Have you ever gotten on an elevator in the lobby, pressed the button for the seventh floor, and then groaned with the realization that you needed the sixth? Or had to throw out a pair of scissors grown dull through years of use?

There are millions of small annoyances and frustrations that seem basically unavoidable. They’re not really serious, but wouldn’t it be nice if someone could go around making our lives easier? While that probably won’t happen until the robot revolution (come on, WALL-E!), there are a few tricks that you can use to fix these tiny frustrations, so join us after the break for some awesome life hacks from Japan!

Here are some excellent tricks we found on the Japanese website Naver Matome that are all a bit unusual. But as the original title said, “If you think we’re messing with you, give them a try!”

・Getting change from a vending machine


Though it doesn’t seem to happen too often these days, sometimes you just need a few coins. But what do you do when there aren’t any open stores, banks, or coin-loving friends around? Well, if you’re in Japan there’s bound to be a vending machine nearby, right? To get change for a bill, simply stick two 1,000 yen bills into the machine and then press the change return lever. You should get the second bill back along with change for the first one. Problem solved.

・Canceling your elevator floor selection


We’ve all had brain-fart moments, usually when we’re already late and rushing to a meeting, and pressed the wrong button on the elevator. Aiming for “7”, we accidentally hit “5” and add a few more seconds to our already stressful ride, and possibly look a bit silly if there are other passengers riding with us.

But no more! Apparently you can cancel a floor selection on certain types of elevators. If you’re in a Mitsubishi Electric elevator, you need only to double-click the button of the selected floor, so if you hit the fifth floor by accident, just quickly press twice in a row. In a FUJITEC elevator, quickly press the button of the mistaken selection five times in a row. When riding an OTIS elevator, double-click the button of the mistaken floor while holding the “open door” button with the doors open. These techniques won’t necessarily work with all units though, so don’t use this as your clutch move to impress friends.

・The easy way to make great curry


This one admittedly is more a matter of taste, but the tip is easy enough that everyone can try it out.

Next time you make some curry, instead of using water, try using two cans of tinned and peeled whole tomatoes. Just pour the contents of the cans in before you start cooking. You can use tomato juice instead of whole tomatoes, but the tomatoes add a great texture to the food.

・Hacking your language skills


This tip is both silly and pointless for non-Japanese speakers, but apparently if you say “kontonjonoiko” very quickly, it sounds like “kantan janai ka,” or “isn’t it easy?”

It does, indeed, work, but we honestly can’t imagine why anyone would use this instead of just saying “kantan janai ka!”

・Sharpening dull scissors


This may sound absurd, but if you don’t believe us, give it a try yourself!

After many years of use, the blades on scissor tend to get a bit dull. You can give them their bite back by folding up some tin foil and cutting through it with the scissors. It might require a few snips, but it should sharpen the blades. And save you from buying another set of scissors!

・Whitening your shirt collars


If you happen to sweat, like a normal human being, you might occasionally find some obnoxious, hard-to-remove stains on your shirt collars. Rather than throwing your shirts out, mix together equal amounts of oxygen bleach and baking soda, apply it to the stains on the shirt, and use a lot of steam from your iron. Your shirt will be white as snow the dogs haven’t gotten to yet! Remember: This is only for white shirts!

・Watch TV on you computer in real-time


No, we’re not talking about Netflix or Hulu, but rather streaming live TV channels. You can find plenty of websites on which to watch TV channels from around the world live just by searching for “live TV channels.” On the other hand, a lot of the results you get will look pretty sketchy and might not be completely legal, so use at your own risk.

・Unfogging your bathroom mirror


If you happen to have a mirror in your bathroom or in your shower, it probably gets all fogged up the moment you turn on a hot shower. Which kind of defeats the purpose of having a mirror, doesn’t it?

Well, no more! If you take some of the shampoo foam from you hair and dab it along the top of the mirror, it will slowly run down the mirror. As it travels to the bottom, it should remove the fog.

・Clean your toilet with shampoo


This one is kind of out there, but you can clean your toilet with shampoo instead of regular toilet cleaner. It’ll get the dirt out and leave your toilet smelling great! Of course, then your toilet smells like your hair, and we’re honestly not sure if that’s something you really want…

・Making toro eggs at home

toro eg

Toro eggs are popular toppings for ramen, though you don’t see many people eating it at home. Toro eggs are basically eggs where the whites have been cooked, but the yolk is still a bit runny. Here’s how to make your own!

  1. Put your egg in the freezer and cool it down.
  2. Boil some water in a pan.
  3. Next, put the chilled egg into the boiling water.
  4. After exactly seven minutes, remove the egg and put it in some cold water to quickly cool it down again.
  5. Finally, peel the shell off and you’re done.

This goes great with instant ramen at home!

・Cleaning up your faucet with tin foil


Here’s a tip to get your faucet sparkling next time you’re cleaning your kitchen. Run some water on the shiny, polished side of a sheet of tin foil and then rub the faucet with it. This should get all the dirt and grime off.

・Getting fuzzies off sweaters


Grab a regular kitchen sponge and a sweater that has a bunch of lint or thread-balls on it. Spread out the sweater and rub it with the sponge…and that’s it! A few things to be careful of though: First, don’t rub too hard in one specific direction. Also, don’t use the hard side of the sponge!

・Fixing paper sliding doors with toilet paper


This tip probably won’t help you too much if you don’t live in a Japanese home with shoji, paper sliding doors, but maybe you can think of another use for it. It’s not hard to believe that shoji get holes in them pretty easily. Usually, people will just go out and buy some replacement paper, but maybe you need to fix your door right now! In that case, take some toilet paper and spray it with laundry starch and then use an iron on it. Now, the toilet paper should be stiff like shoji paper with a similar appearance and texture.

・Sleep well on cold nights with a hot bottle of water


Get a large glass bottle with a screw top and (carefully) pour some hot water into it. Next, screw on the cap, being sure that it’s on properly and tight. Then, wrap it in a towel and put it in your bed. It’ll keep you warm on a cold night, so you can sleep peacefully. Just try to place it so it won’t get kicked off your bed in the middle of the night.

・Have your cake and eat it too

paper towel

Ever had a great cake that you couldn’t eat all in one sitting? Yeah, neither have we, but maybe someone you know has a small tummy. Anyway, if you have some leftover cake that you’d like to set aside for a while, put two sheets of paper towels over the top before putting the lid on. Then, just throw it in the freezer! If you have a whole cake, you can simply pack the box with paper towel sheets.

・Getting hair and fur out of carpets


If your carpet has hair or fur stuck in it that your vacuum cleaner can’t suck out, all you need is a tawashi (like the one pictured above)! Lightly rubbing the tawashi on the carpet will pull the hair and fur out more easily than trying to pluck them out by hand.

Well, there’s your tips and hacks for this week! Try them out and let us know how they go for you. We’ve had great success with shampoo on the mirror so far!

Also, if you have any everyday hacks of your own, be sure to share them in the comments!

Source: Naver Matome
Images: Wikipedia (Tawashi, vending machine, elevator, curry, mouth, scissors, collar, TV, mirror, toilet, faucet, sweater, shoji, paper towels), Cookpad, Rakuten