There are numerous objects in our everyday lives that seem so common that we never give them much thought. We think we know everything we need to know about them and don’t give them much thought. However, now more than ever, we spend a lot of time around the house, so now is the perfect time to understand the purpose of the everyday items that make our lives easier.
In order to make the reading experience of this article more convenient, the article has been split up into multiple pages. At the end of each page, you will see a “next” button which will take you to the next page. Enjoy your reading!
The famous BIC lid
Who hasn’t chewed on a pen lid? Most of us have when we’re bored or nervous. Did you ever notice the hole in the lid and wonder what it was for? It is there to prevent the ink from drying out, to keep it balanced so that it does not leak or to regulate air pressure. Its main purpose may surprise you, as it could literally save your life.
Every year, 100 people in the U.S. die from choking on these pen lids (we didn’t know that either). For this reason, BIC’s lids have a hole on the top that, in case of an accident, swallowing, prevents the windpipe from getting entirely blocked and allows the passage of air, allowing the person to breathe. I bet you never knew this seemingly innocent hole can save your life. Ingenious? Other companies are introducing similar ideas.
That one pocket
Are you a gold miner or a Wild West cowboy of the 19th-century? Then this small ‘fifth pocket’ on your jeans is probably no mystery to you. To the curious rest of us, this ‘too -tiny-to put-anything-in’ pocket has left us wondering about its use, if it even has one. So far we’ve been creative enough to make of this a coin pocket, ticket pocket, lip balm pocket, jewelry pocket, etc. – but have we been using it right this whole time?
Unless you’re living in the 1800s, in which case the answer is yes. Originally, it was designed for men who used to carry around loose pocket watches, which tended to be delicate and expensive. The design of this “watch pocket” aims to protect the expensive pocket watches by keeping it adequate and safely tucked into a neat and tidy place. Why do companies still waste that little strip of denim when we no longer carry around pocket watches? That’s the real mystery here.
Soda cans, have you been using them wrong?
Are you sure you know how to use a soda can properly? You’re about to find out! You may be surprised to learn about the proper use of the simple soda can. Soda cans come with a tab for easy opening and each of these has a fairly large hole at the top. Although this hole gives the impression that it’s there to make the opening process easier, its real purpose is different.
If not to get our fingers wedged beneath the tab to open, what is that hole for? Next time you have a canned drink in your hands, try opening it and then spin the tab around, you will now see how it easily becomes a place-holder for your straw.
So (not) extra
Have you ever seen one of these? This extra material is normally found when we buy a new pair of trousers or shirts, and they look like just a sample of clothing. We all think this is meant to serve as a replacement in case the fabric rips, which is a safe assumption. However, you might be surprised to know these patches are not meant to be used to sew torn patches up, but instead its real purpose is way more of a life hack!
Although it may be used to be sewed into your outfit, it is not its primary use. In fact, this extra clothing is given to know the nature of the material used and serves as a ‘trial.’ You can see how that small piece of clothing will react to the different chemicals inside the washing powder or bleach you regularly use and check if your new item of clothing would shrink, change colors or get damaged during the wash!
Those ridged sides on your coins
You must have, at some point, stared at a coin and wondered “why do some coins have ridges on their edge?” Let us share some historical facts with you and take you back to 1792 when the Coinage Act declared that $10, $5 and $2.5 would be made of their face value in gold and the $1, $0.5 and $0.25 were to be made of their value in silver. Back then, the edges of all these coins were smooth.
Any guess as to what people started to do after this declaration? Well, people started to realize the profit they could make from shaving down the sides of these gold and silver coins to later sell them as precious metal. In order to stop this habit, the U.S. Mint started to create coins with ridges on the side, so if the edges were ridged, they would now be noticeable.
Those colored square markings
The internet and social media provide us with plenty of information (not all of it necessary!) that isn’t only entertaining but keep us informed and up to date. But is everything we read on it true? There is some completely made-up information that has gone viral and one of these is related to the colorful marking you see on the bottom of your toothpaste.
You’ve probably read about how the colors on the bottom serve as a code that could reveal the nature of the materials in it. According to these articles, the green color indicates the toothpaste is all-natural, a blue mark indicates that it contains a mix of medicine and natural ingredients, a red mark indicates a mix of natural and chemical ingredients, and a black mark indicates all chemical ingredients. This statement is not true, as everything in the world is technically chemical, and even natural ingredients are chemical ingredients, according to Scientific American. The real reason for these colorful marks is to help light sensors to detect where to cut or seal the tube.
The gas gauge indicator we see every day
Did it ever happen that you need to fuel your car, but you just can’t seem to remember which side your gas cap is at? Maybe you haven’t noticed it yet, but your car has always tried to save you from the hassle to remember which side to park at.
You may have noticed a little arrow next to the gas signal light in your car, and while you might’ve believed it was a useless feature, the opposite is true. As useless as it may look, it has its own mission: to indicate the side of the car where the gas tank is accessible. It comes in handy, especially if you are driving someone else’s car.
Fan of bobby pins? What girl isn’t? You probably go to the drugstore and find yourself buying extra ones for home, just in case. A bobby pin is the kind of accessory that may look so simple at first glance, but once you start wearing it, you start to notice how many hairstyles rely on them. But perhaps you’ve been using them wrong this whole time.
As it turns out, its uses are endless. Although it seems like a pretty straightforward tool, most people have been using it wrong, putting in the bobby pins with the grooved side up. Can you relate? To most, this grooved side intends to make the pin look more stylish, even though its real purpose is to help the bobby pin stay in place. So if what you want is your hair to be better held, then you need to face the grooved side to your scalp and see the big change!
You’ve been eating Toblerone wrong
While you might think that there is no wrong way of eating Toblerone — whether it’s nibbling at it, biting off a piece, or inhaling it whole — there’s certainly an easier way to break off those delicious triangles.
You’ve probably been breaking pieces off by pulling them to the outside. This can take some dexterity and muscle power, and often results in chocolate-covered digits. Instead, you should be pushing triangles inwards, towards the rest of the bar. A simple tap on the tip should do it.
The ketchup theory
We’ve all been there! Picture it, you are enjoying some fries and the only thing that could make this moment even better is ketchup. So you start trying to get it out of the bottle, can you see yourself struggling? Well, consider those days of endless struggle gone.
From shaking it to whacking it from the base, we try everything to get out that tomatoey delicious sauce! Let us tell you that apparently there is a not-so-secret trick to get it out and it is all about where to tap. Have you seen the 57 written on these glass bottles? This is called “the sweet spot” and it is the exact place you should apply a firm tap, which will let the ketchup come out easier.
The F & J mystery
Unless you are a typist, you probably don’t know the purpose of these little, yet noticeable bumps on the F and J keys on a keyboard. These orientation keys are very helpful, especially for those who have mastered touch typing. These can be found in the home row and is where your fingers tend to rest when you’re not typing.
These subtle bumps are there to help users correctly position their right and left hands without having to look at the keyboard. Try to do it next time you have a keyboard in front, and without looking at your hands look for those bumps, then position your right and left index fingers on them, and once done you should be able to locate the rest keys in the keyboard. Once in that position, you should be able to locate the rest keys on the keyboard. A design hack that will help you type speedily.
Those holes are there for a reason
Most of the pots nowadays come with handles that have a slim hole at the end, so we tend to think right away that it’s placed there to make it easier to hang and store them. Although this is one of its uses, it is definitely not the only one.
Then, if not to hang them, what other reason is it there for? The true purpose of the hole in the handle is for it to place those stirring spoons inside and prevent yourself from getting dirty while cooking. Imagine you just finished cooking something saucy and need to set down that messy cooking spoon somewhere… now you know where.
As the name suggests, the car headrests were designed mainly for resting heads. But does it have any other purpose? Why are they detachable? Although it was noted deliberately created with this purpose, here it goes, another detail you might not know but could literally save your life.
You may have wondered why would someone want to take the headrests off since it would be nothing but uncomfortable without them. The incidental application of this item can save your life, as it also serves to break the glass if you need to exit through the window, in case of emergencies. Hopefully, you will never need to use it, but the more you know the better.
Window or aisle? When it comes to where to sit on a plane, location matters. If you are the kind of person who loves traveling by the window, then chances are you have noticed the small hole at the bottom of the airplane window and wondered why they are there. This tiny hole actually has two purposes.
First, it serves to compensate for air pressure. There is a huge difference between the inside and outside of the airplane when the plane is at cruising altitude, so in order to regulate this difference and avoid the windows from breaking due to too much pressure building inside, the holes allow airflow through. The second reason is for it to prevent the window from fogging up.
That little iPhone dot
Are you an iPhone user? If so, you might have noticed that tiny black dot in between the lens and flash on your phone, and if not, we get it, it’s so small it’s easy to miss. Are you wondering what’s it for? Although the tiny hole is right next to the camera, it has nothing to do with your photos.
This tiny hole has been a feature of Apple’s smartphone ever since the iPhone 5, and it serves a very important purpose – especially if you are the kind of person who prefers recording. The hole is, in fact, a microphone, one of three on each smartphone. It helps to pick up all the sound around you, regardless of how you are holding it.
Silica gel packet
We are all familiar with those small silica gel packs that are included in all sorts of products, from leather products to food, we find them everywhere! You probably know that they are there to “preserve freshness” and that you are not supposed to eat it, but how exactly do these small sacks of “beads” help to protect diverse products?
The reason why we find these in all sorts of products is that this gel is a desiccant – a substance that absorbs and holds water vapor. It tends to suck moisture out of its immediate environment, helping to prevent products from spoiling with too much moisture. So next time you find one of these, keep them around since you can also use them to extend the life of the products that tend to rust. Plus, they work better than rice – in case you ever need to dry your phone.
Who doesn’t know the red Solo brand cups? They are at almost every party! We’re all familiar with them, and with the random red lines around them. But did you ever wonder if they were there for a reason? Probably not, and that’s what we’re here for. Apparently, these lines are not there allocated randomly… any guess as to what might be their function?
Each line in the cup can serve to measure the quantity of liquid for the different kinds of alcohol. The bottom of the line is for a shot of liquor, the middle line is a recommended dose of wine, and the upper lines are there to mark the ideal amount of beer.
The McFlurry spoon
Ever wondered why the McFlurry spoons have a square hole at the end? Did you ever try to suck your McFlurry out of the hollow and failed while trying? We’ve been there! Oddly enough, these were not designed to be used as straws. So why do they have this curious shape?
An ex-McDonald’s employee revealed its real use and we bet it isn’t what you were expecting. It turns out this design is not meant for the consumers at all, but to make the process easier for the employees. In this process, the McDonald’s employees fill the cup with ice cream, dump the Oreos on top and stick the spoon in, then proceed to use the spoon to stir your McFlurry through a machine.
That plastic liner in a bottle cap
Fan of fizzy drinks? So are we! Its sparkling taste is matchless, and how great it is when we don’t only get the taste but also could win a free prize or get some reward codes? Not many people know this, but we might find any of these inside each of these bottles’ plastic liners. But are these liners there only with the purpose to surprise us?
Believe it or not, the prizing and rewards are only secondary functions of these liners. The liner inside of the lid serves as a sealing that guarantees to keep the carbon dioxide inside and keep the drink fizzy – its most important feature. Without these, we would be drinking a flat drink, taking all the fun of fizzy drinks away.
The padlock’s tiniest hole
Do you use a padlock outdoors? If so, do you change padlocks often due to rusting or freezing up in the rain or snow? Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but there is a tiny hole next to the keyhole on the bottom of almost any padlock that is meant to save you time and money.
Believe it or not, this tiny hole at the bottom is there for two reasons. First, it acts as a filter in case of extended water exposure, so it won’t rust in the rain or freeze and break during the winter. Second, it is used to pour engine oil inside, which allows the key to turn in the lock without major complications. If the padlock does not have this tiny hole, then it is better to only be used indoors.
The hole in the pasta spoon myth
The hole in our spaghetti spoon is the perfect pasta serving we were in desperate need of! You probably have heard or read this statement somewhere, as it went viral after a couple of users “discovered” that the hole in this spaghetti spoon can be used to measure how much dry pasta a person will need per serving. True or another viral false news?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but this statement is not true, at least not in all spaghetti spoon cases. In fact, the person who made this “discovery” just got lucky with his spoon. Every brand uses a different-size hole, which makes it impossible for each spaghetti spoon to hold the same portion of spaghetti. In fact, and as it was known before that wrong trick went viral, the hole‘s function is mainly to drain water.
What about the spiked cap?
Have you ever struggled to open the foil that protects the contents within the tube? You probably are afraid to break your nails while trying, and if you don’t have long nails then the struggle is even worse! Let us change the game for you by revealing the spiked cap trick that will make your life a bit easier.
Next time you are in need to open one of these tubes with this spike on the lid, just take the lid off and flip it around, then push the spike into the protective foil. Here it is! No more broken nails nor getting mad trying to open these things. Some of these features are meant to make life just a little bit easier for you.
The holes on your Converse trainers
Ever wondered what those extra shoelace holes in your trainers are for? You don’t need to wonder anymore! Maybe it has crossed your mind that these holes are there to provide ventilation to your feet or that are there just for a cute design purpose. You’re totally right! But did you know you can play with them and adjust them for your comfort?
Originally, Converse were basketball sneakers, so the holes were strategically positioned in order to give the players the option to alternate their lacing technique and avoid tripping on the court. Although there is no reason for them to be there anymore, unless you do make use of it, the little holes remain just as an iconic feature.
What are those stickers on our fruits?
Have you ever stared at fruit with a pesky sticker on it and thought, “what in the world are these for?!” Yes, we can see some brand names on this sticker that give us the idea of a brand wanting to boast itself. But we also see some numbers, do you wonder what these are for?
These stickers tell us about the country, the producer and its nature. Not only that, the numbers shown are normally 4 digits, with the first number being 4, which indicates that this particular fruit has been sprayed with pesticides. If instead, there are 5 digits and the first one is 8, the fruit has been genetically modified, and if there are 5 digits and the first is 9, the fruit has grown organically.
The indentations at the bottom of liquor bottles
You probably haven’t given much thought to the indentations at the bottle of wine, champagne, or beer bottles, and why would you? At first glance, it looks like it’s there as some sort of fancy decoration, but what’s really going up with them? Are these indentations there for a reason? Curiously, they do have a purpose.
There is a popular belief that the deeper the indentation on the bottom, the better the quality of the wine. However, this statement turns out to be false. According to experts, the punt on the bottom has nothing to do with the content, instead, these are intended to help the bottles stand upright. In the case of bottles of sparkling wine, the punt allows the even distribution of the pressure inside.
What about those black dots on your windshield?
You most probably noticed a pattern of little black dots on the edges of a car or bus window but did not give much thought as to why are these there. It’s all about the frit! That baked-in ceramic-painted band around the edge of the glass is almost impossible to scrape off. It is not just there as a little design quirk – the frit actually serves to 2 very specific purposes.
First, it acts as a shield against ultraviolet sun rays, which prevents it from deteriorating the sealant on the windshield, because nobody wants the sun to cook the adhesive and send the window flying out next time we hit a bump. Second, it covers up the glue on the edge of the windshield. The dots, on the other hand, are there for an aesthetic reason, as they form a nice gradient between the frit and the rest of the windshield.
The blade trick
Whether you use them often or not, we’ve all worked with one of these blades at some point in our lives. But did you ever wonder about the purpose of its design? Apparently, the blades are designed this way to help us save some money and time.
If you take a close look at its design, you will notice the score lines on it. What you probably didn’t know is that you can actually break off the end of the blade and have a new, sharper razor blade whenever you decide. How to make it safe? Take the back cap off, slide out the blade and use this same cap to snap off the end of the blade.
You will think twice before cutting your cuticles next time
To cut or not to cut? Are you aware of the damage you may be causing yourself, by cutting your cuticles? As much as we think that our nails look so much better when they are cut and polished-looking, this habit of cutting that layer of clear skin located along the bottom edge can be harmful. Why?
The cuticles are there for a reason, they act as a seal that protects the surrounding skin from infection. When people tend to remove these cuticles, it “opens a door” for fungus and bacteria to get inside and affect us. So instead of cutting them, if you prefer to have trimmed cuticles look, it is safe to just push the cuticles back.
The rat ate my homework
We have all seen them, we have all written on them and most of us respected the margin lines on our notebooks. Nowadays, we used them as an indicator of where to start writing and where to stop and pass to the next line. Teachers also make use of these margins to leave comments. Was it invented with this purpose?
Once again, let us take you back to the past and reveal the surprising origins of these margins. These margins were first added with the main purpose of protecting people’s work. In the past, books’ edges were one of the favorite chewing elements for mice, rats, and insects, so people’s pieces of information would get lost, as they tended to write all the way to the edge. Later on, people decided to leave empty spaces around the edges to prevent their work from being chewed on by rodents.
The origin of pom-pom
Who doesn’t love those beanie hats? They not only protect us from those cold days but they also look just too cute once on our heads. However, did you know that the beloved beanie hats were not originally designed for this purpose? Back then, it was more than just a cute accessory. So what was the real purpose behind the pom-poms?
What we see now as a funny pom-pom, had a very different function back when they were invented. Were the Vikings who created these fluffy designs too, yes, keep their heads and ears warm during the winter, but the pom is sewn on the top to ensure the seams of the hat from falling apart. Later on, these were replaced with buttons.
The dimples on the golf balls
Did you know golf balls originally had a smooth look? So, when did it change from smooth to having these many dimples and why? The answer to this is related to the evolution of the ball over the years and how its design changes have given us these better-performing golf balls.
If you were of the idea that a smooth golf ball would travel further than a dimpled one, you would be wrong, but we were too… until now. Actually, these dimples in golf balls are there to create a mixed airflow, or turbulence, which, if done properly, reduces drag.
Fancy-looking or not, you might want to buy them
Wooden coat hangers tend to be more expensive than the regular plastic or wire ones, so with the idea in mind that their purpose is the same, people don’t think much of it, and randomly decide to go for one or the other. However, the wooden hangers have more to offer than just looking fancy; they are actually beneficial for our clothing.
These wooden hangers are not only more durable, visually more appealing, and great to use for heavy clothing, but they are also made of cedarwood, which is known for repelling bugs. So, if you want to extend your clothing life, you definitely need some of these in your wardrobe.
You’re going to want to try this one
Fries with ketchup or ketchup with fries? Who doesn’t love ketchup? You go to a place and order some fries, and the tasty thought of mixing it with the delicious tomatoey sauce is always there. The more the merrier, we say, and it definitely goes also for ketchup.
Here we have a trick for you, so the next time you find one of these very small containers you can get the maximum out of them. As you can see, these containers can be opened as a small plate, offering us the chance to even get more of our favorite sauce, making it more convenient to dip our french fries.
The long neck
Whether it’s a bottle of beer, water, or a fizzy drink, we have all held a long-neck bottle in our hands. They seem to have a pretty normal design, but did you ever wonder why are they designed this way? What’s the deal with the long neck of these bottles?
The design intends to encourage a person to hold the bottle at the top, so the liquid inside will not warm up with the contact of or hands. Next time try holding your drink by the neck and enjoy a fresh drink for a longer time. No need to thank us.
Everybody knows the purpose of the buttons on our clothes, which are obviously designed with the main purpose to keep our clothes shut. But when it comes to women’s shirts, have you ever wondered why these buttons on the left side are, Having in mind that most people are right-handed?
Wouldn’t it be, then, more reasonable to put the buttons on the right side? Well, the answer to this question takes us back to the earlier times, in which wearing a shirt was an indicator of your social and financial status. If the shirt you were wearing had buttons, it indicated that you had a maid to dress you up, and while the buttons were to your left, the buttons were to your maid’s right.
As children, we all loved these colorful, sweet lollipops – with so many flavors to offer, who wouldn’t want one? But probably the most exciting part was to get to the end of it and use the stick to whistle. Although we had our fun with them, the hole at the bottom of the stick is not there for the purpose of our enjoyment.
In fact, it is there for safety purposes. The hole is there to prevent people from choking, as it makes it very hard for the hard candy to come off. Sorry to burst your whistle-filled bubble! Keeping it as a whistle is still a legit use for the stick, though.
Did you know?
Did you think this diamond shape on the front of some bags was just there for fashion reasons? We did too. However, they have a purpose, more than just adding some design to the bag. Actually, it’s called a lash tab and is there for a very useful reason.
Believe it or not, this lash tab is there so you can attach to it anything you’d like. For instance, if you have no more space inside, you could attach a small bag to it with small items or any other of the items you want to take with you but lack space, such as a sleeping bag.
The good old Chinese-food container
Do you mind eating your food from a container or prefer to put it on a plate? Whichever it is, we have a solution for you, so next time you order a Chinese take-out, you can make proper use of their very specific-looking boxes.
When you see one of these boxes, you can only think what it contains cannot be anything other than Chinese food. But did you know its iconic look can be changed and offer you the possibility to eat your food anywhere and any way you like? It’s very simple, just unfold the box and instantly you will have a plate. Now, you don’t have to waste time washing plates, and you don’t need to eat from a container either!
The rearview mirror tab
Although most people use this little tab on the rearview mirror to hang diverse accessories that will make it look cute or give the car a nice smell, the real purpose of this little tab is different from popular belief.
You might start using it properly when you finally learn that it is used to dim the lights of people behind you driving with the light beams on during the night. It is there to slightly bend the mirror to a level in which the brightness will not be so blinding.
The drawer on your oven
Have you ever been curious enough to look around and wonder about the mysterious odds and ends around your kitchen? If so, you probably got to see that drawer at the bottom of your oven and thought it was just there as storage. Apparently, while it’s not wrong using it for its purpose, originally it has a different purpose.
This is actually a warming drawer and was designed to keep your food hot while you’re still preparing the rest of your dinner or when you’re done and expecting to eat it later on. So next time you’re hosting a dinner party and need to keep your food warm, you don’t have to stress about it.