Who thinks about the right and wrong way to get a piece of foil off the roll? Or that there’s another use for the plastic top of a beverage cup? Little did you know, there are many everyday items that you may have been using incorrectly.
Oh, So That’s What That’s For
Did you ever notice there’s a hole in the handle of some of your cooking pots? It’s there to hold the spoon when you’re not stirring with it. Put the spoon through the hole, handle first, and the spoon will stand up on its end or hover over the pot without getting whatever you’re heating all over your stovetop. A similar trick works with canned soda—many cans have a hole in the tab that can hold a straw.
Also among the things you didn’t know you were using wrong is that roll of aluminum foil. It’s so annoying when the whole roll jumps out of the box when you’re just trying to tear off a small sheet. Well, did you ever notice the ends of the box? There are probably little perforated places that say, “press to lock roll.” Push them in, and presto! The little flaps hold the roll in place.
The drawer in the bottom of your electric oven is not necessarily there to hold your cookie sheets. On some models, it’s supposed to work as a warming drawer, to keep cooked food warm until you serve it. Whoa, the things you learn when you read the manual!
When Tops are Bottoms and Boxes are Plates
For most of us, the plastic lid that goes on a cup of iced coffee is there to hold a straw in the middle and keep you from splashing your drink all over yourself. But take it off the cup and put it on a table, and that top becomes a coaster. Now you won’t leave condensation all over the breakroom table.
Did you know those Chinese food take-out cartons can unfold and turn into plates? Save your dishwasher some work and use this nifty trick.
In the Office
Stop shaking that little plastic breath mint box—it’s not a maraca! The tab-top box has a little bowl-shaped divet in the lid that’s designed to hold one mint. Tap it gently out of the container, and voila—you’ve got a mint with ease.
There’s even a right way to staple pages together—make sure you aren’t accidentally messing it up. Most people do it the right way: position the stapler so it will go in at a 45-degree angle to the corner of the paper, about half an inch away from the edge. Parallel or perpendicular staples may look cool, but they make it harder to flip the pages. Make a nice, neat corner and whoever is on the receiving end of your handouts might actually turn to the second page.
The list goes on, from peeling bananas from the top (wrong) to putting bobby-pins in your hair with the ridges facing up (nope, other way). There are even rules for plungers: one shape for sinks and another for toilets. The next time you pick up an everyday object without thinking, it might be one of many things you didn’t know you were using wrong.