat aluminum, apply it to the broken areas, and stick the pieces together. Those timeless pieces are good to go!

25. Old School Eye Drops

A drop of sweet or castor oil can help remove particles from your eye. We have modern eye drops for these occurrences. But this can also be done with these oils and a small brush when the time comes.

Treat Everyday Life Hacks with a Grain of Salt

These can be a hit or miss especially when they’re coming from a pack of cigarettes dating 100+ years ago.

You have to be practical with everyday life hacks.

It’s fun to entertain the idea of these life hacks though modern advancements are more than enough. Experimentation is key.

There are those occasions when you land on an everyday life hack that changes it all. These eureka moments are so awesome!

Even if they aren’t new to you… they could spur a good change in lifestyle.

In some ways, it creates a challenge whether it’s using something new to save the ocean or figuring out tough decisions. It goes beyond doing something to increase convenience — it’s creating a new future.

Should you expect a grain of salt with these everyday life hacks? Of course.

Yet, they may get you thinking in a creative manner. A way which could save you time, money, and energy. What’s not to love with that, right?

Your turn.

What are some of the “old school”, everyday life hacks you’ve learned over the years you still do to this day? Share your hacks with a comment below!

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