Dumb Little Man

Top 10 Lifehacks Everybody Should Learn from Nurses

Do you know that some nurse life hacks are also useful outside the medical practice?

Nursing is a tough job. Over time, nurses developed their own life hacks that make daily patient care easier to accomplish. Due to their innate ingenuity and resourcefulness, some of their life hacks are actually useful not only in the hospital and wards, but also in our homes and offices.

Take a look at the following life hacks we can learn from nurses.

1. Use hydrogen peroxide for blood stains

Hydrogen peroxide is a basic staple in every household’s medicine cabinet. It is a handy antiseptic solution for minor cuts and wound care. But did you know that you can also use it in removing blood stains from fabrics?

Start by putting one to three drops of hydrogen peroxide directly to the blood stain. Wait for a minute before adding more drops.

The solution works best for blood stains on white fabrics. For colored fabrics, test for color fade reaction first by putting one drop of hydrogen peroxide in the inner hemline of the affected garment.

See Also: How to Get Rid of Lily Pollen Stains

2. Use ground coffee beans as odor neutralizer


Nurses use ground coffee beans from their pantry as odor neutralizers in their station or in patents’ room. Ground coffee beans act like charcoal in absorbing unpleasant odors in an enclosed room. The fragrant coffee aroma also masks any unpleasant smell present.

Freshly grounded coffee beans work best but if it’s not available, you can also try used ground coffee bean from coffee making machines. Just put a handful amount in a bowl and leave near the source of the unpleasant smell.

If you need a lot, coffee shops will commonly give it out to you for free.

See Also: Cheap Cleaning 101 – Use Baking Soda

3. Smell alcohol swabs to relieve nausea

Feeling nauseous? Reach out for some alcohol pads and swipe one under your nose. If alcohol pads are not available, rub a small amount of isopropyl alcohol on your palm and take a whiff.

While nurses get used to different medicines and body fluids, they sometimes have a bad day and end up feeling nauseous hence this little trick. Sometimes, they even swipe their facemasks with alcohol if they need to get back to bedside care while still feeling nauseated.

The sharp smell of alcohol is effective in relieving nausea for most people. This life hack is also helpful in relieving sinus discomfort.

4. Use alcohol to remove tangled, matted hair

Bedridden patients have one thing in common – tangled, matted hair. Nurses solve this problem by pouring a small amount of alcohol over patient’s matted hair.

Alcohol dissolves oiliness and breaks down any other substance that may be causing tangles. It also removes unpleasant hair odor.

To use this trick, put a moderate amount of alcohol in your palm and rub in matted hair. Let the solution stay for one to two minutes before trying to untangle hair with a wide-toothed comb.

5. Remove unpleasant odor from your hands with toothpaste

It’s typical for nurses to be involved in stinky situations. When they clean and replace the diapers of bedridden patients, the smell sometimes sticks on their hands even while sill covered with latex gloves. For strong odors, handwashing is not enough and this is when they learned to use toothpaste as a trick.

To dissolve any unpleasant odor left in your hands, just rub toothpaste between your palms. Wait for three minutes before rinsing and wash again with soap and water. It is best to use minty bubblegum toothpaste but if not available, using any regular toothpaste is also effective.

6. Put an ice pack behind your ear for persistent nausea and vomiting

If you are suffering from persistent nausea and vomiting, put an ice pack behind your ear for 5-10 minutes intermittently. You can also try moving the ice pack downward to your nape.

Cases of persistent nausea and vomiting can be related to inner ear problems. This can be relieved by putting an ice pack behind the ears. It can also be related to stress and for this case, rotating the ice pack around the nape area will offer relaxing relief.

7. Use heated blankets for calming

If you have an elderly family member or a sick patient in your home who feels restless, calm them down with the help of a heated blanket. This will also keep your patient from getting out of bed too much.

If not contraindicated, keep the room dark and cool for an even more calming environment.

8. Put Vicks under your nose when dealing with unpleasant odors

Nurses are used to unpleasant stinks but sometimes, smells get so strong that they need a good shield for their noses. Facemasks are not enough and during these times, Vicks is a handy solution.

If you can’t stand a particular smell but need to finish a particular task, just rub Vicks under your nose and breathe in the menthol scent.

9. Use mouthwash for smelly rooms

Aside from ground coffee beans, mouthwash solution is also effective in absorbing unpleasant odors in a room. Nurses put a washcloth soaked with mouthwash solution in a kidney basin and they leave it at bedside. It absorbs unpleasant smells while filling the room with a minty scent.

You can use this life hack in deodorizing a room especially during winter season. In a small bowl, just soak washcloth in 1 part of mouthwash and 1/2 part of water. Leave it at the center of the room for the whole day.

10. Keep kids and elderly occupied by folding washcloths

Kids, elderly folks, or sick patients can get restless in bed. If you don’t want them getting out of bed when they need to be staying still and resting, give them a pile of stuff to fold. They can be washcloths or handkerchiefs. This little household task should keep them busy for awhile until they feel drowsy or tired again.

BONUS! Use shaving cream to remove sticky feces

We’re sure nurses aren’t the only ones who get the run-in with sticky feces stubbornly sticking to skin. If you ever get in this situation (maybe from a pet or a baby running around the house), it’s shaving cream to the rescue.

Before you try wipes, apply a glob of shaving cream. Leave on for awhile until it loosens the sludge from your skin or from cloth faster.


We hope you can recall these nurse life hacks as needed. There’s no harm in trying them out as they are time-tested tricks of nurses in their work.


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