hand holding hand brake in vehicle
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
February 24, 2024 ·  7 min read

18 Facts That Should Be Common Sense, But Aren’t

Is common sense that common? Everyone needs to possess a fundamental understanding of general knowledge. Familiarity with specific historical, scientific, political, and cultural information empowers us to make well-informed choices. Regrettably, a significant number of individuals lack even the most elementary knowledge in these areas.

1. Experiencing cold temperatures does not cause you to catch a cold

 female sit on couch at freezing cooled studio flat in warm cap and blanket shiver tremble with cold
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Exposure to cold temperatures might weaken your immune system temporarily, making you more susceptible to infections, but it does not directly cause the illness itself. To avoid getting a cold, it’s important to practice good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, avoiding close contact with infected individuals, and getting vaccinated when applicable.

2. You should regularly empty your vacuum cleaner

Dust bag full of dirt and the new empty dust bag lying near opened vacuum cleaner during a replacement of bags
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When a vacuum cleaner’s dustbin or bag becomes too full, it can reduce the machine’s suction power and overall performance. Regularly emptying the vacuum cleaner also helps prevent the spread of dust and allergens in your home, contributing to a cleaner and healthier indoor environment. This should be common sense, but it’s generally not.

3. It takes the earth a year to complete one revolution

High Resolution Planet Earth view. The World Globe from Space in a star field showing the terrain and clouds. Elements of this image are furnished by NASA
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It actually takes the Earth approximately 365.25 days to complete one orbit around the Sun, which we refer to as a “year.” To account for the extra 0.25 days, we add an extra day to the calendar every four years, creating a leap year with 366 days instead of the usual 365. This system, known as the Gregorian calendar, helps keep our calendar year synchronized with the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

4. No one is entirely immune to propaganda

Group of people screaming in megaphones at scared guy
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If you rely solely on a single source or a biased perspective for your news, or if you seek out information that only reinforces your preexisting beliefs, you may unknowingly fall under the influence of propaganda. It’s often simpler to deceive people than it is to persuade them they’ve been misled. Many people notice the sensationalized moments but often overlook the quiet retractions or the subsequent developments that can lead to a misguided understanding of events.

5. Never try to move a pot that is burning or alight

Fire In Kitchen. Pot Burning While Cooking At Home
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Avoid attempting to relocate a pot that is on fire. Instead, use the lid to suffocate the flames and switch off the burner. Trying to move the pot increases the risk of burning your hand and accidentally dropping it. Moving a pot outside also introduces more fresh air which will only increase the size of the flames. Common sense tells us that oxygen feeds fire, so listen to that little whisper.

6. A grease fire cannot be extinguished with water

fire drill with grease fire
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Never use water to extinguish a grease fire in the kitchen. Instead, use a lid to smother the flames, turn off the heat source, or use a suitable fire extinguisher designed for kitchen fires. Water can worsen the situation and lead to more dangerous circumstances. It should be common sense to extinguish a grease fire with sand or other fire retardants.

7. Use your car’s parking brake

driver pulling the hand brake in car
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“I had a colleague once who drove a stick shift Honda Civic. There were no problems, but he told me he never uses the parking brake, and I was shocked. I drove a manual and was always taught to use the parking brake and leave the car in first.” This should totally be common sense.

8. Don’t use a dirty spoon to scoop something out of a jar

Beautiful young woman eating tasty chocolate paste at home
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Scooping something out of a jar with a used spoon can potentially introduce contaminants from the spoon into the contents of the jar. This could lead to the food or substance in the jar spoiling or going bad more quickly than if you had used a clean utensil. It’s generally a good practice to use clean utensils when handling and serving food to maintain its quality and safety.

9. Use a touchless soap dispenser

Hands with automatic sanitizer liquid spray machine, touchless dispenser.
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Touchless soap dispensers use sensors to dispense soap without the need to touch any part of the dispenser, reducing the potential for cross-contamination. This can help minimize the spread of germs and promote better hand hygiene, especially in public restrooms or high-traffic areas where multiple people may use the same dispenser. Avoiding touching things with dirty hands just makes common sense.

10. Most stove tops lift for easy cleaning

The image of an electric stove
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The ability to lift or remove components from the top of most stoves is a practical design feature that simplifies cleaning and maintenance. It allows for thorough cleaning of the stovetop and contributes to the overall hygiene and appearance of the kitchen. However, the specific design and ease of cleaning can vary between stove models.

Read: 50 Easy Home Hacks That Will Instantly Improve Your Life

11. The average color of the universe is beige

Beige Old Paper. Kraft Old Paper Blank. Cream Old Paper. Beige History Parchment. Beige Tan Backdrop. Cream Craft Parchment. Peach Grunge Vector Texture. Gray Worn Background. Tonal Burnt Old Texture
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The hexadecimal code FFF8E7 represents a pale beige color, similar to what has been informally described as the “average color of the universe.” This color is associated with cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), which is the residual glow from the Big Bang and is observed as a faint beige or pale yellowish color when translated into the visible light spectrum.

12. Unsure of what to say? Use the FORD acronym

Friendly female colleagues having good relationships, pleasant conversation at workplace during coffee break, smiling young woman listen talkative coworker, discussing new project, talking in office
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Using the FORD acronym as a conversation starter can help you build rapport with new people by discussing topics that are generally considered safe and neutral. It’s a great way to get the conversation flowing and discover common ground.

F = Family (Discuss spouse, kids, and in-laws)

O = Occupation (Inquire about their job and career journey)

R = Recreation (Explore their hobbies and recent activities)

D = Dreams (Ask about their aspirations and desired destinations)

13. Avoid using ammonia and bleach at the same time while cleaning

Cleaning home table sanitizing kitchen table surface with disinfectant spray bottle washing surfaces
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Combining two common cleaning chemicals can produce poisonous gases known as chloramines, posing risks to your health and even potential explosions in extreme cases. Rather stick with a designated, preformulated cleaning product that has been tested for user safety, and never mix your chemicals!

14. The term “Xmas” has nothing to do with religion

Beautiful Christmas gift boxes on floor near fir tree in room
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The abbreviation “Xmas” does not originate from a plan to “take Christ out of Christmas.” Instead, it has its roots in the Greek language. In Greek, the letter “X” (chi) is the first letter of the word “Χριστός” (Christos), which means “Christ.” Therefore, “Xmas” has been used historically as an abbreviation for “Christmas,” with the “X” representing the “Christ” in Christmas. It is a longstanding and legitimate way to abbreviate the word and is not intended to diminish the religious significance of the holiday.

15. Light roast coffee contains a higher caffeine concentration per bean compared to dark roast coffee

A collage of coffee beans showing various stages of roasting from raw through to Italian roast
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The caffeine content per coffee bean doesn’t significantly change during roasting, but the density and mass of the beans do. So, when comparing light roast and dark roast coffee in terms of caffeine content, it’s essential to consider how you’re measuring and brewing the coffee. Light roast may appear to have more caffeine when measured by volume, but in reality, it’s about the same on a per-bean basis.

16. Bales of hay can undergo spontaneous combustion as a result of moisture content

Ostrava, Czech republic - may 2 2014: Fire trucks and firefighters at the site of a fire of dry hay bales in the fields outside the city
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When excessive moisture accumulates within a hay bale, it can attract bacteria, leading to the generation of internal heat. This heat buildup can eventually result in smoldering within the hay bale. Seems the faster a bale dries out, the safer for us all. This one never struck us as common sense to start with, but now it totally does!

17. Most cars show you which side the gas tank is on

Low fuel guage shown in a car shot close up
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Many cars feature a helpful arrow or indicator on the fuel gauge that indicates which side of the car the gas tank is located. This feature can be particularly useful when you’re driving an unfamiliar vehicle or a rental car and need to refuel, as it eliminates the guesswork about which side to pull up to the fuel pump.

18. Feeding bread to ducks is harmful

Close-up of a woman feeding a black and white duck on the shore of a lake
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Feeding bread to ducks is discouraged and considered potentially harmful to their health. While it’s a common practice, especially in public parks, bread lacks the essential nutrients that ducks need for a balanced diet. Instead of bread, consider feeding ducks more appropriate and nutritious foods like grains (e.g., cracked corn, oats, barley), seeds, peas, lettuce, and other leafy greens. It’s essential to feed them foods that mimic their natural diet for their well-being and the health of the environment.

Some more interesting facts you may not have known


  1. 19 Basic Facts That A Scary Amount Of People Don’t Know. Are You One Of Them?What Anika Says. Chhavi. August 20, 2023
  2. 17 Little Things That Should Be Common Knowledge But Aren’t.” Buzz Feed. Jessica Misener. October 5, 2017