I'm having trouble seeing what people think are lifehacks on many of the questions. To me, a lot of these answers are just the conventional answers, but they're getting upvoted so that must mean they're acceptable on the site right?

For example, these questions all have answers which don't seem like lifehacks to me:

Why do none of these answers sound like lifehacks to me? They all seem to me like they're just the way you do it normally. Am I just weird and everything I do happens to be a lifehack?

Can someone please explain why these answers are considered lifehacks?

  • 2
    I don't think there's any real question that plenty of answers on the site aren't "lifehacks".
    – Sterno
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 19:52
  • Maybe we will reduce the number of non-hack answers if we require the question to mention not only what was already tried but also to mention what is the normal/usual solution in similar cases.
    – vladiz
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 20:15
  • regarding "cleaning a dirty computer screen" - the OP specifically asked how to do it without the specialized cleaning stuff like the monitor wipes at BestBuy. People use those instead of microfiber cloth...
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 6:15
  • See: What should a good Lifehacks answer look like?
    – kenorb
    Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 11:26

1 Answer 1


This is, again, a duplicate to What is a lifehack?. Ignoring duplicates for a second,

A lifehack is defined as some way to do something using some tool in a different or strange way, often to make a task simpler/easeier/whatever. For example, using a refrigerator to protect yourself from a thermonuclear device. However, most of the aforementioned answers do have some hacky method, as defined in the question's scope. For this, I am looking only at accepted answers (and if none exist, the Top Voted Answer (TVA) will be taken into consideration.

  • How can I not hurt my fingers when using a hammer

    The answer has the OP using a piece of carboard to hold in the nail. Cardboard is being used in a weird way, thus classifying this as a lifehack.

  • How to seal envelopes without licking

    Sponges (cleaning tools) are being used in this new/weird way. Lifehack.

  • How to naturally keep bugs away?

    I agree with you on this one. Screens are not really an "unconventional" way of doing this. However, the curtain trick can definitely be good. Different way of doing something, Lifehack.

  • Cleaning a dirty computer screen

    This question is scope-based. The accepted answer was made in regards to the OP asking how to do it without the specialized equipment. You're using something to do the job of something else, with the same results. Lifehack (but, a common method nonetheless).

  • How can I clean my sticky keyboard?

    Baby wipes. Used for a keyboard. Therefore, lifehack. (tbh, I've not used that trick before I read this site, so...)

  • What to do if your shaver broke halfway through shaving?

    The top-voted answer explains why hacky stuff isn't the best here. However, the TVA does offer some insights into alternative methods to doing the same thing, often with better results. Lifehack.

  • How to keep your hands warm in winter while working on a laptop?

    The accepted answer isn't the best, but its advice to keep your hands moving is pretty good. However, the scope of this question really negates any possibility of a "hacky" approach. That should be more of a problem than non-hacky answers.

  • How to get out of the public restroom with clean hands?

    Again, one of those questions without too much hacky scope. While you are putting paper towels through a lot of different/strange uses, it's a pretty common method. Technically a lifehack, but I blame the question on this one again.

  • Removing stones from mud

    This one shouldn't even be on Lifehacks. It has a much better chance of receiving quality answers on Gardening.SE. There's no real good thing that will make a "hacky" method.

TL;DR: It's not the answers, it's the questions. That should be the concern here.

  • Using solid things to hold other things to protect your own body parts isn't "weird", nor is using soft towel-like things with cleaning chemicals on them to wipe things clean. Just to be clear, are you attempting to use atrocious (borderline nonexistent) problem-solving skills and easily-blown minds as supporting evidence for the unconventionality of these examples? I'm not sure that's the right approach to take as far as information quality goes. Commented May 29, 2015 at 14:01

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