Mental Floss
THE LIST SHOW

Earwax Lip Balm, Egg Laundry Detergent, and 27 Other Old-Timey Life Hacks

Ellen Gutoskey
It's for wrinkle prevention.
It's for wrinkle prevention. / Tom Merton/Getty Images; Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock
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These days, you can find helpful life hacks involving everything from clever uses for old coffee grounds to homemade alternatives to dry shampoo. And while the internet has made it easier to share such recommendations on a large scale, the concept of life hacks is nothing new. 

On this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is covering some of the strangest DIY tips and tricks from eras past—and even testing out a couple herself. 

To prevent wrinkles, one book advised Victorian women to sleep with raw beef on their faces. And to prevent days-old raw beef from fully going bad, another book advised people to leave it outside all night and let the cool air restore it to full freshness. Not every tip is a foodborne illness waiting to happen; some are simply disgusting—like slathering your chapped lips in earwax.

But when it comes to cleaning your floors with milk, don’t knock it ’til you try it. As for most of these other “helpful” hacks, it’s best not to try them at all.

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