10 Life-Changing Rubber Band Hacks

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Unlike many everyday objects that are commonly found in the home, the rubber band doesn't really have a specific use, like, say, coat hangers or paper clips. Since its patent in 1845, the rubber band was born a problem solver that binds, flips, holds, connects and tightens. Yet, we rarely use it to its full potential. These 10 useful rubber bands hacks will change the way you look at little loops of synthetic rubber forever!

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Image Credit: Lindsey and Ryan Tronier

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1. Smartphone Navigation Caddy

Third-party accessories for consumer electronics are an industry in and of themselves. But as we upgrade our devices, those once useful accessories become obsolete, expensive junk. Why bother with the expense of gadgets for our gadgets when you have perfectly good rubber bands laying around that are just waiting to DIY? ​Instructions:​ Tie a knot in the middle of a rubber band. Repeat with a second rubber band. Each band should have two loops now. Circle the bands around your car's rearview mirror and secure your phone through the remaining (dangling) loops. Boom, you have navigation on the cheap!

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Image Credit: Lindsey and Ryan Tronier

2. Fit in Your Jeans

Whether it's pregnancy weight or a few too many taco Tuesdays, there is nothing more annoying than "growing" out of your jeans. But the handy rubber band can help you fit into tight pants until you're ready for full-on maternity trousers. ​Instructions:​ With your pants unzipped, thread the rubber band through the button hole and secure it with a knot before attaching the other end to the button. Voila!

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Image Credit: Lindsey and Ryan Tronier

3. Open Nail Polish Bottles

Has a stubborn nail polish bottle that refuses to open ever stopped your makeover night dead in its tracks? Wrap a rubber band around the lid for a little extra twisting torque! ​Tip​: This trick works with all types of jars, bottles, flasks and jugs. Basically, any container with a screw-top lid.

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Image Credit: Lindsey and Ryan Tronier

4. Keep Apples From Browning

This trick is for those of us who love apples, but only like them sliced (yes, it's a thing). Slicing apples when you're not in your kitchen requires gear like knives and cutting boards that are just too cumbersome to drag around. ​Instructions:​ Bundle your apple slices together with a rubber band and toss your reassembled apple into your purse or bag for later!

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Image Credit: Lindsey and Ryan Tronier

5. Stop Tea Bags From Dropping

File this hack under "it's so obvious; why didn't I think of that?" If you're fed up with fishing fallen tea bags from your mug, keep things tidy with a rubber band! ​Tip:​ Wrap the rubber band around your mug and secure the tea bag before adding hot water. Trust us — it's much easier.

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Image Credit: Lindsey and Ryan Tronier

6. Keep Self-Locking Doors Open

Self-locking doors are great; they save time and add a layer of security to your home. But sometimes they can be inconvenient when you're moving boxes between two spaces or hauling groceries in from the car. Instead of propping the door open, try a rubber band! ​Instructions:​ Thread a rubber band around the interior door knob, pull the band taunt across the faceplate and latch, and then bind the untethered end around the exterior door knob.

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Image Credit: Lindsey and Ryan Tronier

7. Pack Just a Wee Bit Smarter

There are so many amazing packing hacks out there, but one that works for traveling, moving or just general storage is this rubber band hack. ​Instructions:​ Create space and organization by bundling together objects by use, or keep like-items separate and tidy with rubber bands.

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Image Credit: Lindsey and Ryan Tronier

8. Secure Wine Glasses in Dishwasher

While the dishwasher probably isn't the best place for your expensive Bordeaux glasses, everyday wine glasses can withstand the rigor and heat of jetted water. However, because of their odd shape, wine glasses have a tendency to travel during a washing cycle, which can cause breakage when they come into contact with a heavier piece of dinnerware. Solution: rubber bands! ​Instructions:​ Loop one end of an elastic band to the dish rack, weave the band around the stem of a wine glass, and then knot the untethered end to the dish rack.

Image Credit: Lindsey and Ryan Tronier

9. Grip Those Power Cords

An immutable law of gravity states that "stuff slips off of stuff because the universe is unfair." So when the bulky power adaptor of your laptop slips from your desk and lands squarely on your naked toe, rest assured that everything is right with the snickering cosmos. Nonetheless, you can "outscience" the natural world with this rubber band hack! ​Instructions:​ Wrap 1-2 rubber bands around your power adaptor. This trick also keeps tools from slipping off rooftops and helps cutting boards stay in place on countertops!

Image Credit: Lindsey and Ryan Tronier

10. Remove Stripped Screws

Why do screw heads get stripped? It's probably because you're so dang strong with that screwdriver! But before you grab the drill to bore the screw out from its place, try using this rubber band hack. ​Instructions:​ Place a rubber band across the stripped screw head and slowly press and twist the screwdriver. The elastic band should provide just enough purchase to extract the troublesome screw.

Image Credit: Lindsey and Ryan Tronier

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