These kitchen hacks will make your life much easier

Apr 1, 2014 at 3:15 p.m. ET

Ladies — it's time to make our lives easier in the kitchen. Check out our 10 best kitchen hacks.

Sometimes, being in the kitchen can feel like such a drag. We cook, we clean, we clean some more and we cook even more. It can feel rather mundane and sometimes harder than it needs to be. Here, we're showing you 10 great ways to make your life easier in the kitchen — everything from cooking tips to cleaning shortcuts.


Boiling water for burnt spots

Boiling water for burnt spots

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Whether burnt spots were left on your pan from sautéing vegetables or in the oven from a pie that boiled over, you no longer have to scrub and scrub to get them out. Instead, pour some boiling water on top of the spot, sprinkle on some baking soda and let sit for 15 minutes. The burnt spot should wipe up with a few paper towels.


Use vanilla extract to make the house smell good

Use vanilla extract to make the house smell good

Clean your oven as you normally would, but this time pour a few drops of vanilla extract onto a towel and wipe down the inside. Every time you turn your oven on, the whole house will smell as if you're baking a cake. Use imitation vanilla extract if you're worried about the cost or make it yourself.


Stop fighting with the ice cream

Stop fighting with the ice cream

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Every time I want ice cream, I manage to bend a spoon trying to scoop it out. To avoid this (and freezer burn), place the ice cream container in a large plastic bag and seal. You'll have fresh, scoopable ice cream straight from the freezer.


Remove stains with salt

Remove stains with salt

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Salt is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to remove stains on mugs, glassware and greasy pans. Simply sprinkle and scrub.


Peel a potato the easy way

Peel a potato the easy way

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Ditch the potato peeler and instead boil the potato, place in ice water and twist. The skin comes off in one easy swoop — guaranteed to make all future Thanksgivings less stressful.


Serve crystal-clear ice with beverages

Serve crystal-clear ice with beverages

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Cloudy ice is just fine for everyday use, but if you're hosting a party and want to impress your guests, boil the water before freezing. Your cocktails and sodas will instantly be taken up a notch.


Use the waffle iron for more than just waffles

 3 unique waffle maker recipes

Make hash browns, scrambled eggs, paninis, hamburgers and even bacon in the waffle iron. The bacon will be perfectly crisp, and everything else will be crispy on the outside but soft on the inside.


Ripen bananas right now

Chocolate fluffernutter banana bread

Is it just me, or does everyone get a craving for banana bread only to have to wait a few days for the bananas to ripen? Ripen them instantly by placing them on a cookie sheet (leave the peels on) and baking for 10-15 minutes per side on your oven's lowest setting. Instant ripened bananas equal instant banana bread, just what we like.


Soften butter to room temperature quickly

Soften butter to room temperature quickly

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Butter that needs to be at room temperature takes hours. Next time a recipe calls for this, cut the butter into small chunks and let sit for 10 minutes. Or, for an even faster way, shred the butter with a cheese grater.


Aerate wine in a blender

Aerate wine in a blender

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Like your wine aerated? Pour a glass in the blender and blend for a few seconds. The wine takes on a whole new (and better) flavor. For easy cleanup, pour hot water and a dash of soap in the blender and blend. Rinse clean. And if for some reason you don't finish all your wine, check out the top 10 things to do with the leftovers.

More kitchen shortcuts

Top 5 dinner shortcuts for the busy mom
9 Shortcuts to cut dinner prep in half
In a pickle: How to solve common kitchen problems