21 Brilliant Uses for Rubber Bands in Your Home & Garden
Invented in 1845, rubber bands are used to hold together bundles of banknotes and other sheets of paper. You will find them wrapped around herbs and some vegetables. In fact, you will come across them at various and numerous times in your life. Rather than throwing them away, you can put these versatile little pieces of vulcanized rubber to good use.
Their rubber texture means that they offer an excellent grip. They tighten around objects to keep them in place, and they are deceptively strong for something so light and small. This combination means that they can be used for everything from braiding one’s hair to making a small item clamp from your pliers.
There are thousands of ways that you can use elastic bands in very specific circumstances, but below we have included a list of 21 of the more common ways to use these inexpensive accessories.
1. Use as a Makeshift Hair Bobble
We recommend getting more hair bobbles, but you can use a rubber band in a pinch. Which is fitting, because that is what they will do. Small bands can be used for braiding, and larger bands can be doubled up and used to keep any ponytail in position. Don’t fold the band too often, or more of your hair will get caught between the grippy rubber strips and be extricated from your scalp.
2. Make a Bouncy Ball
It is definitely more convenient to buy a dollar bouncy ball, but it isn’t as much fun, and the rubber band bouncy ball is also a great way to store your collection of rubber bands without losing them. Starting the ball is the trickiest part, but once you’ve folded a large band a few times and wrapped some small bands around it, the ball should be structurally intact. Start with smaller rubber bands and increase the size as the ball gets bigger.
3. Limit Portion Size or Soap Dispensers
Hand soap dispensers are convenient, sit on the side of your sink, and dispense an amount of soap every time you plunge the plunger. Wrap a small elastic band under the plunger, so that it is on the straw stalk of the dispenser. You will still be able to depress the plunger but its position will limit the amount of soap that is dispensed, potentially doubling the life of your soap bottle.
4. Open Stuck Jam Jars
One of the beneficial features of elastic bands is that they are made from grippy rubber, and a lack of grip is one of the most common reasons that a jam jar lid or other jar lid gets stuck on. Use a thick rubber band that sits tightly around the jar lid as an additional grip. This will make it easier for you to grab the lid and twist it off.
5. Stop Your Cutting Board Sliding Around
Another way in which the extra grip can be used is to add friction to objects that would otherwise slide around. Cutting boards can be such an item. Many have a smooth underside and the last thing you want while trying to chop chicken or cube carrots is to have the chopping board flying around the worktop. Place one elastic band around an inch from either end of the board and it will grip onto the work surface.
6. Get Some Extra Give from Your Jeans
Whether you’ve put on a little extra weight or your jeans have shrunk around the waist, the result is the same. You have jeans that are uncomfortable to fasten. Rather than consigning them to the bin, or putting them in the section of your wardrobe reserved for when you’ve lost the extra weight, hook a rubber band through the buttonhole of your jeans. Hook this around the button or rivet when fastening your jeans. It allows you a little extra space.
7. Puncture Repair a Damaged Garden Hose
A garden hose is an invaluable tool, but its design is such that it will be twisted, turned, pulled, and yanked around. It has to withstand a lot of movement, as well as being left in the wind, rain, heat, and difficult conditions. Small holes can appear. Rather than throw it away, try wrapping a few elastic bands around the hose so that they cover the hole. It’s a temporary fix but it will do in an emergency.
8. Stop the Rattle from Your Ceiling Fan
One of the reasons that a ceiling fan rattles is that the glass shade is loose. Remove the globe cover, wrap a wide rubber band around the neck and then replace the shade. The rubber band will act as a shock absorber, dampening the vibrations and reducing the rattle.
9. Turn Pliers into a Clamp
A small pair of pliers is invaluable for holding small components, but having to retain a reasonable grip isn’t always that easy. Use a small rubber band and wrap it securely around the jaws of the pliers, ensuring that you leave enough room so that you can still grab the items you want to hold. Don’t tighten the band too much, or it will crush and otherwise damage the components. But if the band is too loose, there will be no benefit to using it.
10. Make Tools Non-Slip
Tools like screwdrivers and utility knives can roll around. When you’re on flat ground, this isn’t an issue. When you’re on a sloped roof, it means that you can’t put your tools down for fear of them rolling onto the ground and you having to retrieve them. Time and time again. Wrap a rubber band around the handle or widest section of the tool and this will provide grip to stop the tool from rolling off.
11. Identify Your Chargers
Mobile phones, tablets, wireless controllers, smart speakers… the list of devices that use similar-looking chargers is virtually endless, and if there are two or more of you living in the same house, you could easily have 6 or more chargers that are very difficult to distinguish from one another. Use different colored elastic bands to wrap around the charger.
12. Organize Your Toothbrush Glass
The toothbrush glass is a staple in a lot of peoples’ bathrooms. It’s convenient, easy to clean, and it will hold a few toothbrushes of different sizes. You can improve the organization of your toothbrush glass by wrapping a few elastic bands over it and creating a grid-style storage design.
13. Simple Bit Storage for Your Drill
Some drill manufacturers have the foresight to include a bit holder or some means of bit storage on the drill. However, not all drills afford this convenience. Wrap a thick rubber band around the drill so that it is tight, and you can use this to securely store bits and other necessary accessories.
14. Add Identification to Pop Cans
If you have kids, you will understand the daily struggles of the seemingly simplest things. Arguments can break out over everything, even which can of pop belongs to which child. Use two small and different colored elastic bands and loop them into the ring pull and back through themselves. Alternatively, wrap the band around the whole can. It will be easy to identify which can belongs to which child.
15. Stop Stirring Spoons Sliding into Soups And Stews
Soups and stews need regular stirring during the cooking process. To stop the spoon from sliding down and into the pan, where you will need another spoon to retrieve the original spoon, wrap a rubber band tightly around the handle. When the spoon slips, it will stop as it reaches the rubber band.
16. Unscrew A Broken Screw
We’ve all been faced with the terrifying moment when we strip a screw head down so that the sharp straight hollow is now just a rounded-out bowl. Place a rubber band over the head and push the screwdriver through the rubber band to where the screw head grooves used to be. In most cases, this will enable you to get a good purchase on the screw head.
17. Prevent Doors from Closing
If you want to prevent a door from shutting and latching, and the door itself doesn’t offer a solution, you can use a single rubber band to do the job for you. Fold it in half, place it over both handles, and then twist the middle over the lock. The door will move freely but won’t shut.
18. Use as a Simple Paint Stencil
The rubber of the rubber band does a very good job of blocking paint. If you want a unique and fresh-looking paint finish on a candle holder or other cylindrical device, wrap the band around to get the swirly, smooth pattern you want, and then paint the rest of the cylinder. This works well with glass holders and glass paint. Wait for the paint to dry and then remove the bands.
19. Give Yourself a French Manicure
French Manicures look good but need a sharp line for the best results: not always to achieve when you’re attempting to do your own manicure. Wrap the band tightly around your finger and nail, covering the section of your nail you don’t want to paint. It needs to be tight to prevent the polish from getting under the band and ruining the effect.
20. Stop Paint Drips
Wrap two elastic bands over the top and bottom of your paint can, ensuring that you use the thick bands. This gives you somewhere to rest the brush when you need a break and it allows you to wipe excess paint away before moving from the safety of the paint tin to the potentially dangerous open floor.
21. Stop Clothes Sliding Off Hangers
Rubber bands have excellent grip and can be folded and wrapped around most objects. Wrap them around the ends of coat hangers and you can even prevent your slippiest garments from sliding down the hanger and off.
Things to Do with Rubber Bands Around the House
Rubber bands can protect, offer grip, and they can secure items. They also come in a good variety of sizes, thicknesses, and even colors. This means that they can be used for much more than simply holding rolls of banknotes together. Above, we have included 21 uses for the otherwise humble rubber band, but there are undoubtedly hundreds more.
Featured Image Credit: Lovesevenforty, Pixabay