DIY Cleaning & Organizing

12 Ways You Never Thought to Use a Paper Clip

Most homeowners’ desk drawers conceal dozens of paper clips in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Fortunately, you can put these tiny metal fasteners to work doing a lot more than just holding a few pages together. Check out 14 handy alternative uses for the humble paper clip.
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Fix a Zipper

To fix a broken zipper, convert a paper clip into a DIY zipper pull. Simply thread the paper clip through the loop on the zipper, then pull on the clip when you need to zip and unzip your clothing

Related: 12 Surprising Ways to Use Zip Ties

Clear a Clogged Spray Bottle

Spray bottles can get clogged when they sit for an extended length of time. Instead of throwing the bottle away, unbend a paper clip and use the pointy end to break up the blockage. This trick also works with clogged glue bottles and hair spray dispensers.

Create a Mini Cleaner Brush

Small and delicate items, such as jewelry, electronics, and figurines, can be difficult to clean. Create your own mini cleaning brush by wrapping tissue, paper towel, gauze, felt, or cotton around a paper clip, then use the tool to gently wipe the dirty item, getting into all the nooks and crannies. The mini cleaning utensil is especially effective for clearing debris out of computer keyboards.

Related: 9 Brilliant Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Know

Hack a Smartphone Stand user ab727

With the help of a paper clip, you can make a handy stand to prop up your smartphone. Start by straightening out all the bends in a large paper clip, then fold the clip in half to create a U shape. Bend each “leg” of the U-shaped clip forward to form a cradle in which to place your cellphone. The DIY accessory comes in especially handy when you’re using your phone to access recipes, stream a TV show, or video chat!

Hang Ornaments

Nothing is more annoying than running out of ornament hooks in the midst of decorating the Christmas tree. But there’s no need to lose your holiday spirit, because paper clips can quickly come to the rescue! Thread one end of a paper clip through the ornament loop, and hang the other end on your tree for a no-fail DIY solution.

Related: 12 Other Ways to Decorate with Xmas Ornaments

Dye Easter Eggs

Christmas isn’t the only holiday that can be improved by paper clips. At Easter time, they can be recruited into service for dyeing eggs. Twist a paper clip into a spoon-like shape with a base big enough to keep an egg stable, and then use it to dip the eggs into the dye. No more worrying about staining your fingers!

Repair Eyeglasses

If you need to repair eyeglasses and just can’t seem to find that pesky little screwdriver, you can grab a simple office essential for the task. Just use the tip of a paper clip as a tiny screwdriver to tighten or loosen the arms of a pair of glasses, or fix a loose screw. 

Related: 10 Ways to Make Office Supplies Work Overtime

Keep Food Fresh

Everyone wants to keep snacks and other food items fresh, but you don’t need to waste money on plastic clips to hold chip or cereal bags closed. A couple of paper clips will do the trick just fine! You can even use a paper clip in place of a twist tie to secure bread bags.

Hold Flowers Together

Gardeners don’t need expensive florist’s wire to hold a lovely bouquet of blooms in place. For a budget-friendly alternative, unbend a few paper clips, and use them to anchor each blossom exactly where you want it.

Related: 19 “Zero Dollar” Garden Hacks

Reset Electronics

Paper clips are the go-to tool for rebooting certain electronics. If you have to reset your modem or router, simply unbend a paper clip, and use the end to press the tiny reset button.

Hang Lightweight Objects

Paper clips can double as temporary hangers for lightweight items, such as strings of decorative lights or small picture frames. After securing each object to a paper clip, attach the clips to a string and use tape or hooks to display the collection on the wall.

Related: 7 Everyday Objects You Never Thought to Hang

Mark Your Spot

Continually losing the end of a roll of tape can be a tedious time-waster, so enlist a paper clip to mark your spot. This trick works well on duct tape, packing tape, painter’s tape, or transparent tape. It’s also a good idea to attach paper clips to each end of a roll of wrapping paper to prevent the paper from unraveling in storage.