Whether you’re at the office or lounging at home, odds are, you have a rubber band within reach. These trusty little loops are majorly versatile, and can work magic on everything from holding together bundles of mail, keeping your hair out of your face during a workout, and preventing your chargers from getting tangled up in your bag.
However, those elementary fixes are far from the only uses. Rubber bands can do everything from helping you achieve a flawless manicure to saving money on household supplies. We’ve rounded up 20 amazing secrets uses for rubber bands that will totally change how you view these rudimentary office supplies. And when you want to have a little bit more fun at your desk, play around with the 20 Funny Things to Ask your Amazon Alexa.
Don’t feel like shelling out extra money for non-slip hangers? Use rubber bands instead. Putting a rubber band vertically around the outer edges of a hanger—where it forms a 45-degree angle—can help keep your clothes from sliding off. For more frugal closet tips, discover the 30 Best Ways to Save Money on Clothes.
Making a Key Ring
If you don’t want clunky keychains cluttering up your bag, a rubber band provides an easy solution. Simply thread the rubber band through the hole in the top of your key and you’ll be able to find it easily in your bag without weighing it down with a bunch of bulky metal.
Marking Your Drink
There are few things worse than picking up a glass at a party only to realize in horror that it’s not the same one you were drinking from minutes before. To avoid confusion (and having to buy wine charms), simply wrap a rubber band around your drink and it will easily stand out from the crowd. Not sure what to drink? Try drinking any of the 15 Best Two-Ingredient Cocktails You Can Make in 15 Seconds.
Creating Nail Art
Want to take your manicure game up a notch? Hold a rubber band across your nail and paint around it to create a snazzy striped effect.
We could all stand to be more mindful. Luckily, something as simple as a rubber band can help. Keep a rubber band on your wrist and snap it to center yourself when you’re feeling anxious or need to break a pattern of destructive or intrusive thoughts. And when your usual self-care isn’t cutting it, give yourself the break you deserve by visiting one of the 20 Most Zen Places on Earth.
Preventing a Door From Locking
Anyone with kids or pets knows that keeping doors from locking is essential for everyone’s safety and wellbeing. Instead of having to take your doors off their hinges every time someone gets locked in a room, use a rubber band to keep the door from closing too tightly to begin with.
Simply hook a rubber band around one doorknob, and make a twist in the middle so that the latch is pressed into the door and doesn’t accidentally catch and close. Wrap the other end of the band around the knob on the other side of the door and you’ll have an automatic anti-lock mechanism in place. And for more trivia you never knew you needed, here are the 50 Weirdest Town Names in America.
Dyeing Easter Eggs
Dyeing Easter eggs is easier than ever when you add a few rubber bands to your arsenal. Simply wrap the band around the egg (but not too tightly, or else you risk cracking the thing) before you dip it in dye to achieve cool patterns and stripes.
Fixing a Broken Necklace
Just because the clasp on your necklace has broken doesn’t mean it’s unwearable. For chunkier chains, you can simply thread a thin rubber band through both sides of the damaged clasp and tie the band in the middle to keep it in place.
Loosening a Waistband
Whether you’re expecting a baby or have just had a skipped a few workouts, loosening the waistband on our pants is often a necessary evil. To do so, simply loop one side of a rubber band around the top button of your jeans, thread it through the loop, and put the other end around the button, too. This gives you a few inches of elastic in the waist of your jeans that wasn’t there before, keeping your pants closed even when you can’t quite button them.
Wow your friends with your wizardry by creating a capo with a rubber band. Just press a pencil against your guitar’s fretboard, and put the pencil tip through the center of a rubber band. Next, bring the rubber band behind the neck of the guitar, and loop the eraser end of the pencil through the other end of the rubber band.
Holding Cash Together
Want to feel like a baller every time you go to pay? Instead of using a bulky wallet or expensive money clip, make like your favorite movie gangster and hold your stack of bills with a rubber band. Want to keep more cash in your pocket every month? Start with the 40 Ways to Save 40 Percent of Your Paycheck.
Closing a Bread Bag
Twist ties and bread closure tabs are probably the most frequently misplaced items in any kitchen. And while no one has figured out a foolproof way to keep them from disappearing, there’s an easy alternative: a rubber band. Just loop the rubber band tightly around the open end of the bread bag and voila! Fresh slices for weeks.
Pulling a Stuck Zipper
If your zipper just won’t open or close, try using a rubber band to get a better grip. Loop a rubber band through the zipper and pull it—this is a whole lot easier than trying to grip a tiny zipper on its own. And for more info on this wild everyday accoutrement, Why Most Zippers Have an Outer Ring.
Cutting Down on Bathroom Product Usage
If you’ve been running through soap or lotion too quickly, wrap a rubber band around the bottle neck below the pump. This will limit the amount of product dispensed with each pump and save you money in the long run.
Keeping Books Closed
Any avid reader or student knows the frustration of opening a book only to find that its pages have been invaded or ripped by stray pens and other bag detritus. The solution? Wrap a rubber band around your book and you’ll never return to wrinkled or ripped pages again. Alternatively, you could also just finish every book in a single sitting by mastering the Secrets to Speed-Reading Any Book.
Closing a Roll of Wrapping Paper
Keep your wrapping paper rolls neat and tidy by securing them at either end with a rubber band. This may even save you money since you won’t have to toss the crumpled ends of your rolls again.
If you’re having trouble opening a jar, try putting a rubber band around that stubborn lid. Placing an uncoated rubber band around a slippery lid will help create the friction necessary for unsticking any jar.
Holding Rolls of Ribbon Together
Keep that crafting cabinet organized by securing what would otherwise be runway rolls of ribbon with a rubber band.
Closing a Belt
If the leather loop that holds the tail of your belt flat has come off, a rubber band can help. Simply wrap the rubber band once around the belt and its tail. Next, tie the band in a knot on the side of the belt that faces your body, and your belt will stay put all day.
Tie Dying Fabric
Tie-dying is an easy project for kids and Deadheads alike. Just wrap rubber bands around different parts of your fabric, dip it in various dyes, and you’ll have a beautifully-patterned piece in no time. And when you’re in the mood for a more put-together ensemble, discover the 40 Best Tips For Dressing Well in Your 40s.
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