Chemistry Life Hacks (Vol. 1)

This week Reactions is bringing you some chemistry life hacks! Science can help you cure bitter coffee, ripen your bananas quickly, breathe life back into stale cookies, and remove rust from cast iron.

0:16 – Cure bitter coffee
0:54 – Ripen your bananas overnight
1:30 – Bring life back into stale cookies
2:03 – Remove rust from cast iron

Check out our debut Reactions video to find easy chemistry-fueled solutions for everyday dilemmas, plus more useful tips to improve your life dramatically (OK, maybe just a little bit).

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Video directed and produced by Kirk Zamieroski
Co-directed by Adam Dylewski
Produced by the American Chemical Society

Roberto Daglio – Bibossa – Provided by Jamendo


42 thoughts on “Chemistry Life Hacks (Vol. 1)

  1. After you treat your cast – iron skillet with Coca – Cola (which you shouldn't because it erodes the iron and can cause more iron to be exposed to even more rust from being exposed to air), you better season your skillet with animal fat.

    Animal fat like lard or bacon grease creates a barrier to oxygen and prevents rust.

    Wipe the entire clean skillet down with a coat of animal fat and put in oven face down on the rack. Use a pan to catch any drips. Put oven on 250°F for a half hour, remove, and wipe down with a paper towel to remove excess fat.

    Don't use vegetable oil for this; it will make the skillet sticky.

    The blacker your skillet, the better it cooks, and the better seasoning is on it.

    I haven't used a cast – iron skillet in a long time. I prefer my steel – clad steel pots and pans. Great heat distribution; excellent cleanup; no seasoning necessary.

  2. Another great trick is to not leave your skillet sitting in water for hours, and properly season (coat with a thin layer of oil, and heat til all the liquid smokes off, leaving a dry coating, repeat two or three times) before looking after that hard, glossy black coating by a) using enough oil when cooking, b) cleaning the skillet by adding a splash of water while still hot, blasting the remaining food off with steam, and c) smearing the pan with oil on a paper towel before putting away.

    As long as I don't fuck up any of those basic procedures, my pan has remained flawless, black and shiny. If the seasoning wears away in places, just heat the clean, oiled pan up again to cook on another layer of seasoning (polymerised triglycerides).

  3. Yeesh. Looking at the Coke compounds, it occurs to me many of us drink soda like it's water. Can't imagine that being good for your insides.

  4. Where I live is too damn cold, coffee always gets cold before I finish drink it, but if I heat it too much it will taste like dogshit, any solution coffee addicts?

  5. Once I tried putting salt in coffee instead of sugar to see if it would taste yummy like sugar, except the opposite, BUT IT SUCKED mostly because i put too much in by accident 🙁 lol

  6. Cast iron:  I use a razor blade on mine, same type I use to clean my smooth top range.  If you put coke in your cast iron, spray it with Pam cooking spray before storing to keep it from rusting.  Before using again, put water in the skillet and bring it to a boil, then dump out the water and wipe with a paper towel — this keeps really old rancid Pam from gunking up the taste of your food.

  7. I love my cookies hard I even put my chocolate chip kookies in the freezer they taste better that way to me weird but that's my way of eating cookies

  8. In Finland the issue with most of the cookies is that instead of staying hard, they mush and turn soft. I like my cookies crispy and cracking. So how to achieve the exact opposite reaction? 🙂

  9. Using coke to clean rust and fruit in a bag seem a bit basic and common knowledge to call a life hack kinda like 7 up to clean a driveway or a chocolate to polish metal it's something everyone does already though I'll be sure to remember the salt if I ever get stuck with coffee from starbucks

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