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40 Household Items With Hidden Functions You Won’t Believe

Monica March 28, 2022

We all have random objects lying around our house that we use time and time again. Interestingly enough though, many household items actually have surprising hidden functions that can help you in certain situations.

There are a lot of household items that are versatile, have more than one purpose, and can even be used to create something new or as a DIY storage solution. After reading this list, you might be surprised to find out just how versatile many items can be, so jump in and see if they can help out with your household.

Easy Home Repair Tips - The Delite
Easy Home Repair Tips

40. Unscrew A Broken Lightbulb With A Potato

You probably never thought of using a potato to unscrew a lightbulb. If you have a broken lightbulb, all you have to do is stick half of a potato onto it to cover the sharp, pointy parts of the broken bulb. Then, turn the potato gently, until the broken parts of the lightbulb come out. Toss the broken glass and potato into the garbage (via Trendy Matter).


39. Use Chinese Takeout Boxes As Disposable Plates

No more digging around in those tiny Chinese takeout boxes and leaving with greasy fingers! The containers unfold into a plate. Now, you can also avoid pouring food onto plates and having to deal with dirty dishes. All you have to do is fold the takeout box sides down and start munching on those greasy noodles (via Huffpost).

Trendy Matter

38. Aluminum Foil Won’t Roll If You Do This

If you’ve ever been left with an unraveled aluminum foil roll, you’re not alone. To prevent this, all you have to do is grab your foil, look at the end, and push in the little perforated tabs so the roll stays inside the box (via Trendy Matter).

Use A Dust Pan To Fill A Bucket From The Sink

37. Fill A Bucket Using A Dustpan

Filling a bucket to mop the floor is one of the most frustrating things we have to do to clean our house. One of the best household items to use to fill the bucket is a dustpan. You can use it as a spout to fill the bucket (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

36. Measure Drinks With Plastic Cups

Did you know that the lines on plastic cups are there for measuring drinks? Each line is a measurement for wine, beer, and liquor. That way, you know how much you need to pour so you don’t over-serve yourself and get too drunk (via Trendy Matter). It’s also a great way to prevent any future embarrassing nights from happening.

Trendy Matter

35. Prevent Pots From Boiling Over With A Spoon

One of the reasons we might avoid cooking pasta is so we don’t have to clean up the water that spills over the pot. To prevent your pot from boiling over, use one of the most common household items you have, a wooden spoon. Lay the wooden spoon on top of the pot. It keeps the bubbles inside the pot and under control (via Trendy Matter).


34. A Straw Can Remove Strawberry Tops

Trying to remove the tops of strawberries is frustrating. It can take forever to take them off the top. A straw, one of the most ordinary household items lying around in our kitchen, can take off the tops of strawberries with one easy push. Just slide a straw through the berry starting from the bottom and the tops come right off (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

33. Keep Peanut Butter Even By Storing It Upside Down

When peanut butter and its oils get separated, it may deter us from eating it. To prevent this, store the peanut butter upside down. The oil will travel down towards the lid. Then it mixes nicely with the peanut butter and you have your silky smooth butter (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

32. Tell When Milk Has Gone Bad By The Carton

Picking up a milk carton and smelling it is nasty. At least it’s better than drinking spoiled milk, and learning that it’s gone bad by tasting it. The inverted circle is there to show if the milk has expired. Milk expires when it’s left in the fridge for too long. Gasses build up on the inside, which causes the carton to expand. The inverted circle design allows the natural gas expansion to occur without having your carton explode. If the circle pops out, this indicates that your milk has gone bad (via Trendy Matter).


31. Measure Pasta Portions With A Spaghetti Spoon

Trying to guess how much dry pasta is equal to one serving is like trying to cook pasta with your eyes closed. Luckily, one of the most familiar household items – the spaghetti spoon – is the solution to all our pasta portion problems. Use the hold in the center of the spaghetti spoon to guide your portioning decisions (via Trendy Matter).


30. The Oven Drawer Keeps Food Hot

Did you know that you have an oven drawer that keeps your food hot? You should see the words “warming drawer” as a button option, and if you have a gas oven with a narrow drawer, it would be a broiler drawer. However, keep in mind that if there is no button and the drawer is deep, then it’s only made for storage and don’t put food into it (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

29. Your Gas Gauge Shows The Gas Tank Location

If you’ve ever rented a car and couldn’t remember which side the gas tank was on, there’s a quick trick to fix that. On the gas gauge, there’s an arrow that shows the location of the gas tank. If the arrow is pointing to the right, that means that the gas tank is on the right (via Trendy Matter). This is one of the sneakiest household items on this list.

Trendy Matter

28. Pom-Pom Hats Aren’t Just Decorative

This is one of those household items you probably had no idea had an alternative purpose. Even though they’re cute, the pom-poms aren’t there for style. They’re there to protect the heads of the sailors, so they wouldn’t hit them on the ship’s low ceilings. Back then, many ships had low doorways, and the pom-poms prevented an accidental blow to the head (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

27. Use A Crayon To Fill Holes In The Wall

Kids seem to damage everything – furniture, walls, pillows. Luckily, you probably have a few household items lying around that can fix any holes punctured in the wall. Just take a white crayon and use it to fill the hole (via Trendy Matter) .

Trendy Matter

26. Wooden Hangers Repel Moths

There’s nothing worse than opening your closet and finding your favorite jacket damaged by moths. Wooden hangers – one of the most common household items – are made of cedar, which is known for its ability to repel moths and other insects that could potentially damage your clothes (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

25. The Padlock Hole Has A Secret Function

There’s a small hole inside the lock, which is there as a preventative measure against rust. This is especially helpful if your lock gets jammed, which could make things difficult if you’re trying to get into your house or a safe. If you pour WD-40 or oil in this small hole, it should help in case it is jammed (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

24. Cooking Spray Helps With Squeaky Hinges

One of the most common household items, cooking spray, has more than one purpose for cooking. You can use it to grease up any squeaky hinges. It’s a great alternative in case you don’t have any WD-40 lying around. It’s more likely that you’ll have cooking spray (via Trendy Matter).


23. Reinforcement Stickers Are A Great Manicure Tool

Trying to give yourself a manicure is like trying to put lipstick on with your eyes closed. If you don’t have the precision or skills to give yourself a manicure, chances are, it usually comes out messy, with nail polish all over your skin. Luckily, you probably have some household items lying around that can help with that. Reinforcement stickers are great for helping you with your manicure. Just apply a hole-punched reinforcement sticker to the bottom portion of your nails. Then, paint the tops in whatever color you want (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

22. We’re All Using Bobby Pins Upside Down

It’s more likely than not that we’re using bobby pins upside down. Usually, we put the flat side against our scalp. It works better if you place the bumpy side down (via Trendy Matter). This is one of those household items you probably thought you were using correctly all along.

Trendy Matter

21. Sticky Notes Don’t Have To Curl

Part of the reason we disliked studying as a kid was because our sticky notes were always curled at the bottoms. We’d probably sigh, throw them out, and then have to write a new note, only to have it happen all over again. Luckily, these household items don’t have to curl. All you have to do is peel them from the side to help the note lay flat against the surface. This stops the edges from curling upwards (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

20. Pill Bottle Caps Have Two Useful Sides

Pill bottle caps don’t only have one purpose. The other side of the bottle can also be used to seal the bottle. It’s a two-for-one. This is one of those household items that hold a mind-blowing secret (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

19. Convenient Trick For Eating Fast Food In The Car

Getting fast food only to have it spill all over your lap and car stains your clothes and seat, and your car is left smelling like grease for several days or weeks afterward. If you find yourself eating in the car, there’s a way to prevent your food from spilling all over the place. Just slide your straw through the middle of the meal container, so your burgers, fries, and nuggets are supported by the lid of your drink. Your entire meal will fit inside your cup holder. The straw seems to be one of those household items that are quite versatile (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

18. The Purpose Of That Matching Piece Of Fabric

Have you ever noticed that extra matching piece of fabric on your clothes? It actually has a purpose. It’s there so you can test cleaning products on the fabric, so you can make sure the cleaning product doesn’t ruin the material of your clothes before you wash it (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

17. The “57” Mark On Ketchup Bottles

That 57 number on ketchup bottles serves a purpose. It helps you get the ketchup out of the bottle. All you have to do is locate the “57”, angle the bottle towards your fries, tap the number with the heel of your hand, and watch tons of ketchup pour onto your fries (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

16. Lock The Mustard Lid In Place

We’ve all fallen victim to messy mustard caps. Luckily, this is one of those household items that has a hidden function. If you take a look at the back of the cap, there’s a tab there to lock the open lid in place. Simply click the lid down to lock it (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

15. A Pot Handle Can Also Be A Spoon Rest

Placing a wet spoon on your counter can make more of a mess, especially if you’re constantly stirring a pot of pasta and then placing the spoon on the counter again. Luckily, you can use the hole in the handle of a pot as a spoon rest (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

14. Car Seat Headrests Come With A Safety Function

We can consider car headrests as household items since many people who have a home, also have a car. They serve more of a purpose than just helping your head rest. If you need to get out of your car as quickly as possible, headrests can be used to smash the windows of your car for a quick escape (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

13. Soda Can Tabs Easily Hold Straws

There’s nothing worse than drinking from a bubbly soda can, only to have it spill all over you. Next time, use a straw through the hole. These household items are extremely versatile and can be used many different ways (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

12. Microwave Secret Silencer Feature

If you’ve ever woken up your roommates from your midnight microwave snack binge, you’re not alone. However, these household times have a secret silencer feature that won’t wake anybody up. Each microwave is different, but if you hold down a single button on the microwave for a few seconds – we recommend trying the “1” button – it will activate “silent mode.” No more annoying beeping (via Trendy Matter).

Trendy Matter

11. Nail Polish Keeps Your Screws In Place

Nail polish has more than one purpose of making your nails look beautiful and clean. You can also use it to keep your screws in place. Just paint it over the sides of the screw (via Trendy Matter).


10. Applesauce But No Spoon?

Let’s say you’ve just arrived at a picnic, only to realize you forgot a spoon to eat your applesauce with. Pouring applesauce into your mouth is pretty pointless. It ends up dripping down the sides of your face and onto your shirt. Luckily, the lid of the applesauce has a hidden function. You can turn the lid into a makeshift spoon in order to eat your applesauce (via Diply).


9. “F” And “J” Keys Are Marked On Purpose

Did you know that the F and J keys on your keyboard actually serve a purpose? Your fingers automatically reset to the F and J keys, so you know exactly where on the keyboard your fingers are (via Diply).


8. Ketchup Cups Are Meant To Be Expanded

Have you ever tried to dip into your ketchup cup, only to find out your food doesn’t fit and you’re left with a dry nugget? You’re not alone. Fortunately, the ketchup cups have a hidden function that will blow your mind. If you unravel the ketchup cup, it opens up just a bit and becomes a perfect match (via Diply).


7. Mysterious Tiny Pocket On Jeans

Those little pockets on your jeans have a hidden purpose. It’s actually called a watch pocket, originally intended as a safe place for men to store their pocket watches, dating back to Levi’s first-ever pair of jeans from 1879 (via RD).


6. Sanitize Toys In The Dishwasher

The dishwasher is one of those household items that serves more than one purpose yet again. We’re used to washing our dishes in the dishwasher, but have you ever thought about washing your toys? You can actually wash and sanitize children’s toys, pet food bowls, office supplies, bathroom containers, and small trash cans in the dishwasher for a deep clean (via Trendy Matter).

Bored Panda

5. Notebook Margins Protect Your Writing

We were all led to believe that the margins in our notebooks were there to help us with our writing, but we couldn’t be further away from the truth. They’re there to protect our work from rats. Earlier in history, rats were a common resident in many homes and one of their favorite snacks was your paper. By applying wide margins to paper, it helped safeguard against losing important work. It left blank spaces around the edges for the rats to chew through first. They were also there to protect the writing on the outer edges from general wear and tear (via Bored Panda).

Bored Panda

4. Use Screwdriver As A Wrench

The screwdriver is one of those household items on this list you might be surprised to see. Many screwdrivers can slide through a wrench and are used to create more torque, which is especially helpful at complicated heights and angles (via Bored Panda).

Bored Panda

3. Tighten Your Shoes For Hiking Or Running

Use extra eyelets on your shoes to tighten them for hiking or running. If you loop your laces through them, then you tighten the shoe around your ankle. This helps prevent the shoe from moving around. You can increase the stability of the shoe and prevent your foot from moving around while climbing or hiking hills and trails (via Bored Panda).

Bored Panda

2. Pen Cap Hole Is A Safety Feature

Everyone has unconsciously chewed the caps of their pens. While it’s definitely a health hazard, the creators of the pen kept this in mind. The holes in the caps allow people to breathe in case they swallow the pen cap and start choking (via Bored Panda).

Bored Panda

1. Double-Colored Eraser Works On Different Papers

Those different colored sides on erasers aren’t there as just a decoration. They’re actually used to erase marks made by different pencils on different types of paper. The pinkish-orange side is used for light grades of paper and soft pencil marks, while the blue side is meant for tougher paper and darker marks (via Bored Panda).