21 Household Uses For Rubber Bands (Apart From Shooting Them At Your Friends)

21 Household Uses For Rubber Bands (Apart From Shooting Them At Your Friends)

Abby Stone
Nov 6, 2008

110608-rubberband.jpgWhen we were kids, we wore them on our teeth and around our wrists, shot them at friends, used them to corral the pencils and pens in our schoolbag and hold our hair back (ouch!). Now we pile the ones we receive with our dry cleaning, our broccoli and our mail in a drawer or we wrap them around a piece of tissue to create a ball. But, as with vodka, velcro, blowdryers and used dryer sheets, we like to find economical ways to reuse them around the house. Some thoughts on how to put them to good reuse, after the jump...

  1. To open a jar: wrap one of the thicker ones around the lid of that hard-to-open jar and twist. Love that reassuring pop!
  2. Reshape the bristles on a broom: get a few more uses out of that splayed out mess. Wrap a rubber band around the bristles overnight.
  3. Temporarily childproof cabinets: got friends with small kids coming over? use your stash of rubber bands to lash cabinet doors together.
  4. Use as a bookmark: especially great when you've got to keep something open for a while, like a cookbook.
  5. Cushion a remote control: it won't mar furniture and it won't be easily knocked off the table.
  6. Secure wooden slats on a bed: wrap a rubber band around the end to keep it from coming loose.
  7. Tighten furniture casters: wrap a skinny band around the stem and reinsert.
  8. Wipe your paintbrush: Wrap a rubber band around a paint can so the rubber band goes across the middle of the opening. Wipe the excess paint from your brush against the rubber band instead of against the side of the can. The paint will fall back into the can and the grooves around the outside will stay clean.
  9. Temporarily Fix a Leak: wrap a rubber band around the leak in a pipe or hose to temporarily repair it
  10. Stop Dripping Wax: wrap a colourful rubber band around a candle to stop wax from dripping onto the table.
  11. And Wobbling Candles: wrap one around the bottom of a too small candle to secure it in a too large candlestick

  12. Corral Mail: we hammered in two parallel rows of nails in the side of a cabinet and stretched rubber bands between them to hold mail. You can also stretch rubber bands over a piece of plywood or thick cardboard for an updated version of a french ribbon board.
  13. Stop Licking Your Finger: thumbing through papers in your home file? Wrap a rubber band loosely around your index finger. No more licking your finger!
  14. Tie dye your own fabric: wrap rubberbands tightly around fabric before dipping it into dye (consider bringing back this pattern using deep muted shades of eggplant, saffron and sage green or tone on tone colours)
  15. No more slippery bottles: wrap rubber bands around shampoo, conditioner and liquid soap containers to make it easier to grip them in the shower
  16. Need glue? a melted rubber band makes a good adhesive in a pinch
  17. Electrical Insulation: wrap a rubber band around exposed wire to insulate yourself from electrical current (make sure the electricity's off!)
  18. Puppy or kitty proof your toilet paper: wrap a rubber band around it so that ithe ends don't dangle, tempting baby animals.
  19. Economize on liquids: wrap a rubber band around the neck of a soap or lotion dispenser to limit how much is dispensed with each pump
  20. Shorten electric cords: Wrap a rubber band around excess electrical cords to shorten them so you don't trip.
  21. Flower arranging: use a rubber band to keep bunched flower heads together. Cut the stems to just above the height of the vase to make a pretty ball arrangement.

[image: laogooli's flickr, with a Creative Commons License]

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