Things That Seem Like Snake Oil But Are Actually Legit
Reddit user ThePonyboyCurtis asked: 'What seems like snake oil but is actually 100% legit?'
Is it just us, or does it seem like as the internet continues to grow, so do the solutions and "hacks" that turn out to be total snake oil?
And we don't mean "snake oil" like oil that comes... from a snake. Because that sounds painful.
Rather, we mean "snake oil" like deceptive marketing, scams, and fraudulent medical claims, like cure-alls and overnight dramatic weight loss options.
But every once in a while, there's a solution offered that sounds too good to be true, but it turns out to be totally legit.
Curious what surprisingly good hacks others had come across, Redditor ThePonyboyCurtis asked:
"What seems like snake oil but is actually 100% legit?"
The Powers of WD40
"WD40 cleans candle wax off your living room carpet. If ever in doubt, consult an old housewife."
"There is a guy on Snapchat that I follow and I can't think of his screen name right now, but he legit uses WD40 on just about everything. It's crazy some of the sh*t he does with it."
"That’s because it’s a solvent. It’s not a grease meant to loosen up tight screws, it’s a solvent that breaks down the crap making your screws stuck."
Everyone Likes the Smell of Cedar
"I had a weird-smelling basement. Someone said to get aromatic cedar blocks, sand them down, and leave them there. I thought there was no way this could work. But it did. The smell is totally eliminated."
"12 blocks. Each two by two by two inches. Just top layer sand down, half a millimeter maybe. I left them next to a pipe that I believe is the culprit. The basement is like 900 square feet."
"An offering to the stink gods."
"Ah, inches, millimeters, AND square feet. You like to confuse both sides of the ocean, nice."
Don't DTR with Your Hiccups Just Yet
"The whole 'hold your breath to get rid of hiccups' trick."
"The thing is, most people just don't know the proper way to do it or why it works."
"It's got nothing to do with simply holding your breath. It's got to do with using your lungs to hold down the diaphragm and stop it from spasming."
"You breathe in until you cannot fit literally anything else into your lungs. When your chest is as full as humanly possible then you hold it and within about 15 seconds the hiccups are gone."
"So THAT's why it works sometimes and not others."
"I've never had success until I held it until my lungs burnt. That 'oh my god, we're suffocating' feeling is a legit life hack for making your body stop acting stupid."
"It also works for stuffy noses. If you exhale all your breath, then nod your head repeatedly until your lungs burn, and then breathe back in normally, your nose will magically unclog."
"If you have really bad congestion because of allergies or a head cold you sometimes have to do this several more times (the most I've had to do is five times)."
Impossibly Clean Windows
"Vinegar and newspaper to clean windows."
"I thought the ink would come off and make an even bigger mess."
"Almost turns the window invisible."
Magical Mystical Magnesium
"Taking magnesium. It really can cure some joint, nerve, muscle, heart, and breathing problems."
"Of course, the only ones it can cure are ones that are caused by a magnesium deficiency which a surprising number of people have."
"Some life events that can rapidly use up magnesium in the body are pregnancy, surgery, viral illness, and major periods of stress."
Not Just for Painting Toinails
"I was suffering with plantar fasciitis for over six months. I tried new shoes, new insoles, pills, and physical therapy, but none of those things fixed it."
"A friend kept suggesting I try these gel toe separator things like they wear when painting toenails. I thought it was silly, but they were only $10 on Amazon, so what did I have to lose?"
"I wore the neon blue gel thing at night feeling very silly. After the first night, my foot hurt like h**l, but after the second, it felt a whole lot better. I wore it for two weeks straight and plantar fasciitis was gone. Those things were like magic."
"The toe spacers are stretching out your tendons in the feet, therefore reducing the tightness that causes plantar fasciitis! Another thing that should help is putting something like a tennis ball underneath your foot and rolling it around."
"Sitting on your deck in summer or are you having a nice picnic when suddenly you're being accosted by the h**lspawn known as wasps? Get rid of them with this one easy solution: burn some coffee!"
"'Burn coffee?' I hear you say incredulously. Yes, burn coffee! Take a little saucer, pour a little pyramid of ground coffee on in, and use a lighter to light the top."
"It will smolder slowly and give off a smoke that smells, well, like burnt coffee. It will also instantly get rid of any wasps that are bothering you. No idea why, they absolutely hate the smell."
"Some people also dislike the smell of the burning coffee, I understand this. But ask yourself this important question while the smell is annoying you: what do you dislike more; wasps or the smell of burning coffee? I know what I would pick."
"I keep coffee grounds in a short jar on the deck for burning and put the lid on when we are going inside. It keeps the wasps away, and also, it repels mosquitoes."
The Indoor Sunrise
"Someone mentioned melatonin, so it reminded me of the opposite. I bought a daylight lamp last winter because I get depressed when it’s dark outside for long periods of time."
"I got one off Amazon for 40 euros, and now I can’t live without it in the winter."
"I thought it was a sham initially, but the light basically imitates the wavelengths of light emitted by the sun (bar the UVs) and inhibits the production of melatonin. Not only that, but it also boosts my mood and morale. You just have to be careful because it’s difficult to fall asleep for a couple of hours after using it."
"There's a subset of these types of lights that also work like alarm clocks. Wakeup Lights."
"The slightly more expensive ones even fake a sunrise for you. It actually slowly increases in brightness from a dull red, all the way to that bright white/yellow, and THEN starts making noises."
"I used to be such a heavy sleeper before I got mine, and now I can pretty easily get up even at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning even in the dead of winter. I could not imagine living without one going forward, HUGE quality of life improvement for myself."
"And I have not managed for a single family member to try it, not even outright borrowing mine for a week or two. Because they think it sounds dumb and pointless."
"I had chronic back pain for years. Then, just a few years ago I slept on my neck wrong and had neck pain that wouldn’t resolve."
"I saw a physical therapist and the first thing she did was look at how I sat and how I stood and walked. She told me nicely but essentially that my posture was horrible, affected by years of slumping in my seat and also being told continually by my mom to 'suck in that tummy!' when I stood or walked, which led to me thinking a pelvic tilt was necessary for good posture."
"The therapist showed me how to sit and stand with a straight back, my chest up and forward, and my back keeping a healthy lumbar curvature."
"Let me tell you, it was HARD. My shoulder/back muscles were not used to it and I had to train them like any muscle is trained, with a posture bra and also using a long sheet tied like a strap around my neck, arms, and waist. It also felt so unnatural at first to be sticking my chest and butt out, like I was looking for attention, which is part of the reason people have such terrible posture; we feel that’s 'immodest.'"
"No lie, three weeks later, all my back pain symptoms were gone and haven’t returned. I can do some slumping when I sit with no great penalty now, but when I walk, or when have to stand for a duration, or sit on something backless, I use my good posture and I am pain-free."
"I'm trying to spread the word on this makes me feel like a 1950s health movie ('Posture Pals!') but it’s so effective, I can’t stop sharing. Years of chronic back pain completely eliminated by just a few weeks of good posture training."
The Power of Meditation
"Meditation. When I was an alcoholic and drug abuser, my friend used to tell me about meditation to help with anxiety and stress."
"I thought, 'B***h, we use Xanax around here, no one’s got time to meditate.'"
"We no longer use Xanax and have the time to meditate."
Water in the Ear
"Hopping on the opposite leg when you have water in your ear after swimming. It works every d**n time."
"I need to try this. BRB (Be Right Back), gonna get water stuck in my ear..."
"Saltwater swish and gargle for toothache and sore throat (as long as it’s not something like strep). Source: currently have strep and ain’t nothing working."
"Otherwise, even the dentist tells me to salt water swish if I get tooth pain or something stuck. Total relief."
"I’m a once-a-year strep throat sufferer. For a severe sore throat, my doctor told me to mix a one-half cup Mylanta (kept in the fridge) with a tablespoon of Benadryl. Gargle every few hours. The cold Mylanta cools and soothes and the Benadryl reduces inflammation."
"She said saltwater only dries the throat out more and creates more pain. It works wonderfully."
"A few jobs ago, I worked as a pharmacy tech. There was a doctor out there who would call in 'Magic Mouthwash,' a one-to-one-to-one ratio mixture of Mylanta, Benadryl, and Lidocaine."
"It's great for strep, as well as mouth sores often caused by radiation and chemotherapy. Sounds like you got the over-the-counter recipe."
The Importance of Vitamin D
"Vitamin D supplements. it's much more important than any of us realized."
"I started doing this a few years ago and it's not straight-up noticeable right away but hot d**n, even a couple months into that first winter, I was like, 'Huh, I don't have that soul-crushing gloom like I usually do this time of year.'"
The Truth About Yoga
"Yoga. I have severe upper back pain and went through months of physical therapy. I couldn't keep up with the millions of appointments and started doing yoga as a way to stretch my upper back instead. I was doing it for 30 minutes each day and forgot that I had pain."
"It's so annoying that it does what people say it does because this whole time, I thought they were just being annoying but they're one hundred percent right."
"There's an app I like that's called 'Down Dog Yoga.' It's a blue dog as the logo, that's the app I really enjoy! You can customize the time and focus area so you can fit things in when you have time."
Something For Our Four-Legged Friends
"Does a dog thundershirt count?"
"I had an anxious dog with storms and loud noises, so I got him one, and while not perfect, he did seem to calm down with it on more often than not!"
Whether it's mocking back-and-forth conversations in the comments section on social media about, 'But have you tried yoga?!' or laughing at an informercial about Dog Thunder Shirts or Wakeup Lights from the comfort of our couches, we've surely all questioned at least one of the items or hacks on this list.
But it's humbling to know that every once in a while, the thing that seems too good to be true... will actually deliver on its promises.
Fortunately, for most of these hacks, trying them for a week or two wouldn't be a serious feat, and who knows, maybe they would work for us, too!
Reddit user Former_Ladder9969 asked: 'What is a weird fact you know for some reason?'
We've all heard some things that sound too good to be true, but we've also certainly heard some things that were too weird to be true.
But as strange as they might sound, from weird scientific facts to things that people have done to animals that actually exist outside of a distant, mystical realm, there are some things that are simply, stranger than fiction.
Curious about others' takes, Redditor Former_Ladder9969 asked:
"What is a weird fact you know for some reason?"
The Draw of the Deck
"The King of Hearts is the only king without a mustache."
"He's also sticking a sword in his head."
"He was shaving and missed."
Random Facts About Strangers
"Diddy, the music artist, doesn’t like the way towels feel on his skin. So instead of drying off like a normal person after a shower, he walks around his house to air dry instead."
"Why do I know this?"
"Because for some reason, this was a fact given during an old show on VH1 called 'Pop Up Videos,' where they would play a music video with random facts being shown throughout. I have zero idea why of all the vital things I should have stored in my memory, this was one that stuck after all these years."
"Australia is wider than the moon."
"I can't decide if I'm more amazed that the moon is actually way smaller than I imagined, or that Australia is way bigger than I imagined."
"This is my confusion, lol (laughing out loud)."
"Crabs have a muscle that enables them to release their claw if they have to."
"It took me an incredibly long time to realize this means like… fully release it, like remove it from their body. I thought it just meant release the grip they have."
"The national animal of Scotland is a Unicorn."
"Yes, that’s true. Mainly because we have so many of them roaming wild in the glens. Chasing the Haggi and avoiding Nessie."
Education through Music
"Because of a song that used to constantly play on the radio I have it pretty well memorized that there are 86,400 seconds in the average day."
"Because of a song on the radio, I learned that the minimum expectation for displays of love can be measured in 500 miles."
Where the Grass is Greener... and Newer
"There were no grasses on the earth when dinosaurs were here."
"During the Jurassic and the Early Cretaceous, the higher flora was dominated by cycads, ginkgoes, conifers, and ferns. Other groups of plants included extinct seed plants with fern-like foliage. The exact origins of flowering plants are uncertain, although evidence suggests that they are not closely related to any group of modern non-flowering plants."
"Flowering plants underwent rapid radiation beginning around the middle of the Cretaceous period, and makeup around 90% of living plant species today. With the spread of these plants came the decline of previously dominant groups such as conifers. During the Cretaceous, ferns would also begin to diversify."
"The oldest known fossils of grasses are from the Early Cretaceous, with the family having diversified into modern groups by the end of the Cretaceous. The oldest large flowering trees are known from the Late Cretaceous, with the trunk having a preserved diameter of one-point-eight meters and an estimated height of 50 meters."
Weird Way to Say Hello
"Manatees control their buoyancy by farting. Toot toot, floaty sea cow."
"Wait, so those bubbles you see on the water surface that signify their presence are...?"
Goals for Building the Longest Train...
"There's no maximum length to a train, you just add another engine."
The Smallest Philosopher
"That dead ants produce a pheromone that alerts the other ants that they need to move them to the ant graveyard."
"If a drop of this pheromone is placed on a live ant, it will take itself to the graveyard and stay there until the pheromone dissipates."
"The ant: Am I dead?"
"That ant would make a great philosopher."
"Some military helicopters on aircraft carriers are made of magnesium and should they catch fire, it's literally impossible to put them out as the magnesium will take the oxygen from the water and use that to keep burning."
"So the only thing that can be done is to push them overboard and even as they sink they will continue to burn until the magnesium is completely burned up."
The First Scapegoat
"Some tribes of ancient people used to tie up a goat, whisper their sins to it, then allow it to 'accidentally' escape so it would carry their sins away and thus resolve them of guilt."
"It was, literally, their 'escape goat,' and that's where the term 'scapegoat' comes from."
The Power of Percentages
"Percentages can be reversed."
"For example, five percent of ten is ten percent of five."
"43 years and I'm only learning this now."
"The fear of long words is called 'hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.'
"Also, the fear of palindromes is called 'aibohphobia,' which just goes to show that the people who name phobias are a**holes."
"The question is, who even has a fear of palindromes?"
"Eve, Bob, and Hannah."
Not only are these facts unexpected, but it's wild to think that some of them are true.
But the simple, plain truth is that the truth is always all that simple. It can be weird and hard to believe, and yet, there it is.
In all deference to the people of Florida, the Sunshine State is not known for being the ideal place to live.
Aside from being a major tourist destination and an escape from the cold weather months in other parts of the country, the retirement refuge is reputable as being problematic and the butt of a joke for a number of reasons.
But the real kicker is the frequency at which many Florida residents make headlines for unhinged behavior earning them the label of "Florida Man," prompting the rest of the U.S. to shake their heads and remark, "Only in Florida."
"What is the 'Florida' of Europe?"
These are almost, but not quite, Florida.
The "Crazy Sh*t" Stereotype
"In what sense? Spain's Costa del Sol ticks the 'entitled retiree destination' box but the 'people inexplicably doing crazy sh*t' stereotype firmly belongs to Russia."
"Adam Carolla used to have a segment on his radio show called 'Florida or Germany' where he would read newspaper articles of strange crimes and callers would guess if it took place in Florida or Germany. I thought it was entertaining."
It's A Zoo Out There
"As a Florida Man who has found an Alligator in my backyard before (no joke, this is serious) I’d definitely have to say Russia."
"I’ve had 2 pythons show up in the yard of the house I grew up in, years before it was widely known how invasive they were."
"Never got a gator though."
"In that the Ural mountains are the technical dividing line between Europe and Asia, I'll have to go with Western Russia. In particular, you could overlay Florida on top of the part of Russia that spans from Voronezh to Saratov and then down to Volgograd."
Gotta love some o' the Brits.
"When I was in Barcelona this past June I had the opportunity to witness a young, trashy British couple act as though they were posh. It was then that I realized that the British are the Floridians of Europe."
"Ohhh trashy Brits are on another level, you have to see it to believe it lol."
Defined By TV Shows
"I was in Dublin last summer, met some Brits from Leeds and they literally asked the Irish guy I was hanging out with if they had the same queen. Then when it came up I was american one of the women shrieked and said 'Young Sheldon’s me favorite tv show' and Jesus Christ I couldn’t help but laugh"
"Florida is kinda stupid for stupid’s sake. Here in the UK we tell ourselves we are civilised, refined, smart and in control while still doing equally stupid stuff."
Making Up For Size
"Blackpool, England. Admittedly it's on a smaller scale but what it lacks in size, it makes it up in STD rates, welfare distribution and average tooth count."
"Fun fact! Blackpool is the only city in the uk with the same average lifespan as the US!"
Feels Like Home
"I went on holiday to Britain, driving the whole island. Some seagulls nicked my chips and my pastie in Blackpool while some guy vomited into a trash can next to me. Same exact thing happened to me in Miami (swap the pastie for a taco). So ya this checks out."
Meanwhile, over in the Mediterranean...
"It’s probably Greece and specifically Crete. People like to go there for vacation, it’s hot and all the people own guns and are conservative religious madlads."
"Italy, it's hot, full of tourist, and has a history of going facist."
"And it's the wang of Europe."
Looks like every Floridians are not alone in their tainted reputation thanks to the number of people who had to ruin everything.
But one thing seems certain.
It's doesn't seem to be about what's in the water Floridians drink.
There are several things in this life we know to be rare, resulting in millions of people seeking them out, or taking the opportunity to enjoy them.
These include seeing a solar or lunar eclipse, vintage bottles of wine, the first issue of a comic book, or being upgraded to first class without warning.
Sometimes, however, we take for granted certain things we just assume are part of daily life which are, in fact, quite rare.
Be it an uninterrupted night's sleep, a life-threatening illness, or a old recording on our DVR (or, for that matter a VHS!), some things we think can be enjoyed or could happen to anyone might be much harder to come by than we think.
Redditor f*ckandfrolic was curious to learn all about the seemingly everyday things that are, in fact, anything but common, leading them to ask:
"What is far more rare than people realize?"
Or, Perhaps, The Vaccines Are What Made It Rare?
"We get vaccines for it, but it's actually a bit harder to get than you may believe."- pheat0n
"Solid brown fur cats, apparently it’s some kind of recessive gene in them."- TheJadedSF
"We have a male tortoiseshell cat."
"Cat people tend to know they’re quite rare but others probably don’t."- Tacoma__CrowIn Love Cat GIFGiphy
You Never Know Who Your Friends Really Are...
"People who remain friends with you once you leave school."- GrockleKaug
"Good, honest friends who don’t have ulterior motives."
"The ones that genuinely enjoy your company and friendship."
"Hold onto them!"- ZealousidealWealth88
Think Carefully About The Last Time You Saw One...
"I live in northeast Ohio near the Goodyear hangar."
"We see them all the time."
"I had to pull up a list, that northeast Ohio has 3 out of 4 operating Goodyear blimps named Wingfoot 1 2 and 3."
"Only maybe 12 are operating anywhere in the world, with a total of 25 existing at all."
"But we see them all the time at Wingfoot lake disc golf course."- Worried_Place_917·good year zeppelin GIF by DiggGiphy
Making Others Green With Envy?
"Green eyes make up just two percent of the global population."- New-Tomorrow-4309
Not A Routine Occurrence
"The amount of people I’ve heard say: 'We’ve come all this way, what time do they come on?' Is staggering."- The_Town_of_Canada
"Bit of peace and f*cking quiet."- Winoforevr1
Taking A Long, Hard Look At Ourselves...
"Humility and an understanding that we’re sometimes the victim and sometimes the perpetrator."
"No one is ever just one or the other."- Fitandfriendlydude
"Being a multi-millionaire."
"Lots of people faking it out here."- tab_completion
Some Might Say Thinking In General...
"Critical thinking skills."- hstarbird11Thinking Think GIF by Rodney DangerfieldGiphy
'My son and I have been discussing this lately."
"He is a chemical engineer and works exclusively with water."
"Many of the studies he has been published on also have to do with clean water and forever chemicals."
"Water is a huge issue that is becoming bigger everyday and normal people are forgetting about it."
"Flint Michigan is in year 9!"- No-Fishing5325
Rare, Or A Myth?
"A stable, loving, peaceful domestic life."- reginapinsley
In Dreams, Maybe...
"Absolute silence and being in a place where no man-made light exists."- whiskey_formymenblack and white dark GIFGiphy
Perhaps we can all rest a little easier knowing that some things that keep us up at night worrying are actually not a big deal in the slightest.
Or, next time we see and experience something truly beautiful, we might want to stop and truly take it in.
For all we know, we just experienced something that was truly once in a lifetime.
Parents are meant to teach offspring how to survive in this world.
They're meant to guide us on how to be a good member of society.
But either some parents fail, or too many adults don't get the message.
And all that can lead to a mighty dysfunctional adult.
Redditor spirallinggg wanted to hear about the ways we can decipher if others have bad parenting, so they asked:
"What immediately tells you that a person wasn't raised right?"
Basic human decency is a sign of a good upbringing.
"They throw trash out a car window."
"I live on a busy road and I’m so sick of people throwing their trash in front of my house. Some guy tosses out a tall boy beer nearly every workday. I can’t wait to move. Also- so many cigarette butts! We live in a high fire hazard area so I’m worried one of these days they’ll start a fire. I try to go pick up litter twice a month."
"People who dump refrigerated grocery products on random aisles."
"I work in a grocery store. The best one I saw was someone who ordered a hot pizza from our pizza station, which is made-to-order. Then abandoned it in the cooler with the refrigerated take-and-bake pizzas we have."
"I get finding stuff from our service case abandoned, it's already cold and our prices are much higher than some people think (the last abandoned item I found was a $20 container of our fresh fruit salad [which comes in pre-cut]), but the pizza station has set menu prices, they should have known what they were getting into before they ordered."
"Lack of personal accountability. they can never admit wrongdoing on their part. it's always someone else's fault."
I always told my kids that a mistake doesn't define who you are... but what you do AFTER the mistake DOES. We're human. We're gonna screw up throughout our lives. It's unavoidable. What we can control, however, is choosing to apologize, fix the situation, make amends, etc."
RudeMean Girls Gossip GIF by Paramount MoviesGiphy
"When they talk badly about someone who hasn’t done anything wrong behind their back."
THIS. I've seen coworkers talking behind the backs of new employees and drawing conclusions about every aspect of their lives. Like, you've seen that person for three days, you MF.
If you can't say it to their face, then don't say it.
Why do people have to crap talk?
Check PleaseEscalate Customer Service GIF by FILMRISEGiphy
"Being super rude to people in any service profession. There is a time and place for actual, appropriate complaints but I see people constantly abuse service staff for no damn reason. Hell, even using 'please' and 'thank you' seems beyond some people. Bums me out."
"Lack of consideration for others."
"A lot of people do not fundamentally understand other people exist. They understand things exist. They understand those things should be referred to as people. But they do not understand those things have an entire existence and experience all their own exactly like them."
"When they can't take no for an answer."
"I'm going to step up and admit to being guilty of this. For the longest time, I had it in my head that persistence pays off. Some of that was pop culture, some of that was tenacity in other areas of my life being rewarded, and then applying that to interpersonal relationships. Older and wiser me, though is more along the lines of learning to let go. It's still a struggle though, working against that original conditioning."
"When someone looks down at others based on what they do. That just clearly shows that they've learned the same thing from their caregivers."
"Oh yes. My husband took on a second job doing pizza deliveries. A few people laughed at him doing that at his age. They don't laugh when he explains his main job is simple and, deliveries are just driving blasting tunes and adds $900 a month after tax to our income. Then they see all the travel. Usually shuts them up."
OffensiveFor Real Wow GIF by DeStormGiphy
"I took a guy to a family beach condo because he says he never goes to the beach. Let him tag along with our group. Never said thank you one time. I dropped him back off at his house, and I said can you at least say thanks, he was so offended I asked or was trying to force a thank you."
"When someone apologizes, and then adds a but onto it. For example, my boss held a meeting among the kitchen staff where he apologized for his attitude, and then added 'But you guys need to understand that I'm a no-bulls**t kind of person.' No sir, that's not how apologies work."
I hate a BUT.
Either you mean what you offer or don't say it.