Six life dilemmas YouTube can solve.


Twas the night before Christmas and my washing machine stopped working, as in totally refusing to run at all. The little bugger would start a cycle and then stop mid-way, flashing alarmingly and dramatically, while making a scary beeping noise.

I broke into a cold sweat because I do one or two loads per day. Aside from the fact I was once again annoyed at the fact we are well into the 2000’s and I, the woman of the house, was still stuck doing the laundry I also understood with the clarity of someone who likes to see the bottom of the hamper that no service worker would be available to service my machine until at least a week after New Year’s.

Warranty or not.

I was stuffed, up poop creek without a paddle. Thoughts of driving dirty loads of laundry to my mum’s house twice a day and then returning to take them off the line stopped me in my tracks.

My entire quality of life was in jeopardy.

Pretty much everyone has to do laundry. Image: The Big Bang Theory, Nine Network

I have a husband who is okay at fixing some stuff although he's a bit dramatic about it, requiring lots of space and tools and random trips to Bunnings to achieve a result. He'll make me hold things and hand him things to the point that it's so annoying I'd rather pay someone $300 to fix it while he is at work.

Except it was the holidays and he wasn't at work, and neither were my company's service workers.

I scoured the manual and went through the useless "troubleshooting" list and nothing worked. Just as rocking back and forth on the floor began sounding like a good idea, I remember a few months ago using a YouTube video to teach myself how to use software called Snagit. Why couldn't I do the same for my dodgy front loader with too many fancy buttons and not enough reset buttons?

So I looked it up and what started as one broken washing machine ended up in six, completely life-changing instructional videos.

1. Washing Machine

I didn't know what was wrong with my machine but after a few Google searches, I ended up on this YouTube video showing how to unblock a front-loader filter. I did it and it worked. So relieved and grateful to SPSN's YoutTube Channel and excellent advice about the bucket.

Video via SPStv

2. Set up the Playstation

My son received a Playstation 4 from Santa and while it included instructions, those instructions weren't specific to our TV and other technology. YouTube to the rescue. Not only was my son Philip, 12, thrilled with his gift and thankful to Santa, he was also quite impressed with me after I managed to get it working for him thanks to TechRadar for not making me feel like an idiot in the process.

Video via TechRadar

3. Stainless steel pot

My son and I love instant custard, as in the powered form because it is egg-free (he has allergies) and is quick and delicious, but making it in our old pots results in little bits floating in it. In an effort to keep custard as part of our regular menu I bought a special, fancy, expensive stainless steel pot we lovingly labelled The Custard Pot. It didn't work. A layer of custard burned onto the bottom. We soon figured out how to make it in the microwave - so many wasted hours, weeks, months and years stirring, stirring, stirring - but I wanted to salvage the pot due to the cost. I could always use it to boil stuff and found this video posted by Hometalk.

Video via Hometalk

4. Fill a fresh-water aquarium.

Santa bought my son Giovanni, 8, a 30-litre aquarium. After finding out via Google that freshwater fish are easier to look after than tropical fish we set about deciding on which fish to buy and how exactly to set up this monstrosity. Having very little experience with fish, aside from as traumatic teenage experiences where a fish in my custody died due to manslaughter with hairspray - who knew? - I knew I'd need lots of help. YouTube to the rescue in the form of this instructional video featuring very cute little fishies and yes, I chose the DIY AQUAPROS one because it used the word "basic".


5. Fix squeaky windscreen wipers. 

My back window wiper has been making a strange noise lately and it wasn't until I bothered to look closely at it that I realised all the rubber was gone. Being a smart, educated, independent woman who was flush with success after a string of YouTube instructional video successes, I ordered the rubber thingie for my back wiper online and installed it using this video from ExpertVillage.

Video via ExpertVillage

6. Getting immediate 'Going Out Hair'.

Not a dilemma exactly but 10 years ago I spent hundreds of dollars on a fancy new GHD hair straightener only to use it twice and then shelve it. Then I had had my hair done by a professional who made it look so simple but I wasn't really paying close attention, I just knew I loved it. I needed it all slowed down for me though and I've gotten pretty good at it. Money NOT wasted after all. Thank you Hairspray Lipstick for giving me pretty "going out" hair.