Rubber bands are pretty nifty things. I often use them to keep my hair in check and tie stuff like pencils together. A little Internet sleuthing showed me there are even more rubber band hacks out there. Here’s a list of clever uses for this stretchy household item.
Keep Doors From Slamming Shut
This one is a lifesaver when you’re trying to bring in a load of groceries by yourself. Simply wrap one end of the rubber band around the outside door knob and the other end around the inside door knob. The stretched end of the rubber band should stretch across the latch.
Keep A Sliced Apple Fresh
My kids love sliced apples, but I usually put whole apples in their school lunches to avoid brown slices. So when I saw this trick, I just had to try it. Slice your apple as you normally would. Don’t throw out the core—you’ll need it! Once the apple is sliced, put it all back together like a delicious jigsaw puzzle and wrap a rubber band around it. When it’s time for lunch, your apple will be just as fresh as it was when you first cut it.
Sit, Stay. Good Cutting Board!
Does your cutting board have a tendency to slip and slide? Some boards have safety stoppers on the bottom to keep them from moving around as you chop, but not all of them do. Rubber bands to the rescue! Just wrap one around each end of the cutting board and voila! You can chop and dice to your heart’s content, and the board will stay still.
Clammy hands or a lid sealed just a little too tightly can make jars impossible to open. Those stuck lids have finally met their match! By wrapping a band or two around the lid, you can open almost any jar you come across.
Give Your Pants Some Room to Breathe
It’s holiday time and you’ve just stuffed yourself full on Grandma’s cooking. Eventually your pants, which fit just fine an hour ago, feel like they’ve suddenly shrunk a few sizes. What now? Give yourself a little more room by wrapping a rubber band around the button of your pants. Pull it through the hole, then secure it with another wrap around the button. This hack also works for that stage when you’re pregnant and still too small for maternity clothes, but just a hair too big for your usual pants.
Turn Pages Easily
Has this ever happened to you? You’re thumbing through a magazine when halfway through, you find the pages just won’t turn properly. You end up with six pages turning at once or your thumb just keeps slipping on the page. A rubber band wrapped around the tip of your finger will solve this problem.
Remove a Stripped Screw
We’ve moved around a lot and we’ve had to dismantle some items so they would fit into the moving truck. Taking bookshelves or other furniture apart can be nearly impossible if you find a stripped screw. Then it was a choice between having less room in the moving truck or throwing away an otherwise perfectly usable item. Here’s a solution. Place one side of a rubber band across the top of the screw and press down with the screwdriver. This will allow you to remove the screw, which you can then replace with a new one.
Save Your Soap
I don’t know what it is with kids and soap, but they either refuse to use it or they think they need to use all of it at once. This simple rubber band hack has put a stop to arguments in my house over how much soap is “enough.” Just wrap the rubber band around the neck of the soap dispenser. The plunger will only be able to dispense a small amount of soap as the rubber band stops its descent.
Paint Brush Scraper
Painting is very messy. It seems as if the brush drips down the sides of the can, across the floor, and any other surface within a five-mile radius. With this trick, however, those messy drips are a thing of the past. Stretch a rubber band across the can, top to bottom, making sure to rest it as close to the middle of the can as possible. Use this to scrape the excess paint from your brush.
Mark Your Drinks
Having kids means hearing, “Mom, he’s drinking out of my cup!” more times than I care to remember. In a large group, keeping track of which glass is yours can be very hard to do. By using rubber bands of different colors around the cup, bottle, or can, your family can easily tell whose cup is whose.
Secure Lids on Cookware
I remember when brought a slow cooker filled with stew for a family outing. Unfortunately, the whole thing fell over in our trunk. What saved the day was a simple rubber band trick. Just wrap one around the handle of the lid and secure it to the handle on the pot. Repeat on the other handle and your cookware is secure!
Keep Clothes on Hangers
My daughter’s dresses and blouses are constantly on the floor of her closet. It can be quite frustrating for us both—the clothes get wrinkled, she shoves things in on top of them, so on and so forth. I was so excited to learn that wrapping a rubber band around the sides of the hangers would keep clothes where they should be.
Did you enjoy this list? I hope it’s as helpful to you as it has been to my family. Rubber bands are such a common household item, it’s wonderful to learn of their many little-known uses! Tell us what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to share.