Do you ever wish there was an easier way to do something? Well, there probably is. Although we might not know it, there are things we use every day that are actually designed with a completely different purpose in mind. After looking through this list, it might make you feel silly that you’ve been using something wrong your whole life. But it will also make your life better.
We’ve Been Using These Everyday Objects Wrong This Whole TimeJ. Hunter
If you’ve ever driven in circles at a gas station because you forgot which side your gas cap was, you’re not alone. But there’s an easy solution to this you might not know. Car manufacturers have been aware of the problem and got on top. The dashboard of your car now has an arrow pointing in the right direction on your gas gauge, and all cars made after 2010 have it for sure.
2. Coining A Phrase
A handful of change will show you that quarters and dimes have ridged edges, while pennies and nickels are smooth. Why is this? You see, way back before tap to pay or online merchants, coins were made with real precious metals, and people would try to shave down the sides to gather a little extra money. The ridges were supposed to prevent people from being able to.
3. Just A Scoopful
There are those spaghetti scoop spoons with a giant hole in the middle. You know the ones we’re talking about? Well, the hole isn’t just for show; it actually has a very practical purpose. If you ever want to know how much pasta to cook, that hole will help measure the correct amount. Yep, it’s truly a *chef’s kiss* amazing invention.
4. Using Your Head
You probably already know that you can remove your car headrests, and this helps make extra room for loading items. Okay, if you didn’t know that, now you do. But there’s actually yet another use for the headrests, and this one will really help you in a pinch. A headrest can be used in an emergency to break open a window.
5. Shopping Loop-de-loop
Usually, a child sits by the handle of a shopping cart after pulling the seat open. It’s the image pretty much all of us have in our minds when we picture a mother shopping with her child, right? Except this section’s true purpose can be used solo, too. That part of the cart wasn’t made for children, but for fragile items like bread and eggs to keep them from getting crushed.
6. Block O’ Paste
If you inspect your average department store toothpaste tubes closely, you’ll notice that there are colored blocks at the end of the tubes. Although these colored blocks don’t necessarily have a use for us, they do for the manufacturer. They’re there for assembly purposes, to mark where machines need to cut and fold the tubes for packaging.
7. Getting Plugged In
Does anyone even remember cable? With streaming services replacing expensive cable packages, it’s hard to catch any kind of HDTV network television these days unless you pay for it. But it’s not impossible. You can plug in a technology disruptor, an HDTV antenna, into your electrical outlet and gain access to NBC, FOX, ABC, PBS, and more!
8. Backpack Squared
Some backpacks come with a small square patch near the top. Yeah, it looks pretty funny most of the time, but turns out it’s not just for looks. If you’re a big hiker or camper, you probably already know the real use for that. You can carry more and tie extra gear with strings to the square patch and the holes. Voila, you’re a real backpacker!
9. By Your Bootstraps
It’s easy to assume that boot loops exist to help a person pull them on or carry their shoes around town when they’re out and about. I mean, this does make sense, after all. But while this is true, the real reason bootstraps are there is so you can hang your boots when you’re done with them, just like the real soldiers do.
10. Pieces Of Purpose
A box somewhere in your house probably has all of the extra pieces that came with your vacuum when you bought it. After all, the most important part of a vacuum is the vacuum itself, right? Wrong. If you ever get the chance to dig up those extra attachments, they’re actually pretty handy for getting hard to reach places with the appliance.
11. Juicing The Right Way
Yes, even the flaps of a juice box are supposed to serve a specific purpose that most people never thought about. Pull out the flaps, and children are able to hold the boxes better without squeezing all of the juice every which way. Good for hungry kids, and good for parents, too. Because who wants juice stains everywhere?
12. Blending Made Easier
There’s actually a more “proper” way to use a blender than just throwing everything in and turning it on. Don’t lie, you know you did that the last time you blended something. And while that works, you probably found that it usually leaves chunks. The trick is to pour in the liquid first before anything solid, as it smooths out the blending process.
13. Orange You Glad You Know Now?
Fruits like oranges and clementines have their pros: They are natural, healthy, taste good, and they even come with their own carrying case via their peel. Ah, but sometimes that peel is a con, since peeling oranges can be hard to start, messy, and sticky. Next time, try cutting the orange from both sides and then split the middle in half. More citrus, less mess.
14. The Key To Typing
You might wonder why there are little dashes under the F and J keys on a keyboard. They’ve actually been there since the beginning of the keyboard, and they’ve been helping people for decades. Way back when people first started typing, these bumps were meant to help orient users so that they didn’t need to look down as they worked.
15. Speak Into The Hole
Have you noticed the tiny hole between your smartphone’s camera and flash? It’s not for aesthetics, it’s actually a microphone! In fact, that’s not your phone’s only microphone; there are three microphones on smartphones. One at the bottom edge, another under the speaker grill, and yes, the one next to your camera. The more you know.
16. Handy Handle
Pot handles have holes, that much is probably obvious to you. But did you know that they can help with cooking? No, really. Ever have that roommate who kept burning spatulas on the hot oven top? They’re going to want to hear this. You can place utensils in the pot handle hole so you can reach them easily and not leave a mess all over the counter.
17. It’s All In The Pop
Anyone who’s used mascara has probably pumped the wand a couple times to get more when you start to run out. But doing this actually pumps more air into the tube and makes the product dry out faster. So, the next time you use mascara, make sure you hear a “pop” when you pull it out, or else you’ll need a new one much quicker.
18. Foiling The Cling
Getting out tin foil or cling wrap can be challenging when the roll keeps popping out of the box while you try to get what you need. Seriously, it’s so incredibly annoying. But someone’s already found a solution, and it’s been right on the side of the box all along. There are two tabs that you can push in to keep the roll in place. Ta-da, problem solved.
19. In Certain Conditions
Did you know that you might be washing your hair wrong? Well, the shampooing part is easy. You just massage it all over your head, getting rid of dirt and oil from your roots to tips. When it comes to conditioner, though it’s not the same process. Rather than start at the roots, you should condition from the ends of your hair up. Your roots already have enough moisture.
20. Circle Blocker
If you look at your laptop charger, you might wonder if the cylinder near the end does anything except get in the way. It does! It prevents any electromagnetic interference to the charger, which is very useful if you’ve got cell phones nearby to your laptop speaker. Without it, you might start hearing some weird feedback sounds whenever you work.
21. Hold Onto Your Hair
A bobby pin has two different sides. In case you don’t use bobby pins, one side is wavy and curls up a bit, while the other is straight all the way through. Like so many other objects on this list, this isn’t just for aesthetics. If you place the bobby pin wavy side down, it will help keep your hair from sliding out of place.
22. No Longer A Floss
We know you tell your dental hygienist that you floss twice a day, which isn’t always true. But even if you do floss twice a day, you might still be in trouble. It’s important to maintain your bright smile, but you’re probably not doing it properly. Next time you floss, try making a loop with the floss to keep from hurting your gums or fingers.
23. If The Tissue Fits
Tissue paper isn’t just to hide presents in a gift bag or for decoration at parties and Christmas. You can also use tissue paper to prevent wrinkles in your clothes. Yep, honestly. All you have to do is pack your clothes in a layer of paper when you put your laundry away. That way, your clothes come out smooth and stay that way. Genius.
24. Just Pulling Through
A lot of the time, people just slip on their shoes quickly and don’t bother tying or untying them. Breaking in a new pair of shoes, though, might mean having to adjust the shoelaces to get the perfect fit. There’s a hole near the top of the shoe next to the tongue. That’s so if you need your shoe to be tighter, you can string your laces through it.
25. Keeping It All Together
Have you ever wondered why there are teeny tiny buttons on jeans close to the pockets? Okay, if you haven’t even noticed they’re there, believe me, they definitely are, especially if you have a pair of Levi’s jeans. These “button rivets” are placed where jeans can easily rip or tear, and they help protect them. The iconic Levi Strauss patented the idea.
26. Shirty Loop
Not all shirts are created equal, so this doesn’t apply to casual tees, but instead to any collared shirts you might own. At the back of a collared shirt is usually a loop. First, the Navy used these loops to hang them up. Then, in the 60s, college students used these to avoid wrinkles. Now, the loop is considered prestigious…but we know it’s just practical.
27. Useful Under There
Some woman’s panties have a small pocket at the front, leading people to wonder what exactly goes in there. In fact, many people wonder what could even fit in there. Wonder no more. The pocket can store feminine sanitary products for quick and easy access. Jeez, why haven’t I been buying pocketed underwear all my life?
28. No Dishwashing Required
A lot of people love Chinese food, and everybody knows the iconic Chinese food takeout boxes that our delicious dumplings and egg rolls come in. Usually people open the top, hold the box, and dig in with their hunger in full force. In reality, though, you can unfold these boxes to make them a plate. Just a tip for your next Chinese food meal.
29. The Long Neck Bottle
A container is a container, so why do bottles with long necks exist? With items like wine, it seems like it could be just as easy and maybe even simpler to have it be in any old container. Well, a long-necked bottle is easier to hold while serving and, more importantly, distributes heat throughout the bottle evenly when someone is holding it.
30. Flying Hook
When you sit on an airplane, directly in front of you is the usual: A TV screen to watch those wonderful airplane movies, a pull-out tray for the not-so-wonderful airplane food, and pockets to store various magazines and the flight safety information. But there’s one more thing. The pull-out tray stays up with a hook, which plays another role: Hanging your coat.
31. Hold Onto Your Lids
Those plastic lids on soda cups do more than keep your drink covered when you get takeout or go through the drive-thru at your favorite fast food restaurant. If you look closely, there are three bumps around the center ring. If you take off the lid, the bottom of the cup can fit between the bumps so the lid becomes a coaster, which helps with spilling.
32. Dimple Bogey
Golf balls are unique with all of their dimples, so they’re technically not even round and can’t exactly be called a “ball.” But don’t worry, this is actually by design. A long time ago when golf was in its infancy, avid golfers learned that balls with nicks and dents traveled further than smooth ones. It’s all about aerodynamics.
33. A Peeling Method
Cutting onions can be dreadful when you have to avoid getting too teary eyed at the stench rising from the unfriendly veggie. Some people resort to buying onion cutting goggles, but you don’t even have to look that far for the solution to this nasty problem. Cry no more and use a vegetable peeler for the onion. It really works.
34. Better Heatwaves
It’s frustrating when you microwave your food and the bowl is hot, but the food is not. I mean, no one wants to get a burn on their fingers and deal with ice-cold food. There’s a simple way to fix this instead of microwaving your bowls multiple times. Spread your food to the edges, leaving the middle of the container empty. It helps heat it up evenly.
35. Very Cordial
Apple power cords are expensive to replace, and they never seem to last as long as you want them to, especially if you happen to have a new puppy in the house. Still, barring any mega-chewing accidents, there is a way to extend the cord’s lifetime. The two wings on the power block can be pulled out to securely wrap the wire around it.
36. A Little Extra
Most people assume the little baggie with a button and small piece of fabric in your new shirt is to repair the shirt if it gets torn. Sure, I guess that makes a bit of sense, but what if I tear my shirt in a different way than the fabric can cover? See, its actual purpose is to test out how to wash the material, so you can see if it shrinks or leaks color.
37. Earring It Wrong
Apparently, a lot of people have been wearing their ear buds wrong. So if you’ve been finding your buds make your ears uncomfortable, this one’s for you. The proper way to wear them isn’t straight down, but with the round part of the bud facing down, with the wire going over your ear. It helps keep them from slipping out.
38. Ver-Brass-City And Strength
There are all sorts of door knobs made of different material in all of our houses across the world. However, brass door knobs are pretty prevalent in homes, and it’s not because of their cost. It’s because brass has a higher resistance to bacteria and germs. With so many hands touching door knobs, it’s a good idea to switch to brass.
39. Do Not Touch
People might assume that makeup appliers are just another way for companies to make money, since it’s so easy to just use your fingers. Besides, those little eye shadow wands don’t seem to do a darn thing when we apply them. That may be the case, but they aren’t frivolous products. They’re the healthier alternative to using your germy fingers, which can also irritate your skin.
40. Has Some Edge
Lined paper always has margins that are distinctly placed on the sheet. A logical reason for this might be that it keeps writing straight and neat rather than all over the place. Except, that’s not it. The real reason is because back in the day, rats had a habit of chewing on the edges of paper. The margins were their snacks, and documents were safer.
41. Pop It Open
The sound a soda can makes when someone opens it is comforting and somehow immediately refreshing. Best of all, all you have to do is pull the tab to hear it. It’s after that’s the problem: Some people like to rip off the tabs after opening their drinks, or pull them back. That’s the wrong move. Instead, turn the tab over the hole. Now, you can use a (metal) straw!
42. Gated Entrance
Microwaves don’t come with transparent glass for you to watch your food heat up, no matter how cool it would be to see your food slowly warm and become delectable. There’s a very important reason why. It protects people and animals from harmful electromagnetic fields. Man, I guess I’m going to have to give up that dream now.
43. Oh Dunk
There’s already an established, proper way to eat an Oreo, as per the marketing campaign. Say it with me now: twist, lick, and dunk it. Seems pretty clear, but it’s not the only way to enjoy an Oreo, no matter what the Oreo company tell us. Next time, try sticking a fork in the cream portion of the Oreo to dunk the cookie. Tastes good!
44. What An Air Hole
Everybody knows that any seat but the middle seat is the best one on an airplane. For window sitters, they get to look down at the world while flying over it, and if you’ve ever done that, you might have noticed a little hole in the window. Holes are usually a bad sign, but on airplanes, they’re breathing holes that help maintain the cabin pressure at a safe and comfortable level.
45. Smack That
For some reason, getting ketchup out of the bottle can be hard. No matter how many times you smack the bottle on the bottom, nothing comes out! That’s why the popular ketchup brand Heinz came up with a solution. Turn the bottle at a 45-degree angle (by which we mean, not straight down) and tap the 57 on the bottle. Easy peasy.
46. Dipping Right
If you’re more of a dipper than a spreader when it comes to putting mustard, relish, and ketchup on your hot dogs or fries, then those little paper condiment cups are your friends. But did you know that you can actually unfold those dipping “cups” into a tiny dipping plate? Yep, that one is a game changer right there, guys.
47. Double The Security
There are two holes on padlocks, if you’ve ever looked at one in detail. It’s obvious where the key goes, but it’s equally unclear what goes in the tiny hole near it. Nothing! Water drains from there, and people can pour oil into that hole to keep the lock from jamming. So don’t go sticking that key anywhere but that one hole, people.
48. Not Just A Bottle Cap
It’s rare for anyone to deeply inspect their bottle cap, but if you do, you’ll notice a little plastic dish under the cap. Ever wonder what it’s for, or do you just tend to throw it in the garbage? As it happens, you probably wouldn’t enjoy the drink without it. That tiny disk was responsible for keeping the drink carbonated while on the shelf.
49. Get Rougher Rubber
Double colored erasers really confuse people. We pretty much only ever use the rubbery pink side, so why bother having two sides at all? Speaking of which, why does the blue part feel so rough and what’s it for? Well, artists and writers who work sometimes on thicker paper need a tougher eraser, which the blue part provides for them.
50. And That’s A Cap
The cap on pens usually has a hole at the top, but if its purpose is to keep the pen from drying out, there’s no reason for a hole! Nope, that hole is there for an entirely different reason, and it might help save your life. It’s not for the pen; it’s for people who might accidentally swallow the cap so that they get air flow.
More from Factinate
More from Factinate
Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to email@example.com. Thanks for your time!
Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your help!
The Factinate team