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Winter Life Hacks To Help You Get Through Canada's Extreme Cold

01/05/2015 04:56 EST | Updated 01/06/2015 09:59 EST
Reggie Casagrande via Getty Images

Canada has welcomed the new year with a big dose of freezing temperatures across the country, and while no one can possibly be surprised by this (we are the Great White North, after all), it doesn't mean we couldn't all use a little reminding about how exactly to get through these frigid times with grace and calm.

Or at least, keeping our falls on our butts to a minimum.

Below are a few life hacks we picked up from our own experiences and teachings from around the web. Let us know if you have more to add!

  • Bake It Off
    zveiger alexandre via Getty Images
    Just because holiday baking is over doesn't mean you should stop with the homemade goodies. The warmth from the oven will spread to the rest of your home.
  • Love Your Water Bottle
    Odin Eidskrem via Getty Images
    This one takes a bit of forethought, but you can do it. Fill a hot water bottle with, well, hot water, and put it in your bed 20 minutes before you get in, preferably with your pajamas on top. Voila, an instant heated mattress.
  • Improve Your Shovel ..
    Mladen Cvjeticanin via Getty Images
    .. by spraying cooking oil on it before you start to deal with the snow. It helps it slide right off, instead of weighing you down.
  • Use Vinegar To Prevent Frost
    jarih via Getty Images
    If you spray a mixture of three parts vinegar and one part water onto your windshield (and then wipe it off with a rag) at night, it can keep a lot of frost from forming overnight, according to InfoBarrel. Make it a habit!
  • Keep Kitty Litter In Your Trunk
    Dmytro_Skorobogatov via Getty Images
    Or sand, for that matter. Both materials work as traction underneath tires if you find yourself in a slippery situation with no way out.
  • Or Use A Car Mat
    kitzcorner via Getty Images
    Another great way to get out of a rough spot: put your car mats underneath your tire and hit the gas (but gently).
  • Give Your Wipers Some Socks
    rolfo via Getty Images
    While some people put wipers up in the cold, another option is to place old tube socks around them at night, so they're virtually guaranteed not to stick to your windshield.
  • Credit Cards In A Pinch
    Giuseppe Graziano via Getty Images
    To buy your way out of a jam, sure .. but also, if you don't have a scraper on hand, that piece of plastic can work in a pinch.
  • Ziploc Your Side Mirrors
    Winai_Tepsuttinun via Getty Images
    Those little mirrors are easy to forget when you're, say, spraying vinegar onto the windows, so cover them with re-sealable baggies as much as possible to keep out the frost and ice.
  • Get Boiling Hot
    kcslagle via Getty Images
    As much as possible, keep your tea kettle boiling when it's really cold, and fill up bowls with hot water around the house to keep the air moisturized (just make sure they're out of reach of little kids).
  • Winterize Your Sneakers
    Steve Hull via Getty Images
    There are official products like this, but if you have a bunch of old screws AND a pair of old sneakers around, you have yourself an easy way to get through icy streets.
  • Switch Up Your Fan
    skhoward via Getty Images
    For those who have ceiling fans, turn them on low and switch their direction (to clockwise, usually) so that warm air trapped up near the ceiling can find its way down to you.
  • Instant De-Icer
    LindaMarieB via Getty Images
    If your local store has run out of salt (or if you prefer a non-salty walk), try this de-icing method via Handy Tips and Tricks: mix together a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid, a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and eight cups of warm to hot water. Pour over walkway, see the ice disappear.
  • Dry Out Your Shoes
    Geo-grafika via Getty Images
    Keep a few microfibre towels on hand for the specific purpose of drying out your shoes. Keep them by the door, tuck them into your shoes when you come in, and don't worry about that 'ick' feeling of still wet soles when you leave.


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