GOOD HOUSEKEEPING REPORTS: Lab-approved tricks to keep your resolutions

Try a simple resolution to save big like making coffee at home instead of splurging at your local cafe. (Photo by Mike Garten)

No matter what your goals are for the new year, our Institute experts share genius tips and game-changing product picks to help you stick with them.

Spend Less On Coffee

Dropping $3 a day at your local cafe adds up to over $1,000 a year. But you can get great results for a fraction of the cost!

LAB TRICK: Follow our Kitchen Appliances & Technology Lab’s guide to the perfect pour-over — and stash away those savings!

1. Buy fresh whole beans. Look for heat-sealed bags like those from Stumptown Coffee Roasters ($15), which lock in flavor, and always remember to check date stamps. In general, the darker the roast, the lower the caffeine level.

2. Grind on demand. Wait until it’s time to brew, then use a grinder (try OXO’s Conical Burr, $99) with settings that match the method, like coarse for French press, or fine for espresso. In a pinch, use your blender.

3. Watch the water temp. The secret to the best cup is keeping the water piping hot — between 195 F and 205 F. Fellow’s kettle (starting at $79) has a built-in thermometer so you’ll know when it reaches the ideal temp.

4. Pour away. Place a Lab-fave Melitta cone (from $15) with a filter on your cup and add water over the grinds. Use 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of H2O and brew for two to three minutes for a standard mug.

Drink More Water

Eight to 10 cups a day is the ideal amount for most people, says GH Nutrition Lab director Jaclyn London, M.S., R.D.

LAB TRICK: If you’re struggling to hit that number with plain H2O, start by trying to eat more veggies and fruits — just one apple can pack up to 1/2 cup of water. And despite what you might have heard, unsweetened caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea hydrate you too.

We also like Drinkfinity’s convenient new system to upgrade water: Choose from 16 types of flavor pods, including lower-sugar options like cinnamon Americano and lemon spirulina. The concentrates snap onto the top of a special water bottle for easy mixing. Even better, the brand offers a recycling program.


Giving back can have a positive impact on the community and your well-being. Recent studies have shown that people who volunteer are healthier and less lonely than those who don’t.

LAB TRICK: Head to VolunteerMatch’s site to discover more than 120,000 nonprofits. It’s super simple to search for nearby organizations that are seeking in-person help or that let you “work” remotely and donate virtual time.

Be Current About Current Events

It can be hard to keep up with what’s going on in the world, given the lightning-fast news cycle, #fakenews and our own hectic lives. But it’s more important than ever to stay informed.

LAB TRICK: If you’re sick of sifting through clutter on Facebook, Twitter and other news sources, join Flipboard. Think of it as your personal news hub. Download the app, then list your interests, pick outlets to get updates from, follow your fave Twitter users, and more. The app curates it all in one place with a smart, stunning design that makes scrolling easy.

Learn a New Skill

Physical exercise keeps your body healthy, and mental exercise is key to keeping your mind sharp. Trying something new can boost memory skills and more.

LAB TRICK: Turn to the (celeb) pros! Visit MasterClass’s site to take cooking lessons from Gordon Ramsay or up your tennis skills with Serena Williams. You’ll get instruction videos, assignments and extras. Courses, which range from writing to electric guitar, are $90, or sign up for a year of unlimited ones for $180.


Ask the GH Cleaning Lab

Good Housekeeping’s resident home-care dynamo, Carolyn Forte, shares her best tips and favorite tricks to conquer your toughest messes and trouble spots.

Q: How do I remove wax that’s stuck inside a candleholder? — Cindy O.

A: One of the easiest — and fastest! — ways to get rid of wax residue is to run steaming-hot tap water over the holder, scooping out whatever’s inside with your fingers or a paper towel. Then simply pop it in the dishwasher and let the machine do the rest! If it’s not dishwasher-safe, here are a couple of other tricks that have worked for me. Place your candleholder in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This will make the wax bits brittle and easy to nudge off with a dull knife or even just your fingernail. Or, try warming leftover wax with a hair dryer set to low heat: As the wax softens and becomes pliable, you’ll be able to peel it off.

Q: Can I put silver flatware in the dishwasher? — Annette H.

A: Yes and no. Most silver can be washed safely in the dishwasher, but follow these guidelines:

Pick the right detergent. Use one that isn’t lemon-scented and that doesn’t list chlorine or citric acid as an ingredient, since they can damage silver.

Separate silver from stainless. If these metals touch in the basket, the silver can become pitted.

Choose the best cycle. Opt for a quick wash and skip the heated dry. Buff with a soft towel instead.

Always hand-wash antiques and knives. High heat can damage vintage pieces. For items with hollow handles, like knives, it can soften the material that attaches the blade to the handle, causing it to separate.

Recalls Alert

The following products and vehicles were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unless otherwise indicated, discontinue use of the products immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a refund. For more information about the products, call the manufacturer or CPSC’s toll-free hotline, 800-638-2772. Only some cars or trucks recalled are affected. Contact a dealer for your model to see if it is included in the recall. The dealer will tell you what to do.


Valor H5 gas fireplaces, sold at Northeast Hearth & Home, Sutter Home & Hearth, Wallace’s Stove & Fireplace Hearth stores and other stores nationwide and online from June 2014 through March 2018 for about $5,500.

The trim around the fireplaces can leak hot exhaust air, posing a burn hazard. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled fireplaces and contact Miles Industries at 866-420-3360 to schedule a free repair.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback cars

There’s a possibility that the torque converter in the continuously variable automatic transmission could fail, which, under certain conditions, could result in a loss of motive power, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the direct-shift CVT with a new one containing a new torque converter for free. Owners can call the automaker at 800-331-4331 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 to learn more.

© Hearst Communications Inc.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate



GOOD HOUSEKEEPING REPORTS: Lab-approved tricks to keep your resolutions–