The items we use every day, from bottle openers to pom poms and boots, are designed to make our lives go a little more smoothly. I mean, what’s the sense in buying a product that adds more difficulty to your routine? None, if you ask me. But did you know that a lot of these items can be used in more ways than one? The way in which we use any household item, like a wooden spoon to stir tomato sauce, has been passed down from family and friends, and we learn by trial and error, like how to peel an egg. It’s these habits that we create while cooking, cleaning, driving, eating, drinking, etc. that show us how to approach small routines (like filling your gas tank) with efficiency and effectiveness.
I’ve been doing things the way I have for as long as I can remember, and I’m sure you have too, but what if I told you there’s a better way to achieve greater results than the way you’ve been slicing oranges, pouring wine and folding your pants? There are even some features and benefits of products you’ve been using your whole life that you probably never noticed, like what the grooves are really meant for in #34 and what that weird concave shape is designed to do in #5. Brace yourself – these 41 everyday items have an extra purpose – a far more effective way of using them to get the job done right! Guaranteed, there are a few hacks in here that you didn’t know but it’s never too late to learn, apply and be wowed by the simplicity of it all. The more you know, right? I’ll be the first to admit, I will be adapting most of these handy tips to make my life easier, will you?
43. The Drawer Under Your Oven Isn’t Storage
The drawer under my oven is currently full of cookie sheets and baking pans. But, this isn’t its intended purpose. After food is cooked, place it in the drawer to keep food warm without drying it out.
42. The Little Hole At The End Of The Lollipop Stick
Next time you’ve got a lollipop (more specifically A Chupa Chup, but most have this feature) take a look at the end of the stick. Nope, it’s not a whistle. It’s a life-saving hole that’s part of the production process. When the liquid candy is being poured, it fills the hole so the candy adheres to the stick and won’t get dislodged and stuck in your throat!
41. Tie Up The Ends Of Your Extension Cords
Never find yourself disconnected from your source of power ever again when you tie up your extension cords together!
40. Tap And Blow To Peel A Hard-Boiled Egg
All you have to do is tap the top and bottom of the hard-boiled egg on the counter, remove the pieces of shell, place your lips on one end and blow. A perfectly peeled egg pops right out!
39. Applesauce Actually Comes With A Spoon
Did you pack a handy single serve container of applesauce and forget to pack a spoon? Have no fear, you can still enjoy it. Remove the foil top, twist half of it, and make yourself a convenient little spoon.
38. Juice Boxes Come With Handles
When your child has a juice box it can get a bit messy when they squeeze it. Lift the tabs on the juice box and use them as handles to avoid the mess.
37. The Real Way To Floss
No more purple sausage fingers! Make a loop and floss like this for optimal dental health from this day forward.
36. There’s A Little Home In The Pop Can Tab For Your Straw
When using a straw, turn the tab on your soda can around so that it holds the straw still and keeps it from bobbing out of the can.
35. There’s Even A Reason For The Loop On The Back Of Your Shirt
It may look silly, and you’ve probably never used it before, but that loop on the back of a dress shirt id used to hang the shirt from a hook of clothes line. Hanging it this way will prevent wrinkles.
34. There’s Right And Wrong Side For Bobby Pins
If you’ve ever used bobby pins, you’ve probably used them wrong. Most people place them in their hair with the flat side towards their scalp. But, putting the ridged side down actually helps with grip.
33. Press In The Tabs On Your Aluminum Foil And Plastic Wrap
Most boxes of aluminum foil and plastic wrap have little tabs on the end of the box. Press those tabs and in it will prevent the roll from being pulled out when you pull.
32. Chinese Take Out Containers Double As Plates
I’ve definitely never thought to do this before, but if you open up the container from your Chinese take-out and lay it flat, it works perfectly as a plate. Chopsticks come with the meal, so you don’t need anything extra!
31. The Backpack Patch That Can Help You Climb A Mountain
You’ve seen that diamond-shaped patch that has two slits, facing outwards. It’s known as a “lash-tab “but what’s it good for? It dates back to when old alpine bags were used to carry an ice pick. The pick was secure through this attachment for easy access. Today, snap on a carabiner for an easy, on-the-go lock and snap attachment. How clever!
30. Get A Perfect Piece Of Toblerone. Every. Single. Time.
If you try to pull the segments of a Toblerone bar apart, you can end up with messy pieces. Push the piece towards the bar and get a perfect segment of tasty chocolate.
29. Your Bottle Opener Opens More Than Just Bottles
Many of us have a bottle opener on our key chains. It does an excellent job opening, well, bottles. Yet, we’re still breaking fingernails opening cans. However, most bottle openers have a slot that is perfect for opening cans.
28. Get More Out Of Your Condiments
When you’re picking up condiments for your meal, one of those tiny cups is never enough ketchup for your fries. Just pull that cup open and you can carry much more in a single cup, rather than five little cups.
27. Tic-Tacs Have A Single Candy Dispenser
You know what happens… you shake the tic-tac container to get a single tic-tac, but ten come tumbling out. Then, you have to put them all back in. The tab on the container has a little space meant for dispensing a single candy.
26. Oranges Are Super Easy To Peel
You may think that peeling oranges has to be messy and difficult, but that’s not the case at all. Simply cut off the top and bottom and make one small slice. Open it up for neat, easy to eat segments.
25. You’ve Definitely Been Peeling Your Bananas Wrong
I assume most people peel their bananas from the top. I know that I do. But, that’s the wrong way; you should be peeling it from the bottom. How do we know this? Because that’s how monkeys do it and it if monkeys know anything, it’s how to peel a banana.
24. Cupcakes Make Fantastic Sandwiches
Sometimes, with so much icing on the top and cake on the bottom, a cupcake can be an unbalanced treat. But, if you cut off the bottom half of the cupcake and put it on top, you have a perfect, yummy cupcake sandwich.
23. Perfectly Balanced Natural Peanut Butter Everytime
Oil separation is going to happen but oily peanut butter is gross. When you’re done using it, flip your jar upside for storage and open it up the next time for a perfect peanut to oil ratio. Just make sure the lid is on extra tight!
22. The Hole In Your Spaghetti Spoon
I always make too much or too little when I’m cooking spaghetti. But, it turns out that hole in my spaghetti spoon actually measures a perfect serving of pasta.
21. Rest Your Spoon In The Hole Of Your Pot’s Handle
You’re cooking a sauce or a soup and as you finish stirring, you notice that you have nowhere to set your spoon. Save space on your counter and avoid making a mess by using the hole in the handle of your pot as it’s intended – like a spoon rest.
20. Rearview Mirror Tab For Less Bright Lights
Next time some guy has his high beams on and blinds you through your rearview mirror, remember to press down on the tab of your rearview mirror so it angles down. That way the light reflects downwards without impacting your field of vision.
19. This Plunger For Your Sink, That Plunger For Your Toilet
Well, guess what– different plungers each have a different purpose. Cup plungers (right, which most people use for toilets) are actually meant for unclogging sinks. Flange plungers (left) are what you should be using in your toilet.
18. Soda Cap Tab That Keeps In Carbonation
Nothing like a sparkly bottle of soda to wash down pizza! You can thank the round plastic lining underneath the cap for keeping your fave soft drink extra fizzy. Otherwise, the gasses would just leak out and you’d be left with flat pop. Ew.
17. iPhone’s 3rd Microphone
On your iPhone, have a look at the back. You’ll see your camera, your flash and another little hole. That one is the phone’s third microphone, able to pick up forward- facing sound when you have your video on!
16. Slender Bottle Shape For Colder Beer
A beer bottle’s slender design is so that when you hold it, you’ve got it around the neck, preventing the heat of your hand from warming up your refreshing beer – because who likes warm beer ANYWAY?
15. The Extra Eyelet On Shoes That Optimizes Performance
Ever notice the extra little hole way at the top? That extra eyelet helps you tie up your shoes way tighter, perfect for a marathon or if you want extra ankle support. Plus, it helps alleviate chaffing and blisters, who knew?!
14. The “Underwear Pocket”
Most women’s underwear comes with another layer. While it may look like a secret stash pocket for a lipstick or a wad of cash, it is, in fact, an extra layer of soft fabric for comfort. Its seen in when the outer fabric of the underwear doesn’t meet health standards, so this layer is a little more “breathable.”
13. The Hole In A Pen Cap To Immediately Stop Suffocation
Grab a ballpoint pen with a removable cap. Notice how there’s a hole at the tip? It’s not a design flaw. Heaven forbid someone ingests the cap. The hole allows for a small passage of airflow to prevent suffocation. Furthermore, it helps regulate air pressure when you open and close the cap on the tip.
12. Karate Chop Ketchup For An Instant-Flow
Next time you find yourself in a face 0ff with the slow-as-molasses ketchup bottle, simply turn it on a 45-degree angle and using the meaty part of your lower, outer palm, karate chop the embossed ’57’ logo at the base of the bottle’s neck. You should have a waterfall of ketchup in no time.
11. Pom Poms As Little “Helmets”
Pom poms on a hat are a fashion-forward trend that’s been appearing for decades but looks a little different every year – small or big, colourful or plain. The history dates back to when French marines wore a pom pom on top of their hat to provide a little cushion, a little buffer zone for when the boat got rocky and hitting their heads happened on the regular.
10. Top To Bottom Pant Crease For Easy Storage
Men’s slacks typically have a pronounced crease from waist to ankle, in the front and in the back. It’s called the “traveller’s crease” and allowed for pants to look crisp and business-ready even after travelling for weeks folded in a trunk. When the pants would come out, the crease would be impossible to get out, therefore they became a part of the design!
9. Boot Loops For Hanging Up
If you’ve ever noticed, military-style boots have a loop at the top of the boot in the back. They are super useful for pulling up while you put your foot inside, but they also prove pretty helpful when your boots are wet and need to be hung up to dry. Furthermore, you can wrap your laces up and through them if you want more ankle support or a cool look.
8. The Bottom Shape Of A Wine Bottle For Better Wine
That concave shape at the bottle of your favorite Shiraz is called a “punt” and while some might complain that it gets in the way of more wine in your bottle, think again. It’s an ergonomic feature that actually helps keep the bottle from tipping over. It makes the wine easier to chill, catches sediment more effectively, and makes the bottle more resistant to high pressure. Cheers!
7. Keyboard Feet For Better Visibility
See those two little hinges/steps underneath your keyboard? One school of thought is that it’s meant to raise your keyboard to be easier on your wrists – but this just in: the angle is for user visibility. The angle allows you to see the layout of the keys, optimizing the height at which you see them for accurate and faster typing!
6. Small Piece Of Cloth As A Tester
When you spend your hard earned money on a nice blazer or pair of slacks, the last thing you want is to destroy it by washing it improperly! That’s why, with every nice article of clothing, there’s a little plastic baggie with a button and a small scrap of cloth. The extra button is obvious, but the cloth is meant to be used as a tester in your washing machine with your detergent to see how it fares after a wash. See where thinking ahead gets you?!
5. Padlock Hole For Smoother Use
Flip over a padlock and you’ll see a needle sized hole at the bottom. That hole is an exit point for moisture. Also, if the key isn’t turning because it’s rusty, a few drops of oil in the hole will get everything moving again.
4. The Small Inconspicuous Jean Pocket
Jeans were designed for wear and tear. After all, they were meant for the working man and cowboys. Always on the go, they needed a safe spot to keep their pocket watch n their person, alas, the tiny jean pocket (and punctuality!) was invented.
3. A Headrest As The Jaws Of Life
In an emergency when you’re stuck inside the car, start by simply removing the headrest. Hold it vertically so the pegs are stacked then place the top peg an inch deep between the rubber seal and the window where it retracts. Push down using the cushion as a lever and the peg should pierce and shatter the window. Voila!
2. Fast Food Drink Lid As A Coaster
No one likes moisture rings on their table, especially left by the condensation in a fast food drink cup. Remove the lid and tuck underneath the drink cup and notice how the grooves perfectly accommodate the bottom of the cup, doubling as a handy-dandy coaster!
1. 2-Piece Gas Station Fuel Line For Safety
In the event you totally space out while filling your tank with gas and don’t remove the nozzle, there’s a security measure in place to ensure that the whole place doesn’t go up in flames. Where the hose meets the metal coupling at the top of the pump, that’s the breakaway point is: Enough force will cause the fuel line to break into two, and the check valves inside will prevent gas from leaking out.