Did You Know

14 Creative Uses For Toothpicks That Don't Involve Your Teeth

I don't eat a lot of meat, so I rarely find myself reaching for a toothpick to clean my teeth.

Plus, I find it really awkward to pick my pearly whites in front of other people, especially when I'm in a restaurant and surrounded by strangers.

What I do find myself doing often is using toothpicks for other things, like checking the doneness of a cake in the oven or serving finger foods like meatballs.

But don't be fooled, while these are some of the most common uses for toothpicks, there are so many more creative ways to put them to use around the house and even in the garden.

1. Glue delicate items

Sequins
Amazon.com

The nozzle on a bottle of glue is perfect for large items, but some things are just too delicate and require thin and careful glue application. This is where a toothpick comes in.

Use the tiny wooden stick to apply glue when you're dealing with tiny objects like sequins and buttons.

Just squirt some glue on a piece of paper, then dip the toothpick in it and dab onto the surface you're working on.

Not only will this leave you with less mess, the toothpick will also help the glue spread easily.

2. Sew a button

Sew4Home

Back in the day, my elementary school had a "home economics 101" class, which I took when I was in the seventh grade.

One of the first things I learned was how to sew a button on a shirt, but I later found an easier way to secure the button just right.

If you place a toothpick between the button and the garment it will ensure that the button isn't too tight, so you can easily slip it into the hole.

3. Fix a bent stem

Bent stem
Gardening Soul

When you're already putting a considerable amount of time and energy into your garden, the last thing you want is to lose a plant to a fixable problem.

Every once in a while the stem on a plant bends over or breaks, but don't despair, there's an easy fix.

Place a toothpick against the stem then wrap it with tape. The stem should heal in no time.

Just be sure to remove the toothpick as soon as the trick works, otherwise you'll actually do more damage to the stem.

4. Stop boil-overs

boil over
Tips and Tricks

Putting a meal together is already a lot of work, so spills, regardless of their size, are unwelcome.

So to make your job easier, put a toothpick between the pot and its lid to stop a pot from boiling over when cooking foods like pasta.

The pick creates an opening big enough to allow steam to escape without causing a mess.

5. Cook sausages evenly

sausages in a pan
Thinkyouinc.com

How hard can it actually be to cook sausages? Hard enough if you can't get them to keep still.

If you want to get evenly cooked sausages every time, use a toothpick to connect them together in pairs.

This will stop them from rolling back and forth in the pan and make turning them over less complicated.

6. Clean your phone

Snapguide

I hate to break it to you, but your cellphone is one of the grossest surfaces you touch everyday. In fact, experts have found some phones to be dirtier than public toilets.

While the dust, dirt, and germs can be eliminated by cleaning your phone with disinfectant wipes, there are other hard to reach places that the wipe can't clean.

Clean out the dirt in the charging port, headphone jack, and other tiny crevices by using a toothpick dipped in rubbing alcohol.

7. Decorate a cake

BuzzFeed

We already know that toothpicks come in handy when baking a cake, but did you know that they can also serve a decoration tools?

You can create some cool and mesmerizing effects with just a toothpick and some icing. You can also use the tiny stick to sketch out a design or message on a frosted cake before decorate it with icing.

Toothpicks are also helpful when it comes to storing a frosted cake. Simply stick some around the sides and on top of the cake, then cover it with saran wrap before refrigerating. The toothpick will prevent the icing from sticking to the sides.

8. Fill nail holes

Bob VIlla

It happens to the best of us; one minute you're hammering a nail into a piece of furniture, next you're taking it out because it's not the right spot.

Thankfully, there's an easy fix, so there's no need to panic.

If you have some glue around, dip the tip of a toothpick into it, then put it in the hole and break it off.

Use sandpaper to smooth down any piece of the toothpick that's sticking out, and voila, the hole is sealed!

9.  Dispense salad dressing

Reader's Digest

Ever try to pour just a little bit of dressing into your salad, but then you end up with half the bottle on your greens?

I've done it countless times, and you probably have to. Let's make sure it never happens again.

Next time you grab a new bottle of salad dressing, don't get too excited and peel the foil seal right away.

Use a toothpick to poke some holes in the seal to release a little bit of dressing at a time.

This trick is also a great way to save some calories!

10. Light candles

candles
Evening Standard

The easiest way to light a candle is by using a match, but they burn abnormally fast, and next thing you've used up all your sticks.

Instead, use a match to light up the tip of a toothpick, which you can use to light the candle.

Trust me, your fingertips will thank you.

11. Fix a leaky hose

Shutterstock

When my garden hose got punctured last summer, I found out the hard way by getting drenched.

I threw it out and bought a new one only to find out that it could've been fixed with a toothpick.

If your hose has a leak, find the hole and insert a toothpick in it and break off the excess.

When the water travels through the hose, it will wet the stick forcing it to swell up and plug up the hole.

12. Mark a tape roll

tape rollWrestling Mart

Sometimes it takes longer trying to find where a roll of tape starts than actually doing whatever it is you needed it for.

So next time you use tape, save yourself the frustration, and wrap the end around a toothpick. You will never have to waste your time searching for it.

13. Microwave potatoes evenly

Tip Hero

There are days when I can't be bothered to spend more than a few minutes in the kitchen cooking dinner.

Apparently I'm not alone because why else would someone come up with the idea to bake a potato in the microwave?

You can get the job done in just about five minutes with a little help from toothpicks.

Poke holes all over the potato, then prop it on four toothpicks before placing it in the microwave. This will ensure that the entire spud cooks evenly and so much faster.

Toothpicks aren't the only things around the house you can use to make life easier. Take a look at these:

16 Unusual Uses For Lip Balm That You've Probably Never Thought Of

15 Frugal Ways To Use Dawn Dish Soap That Don't Involve Washing Dishes

11 Clever Uses For Club Soda That Will Make Your Life Easier

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.