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5 Things To Do with Toothpicks

Get that toothpick out of your mouth and get it working for you. Use toothpicks to plug hose leaks, repair broken plant stems, microwave potatoes, and more.

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Did You Know?

Buddhist monks were using toothpicks as far back as the eighth century.

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1. Microwave Potatoes Faster

The next time you microwave a potato, stick four toothpick “legs” into one side. The suspended potato will cook much faster because the microwaves will reach the bottom as well as the top and sides.

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2. Repair a Leaky Garden Hose

If your garden hose springs a leak, don’t go out and buy another one; just find the hole and insert a toothpick in it. Cut off the excess part of the toothpick. The water will make the wood swell, plugging up the leak every time.

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3. Light Candles Safely

When a candle has burned down and the wick is hard to reach, don’t burn your fingers trying to use a small match to light it. Instead, light a wooden toothpick and use it to the light the burned-down wick.

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4. Touch Up Furniture Crevices

The secret to a good touch-up paint job is to use as little paint as possible, because even if you do have the right paint, the stuff in the can may not exactly match the sun-faded or dirty paint on the furniture. The solution is to dip the end of a toothpick in the paint and use it to touch up just the crevice. Unlike a brush, the toothpick won’t apply more paint than you need and you won’t have a brush to clean.

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5. Repair a Bent Plant Stem

If the stem of your favourite plant has folded over, it doesn’t mean the plant is doomed. Straighten the stem and support it by placing a toothpick against the stem and wrapping the toothpick on with tape. Water the plant and keep an eye on it-depending on how fast it grows, the stem will regain its strength and you’ll need to remove the splint so you don’t strangle the stem.