Nine things you probably don't know about items you use every day

We use a lot of handy everyday items on a regular basis, and many of them have numerous applications. But we're actually using some of them all wrong. Or, at least, not in the canny ways their original inventors intended!  

Check out these ten objects that we've often misconstrued — and what they're really for:

1. Pot and pan handles


The hole in their handles isn't just to make it easy to hang them up. You can also leave your cooking spoon or ladle propped in the hole at the perfect angle. This helps you avoid leaving a wooden spoon in your sauce (yuck!) while also preventing the spoon or ladle from dripping all over the place. Nifty.

2. The bumps on your keyboard

They're not an alternative form of braille. Also not a secret catch to get inside your keyboard or type obscure commands.

They're actually there to help you re-set your fingers in the right places, when you're typing from muscle memory without looking at the keyboard. Your left index finger belongs on the "F" and your right on the "J."

You might have been using these helpful keypad ridges without even realizing it! Now at least, you'll appreciate it. 


3. Tic tac boxes

Did you realize that inside of the tic-tac box cap is actually a little cove to catch and portion out one single tic-tac? 

A built-in way to be sure you don't tap out more of the little mints than you wanted. Easy access to breath-fresheners, for almost any situation... So convenient. 


4. Take-out noodle box

Various Asian-American and Asian-European cuisines have so totally adopted the take-out box that you probably haven't heard where it really comes from: it was originally invented for oysters by an American in Chicago!

Most of us have eaten out of quite a few of these nifty paper containers. But did you know that the whole point was to UN-fold it into a take-out plate?! Full instructions here...


5. Shopping carts

Sometimes you might notice rounded hooks on the edges of your shopping cart. They're there for a reason, and not just to enhance your aesthetic experience of shopping: to hang your shopping bags on when you're heading out of the store to your car! 

6. Tape measures

At the end of your tape measure there's that little hook, which, of course, is helpful with hooking the tape at one end while you draw it out.

But look closer and you'll see a little hole in the hooked part. That's there because the makers thought you'd be using it on serious construction sites — so you'd need to hook the end onto the head of a screw or nail.


Instead, half of us are just measuring our windows for curtains or our inseam for the right size jeans (at the most). But still... next time you're doing some real building, you'll know the secret of the tape measure!


7. Fuel gage

If you're borrowing a car or driving a rental — or possible even in your own car — you might not know which side the gas tank cap is on.

Instead of clambering out, looking, and then perhaps realizing you've pulled on the wrong side of the pump, just look closer at the fuel gage. Most cars have a little arrow next to the gage pointing to the side the tank cap is on. How convenient is that!?

8. Noodle ladle

You've always just assumed the hole in the middle of a spaghetti scoop is to let the water drain out, right? Wrong! It's perhaps even more useful function is as a measure for one portion of spaghetti.  


9. Toilet paper

How to hang toilet paper is a hotly debated issue: should the fresh edge be inside or out? Should you pull over or under? People have strong opinions about this topic. But if you check out the original patent for toilet paper from 1891, at least you'll know what the inventor intended: 

— History in Moments (@historyinmoment) 10. März 2017

Everyday objects with their secret histories and uses — it turns out, the more you know, the more you'll get out of them! Enjoy, and pass on the useful info. 


Also hefty