Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • A New Trick for Dieting Dessert Lovers

    Sweettooths on a diet can still indulge in some candy.Sweettooths on a diet can still indulge in some candy.

    Keeping candy in the house? Make sure it's the individually wrapped kind. In a Swiss study, people ate 30% less chocolate when they had to free the goodies first.

    Related: Why You Should Have a Daily Dose of Cinnamon

    "Every little bit of effort helps you eat less," says study author Thomas A. Brunner, Ph.D., so stash treats on a high shelf, take one, and put the bag back right away.

    Two of our foil-wrapped faves: Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Diamonds (60 calories apiece) and Hershey's Bliss Dark Chocolates (35 calories).

    If you're in the mood for a real treat, try one of our yummy slimmed-down desserts.

    More from Good Housekeeping:

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  • 5 Cleaning Products Everyone Should Own

    These 5 products will transform your cleaning routine.These 5 products will transform your cleaning routine.

    As Director of Good Housekeeping Research Institute's Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Lab, the question I'm most often asked (after whether or not I clean my own house -- which I do!), is: What products do I use at home? I'm lucky that I get to try many new cleaners as they hit the market, but I do have a few tried-and-true favorites that are always in my cleaning cabinet.

    Related: The 10 Spots in Your Home That You're Not Cleaning (But Should)

    1. Spic 'n Span Cinch Glass & Multi-Surface Cleaner
    Nothing is more useful for cleaning everything from mirrors to stovetops than this truly all-purpose cleaner. I love how quickly it cuts through grease and how streak-free it leaves glass. I also use it to clean marks and smudges from painted walls and for after-dinner countertop wipes downs. Cinch was a top-performer in our recent test.

    2. Bounty Paper Towel
    I admit it: When I spill something, the first thing I usually reach for is a paper towel and my paper towel of

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  • Yes, You Can Microwave Metal

    It probably goes against everything you've been told, but some metal is microwave-safe.It probably goes against everything you've been told, but some metal is microwave-safe.

    But before you do it, here are a few things to know:

    1. Check your owner's manual
    Most microwave guides will let you know whether you can safely use materials like aluminum foil, metal trays, and food packaging like popcorn bags. Always follow the advice specific to your oven.

    Related: Best of the Test: 20 Top-Notch Microwaves

    2. Use approved materials and containers
    The USDA has a list of safe and unsafe containers for microwaving, as well as guidelines for cooking safely. You can use materials like aluminum foil safely in small quantities as long as your owner's manual gives the blessing. Make sure the foil is new and smooth, not crumpled. Don't try to heat any dinnerware with metal trim unless it is specifically designed for microwave use (Lenox, for example, has lines of microwave-safe china including some with gold trim). Also, avoid zapping takeout food containers with metal handles or twist ties. One big thing to avoid is arcing, which is when an electric

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  • 5 Common Towel Problems, and How to Solve Them

    Keep your towels good-as-new with this advice.Keep your towels good-as-new with this advice.

    Problem #1: They smell musty.
    No one likes a stinky towel, especially after you've just taken a nice hot shower. If your clean towels have a lingering odor, try washing them using the hottest water the towels can tolerate along with 1 to 2 cups of vinegar. Then wash again with your regular laundry detergent. And always make sure you hang your towels so they can dry fully, post-use.

    Related: Germ Alert: When's the Last Time You Washed Your Pillows?

    Problem #2: They don't dry well.
    Believe it or not, this is a problem with newer towels. Washing and drying towels five times or more may help increase absorbency. Laundering will remove some of the coating manufacturers put on their towels to make them feel soft in the store and some of the dye, both of which interfere with a towel's absorption.

    Problem #3: They're shedding lint on the bathroom and you.
    Again, the solution is to wash them. Laundering a few times should remove those loose fibers.

    Related: 10 Tips to

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  • 10 Romance Novel Plotlines that Actually Happen in Real Life

    Maybe that steamy read isn't a work of fiction after all.Maybe that steamy read isn't a work of fiction after all.

    Real life can look a lot like a romance novel. Okay, you may never masquerade as a tycoon's fake fiancée to secure a lucrative deal on a resort. And maybe the country's top FBI profiler won't need your "special skills" to bring down a serial killer. But there are some basic stories you'll find true to life, where you can love like a heroine in your favorite steamy book.

    1. You share a crisis.
    Trapped in an elevator, a blackout, natural disaster, bank robbery? It's the last place for love, but in love and in real life, romance can happen under the craziest circumstances. Evidence of this often appears in a delivery room nine months later…

    2. Co-workers are made for loving.
    It's common to find love at work. Who could blame you since those conference room tables are very sexy. Between the pages of a romance novel, those boardrooms are put to good use. At a professional seminar in the middle of nowhere? Look next to you -- maybe your colleague could offer you new insight…and

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  • The 10 Germiest Things You're Forgetting to Clean

    Are you cleaning these 10 hidden germ spots?Are you cleaning these 10 hidden germ spots?

    Follow these tips from Carolyn Forte, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute's resident cleaning expert, to make sure your home is truly clean.

    1. Kitchen sponges
    Soaking up bacteria is all in a day's work for your kitchen sponge, so unless you want to "clean" your dishes with a germy sponge, you need to disinfect or replace it regularly. To disinfect, soak the sponge in a mixture of 3/4 cup bleach and one gallon of water. You can also run it through the dishwasher or zap it in the microwave to kill germs, but if you use the microwave method, make sure the sponge is soaked with water or it could catch fire.

    2. Between appliances
    There may only be an inch (or less) between your refrigerator and the countertop, but that crevice can trap a lot of dirt. Use a long duster or thin vacuum attachment to clean out all the nooks and crannies.

    Related: Yes, You Need to Clean Your Cleaning Products

    3. Reusable grocery bags
    Cloth grocery bags are great for the environment,

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  • A Purse that Charges Your Phone (And Still Looks Good)

    When your phone runs low, this purse can save the day.When your phone runs low, this purse can save the day.

    We've all been there: Your phone says it has 10% juice left and you're nowhere near an outlet.

    Whether I'm traveling, running errands, or even spending a night out on the town, I'm always worried that my phone's charge won't last. And while I've seen lots of products that can charge or extend the battery life -- from cases to clutches -- I've always found them to be too bulky or not stylish enough for my taste. So I was thrilled to learn of a new brand that mixes fashion and function. emPOWERED, which just launched on Tuesday, released its first style: the All-in-One bag.

    Related: Do You Really Need Insurance for Your Smartphone?

    Made with leather and sporting a simple silhouette, the bag has a built-in charger that can take your phone's battery from 0 to 100% and can power anything with a USB connection, like your iPhone, Android, Kindle, or camera. Plus, this bag has a versatile design: You can wear it as a purse with a long strap, carry as a clutch on date night, or tuck

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  • The 7 Germiest Spots at the Gym

    You're there to get healthy, but beware these places that will make you sick.You're there to get healthy, but beware these places that will make you sick.

    You've resolved to work out faithfully this year, and you got a gym membership to stay motivated. What you may not have bargained for: The risk of respiratory, gastrointestinal, and skin infection-causing germs. No, that's not an excuse to be a couch potato. "Despite the fact that infections can be transmitted in gyms, they are generally places where people get more healthy," says Teresa Hauguel, Ph.D., program officer in NIAID's Influenza, SARS, and Related Viral Respiratory Diseases Section. "Most people have healthy immune protections and do fine."

    But you do need to take some precautions. Here are common places germs lurk -- and how to stay healthy.

    1. Dumbbells and other free weights
    "The biggest risk in gyms is all of the 'common touch surfaces' -- things we touch with our hands," says Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D, co-director of the Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community. Hand weights and barbells are among the most handled items in a health club, and

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  • How to Watch the Super Bowl on Your Phone

    These 3 smartphone apps will amplify your game-watching experience.These 3 smartphone apps will amplify your game-watching experience.

    Are you ready for some football?!

    Super Bowl 48 is this Sunday: the Seattle Seahawks versus the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. For diehard football fans, this will be the matchup of the league's best offense (Broncos with 37.9 points per game) against the league's best defense (Seahawks with 14.4 points allowed per game). For music fans, there are performances by opera diva Renee Fleming singing the natural anthem and Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing at half time. For the rest of us, there is anticipation for this years' commercials, which are estimated to cost companies an average of $4 million for every 30 seconds of play.

    Whatever you're excited for, here are a few mobile apps to help you stay up to date with all the latest happenings before, during, and after the game.

    Related: Say Goodbye to Beer, BBQ, and Buffalo Sauce Stains

    NFL Mobile: In anticipation for this year's game, the NFL released an update to its

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  • Tackle 5 Common Super Bowl Party Stains

    Minimize your after-party clean-up by tackling these stains fast.Minimize your after-party clean-up by tackling these stains fast.

    Cleaning will probably be the last thing on your mind this Sunday, but keep these tips handy in case you spill on your lucky jersey.

    1. Buffalo Wing Sauce
    Simply mix a little hand dishwashing soap with cool water and sponge the solution onto the stain with a white cloth. While continuing to watch the game, blot the stain until it disappears. Then sponge with cold water and let dry.

    Related: Spice Up Your Guac for Game Day

    2. Beer
    Spill beer on your Seahawks or Broncos jersey after your team scores a touchdown? Just grab an ice cube from the freezer or cooler and wrap it in a napkin or paper towel. Then press the "ice pack" onto the stain. Later, apply laundry stain remover to the area and wash as normal.

    3. BBQ Sauce
    Place a layer of paper towels over the stain. While working from the inside of the fabric, flush the stain with cold water to transfer some of the barbecue sauce to the towel. After the half-time show, pretreat with a liquid laundry detergent to

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