The Key to Hassle-Free Snow Shoveling Is in Your Kitchen

'Snow problem.
'Snow problem. / wihteorchid/iStock via Getty Images

While little kids look forward to an upcoming snow day with unfettered excitement, anyone old enough to wield a shovel may dread having to clear the sidewalks (which you could be legally required to do). You can embrace your inner child and try rolling the snow instead of shoveling it, but the efficacy of that hack depends on the texture of the snow: If it’s too crumbly to make a good snowball, it’s probably too crumbly to roll off your walkways.

In short, you might be forced to choose the best snow shovel you own and go to town the old-fashioned way. One of the more unpleasant aspects of this ritual is snow’s tendency to build up on a shovel, weighing you down and impeding your progress by forcing you to periodically stop and scrape it off.

AccuWeather has a handy workaround: Before you start shoveling, cover the front and back of your shovel head with a generous layer of cooking spray. The snow will have a tough time sticking to the slippery surface and shouldn’t build up as quickly. If it does start to accumulate, you can add another coat of spray.

If you don’t have cooking spray in your pantry, there are a number of other household items that may have the same effect. HomeSteady suggests petroleum jelly, vegetable oil, or WD-40; some people even rub car wax on their shovels.

Needless to say, snow that encountered a car wax-coated shovel isn’t safe to eat. But then again, neither is a lot of other snow.

[h/t AccuWeather]