16 Clever Uses for Toothpicks That Have Nothing to Do with Picking Teeth
Think toothpicks are only good for picking teeth or checking cake? Think again. Check out these toothpick tricks in the kitchen, around the house, and in the garden!
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
You might think you know toothpicks, but you’re probably underestimating its potential. Sure, it’s great for picking your teeth, but it’s capable of much more! Just like these surprising uses for baby powder, and eggshells, toothpicks have secret talents that you’ll wish you knew before.
You probably have a box of toothpicks lying around your house collecting dust. Give your teeth a rest and check out these other clever uses for toothpicks. Now is the time to bring it out and give it new life—you’ll be glad you did.
Keep pots from boiling over
We’ve all done it—turn the burner on high, walk away, and before you know it, water is boiling over the sides of your pot. Avoid a messy stovetop by sticking a toothpick, laid flat, between the lid and pot. This small space will let steam escape, which prevents the pot from boiling over. This tip could save both lives and kitchens!
Control the use of your salad dressing
Never pour half a bottle of dressing on your salad again! Instead, leave the foil seal on a brand new bottle in place and use a toothpick to punch holes in it. This helps prevent a dressing avalanche, which will make it last longer and save you some calories, too!
Microwave potatoes faster
Next time you make a baked potato, give it toothpick legs. Stick four toothpicks in one side, which will suspend it and allow it to cook much faster since the bottom, top, and sides are all exposed. If you now find yourself with some extra time on your hands, check out these 19 ways to cook everything faster.
Light candles easier
Don’t burn your fingers trying to light a candle’s hard-to-reach wick. Instead, light a wooden toothpick and then use that to reach the burned down wick.
Mark the start of a tape roll
Finding the beginning of a tape roll is a waste of time, not to mention frustrating. Next time you cut a piece of tape, wrap the end around a toothpick when you’re done.
Touch up paint jobs
The secret to a good paint touch-up is to use as little as possible, which is why toothpicks work perfectly. Dip the end of a toothpick in paint and dab it where you need it. Unlike with a brush, you won’t apply more paint than you need and also won’t have a brush to clean. Upcycle paint chips if you’re feeling crafty and want something beautiful.
Keep track of everybody’s meat
Keep track of who wants what on the grill by using multicolored toothpicks to color code the meat by doneness—rare, medium, well done.
Cook sausages evenly
It can be hard to cook sausage evenly when it rolls back in forth. Connect pairs of sausages with toothpicks, which will keep them in place and make flipping them easier. While you’re cooking them up, follow these 10 simple cooking tips from a chef.
Repair a bent plant stem
If the stem of your favorite plant has folded over, it’s not doomed. Straighten the stem and support it by placing a toothpick against the stem and wrapping it with tape. Keep your eye on it and the stem should regain its strength. When this happens, be sure to remove the splint so you don’t strangle the stem. Not sure when to plant your veggies? Check on our planting calendar.
Repair small holes in wood
Did you drive a nail into the wrong spot in your pine project? Don’t panic. Dip the tip of a toothpick into white or yellow glue, then stick it in the hole and break it off. Sand the toothpick flush to the surface and you’ll never notice the repair.
Repair a loose hinge screw
Have you ever encountered a stripped hole that prevents a screw from properly tightening, the after-effect of removing a door or hinge? Solve this problem by putting some glue on the end of a toothpick and sticking it in the hole. Break it off and add one or two more until the hole is tightly filled. Re-drill the hole and you’re ready to screw the hinge in place.
Apply glue to sequins
If your craft project calls for sequins or buttons, toothpicks will leave you with less mess. Squirt a little glue on a piece of paper, dip in a toothpick and use that to apply dabs of glue.
Make sewing easier
Make sewing projects faster and easier by using a round toothpick to push fabrics, lace, or gatherings under the pressure foot as you sew. Maybe sewing isn’t your speed, so check out these random items that you can use to tailor your clothes without sewing!