25 Normal Items You Might be Using Incorrectly

Last updated: Jul 08, 2021

Stop foil from rolling away

Isn’t it frustrating when you go to cover your leftovers, and suddenly the whole roll of aluminum wrap comes flying out? Turns out, the box has a built-in solution. 

Go to your kitchen, grab your foil, and look at the end. See those little perforated tabs? Push them in, and the roll stays snugly inside its container.

Use plastic cups to measure

If you’ve ever been to a barbecue or a house party, you know these brightly colored cups well. They’re so famous, there’s even a song about them! 


Despite the fact that everyone has used one at some point, many still don’t know that you can use the lines on the cups to measure liquids!


You're using bobby pins upside down

People with thick hair, this one is for you. If you know the pain of perfecting a hairstyle just to have it fall apart in minutes, you might be using bobby pins wrong. 


Most people put the flat side against their scalp, but it actually works better if you use the bumpy side down!

Use a takeout box as a plate

One of the perks of ordering takeout is not having to heat the stove up to cook, but what if you didn’t have to do the dishes, either?


If your meal comes in one of those iconic folded paper boxes, you can actually unfold them and use them as your dishware. Easiest. Dinner. Ever!

Use a dustpan to fill a bucket

If you’ve never struggled to fill a bucket with water in a sink without a hose extension, count yourself lucky. It’s a major pain. 


There is a solution, though, and it’s something everyone already has. Just take your trusty dustpan and use it as a spout. Voila! Full bucket, no struggle. 

Make sticky notes lay flat

Post-it notes seem as simple as can be, right? Write, peel, stick. However, if you’re peeling from the bottom, you’re doing it wrong!

Peel from the side to help the note lay flat against the surface and avoid the edges curling up. Who knew there was a “right way” to use sticky notes?!


Quickly delete entries in the calculator app

If you’re one of the world’s 900 million-plus iPhone uses, you may find this hack to be a handy one. 

Save yourself some grief next time you need to do some quick math. When using the built-in calculator app, you can simply swipe right to delete the last number you entered.


Use a spoon to stop a pot from boiling over

Grandmas and Nanas everywhere will know this one, but if yours never told you about this little trick, we’ll let you in on it now.

To prevent your pot from boiling over and making your stovetop a mess, lay a wooden spoon on top. It keeps the bubbles in the pot and under control!


Easily clean a pan

What’s your least favorite chore? For us, it’s doing the dishes. Standing in front of a soapy sink with a sponge and a dirty pan is just not fun.  

Save yourself the hassle next time and boil a little water in the pan before you clean. Add some vinegar too if it’s nonstick. The results are magic!


Remove strawberry tops with a straw

Mmm…fresh, ripe strawberries are a delicious treat. If only they weren’t such a pain to prepare. Cutting the green bits off every single berry is tedious! 

Don’t fret, there is an easy solution. Just slide a straw through the berry starting from the bottom and the tops will come right off.


Prevent peanut butter from separating

Peanut butter lovers know the frustration of reaching for the jar of deliciousness just to find that the oil has completely separated! There’s an easy way to solve that problem…

Just let gravity do the work for you. It’s easy – store the jar upside down, and you’ll never have this issue again.


Don't use the wrong plunger

We all try to ignore our plungers until we actually need them, but you might want to pay a little more attention to this humble tool. 

The key is having the right item for the job. A cup-style plunger is better for a sink, while you should use one with a narrower end to clear toilets.


Use a pop can tab to hold a straw

Ever wonder why a soda can tab has that hole in it? We’re not sure, either but we do know it has a surprising use you may not have heard of. 

Instead of struggling trying to get that next sweet sip, just stick a (biodegradable) straw through the hole! Genius.


The "57" trick

Glass ketchup bottles are rarer these days, which means you might not know how to get the condiment onto your plate when it refuses to come out. 

Find the little “57” that’s raised on the side of the bottle, angle the opening toward your fries, and tap that spot with the heel of your hand. It works!


A built in spoon rest

Here’s another tip for the kitchen. When you’re short on counter space and don’t have room for a spoon rest, you can use the hole at the end of your pan handle! 


Just make sure the burners are off so you don’t solve one problem and cause a much bigger one. Trust us.


Open bananas from the bottom

We know what you’re thinking…”How could I be using bananas wrong?” It’s not that you’re wrong, per se, it’s just that there’s a better way to open them! 

Opening bananas from the top causes bruising and can be frustrating. Flip ‘em around and squeeze the bottom. Ta-da! Your snack is ready.


The other side of the pill bottle cap

This hack kinda blew our minds. Pill bottles with the safety lids can be hard to open, right? This is especially true for elderly people or those with limited dexterity in their hands. 

The other side can also be used to seal the bottle! Just make sure to close them with the secure side if you have kiddos around.


Add cheese to burgers after cooking

The cheeseburger is a culinary masterpiece, especially when grilled over some hot coals, but you could be making a critical mistake.

We all love melty cheese, but wait until it’s off the fire to add your cheddar. It will still melt, but it won’t coat the grill and make it harder to clean.


Pack using the rolling method

When packing efficiently for a trip, look to flight attendants and Marie Kondo for advice. Both recommend rolling your clothes instead of folding them. 

That way, you’ll have a neater-looking, more organized suitcase. Plus, your items will be less wrinkled and you’ll be able to fit more souvenirs to bring home!


Flip the side of the yogurt cup

We felt a little silly for not knowing this one, but we had to share in case you didn’t know either! Ever enjoyed one of those yogurt cups with the topping sidecar?

Well, they actually bend at the perfect angle to dump the berries or granola right on top. Maybe these things should come with instructions!


Use cooking spray on squeaky hinges

Every kitchen has a can of this stuff around. It’s so much easier to use, and much easier to portion than just pouring oil from the bottle. 

It has more uses than greasing a pan, however. You can also use it to grease hinges! It works great when you’re in a pinch and don’t have WD-40. 


Seal a screw with nail polish

Loose screws can be such a pain. If only there were a magic substance you already have in your cabinet that could help prevent them…

Oh wait, you totally do! Clear nail polish has a number of uses. You can paint it over the top of a screw to keep it tightly in place.


Fill wall holes with crayon

If you have kids in your home. You’re probably no stranger to damage to your walls. Luckily, you most likely already have the item that will fix it handy, too. 

Just grab one of the kids’ white crayons and use it to fill those unsightly holes. Fun and functional!


Use painter's tape for perfect caulking

Caulking is one of those tasks that nobody wants to do; it can be a huge mess, and it’s hard to get the perfect edge. 

An experienced handyman once told us that you can use painter’s masking tape to get a crisp clean line. Just make sure to remove the tape before the caulk dries fully. 


A potato can help unscrew a lightbulb

Have you ever found yourself in this predicament? A lightbulb has broken, but it’s still in the socket and the sharp edge is sticking out. 

To get the lightbulb unscrewed safely, stick half of a potato onto it so that the pointy parts are well covered. Then simply turn it gently until the bulb comes out.