One final time as I continue down the path of the insufferable know-it-all; here's part 3 in this series on old sayings and wives tales. Just as last time, 5 "the good"; sayings or adages that are true or at least have their main emphasis in fact; followed by a combination of 5 "the bad" (things that are half true) and "the ugly" (absolutely not true). Welcome to part 3 of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Old Wives Tales and Sayings.

Read More: Old Wives Tales: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly; Part 1 & Old Wives Tales: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly; Part 2


 Wooden Spoon keeps water from boiling over

Wheat flour and heated butter in a saucepan
Credit: vikif

The bubbles in a pot of boiling water are unstable, so when they meet the wooden spoon, which is a hydrophobic material, the bubbles pop, and the water level falls back into the pot. The second reason it works is because of the temperature of the spoon. When the steam-bubbles come into contact with something below boiling temperature, they re-condense into water and weigh the other rising bubbles down.

Walnuts can fix your wood scratches

Credit: eabff

take the nut and rub it over the scratched surface until the imperfections magically disappear. There are countless videos on YouTube that demonstrate this very miracle. The oils, texture, and color of the walnut allow it to fill in the scratch, leaving the piece good as new or close at least.

Hot tap water could make you sick

Filling glass of tap water
Credit: Elena Elisseeva

Originally this claim held true because pipes were made with lead. Higher temperatures caused the contaminants to filter into the water, resulting in serious health risks. Today, even the fanciest of pipes aren't excused from this rule. There is a compound called ETBE, which is occasionally added to petrols, and it has been found in even the newest pipes. These chemicals are found in PEX pipes (plastic tubing which is used in place of copper) at a much higher rate in hot tap water than in the cold.

Use Ice to Remove Carpet Dents

Ice cubes isolated on white background. Clipping Path
Credit: atoss

Moving furniture around leaves those odd indents on your carpet; no worries. An ice cube can fix them, if you don’t mind a small wet spot for a while. You can place ice cubes around two inches apart over the divot (the amount of ice used, depends on the size of the dent), and then wait. Once the ice melts, a quick pat down with a rag, followed by a quick vacuum will finish the job! This process causes the carpet fibers to rise again, renewing its appearance.

Raw Garlic for colds

Credit: Tatjana Baibakova

Garlic contains antiviral and immune-strengthening properties along with a bunch of other vitamins and nutrients that help ward off illness. One study showed that individuals who consumed raw garlic daily were less likely to get a cold than those who did not, and in addition the length of their illness was shorter.

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Onions cure bee stings

The Common wasp.
Credit: abadonian

Ehh, kinda. Relieving pain, isn’t exactly curing the sting, but it’s a start. Using a fresh cut onion can reduce swelling and pain in less than 20 minutes with a wasp sting, because of how onions break down chemicals responsible for inflammation and discomfort.

Reading in the dark will harm your eyes

Young woman using mobile phone in dark room at night
Credit: disqis

While reading or doing anything else in the dark may put some strain on your eyes and make them feel tired, it will not harm your eyes. Your eyes may begin to feel dry, itchy, and blurry, or you may get a headache, but those symptoms go away once you get better lighting.


Sitting to close to the screen will make you go blind

Young Woman Watching Television
Credit: AndreyPopov

We’ve all said it to our kids or been told it. Truth is there actually was once a time when sitting too close to your television set could harm your health. Apparently, General Electric produced color TVs in the 1960s that emitted up to 100,000 times more radiation than federal health officials considered to be safe. While the television sets were recalled almost immediately, the superstition remains today.

White wine removes red wine stains

Credit: Andrey Elkin
Credit: Andrey Elkin

Never heard this one before, but it sounds like a bad idea right off the bat. While rubbing alcohol can actually help in stain removal, using drinking alcohol, like white wine that’s heavy in sugar, will only cause additional problems. The sugar will caramelize and create more stains.

Tomato Juice removes skunk spray

skunk in nature during fall
Credit: karlumbriaco

Tomato juice does not make skunk odor go away. More specifically, tomato juice does not react chemically with the skunk odor to remove or neutralize it. Instead, it simply has a strong enough smell on its own to mask some of the skunk odor. Skunk spray contains thioacetates, which degrade slowly into stinky thiols. This degradation process is what gives skunk odor its longevity. Reactive agents such as bleach and hydrogen peroxide work best to deactivate the thiols and thioacetates.

And so ends this 3 part series; but it doesn't have to be. Fill me in on the the sayings you've heard that I missed. I'll tackle and unravel our sayings and old wives tales about anything and everything. I'd love to see what I can dig up on them!

Read More: Old Wives Tales: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly; Part 1 & Old Wives Tales: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly; Part 2


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