This is an update of a list we originally published in January 2016. New thoughts and new information have been added to make it even more helpful to you.
We all know that almost nothing beats good old fashioned floss when it comes to cleaning those hard to reach places in our teeth. And we’re sure that you’ve probably felt like a broken record on more than one occasion while reminding patients (again and again) to floss regularly.
But have you given much thought to the versatility of this unassuming dental care item?
If you haven’t, worry not! We’ve gathered this list of 15 creative uses for floss that don’t involve flossing your teeth (although, that’ll always be its most important one!).
- Keep a Fire Burning Longer
Waxed floss burns really well. Wrap it around your kindling and light it up. The floss will keep the fire going much longer than wood on its own.
- Quiet a dripping faucet
Tie some floss around the opening of the faucet and then guide the string down the drain. The water drops will slide along the floss—and leave you with peace and quiet until you can call the plumber.
- Use as fishing line
Unscented, unwaxed floss is strong and inexpensive—it’ll hold up to a lot of smaller fish if you’re in a pinch or crafting an old-fashioned stick and string fishing pole.
- Line dry your clothes
Floss is strong enough to hold clothes right from the washing machine. String some up in your laundry room or outside to dry clothes the old-fashioned way.
- Floss your keyboard—and other hard to clean places
If your keyboard has seen better days floss can help. It can get in between crevices to get out dust and dirt you normally would never reach.
- Slice delicate foods
When baking more finicky foods like bread or cinnamon rolls that call for dividing the dough without squishing or deflating it, floss is a great alternative to a knife. Not to mention it slices cheese like a champ.
- Toss in a survival kit
Along with matches, various first aid items, and a few other survival essentials floss can be a handy tool if you ever find yourself lost on a hike or in another sticky situation.
- Get a stuck ring off your finger
Wrap floss firmly (but not tightly enough to cut off circulation) from the top of your finger to the ring. This compresses your finger and helps the ring slide right off.
- Loosen cookies from a baking sheet
Freshly baked cookies stuck to the pan? Instead of trying to chip them off with a spatula you can separate them from the pan with floss first and they’ll slide right off.
- Support climbing plants
Plants such as tomatoes or cucumbers need support as they grow, and floss is a great way to secure them to a post or fence.
- Fix broken glasses
Screws from a glasses frame are easily lost. Until you can get a replacement you can use floss to attach the earpiece to the front of the frame.
- String popcorn
Create some good old-fashioned holiday fun by gathering the family together to string popcorn. (Floss can also be used for other decorating ideas like a DIY ornament string if you’ve lost a hook or a handy way to hang up paper snowflakes kids love to make).
- Don’t bother with cooking twine
Does that recipe you chose for dinner call for butcher’s twine? Well, forget about it. Unwaxed and flavorless floss is a great—and inexpensive—substitute as it won’t burn or melt.
- Fill in cracked wood
Simply soak floss in wood glue and layer it in the crack until it is filled. Voila! Good as new.
- Sew on a button
Simple sewing jobs where the type of thread doesn’t matter are perfect for floss. It’s strong so won’t break, and white floss will blend in with most clothing.
We’ll never underestimate to power of floss to help keep our teeth and gums healthy. But if sharing a few of these tips helps ensure patients keep an abundance of floss at home we think that’s a step in the right direction.