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21 Brilliant Hacks for Dental Floss You’ll Start Using All the Time

Floss might not be the dental wonder once thought, but it can still come in handy around the home.

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Hang home accents

Floss is strong and stretchy, making it a great option when you’re hanging accessories around the house. Plus, unlike braided wire, it won’t ruin the paint on the wall behind. Try attaching floss to not-too-heavy paintings, frames, and more. Avoid these common picture hanging mistakes.

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Slide off fresh cookies

There’s a way to take warm cookies off a baking tray without turning them into a crumbled mess—no need to wait for them to cool. Just slide a piece of floss under your baked goods to keep them from sticking, then slide them gently off. Dental floss isn’t the only hygenic item with secrets–this is why toothpaste is always mint. 

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Remove a ring

When your fingers swell during the day, sliding off a ring can turn into a tough job. To remove your jewelry easily, wrap floss from the ring up to your fingertip. The wrapping will make your digit smaller without cutting off circulation. Check out these other at-home medical procedures you can try in a pinch.

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Dry clothes

Run out of space to air dry your clothes? A piece of dental floss can act as a clothing line in a pinch. Tie it around two stable objects like a shower head or curtain rod and hang your soggy clothes. The floss will be strong enough to hold wet garments. If a missing iron is your problem, read these de-wrinkling solutions.

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Slice cake

Cutting cake with dental floss will give you a straight, mess-free slice that can be impossible with a knife. Just take a piece wider than your cake, and hold it tightly as you press it into your baked masterpiece to create a clean slice. Check out the best way to slice your cake, according to science.

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Remove photos from albums

Photographs have a frustrating tendency to stick to the transparent pages in a photo album, putting them at risk for damage when you want to take them out. Get your hands on the picture without ruining it by sliding a piece of floss in the page to separate the photo from it. Don’t miss these tips for looking better in photos.

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Protect luggage

Keep your suitcase and other bags closed in lieu of a zip-tie by wrapping floss through two side-by-side zippers. The floss will act as an extra barrier to protect the content of your baggage from strangers’ sticky fingers. Here are more household items that make traveling way easier.

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String jewelry

When your favorite necklace breaks, quickly restring it with a piece of dental floss. You can also let your kids thread beads and macaroni through floss for homemade jewelry. Don’t miss these easy fixes for wardrobe malfunctions.

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Clean tight spaces

The dust between keyboard keys or in furniture details can be tough to attack. Wrap floss around your fingers like you would for your teeth, then guide it into tight spaces to lift away dirt and dust.

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Cut soft cheese

Soft cheeses like goat cheese can turn into a mushed mess if you try to cut slices with a knife. Get neat pieces by guiding a piece of floss down the cheese—it works even better than a cheese cutter.

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Support plants

Climbing plants like to grow upward. Put a wooden dowel in the soil that they can wrap around, then keep them from breaking off by tying around a bit of dental floss.

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Create decorations

Use floss as the string on banners, popcorn strings, and floral garlands instead of investing in specialty craft supplies.

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Silence annoying drips

If a dripping faucet is giving you a headache, remedy the noise with floss until you have a chance to fix the leak for good. Tie floss around the faucet head, making sure the other end of the string is guided into the drain. The drops of water will slide quietly down the floss instead of thudding into the sink below. Fixing that drip will help you save money. Read more ways to save on household bills here.

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Make a hair tie

If you can’t get your hands on a hair tie but need to put your hair up, look for a piece of dental floss. Tie it around your ponytail, and you won’t have to worry about your tresses falling into your eyes.

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Start a fire

Waxed floss is flammable, making it a useful tool during your next bonfire. Wrap it around kindling, then light it up to get your flame going.

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Bind food for cooking

Making a roast, but no cooking twine to be found? Wrap your meat with a piece of unflavored floss instead. Just be sure to pick unwaxed floss, which won’t melt or burn in the oven.

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Sew a button

Floss is more durable than your typical thread, so use it for coat buttons that never seem to stay in place. It’s also a quick fix if you need to make any clothes repairs on the fly. Here are more simple ways to make you clothes look expensive.

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Hang Christmas ornaments

If you run out of hooks when setting up your Christmas tree, head to your medicine cabinet for dental floss and use it to tie up your ornaments. Don’t miss these cheap DIY Christmas decorations.

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Stop fraying

The ends of rope can unravel, leaving you with an unmanageable piece. Keep the ends from fraying by wrapping floss tightly around the bottom inch or so.

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Fix glasses

If you lose track of the screw attaching your eyeglasses’ arm to the front frame, no need to walk around blind. Simply thread a piece of floss through the screw hole, tie it into a knot to stabilize, and snip off the extra floss. It’s not a permanent fix, but it will keep you going until you can buy a new screw. Don’t miss these sneaky signs you need glasses that have nothing to do with blurred vision.

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Catch fish

String a piece of floss through your fishing rod in place of fishing line, or use a safety pin as a DIY way to catch some fish. As a bonus, the empty floss box makes a handy storage container for worms and other bait.


Originally Published in Reader's Digest