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May 19, 2010 / Eating Sharks

12 reasons to use rubberbands (you didn’t know)

At a dinner party this weekend, my host was wrestling with a jar of honey in the kitchen, unable to unscrew the lid. Just as she was about to fetch her boyfriend to have him finish the job, I asked her if she had a rubber band. “What for?” she asked, having never heard of the following trick:

For stubborn tops, wrap a rubber band around the perimeter of the the lid a couple times before attempting to open it—the band acts as a grip and makes it about a thousand times easier to undo.

This got me thinking about and researching other uses for rubber bands, which led me to a really helpful post on the subject on the blog Marc and Angel Hack Life. Here, some highlights:

Paint can marker. If you’re partially finished with a can of paint, wrap a rubber band around its exterior at the same level as the paint that’s inside the can so you can tell at a glance how much you have left.

Pencil eraser. Fold a rubber band a few times to rub off pencil doodles.

To keep soap output in check. Loop a rubber band around the neck of the pump on a liquid soap dispenser to control how much soap comes out with each use.

Bookmarks. Just wrap a band around the page you’ve just finished reading and the cover of the book. You won’t have to worry about losing your place, nor do you have to bend the pages.

To manage stray wires—or yarn. Wrap cords and balls of yarn or thread in bands to prevent tangles.

Baby-proof cabinets. Bind knobs with rubber bands to keep them firmly shut.

Remote control pad. Wrapping the base with a band keeps your remote from sliding off the coffee table—and prevents your furniture from scratching.

Make a broom last. When the bristles on a broom get tired and start to splay out, wrap a couple rubber bands close to the base to keep them tight (and cleaning more effectively).

Kitty proof your toilet paper. To keep kittens (or puppies) from pawing at the ends, wrap a band around a roll of toilet paper.

Bottle gripper. To keep shampoos, conditioners, etc from slipping from your hands in the shower, wrap rubber bands around the middles to make them easier to grip.

Keep a sliced apple fresh. Supposedly, after you slice an apple into wedges, if you reassemble the wedges so the apple looks intact again and wrap a (clean!) band around it, it slows down the browning process—a good thing to keep in mind for brown bag lunches.

Got anything to add to this list?



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