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25 Objects You Didn't Know You Were Using Wrong

There's a hack for that!

When you use many everyday objects, you tend to do so without putting much thought into it. You hold a beer bottle with your hand. You shake a Tic Tac out of its box. You plug a cable into your phone before bed so it's charged by morning. All of this behavior is probably second-nature. It's also woefully incorrect. You see, when it comes to some common objects, most people are using them incorrectly. We're here to set the record straight. Read on to learn which 25 common objects you're likely using wrong and prepare to have your mind blown.

You're placing the toilet seat cover flap in the back.

toilet seat cover, using objects wrong

Hygiene is a necessity when it comes to public bathrooms, and that's why toilet seat covers exist. Yet, anyone who has used a paper toilet seat cover can testify to how easily they move around—making them more annoying than helpful. But that's because you're most likely using it incorrectly. According to All About Toilet, the flap on the cover should be placed inside the front of the toilet, not the back!

You're keeping your ceiling fan in one direction.

ceiling fan running ways to bring down a/c bill

Like denim jackets, flavored lattes, and TV premieres, ceiling fans are seasonal. As Matthias Alleckna, an energy analyst at, previously told Best Life, they "have an ideal direction for summer and another one for winter, which can make your home colder or warmer, depending on your preferences."

According to Alleckna: "On hot days, ceiling fans should run in the counterclockwise direction. The summer mode will make your ceiling fan suck the warm air up and push the cold air down. If you use it in the clockwise direction during summer, the chances are high that you will feel the air get even hotter inside your home."

You're not angling your rearview mirror correctly.

rearview mirror adjusting, using objects wrong

When driving after dark, you've probably experienced the annoying—and, likely, blinding—headlights of a car coming up behind you. However, by adjusting your rearview mirror, you can avoid this dangerous occurrence. According to Your Mechanic, if you have a manual rear view mirror, you can flip the tab at the bottom of it, which changes the angle of the reflective material behind your mirror's glass, thus dimming the lights behind you. And if you have a power mirror, it's even easier: just activate "nighttime mode" to get the same effect!

You're storing your natural peanut butter right side up.

peanut butter jar, using objects wrong

Anyone who has used natural peanut butter knows what it's like to open a jar just to see a bunch of oil sitting on the top. And then, you have to stir and stir and stir until your hand hurts. But there's an easy trick that will sidestep the stirring for good. All you have to do is store your jar upside-down, according to HuffPost. When you flip over the jar right-side up and open it to make your PB & J, the solids will be on top and the oil on the bottom.

You're using the bottom drawer of your oven to store pans.

oven modern kitchen

The bottom drawer of your oven may seem like an appealing place to store some pans and baking sheets, but you really don't want to do that. According to Tasting Table, the bottom drawer of an electric oven is actually for warming food (or keeping food warm). For instance, if you're hosting a holiday party and need to store already-cooked food until it's time to serve, this drawer will come in handy. And if you have a gas stove, the bottom drawer is almost certainly a broiling drawer, best used for browning the tops of dishes.

You're using metal utensils on nonstick pans.

using a metal spatula with a nonstick pan for a fried egg, objects using wrong

Nonstick pans rank among of the world's greatest culinary inventions. You get all the the fun of cooking, but with a fraction of the mess. However, you may be using your nonstick pan incorrectly—and possibly destroying it in the process. What makes a nonstick pan so useful is its coating. But if you're using metal utensils on the pan, you run the risk of scratching or ruining this coating. Most brands, like Calphalon, even directly tell consumers not to use certain types of metal utensils with their products because it can void the warranty.

You're holding beer bottles by the body.

men doing a toast with beer bottles, relationship white lies

Nothing beats a cold beer on a hot day, but if you're holding that bottle by its "body" (the wide part), don't expect it to be that cold for long. The body heat generated from your palm will warm that beer at a faster rate than you can drink it. Instead, grab that Bud by the "neck" (the narrow part), which allows less of the drink to be affected by your body temperature.

And you're holding your glass of wine by the bulb.

couple drinking red wine in the kitchen during the day time

Similarly, if you're holding your wine glass by the "bulb"—like the man on the right pictured here—you're making a common mistake, seeing as the heat from your hand can alter the flavor of your vino. "People don't realize how quickly they warm up their wine by holding the bulb of the glass with their palm," Zach Mack, a beverage industry expert and owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City, previously told Best Life. Instead, pinch the stem between your thumb and forefinger (as the woman on the left here is doing) and you'll maintain the proper temperature for your drink while keeping its intended flavor.

You're shaking the Tic Tac container.

an open mint white tic tac box resting on a wooden table

Next time you're looking to get just one Tic Tac out of that tiny container, don't get mad at the packaging—it's more helpful than you might realize. As BuzzFeed points out, there's a crevice built into the lid of the container that easily dispenses and holds one Tic Tac at a time. Just flip the container upside down, open the lid, and voila! You'll find one tiny Tic Tac tacked onto the lid.

You're loading your dishwasher incorrectly.

dishwasher plates bowls silverware dishwasher tips

It's one of the most common arguments among roommates, long-term partners, and other cohabiting folks: How do you load the dishwasher? Well, if you're placing crusty dishes with leftover carbs (like mashed potatoes) on the bottom shelf towards the sides, you're in the wrong. Researches from the University of Birmingham found that these plates are actually more fully washed when placed in the middle of the rack. There, they'll feel the full brunt of the water's blast.

You're using too much laundry detergent.

Filling detergent in the washing machine dispenser compartment - Image

The logic is there: the more detergent you add, the cleaner your clothes. Turns out that that logic is not exactly spot-on. You may be using too much detergent, which can negatively affect the washing process. The experts at Tide explain that creating too many suds in a wash cycle prevents clothes from rubbing against one another, which is what helps clothing get clean. Not only that, but excess suds can also prevent your machine from rinsing properly, allowing odors or impurities to redeposit back onto your clothes.

You're not using the right plunger.

man using plunger on toilet, using objects wrong

No one likes unclogging a toilet. But what most people don't know is that using the wrong type of plunger can make the task infinitely more unpleasant. That's right: There's more than one type of plunger. According to Toilet Advisors, if your plunger has a flat suction cup on its end, it's a sink plunger. This wider plunger with an evenly distributed bottom can properly affix to your sink. A toilet plunger is called a flange plunger, and it has a bell shaped cup (as seen here). Once you have one of each on hand, this task will become infinitely easier.

You're not securing your aluminum foil.

aluminum foil box

If you've ever tried to tear off a piece of aluminum foil and had the tube pop out, you'll be pleased to know that there's a hack for that. In fact, aluminum foil boxes are built for the express purpose of preventing that annoyance. As our sister site, Eat This, Not That, reports, on the side of the box, you'll find two tabs. Push those tabs in—so they line up with the tube's holes—and they'll prevent your aluminum foil from popping out of the box. (Yes, it's as simple as that.)

You're using your Chinese takeout box as (only) a takeout box.

chinese takeout box, worst things about the suburbs

Are you scooping your Chinese takeout onto a plate once it arrives? If so, all you're doing is dirtying up a plate unnecessarily. These iconic white cardboard boxes can actually be folded out into a makeshift plate—making dinner cleanup so much easier.

And you're using your soda lid as just a lid.

soda to-go cup on the ground, objects using wrong

The plastic lids for those movie theater-style soda cups are intended to be used as more than just lids. The ridges and bumps on the top of the lid make for a great coaster, too—a trick tried and proven by Business Insider. So, the next time you're in need of a coaster for your cup, just pop off the lid!

You're overcharging your phone.

Charging Smartphone on Table

Of course, to keep your phone alive, you need to charge it. But did you know you can overcharge your phone? As John Bradshaw, marketing communications manager for Cadex Electronics, told Time, charging your phone past its max charge can cause a "trickle charge." This is when your phone vacillates between a full charge and a semi-full charge as it attempts to keep a 100 percent battery to compensate for the small charge it loses naturally. And overcharging your phone too often can wear out your battery. So instead of charging your phone overnight, like most of us do, charge it during the day when you can monitor the battery levels.

You're brushing your teeth right after you eat.

couple brushing teeth

You may be tempted to brush your teeth as soon as you finish a meal in an effort to instantly clean your mouth. But what you're doing instead is eroding your teeth. As the Oral Health Foundation notes, by brushing your teeth right after you eat, you run the risk of brushing tiny particles of your enamel away, since the eating and drinking process naturally weakens your enamel. So, you should wait at least one hour after eating to brush your teeth to ensure you're helping them, not hurting them.

You're rubbing your moisturizer into your skin.

woman applying moisturizer, using objects wrong

It's easy enough to pump a bunch of moisturizer into your hands and rub it all over your face. But, according to beauty site Coco & Cowe, doing so is unnecessarily tough on your skin. Instead, you should be tapping or patting the moisturizer onto your skin, which helps it absorb better, minimizes stress on your skin, and increases blood flow.

You're cutting off the strawberry top with a knife.

cutting off strawberry top with a knife, using objects wrong

If you're using a knife to cut off the green stems of your strawberries, you're just wasting parts of the fruit you could be eating. Instead, removing the stem by sticking a straw through the bottom, as demonstrated by this Food & Wine video.

You're peeling bananas from the top.

woman peeling banana with phloem bundles names of everyday items

Most people peel their bananas from the stem, but you should be using the same approach monkeys use instead. According to Kitchn, this method involves peeling the banana from the bottom. Simply pinch the bottom of the fruit, and it will split the skin of the banana and allow for a clean peel with no strings and no mess. Monkey see, monkey do!

You're scooping out your yogurt toppings.


Are you trying to stick a spoon into the tiny package of yogurt toppings to scoop them out? If so, you're going about it all wrong. Most of the containers are meant to be split in half so you can pour your toppings straight onto the yogurt—no spoon needed. In fact, Fage yogurt even demonstrates the correct usage on their website.

You're using too many cups for your ketchup.

to-go ketchup cup, using objects wrong

If you've ever tried to balance carrying three or four cups of ketchup back to your table at a fast food restaurant, you've been struggling for no reason. These tiny paper cups can expand—as demonstrated by this video—which not only makes room for more of the delicious condiment, but it also makes it easier to dip larger objects (say, a burger) into them as well.

You're putting bobby pins in upside down.

bobby pins on a wooden table, using objects wrong

If you're sliding a bobby pin into your hair with the wavy side up, stop right there. Those ridges are meant to be on the bottom, as they help secure the pin. "I learned the correct way to use bobby pins and felt like my mind was blown," beauty blogger Michelle Phan revealed on her website in 2013. "You're supposed to push them into your scalp with the wavy side facing down. … The ribbing is actually designed to grip your hair and prevent it from sliding out." !

You're using expired makeup.

makeup for older women beauty products

If you're applying makeup and notice that it's not working like it used to, it may be because you're using expired makeup. Many bottles and containers have the expiration date listed on the back (who knew?!). If yours does not, however, there's an online Cosmetic calculator that helps you determine the shelf life of your beauty products.

You're pumping your mascara wand.

woman opening mascara tube, using objects wrong

There's a common myth that if you pump your mascara wand back and forth, you'll get more product on it. However, there's plenty of mascara on the wand when you first take it out, and all that pumping is bad for the makeup. Marlena Stell, founder of beauty brand Makeup Geek, told Good Housekeeping that all this does is push air into the tube, producing clumps and flakes and causing your mascara to dry out faster. And if you really want to level-up your beauty game, check out these 27 Luxury Beauty Products You Never Knew Target Sold.

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Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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