10 Clever living tips people followed 100 years ago that are tremendously still useful today

To say that life has changed in 100 years is an understatement. Back in the 1920s, life expectancy was much shorter (around 54 years of age). The world was recovering from a global pandemic (ironic, that) – the Spanish Flu – which infected nearly 30% of the population and killed nearly 50 million. The automotive industry finally took off, bringing cars onto the roads, alcohol was prohibited, and women were finally allowed to vote.

While we’ve thankfully come a long way since then, there were things we were doing 100 years ago that were so effective, they’ve continued to be done today.

We’ve rounded up some of the genius hacks, tips and tricks of the early 1900s that you may not have even heard about – and it’s about time you did! Prepare to simplify your everyday life with these clever living tips from 100 years ago that are still tremendously useful today.

1. Keep your furniture shining with this DIY furniture polish.

If you have a lot of wood furniture or other wood surfaces in your house, it’s nice to shine them up every once in a while. You can make your own furniture polish by combining paraffin wax with vinegar in a 50-50 solution. Add a couple of drops of scented oil if you like for a fragrant solution.


2. Smokers and campers everywhere can rejoice

It can be frustrating to try to light a match when you’re outside and the wind is blowing. Luckily, there’s a simple trick to make it easier. Just shave a couple of small strips in the wood closest to the head of the match, leaving the ends attached. Once the head lights, all the shavings will light, too, making for a more robust flame that’s harder to extinguish.



3. Keep yourself safe when cleaning up broken glass.

When glass breaks, it’s important to make sure you get every piece up to protect yourself and others. Don’t use a broom, which only pushes the glass around the floor. Instead, use a damp cloth to wipe all the fragments up, preferably one that you can toss into the trash.


4. Pull out a nasty splinter with this handy-dandy trick.

The next time you get a splinter, don’t try to go after it with tweezers or a needle. Instead, try this life hack from our great grandparents’ day: fill a bottle with hot water almost to the top. Press the splinter down on the mouth of the bottle and let the steam and suction pull the wood out of your skin.


5. Separate drinking glasses with some science.

It’s super annoying when drinking glasses get stuck together, and separating them can be a disaster. Just employ a little bit of science to get them apart. Place the bottom glass in a bowl of warm water and fill the upper glass with cold water. They’ll pop apart right away


6. Take care of a sprain at home.

There’s no doubt that sprains are annoying and painful, but thankfully, they’re not usually serious. To take care of them, elevate the sprained limb on a pillow and wrap in cool, wet bandages. Keep them consistently wet by running a bandage from the limb to a pitcher of water. Then let gravity do the trick of moving the water down to the sprain.


7. Get ink out of clothing and fabric with milk.

Have you ever had a pen explode on your favorite shirt and thought it was the end? You can easily save that shirt by placing it in a bowl of milk as soon as you can. Milk will lift the stain out of the fabric, leaving a clean, stain-free spot. Then, just throw the article into a regular wash cycle.


8. Keep your glasses from steaming up with a simple dail routine.

If you get annoyed with your glasses steaming up in the bathroom or when going into a warm house, make a simple DIY lens protectant with a regular bar of soap. Just rub the soap onto your glasses and gently wipe with a cloth. Repeat daily to keep for optimum effectiveness.


9. Pull out stubborn nails stuck in the wall

When nails get stuck in the wall, it can be a long and frustrating process to get them out. Using pliers isn’t always effective, either. To maximize the strength of pliers, fit a small block of wood or another object under the pliers as support when pulling out the nail.


10. Get salt stains off your boots.

Anybody who lives in a cold climate will tell you that winter roads and streets can wreak havoc on your clothing. Road salt leaves annoying stains that can devastate boots and other items. Remove the stains with a bit of baking soda and two tablespoons of hot milk. Rub a little polish on to get your shoes shining again.

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