I'm sure we've all seen the pin on how a simple wooden kitchen spoon, when placed over a pot, will prevent it from boiling over. Unfortunately it's not true. I made a video demonstrating and explaining why that doesn't work, as well as showing a few methods that do.

So why doesn't this work? Simple. Starch. If you place a pot of water on the stove, crank it up to high and walk away, its not going to boil over. It will boil dry (and possibly ruin your pan) but it won't boil over. What causes pots to boil over is what you're cooking in them, usually high starch foods like pasta. A spoon isn't enough to break the sticky, starchy bubbles that form, and it still allows it to boil over. Images showing this working are likely done by bringing the pot to a lower, more gentle boil, rather than a full, rolling boil, so the chances of the pot actually reaching the point of boiling over are much lower.

So what are the two best methods to prevent this? Use a large stock pot (filling it no more than half way with water) or simply turn the heat down to a medium to medium-high heat. What you're looking for is a gentle boil, just the top of the water moving, not forming large bubbles. It's enough to cook the food, but without forming starchy bubbles. Another method involves a kitchen gadget such as a silicone lid, which allows the foamy mess to collect on top with out pouring all over your cook-top. I personally love mine, but it's not a necessary to prevent pasta from boiling over.
"Amazing Ear Infection remedy. You'll know if there is an infection and treat it at the SAME TIME. Pinning and reading later need to check this out." 

I'm laid up on the sofa today with vertigo from an ear ache, so in the name of science I turned to pinterest to research home remedies (of course, by "science" I actually mean ridiculous home remedies I can test and research).

So, does putting a simple solution of hydrogen peroxide in your ear let you know if you have an infection, as well as treat said infection? NOPE. 

You see, hydrogen peroxide is just simply water with an extra oxygen molecule to it - H202. Now that's not to say it's the same as water, simply altering or adding various single molecules to things can change them drastically. But that's not the case with things like hydrogen peroxide. 

But why does it bubble when you add it to a cut? Because of a simple thing called catalase. Pretty much everything from fruits and veggies to human tissue contains this enzyme. When exposed to the peroxide, it causes the H202 to break up, and allows the extra oxygen molecule to free itself, causing the bubbles. Ta-DA! Even if you're ears are clean and free of infection, chances are good the peroxide will still bubble and foam, so that's really not a good way to test for an infection. Want to test this out? Pour a small amount in a glass and use it as a mouthwash, and enjoy as your mouth fills with bubbles! Just be careful not to choke or gag!

But how about the second claim? Will it at least treat an infection if you have one? Maybe, but it's not likely. Results are mixed as to if this works or not.  It's important to realize that there are various causes for ear infections, from viruses like those that cause colds, to allergies, not to mention bacterial infections which require antibiotics (peroxide is NOT recommended for killing bacteria, as it doesn't kill everything and can actually cause scar tissue to form, something you don't want in your ears). What it is quite good for though, is helping with ear wax removal - in fact ear wax drops are typically nothing more than mineral oil and peroxide. So all-in-all, you can put peroxide in your ears, but it's not going to let you know if you have an infection, and it's most likely not going to cure anything. It's not uncommon for a lot of earaches to only last a few days on their own, so if you find relief using this trick (or warmed oil, which is also a common ear ache treatment) then go for it. However if your ears aren't better after a few days then it's time to seek professional help. 

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(these don't do anything, so just ignore them!)

I had three different people ask me bout this pin this week, so I figured I would go ahead and test it out. We've all see the photos, the good and the bad. And since I've never, ever done this before, I thought it would be a perfect example of what it's like for first timers to give it a go (and why it often ends up a hot mess and failed pin for so many).

I'm here to tell you that, yes, it IS doable. But I'm also going to break it down and explain why, if you're anything like me, this is such a huge pain in the side, that there is no way in hell I would ever, ever do this again. If you're the kind of person who doesn't mind spending an hour on their nails, this is perfect for you. I on the other hand, usually do my nails in the evenings sitting on the couch while browsing pinterest, so needless to say I don't usually do anything overly difficult. 

So here's how the experiment broken down. I originally followed the pin to a T. 

The only thing missing here is the vaseline, which I don't own any, so I reached for my trusted and loved cuticle cream (shameless plug, but I love Orange Thyme products. I own probably a dozen of her lip balms and soaps and seriously, best stuff ever. She's not paying me to say this, I'm just a die hard fan. The Earl Grey lip balm is probably my most prized lip balm ever and I have to hide it so my husband doesn't steal it.)

I added the polish to the water, and noticed right away that the coral polish was creating a strange film on the water. Weird. Well it turns out that the water was slightly too warm, and the polish was a quick-set one, and it was literally hardening in the water. So I had to redo this batch.

And here's the results.

I assumed due to the pin that once it had mostly set up, that I could use something as simple as a toothpick to help separate the polish from my cuticle line, easily cleaning up what is on my fingers. Nope. Didn't work for me. What ended up happening was any sort of pulling, would cause the entire thing to stretch, and tear, making me have to redo everything. So that was a huge fail for me at least.

I then decided to see if using different polishes, different temperature of water, and different shape bowls would have any sort of effect. I tried polishes ranging from $2 Sinful colors, to $12 Julep polishes, and everything in between like OPI, Sally Hansen, Maybelline, Revlon, Zoya. I was curious if the brand mattered. As it turned out, nope! What DID matter was the pigmentation of the polish. Pigmentation can vary from polish to polish, even within the same brand.

I also found that you will get 2, MAYBE 3 good swipes of polish before you need to clear the bowl (I would just use a toothpick and scoot it over to the side) and start over. By the third pass, the polish was less swirly and more clumpy.

After a couple of fails, I found  the combination of polish that worked best for me: OPI in Incognito In Sausalito and Maybelline Color Show in Mint Mist.

After I had all my polish on, I waited. And waited. Once it had set up a bit, I got to cleaning up. Dozens of Q-tips, paper towels, acetone and 30+ minutes later, here are the results. (I also used a very tiny paint brush to better clean up my nail lines and cuticle, something I actually recommend doing after painting your nails anytime for that clean, professional look.)

So there you have it. Yes, it's doable. No, it's not easy. What this experiment showed me, however, was that there were a few things that did help: highly pigmented polish, a shallow plate worked better than a bowl, tepid water worked better than warm, and you should only do 2, maybe 3 swipes before you reset the polish. Also, the clean up is KEY to getting this to look pinterest ready.

Have any of you tried this? Share your photos (the good and the bad!) and what methods worked best for you with us over on Facebook or Twitter. And if you have any pins you're curious, let us know!