Household Hacks: Toothpicks

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There is more to toothpicks than meets the eye. Sure, it's the perfect solution when you have food in your teeth or need to check your brownies, but let's be honest, toothpicks are never on hand in those moments. Or maybe you've tucked them away behind all the spices in your cupboard and discover them one day only to realize you don't have use for them. Fear not! Toothpicks are much more useful than they let on, laying in that box, just a small and fragile wooden rod. Don't let them get off that easy! Here are some ways you can use toothpicks that you probably never imagined.

colored toothpicks

Mark the end of a roll of tape: Tired of losing the end of a roll of tape and shredding it in your attempts to find it? Here is the solution: Wrap the end around a toothpick so that next time you use that tape, finding the end will be a cinch.

Clean cracks and gaps: You all know the frustration of finding dirt in the most impossible-to-reach places. That's where toothpicks make their entrance. Just dab one of those guys in a little bit of rubbing alcohol and use it to scrape out the gunk and dirt wherever it's residing — the remote control buttons, the computer keyboard or your cell phone crevices.

Teach math: Especially in the early stages of calculations, your kids just don't have enough fingers to add everything up. In those times when you need visuals for math equations, whip out your toothpicks and you're good to go.

>> Use Popsicle sticks as teaching tools, too! Find more ways to use Popsicle sticks here.

Repair a garden hose leak: Use a toothpick to plug a small hole in your garden hose. The water will cause it to expand and fill the hole almost seamlessly. It will repair the leak temporarily.

Light candles: Forget the toothpick if you're only lighting one candle. But if you're lighting several, or maybe even lighting the candles on a birthday cake, like the toothpick with the match. Use the burning toothpick to light all your candles. It will burn longer and you won't use as many matches.

valentine's day heart with candles and two glasses of sparkling champagne

>> Check out these hacks for using cupcake liners!

Control salad dressing flow: Next time you go to open a bottle of salad dressing, don't remove the seal underneath the cap. Instead, poke tiny holes in the seal to control your salad dressing portions. This is especially helpful when you are trying to eat healthier and can't afford to accidentally dump half the bottle.

Microwave potatoes quicker: Stick four toothpicks into one side of your potato so that it stands on the plate all by itself. This way, the potato will cook from all sides and the heat can go through it more evenly, making it ready faster.

Color code party food: Use colored toothpicks to indicate what kind of sandwich your guests (or kids) are getting. Green for turkey, red for ham and yellow for chicken. You can also use them to identify meat as you grill it so that you know who it belongs to and how it's cooked.

Fix a stripped hole: Sometimes you might get a little ambitious with the drill and strip a hole. Instead of getting frustrated, dab a little glue onto the ends of toothpicks and put them in the hole until it's tight. Break off the ends, sand it down and re-drill the hole. Problem solved!

Fill small holes in wood: Use a toothpick in the same fashion that you would to fix a stripped hole. Just stick the toothpick in, break it off and sand it down.

>> Read more: Household Hacks: Cotton Balls