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Everyone Has Been Using These Household Items Wrong All Along

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household items wrong

Just when we thought we had this whole “living” thing down, these helpful Internet hacks are here to show us we’ve been doing it all wrong. From the most head-scratching to the most seemingly obvious, here are all of the household items that have gone misunderstood for all of these years.

1. There’s A Tab To Hold The Roll In Place

When it comes to dispensing aluminum foil or plastic wrap, people have been making the entire process much more annoying than it has to be. Unrolling some wrap can actually be pretty hassle-free, provided you follow just one simple life hack.

aluminum foil tabs household items using wrong


Turns out we do not have to look too far for some of these life hacks; they’re right there on the box! On the side of every box of aluminum foil or plastic wrap, there is a square that has been carved out and is actually labeled for your convenience. The instructions ask users to press the tab inwards, creating a lock that keeps a roll of wrap in place.

2. A Takeout Container Can Be So Much More

Anyone who has ever ordered Chinese food takeout is familiar with that iconic white and red box the food comes packaged in. But while most people use those carriers to simply bring their food home, it turns out we’re all guilty of using this household item wrong.

chinese take out household items using wrong


Next time, instead of simply using this takeaway box to, well, just take away, try to let it reach its full potential. By unhooking the metal handle and letting the box unfurl, anyone can turn their container into a quick and easy plate. Save time and energy of washing yet another dish, and let this box do its job.

3. Pay Attention To The Tape’s Black Diamond

Maybe everyone was just a little bit too busy actually measuring to notice a small but extremely useful detail, hidden literally between the lines. If anyone has ever noticed that there are black diamond-shaped markings on a standard measuring tape, those are not there by mistake.

measuring tape diamond household items using wrong


The black diamonds are also known as “stud finders,” because they do just that. The markings are perfectly spaced out to show the precise center point between two wall studs. This is helpful for anyone doing simple home repairs, and can save people time and money, since they get to avoid using a stud finder.

4. That Drawer Under The Oven? Not For Storage

Finding good kitchen storage space can be pretty difficult. It seems like we’re constantly shoving just about anything into that final nook or cranny. So it comes as no surprise that many people use the bottom drawer under most ovens to hold their baking sheets and other cooking tools. But that’s not what this drawer is intended for.

warming drawer household items using wrong


Instead, the bottom drawer is actually called a warming rack. And, yes: it is designed to, as the name suggests, keep things warm. Once food is baked and ready, and before it is served, the warming rack is the perfect place to store the food so that it does not go cold in the meantime, but stops cooking.

5. There Are Clues In Road Signs

For anyone who is looking for a sign, look no further. It turns out that there is a lot to learn from a standard green highway sign beyond what is written in bright white letters. Make sure to take note of where everything is positioned on each sign.

highway signs household items using wrong


The strategic positioning on a highway sign makes GPS unnecessary. Take a look and see at the top of each sign which side the “exit tab” is on. If the exit number sits at the top left of the sign, the highway exit will be on the left side of the highway, and vice versa.

6. Using The Right Plunger

Any standard bathroom-related backup can be made even more embarrassing and inconvenient for anyone who does not know exactly which plunger to use. And for many of us DIY bathroom fixers, we’ve actually been making the mistake of using the wrong plunger for the wrong problem.

plungers household items using wrong


While many just grab the closest plunger, or might think that any plunger is interchangeable, each actually serves a specific purpose. Flat plungers are actually supposed to be used only on sinks, while the model with a tapered bottom is ideal for toilets. It’s important to make sure the right one is being used before taking the plunge!

7. That Lid Is Not Just A Lid

Whether a cold paper cup is creating a ring on an expensive tabletop or its creating a circle-shaped puddle on any work desk, dealing with the condensation from a soft drink cup can be annoying and, at times, damaging to furniture. But the way to avoid this problem has been staring people right in the face this whole time.

lid coaster household items using wrong


Anyone who has been using a fountain soda lid as simply a lid has been doing it all wrong all along. On most lids, the circle with the smaller circumference is usually the perfect size for fitting the bottom of the same cup. This creates the most perfect coaster for anyone who is on the go.

8. Never Mistake Which Side The Gas Tank Is On

Pulling into a gas station can sometimes be the start of a frustrating guessing game, as drivers try to figure out which side their gas tank is on. And guessing wrong can often lead to an even more annoying situation. However, the trick to beating this cruel game has been right in front of drivers, there on the dashboard in plain view.

gas gauge household items using wrong


Next time you get into a car, check out the gas gauge. Right next to the icon that shows a gas pump, there is usually an arrow. Whichever side that arrow is pointing to indicates the side of the car where a driver can find their gas pump. See, that was much easier than repositioning a car three times.

9. The Second Use Behind A Head Rest

We are hoping that this helpful use for a car’s head rest will put some road trip worries to rest. It turns out that a head rest is much more than everyone has realized. Besides being a convenient place to, well, rest our heads, a head rest can actually save lives.

seat headrest household items using wrong


Did anyone ever notice that most car head rests can be taken completely out of their places? That function can be useful for a lot of reasons, but one life-saving reason is that it can be used to break through glass. So for anyone who is ever stuck inside of their car, simply remove the headrest and break free.

10. We’ve Been Eating Bananas Incorrectly

Get ready Gwen Stefani, because this one is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s. It turns out that everyone has been eating bananas totally wrong all these years. So, here we go: it’s high time to finally learn the proper method for premium peeling. The first step? Turn that banana upside down, with the stem facing the floor.

Banana peel household items using wrong


It might feel ridiculous to peel a banana with what has been considered to be the proper side facing the opposite direction, but trust us. According to zoologists, monkeys peel their bananas this way because it cuts out unnecessary time spent fumbling around with the fruit. Instead, pinch the brown part at the bottom, watch the banana pry open, and peel.

11. Pile On Those Condiments

When ordering a meal like a burger with fries, condiments are almost as important as the main courses and side courses. Everyone has their own ratio of ketchup to burger, or ketchup to fries, and mastering that ratio can sometimes involve having to carry several condiment cups back to a table.

ketchup cups household items using wrong


But next time, instead of arriving table side with full hands, come fully equipped with this trick. Instead of taking multiple condiment cups, instead expand the condiment cups that are already there. A standard cup can actually be flattened a bit to create more space for ketchup. And truly, everyone can always use a bit more space for ketchup.

12. Flip That Carton

Ever poured out milk, orange juice, or anything else from a carton, and realizing it’s not the most graceful process? There are the “glugging” noises that come from the liquid pushing its way out of the carton, and then there’s all that mess left on the counter tops.

juice pouring household items using wrong


For years, we have been thinking that there must be a better way. And it turns out, there has been one all along, and it is much easier than anybody thought. Just turn the carton upside down. Instead of having the spout-side down, flip the carton so that the spout is farther away from the glass. Problem solved!

13. Perfectly Measure That Pasta

Add this to the list of under-utilized items in everyone’s homes. For years, we have all used the pasta ladle as a way to stir, separate, and, ultimately, serve all of our favorite pastas. All the while, we have been second-guessing ourselves about whether or not we made enough pasta in the first place. But not anymore.

Spaghetti spoon hole household items using wrong


It turns out that the hole in the middle of a pasta ladle is not just for separating pasta from boiling water. Instead, that hole can fit the perfect proportion of pasta for one person. So gather up some uncooked spaghetti and place it through the hole. Once it fills up, that indicates one single serving.

14. The Helpful Hole In A Pot Handle

It’s become fashionable for people to hang their pots and pans in a kitchen. On HGTV shows and in home blogs, home design influencers flaunt the trend of showcasing all of the kitchen appliances in one’s home. And while the holes in pot or pan handles make this hanging design easy, that’s not the sole purpose it serves.

spoon hole household items using wrong


The hole at the end of these handles perfectly fits most wooden spoons and stirrers. So instead of having burnt hands after picking up a hot spoon or suffering the sight of having a spoon sink slowly into a pot of sauce, stick the utensil in the hole for easy cooking.

15. Never Lose A Straw Again

Putting a straw inside of a can of soda can be a awkward experience. There are times that the straw seems to sink into the can, almost disappearing, and there are other times when the carbonation of the drink means that a straw can get pushed almost entirely out of the can. But there’s a simple solution.

soda tab household items using wrong


Beyond just being a means for someone to open up a can of soda, the soda can tab at the top can be a perfect placeholder for a straw. Rather than all of that bobbing and weaving, secure a straw to a can by sticking it through the tab.

16. Get The Most Out Of Shopping Carts

People spend tons of time trying to maximize the bargains during their grocery shopping experiences by clipping coupons or finding the best deals in each store. But are we really accomplishing what we could be from the rest of our shopping experiences?

shopping cart loops household items using wrong


Next time anyone puts a carton of eggs into their shopping carts and worries about cracking these fragile groceries, remember this helpful tip. Almost every shopping cart includes loops near the back end. Those loops are specifically made to hang bags from, so that the most breakable groceries in a person’s cart will not suffer the fate of being crushed before they have even made it home.

17. No Wire Hangers!

Wooden hangers have always been popular for a few reasons. First, aesthetically, this specific type of hanger looks much better in closets than other wire hangers. But these hangers are special for another reason, and it has nothing to do with being really, really ridiculously good-looking.

wooden hangers household items using wrong


Wooden hangers were created with a specific purpose in mind. The specific type of wood used in most hangers is hand-selected to repel moths and other unwanted insects and pests that can harm clothing. The wood in the hanger helps make sure that clothes are not only unwrinkled, but that they stay undamaged while they are hanging out in closets.

18. Hold That Juice Box Just Right

All the parents and babysitters out there know that whenever anyone hands a juice box to a small child, the next step should be to run for cover. By design, it seems like these boxes are just waiting to explode once children grab hold of them.

juice box household items using wrong


But actually, the way juice boxes are constructed, this is not supposed to happen. Has anyone ever wondered why juice boxes come with such bulky flaps on each side of the top? Not only does this obviously help seal the juice box, but once the flaps are loosened, it creates helpful handles for children to grip onto and avoid disaster.

19. Why The Dress Shirt Loop?

Has anyone else ever been tempted to grab onto someone by the little loop on the back of their button-up dress shirt? (Okay, maybe that’s just us.) But whether or not they’ve felt that urge, we are pretty sure that most people have at least questioned why almost every dress shirt includes this head-scratching detail.

shirt loop household items using wrong


The loop actually serves a useful purpose. Anyone wearing a dress shirt can take it off and hang it by the small loop in situations where a hanger is not available. This way, you can happily hang your shirt without worries that it will get wrinkled.

20. Backpack Patches Aren’t Just For Decoration

Take a look at some of the most popular backpacks available in stores today. For example, it might be easy to notice that patches on backpack brands L.L. Bean and Herschel Supply Co. have become pretty common. Usually the patch is made of leather and has two parallel cutouts.

pig snout backpack household items using wrong


Don’t think that this little patch is only there as decoration. It is actually called a “pig snout,” and it was originally found on outdoor backpacks so that people could attach hiking equipment or other gear to the back. Now, the pig snout has made its way onto many fashion backpacks to give them a vintage feel.

21. Cover Up Properly

Public restrooms can always be a hit or miss situation — and sometimes that is taken a little too literally. Thankfully, many of these toilet stalls have the option to cover the toilet seat with a thin sheet of tissue paper. But even so, many people are still missing the mark when it comes to how exactly to use that seat cover.

toilet seat cover household items using wrong


Many people either take the flap that is cut out in the toilet seat cover and either rip it off or position it to be in the back of the seat. Instead, the proper way to use one of these disposable covers is with the flap facing forward. This is supposed to help it more easily flush down the toilet.

22. There’s A Better Way To Floss

Sometimes flossing can get a little more cumbersome than it should be. With 32 teeth in the human mouth, there are tons of hard to reach places where floss seems to stubbornly slip out of peoples’ hands. But don’t blame the floss itself! We’ve just been using it wrong all along.

dental floss household items using wrong


When it comes to flossing molars that are a little farther back in the mouth, try tying the dental floss into a knot. The knot creates a little bit more tension, creating a deeper floss, and makes it so that dental floss does not slip out of anyone’s hand. That’s a tip that will leave anyone smiling.

23. A Bottle Opener Isn’t Just For Bottles

A keychain bottle opener can be a helpful tool to carry around for anyone who needs to open up a glass bottle on the go. But part of a bottle opener goes completely underutilized, and could in fact help save people in a literal pinch.

bottle opener household items using wrong


Stubborn tabs on the top of cans have met their match when it comes to keychain bottle openers. On many of them, there is a small cutout that is meant to help pry open can tabs. No more pinching fingers under a tense soda top: just let the bottle opener do all of the hard work.

24. What’s With That Extra Shoelace Hole?

For years, people have been trying to figure out an age old question: why exactly do my running shoes have that extra lace hole that no one seems to use? And as people continue to question, many go on ignoring the lace hole entirely. But those days are about to end.

extra lace household items using wrong


Many running shoes include an extra hole or two at the very top of the shoe so that shoes can get a more custom fit. Runners can use the extra holes to create shoelace loops that will make sneakers tighter, creating less blisters and redness. With the extra holes, runners will run into less problems.

25. Applesauce Has Always Had A Built-In Spoon

Applesauce is a great snack on the go, except for when it’s not. But what exactly is standing in its way? Well, it’s not like many people carry a spoon around with them to enjoy their takeaway applesauce. Little did anyone know that they don’t need a spoon to enjoy some applesauce whenever, wherever.

applesauce spoon household items using wrong


Next time anyone finds themselves spoonless, just use this trick. Carefully peel off the lid, twist one side, and create a makeshift spoon. The lid’s material ensures that the spoon is actually sturdy enough to properly shovel all of that applesauce. Enjoy, just watch where you’re walking with it!

Sources: Buzzfeed, Good Housekeeping, Insider

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