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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  1. Squeeze Out Toothpaste

    Bobby pin 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


  2. Save Snacks

    Bobby pin chips

    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


  3. Mark the Page

    Bobby pin books

    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.


  4. Open Sealed Food

    Bobby pin lid

    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


  5. Find the End of the Tape

    Bobby pin 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


  6. Pull Up a Broken Zipper

    Bobby pin 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


  7. Secure a Nail

    Bobby pin nails

    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


  8. Reset Electronics

    Bobby pin 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


  9. Open Letters

    Bobby pin letter

    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


  10. Fix Wardrobe Malfunctions

    Bobby pin jeans

    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


  11. Keep Headphones Untangled

    Bobby pin headphones

    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