9 hilarious and useful Soviet life hacks

Some old Soviet wisdom comes in handy in times of scarcity. Building shelves without a single nail, fixing clogged drains with vinegar and using banana peel as shoeshine – has the Soviet science gone too far?

1. Insoles made of newspaper (perfect for rainy days!)

Disposable insoles made of a few layers of newspaper are able to preserve the heat inside your shoes. They can also absorb water and sweat.

2. Preserving nail varnish with your breath

Storing nail varnish can be improved with science. After you’ve done your nails, breathe into the flask with varnish before closing it. Carbon monoxide will replace the air (the air oxidizes the varnish) and the varnish will be liquid for a longer time.

3. Vacuum cleaning through a racket

When you vacuum clean thin fabric curtains, the vacuum cleaner’s tube would stick to the curtains because of the high pressure. This slows down the cleaning considerably. To avoid this, use a tennis racket or any other hard grid: put it between the fabric and the vacuum cleaner tube for smooth, fast cleaning.

4. Un-clogging drains with lye and vinegar instead of expensive chemicals

If your bathroom drain is clogged, take a handful of sodium carbonate and pour it down the drain opening. Then, add half a glass of vinegar. In a second, you’ll hear boiling sounds inside – this is lye (sodium) reacting with acid (vinegar). Open the tap and flush the drain with fresh water.

5. Legs out of bottles

Cut-off necks of plastic bottles (with caps on!) can be used as legs with adjustable height – for example, for a table fish tank.

6. A cooling wrap

Your drink will cool much faster if you wrap a wet paper around the bottle before placing it inside the freezer.

7. A shelf without a single nail

You can construct a simple book rack without a single nail, using just board and red bricks. This rustic piece of furniture would be in place at your patio or in your country house.

8. Banana shine 

You can shine your leather shoes with the insides of a banana peel. The fresher the banana, the better. Afterward, wipe the shoe with a paper napkin.

9. Soft hanger for delicate fabrics

Used stockings can serve as a hanger for delicate garments like shirts, dresses or pullovers. Such a hanger will save the garments from deformation. 


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