DIY Repair & Maintenance

11 Weird Ways to Use a Bobby Pin

Bobby pins are the unsung heroes of beauty tools. The tiny clips can hold braids, pin back bangs, and give extra lift to a ponytail, but did you know that they have many practical household uses as well? From keeping food fresh to solving wardrobe woes, here are 11 unusual ways to use a bobby pin around the house.

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Squeeze Out Toothpaste

Never waste a drop of toothpaste again with this clever trick: Secure a bobby pin on the end of the tube, then slide it up to push all remaining product toward the opening. Now your almost-empty toothpaste should last a few extra days!

Related: 9 Surprising Alternative Uses for Toothpaste

Save Snacks

Want to save the rest of your chips, pretzels, or cereal for later? If you can’t find a chip clip in your junk drawer, enlist a bobby pin to secure the plastic bag and keep food fresh in a pinch.

Related: 10 Things Always to Keep in Your Junk Drawer

Mark the Page

If you’re in the middle of a great book but have to put it down for the night, mark your spot with a spare bobby pin. The makeshift bookmark will hold your place without creasing the pages.

Open Sealed Food

Peeling back the plastic seals on peanut butter jars, oatmeal canisters, and other food products can sometimes feel tougher than a long session at the gym. When the “easy to open” seal just isn’t budging, protect your fingernails and pry off the packaging with a bobby pin instead.

Related: 14 Pantry Goods That Basically Never Expire

Find the End of the Tape

How many times have you needed a piece of tape
but couldn’t find the end of the roll? The next time you use tape, stick a bobby pin underneath the edge for easier access.

Related: The 20 Weirdest Things You Can Do With Duct Tape

Pull Up a Broken Zipper

To temporarily fix a broken zipper tab, insert a bobby pin through the eye of the slider. You can then use the beauty tool to zip up jackets, suitcases, pants, and more.

Related: 12 Ways You Never Thought to Use a Paper Clip

Secure a Nail

If you’re accident prone—or if you simply don’t have a steady hand—you can use a bobby pin to protect your fingers when you’re hammering. Clip the bobby pin to the nail, hold the nail in place with the bobby pin, and drive the nail in with your fingers safely out of the danger zone.

Related: 7 Tools That Contractors Swear By

Reset Electronics

Electronics need to be reset every so often, but it can be difficult to access those teeny-tiny reset buttons. A pen or a needle works fine but could cause damage. A bobby pin, however, can get into those minuscule crevices without harm.

Related: 50 Great Gadgets for a Smarter Home

Open Letters

Getting mail is a rare occurrence in the digital age, so it’s unlikely that you have a letter opener lying around the house. In the absence of this quaint office accessory, use a bobby pin to carefully pry open important pieces of mail that you don’t want damaged. 

Related: 21 Home Hacks That Are Crazy Enough to Work

Fix Wardrobe Malfunctions

Clothing mishaps can strike anyone, anytime. If you experience a wardrobe malfunction—a broken bra strap, a popped button, or a snapped flip-flop strap—use a spare bobby pin to hold things together until you get home.  

Related: 14 Ways You Never Thought to Use Q-Tips

Keep Headphones Untangled

Headphones often turn into a jumbled mess in pockets and purses. Prevent tangles by bending a bobby pin into a “W” shape, then wrapping the headphone cord around it. 

Related: 8 Organizers for the Little Stuff You Always Lose

In a Pinch

If your toolbox isn’t fully stocked, but you’re looking to make some quick fixes around the house take a look inside your medicine cabinet. You might be surprised to find that items like nail polish and Q-Tips have a lot of handy household uses.