climbing vines on floss

Photo: Leigh Prather/Shutterstock

Dental floss is something you should always have around — and hopefully you’re using it every day to clean between your teeth. But beside the dental duty, floss is also awesome as a stand-in for all sorts of common items. From hanging photos (Boston general contractor Tom Silva of This Old House recommends it over wire because dental floss does not mar wall paint) to acting as a micro-spatula, read on to find out all the ways that floss can help you around the house.

1. Line-dry clothing: If you ever need to make a quick clothesline, super-strong floss is a great choice. Just suspend the string between two stationary objects, and voila! It’s tough enough to hold wet clothes, guaranteed.

2. Replace a shoelace: In the case of a broken lace, you can use floss to fill in until you find a real replacement. Again, it’s super-strong so it’s up to the job.

3. Support climbing plants: Many common garden plants — like cucumbers or tomatoes or roses — often need the help of scaffolding to allow them to grow. You can create a simple trellis by tying floss in a ladder pattern. Easy peasy (and cheap, too!)

4. Remove sticky photos: Old photos are prone to adhering themselves to the album pages. To remove them without risking damage, simply slide a piece of floss between the picture and the page. It should separate with ease.

floss to remove cookies from tray5. Remove cookies from a tray: Same concept as above. When you don’t want to wait for you cookies to cool, but you’re afraid your still-hot cookies might crumble, you can use the floss trick to separate them from the baking sheets, and then gently slide them onto a serving plate.

6. Hang things around the house: Take advantage of floss’s inherent stretch and strength, and use it to hang up all sorts of things. You can suspend wind chimes, ornaments, pictures, and more.

7. Slice cake: If you’re ever caught out — say on a picnic or at the beach — and find yourself needing to slice through cake or other soft food, but you’re lacking in the knife department ... just rummage around in your bag until you come up with some dental floss! Hold it taut and use it to slice — it works wonders!

floss dream catcher8. Make a dream catcher: This awesome art project uses different colored floss to create a lovely DIY dream catcher. It’s a simple project, and great for kids too.

9. Make a hair tie: Self explanatory, but absolutely perfect in a pinch.

10. 'Lock' your luggage: You can seal up your luggage, or other personal possessions, by wrapping the zippers tightly with floss. This works wonderfully in lieu of a zip-tie.

11. Use it to sew: Fix a button, patch a hole in a bag, or any other on-the-fly job you may need to undertake. This is great to keep in mind for camping, hiking, and other outdoors activities. Floss is strong so it makes an excellent thread.

12. Quiet a dripping faucet: This little trick might mean the different between you and a good night’s sleep. If your faucet is leaking and it's too late at night to call a plumber, tie a piece of floss at the spout and let it trail down into the basin. This way, the water will simply slide down the string, instead of drip-drip-dripping you awake all night. (But get it fixed or the resulting water bill may keep you up at night.)

Sayward Rebhal originally wrote this story for It is reprinted with permission here.

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