25 Things You Didn’t Know Had Special Uses

Posted by , Updated on November 22, 2023

There are many things we see everyday that have specific uses we are completely unaware of.

Have you ever been curious about why a Mcdonald’s Mcflurry spoon looks so weird or what those extra lace holes on the side of a pair of converse all stars are for? Well today, we’re

Going to shed some light on these odd everyday things.

Here are 25 Things You Didn’t Know Had Special Uses


Margins on Notebook Paper

Margins on Notebook Paper

Remember in high school when you would have to write an essay or answer an essay question? You would always want thick little red margin lines to be as far away from the edge of the paper as possible. So you could write less?

Did you ever wonder why those red lines exist in the first place? It’s because of rats. Rats would get into homes or libraries where papers or books were kept centuries ago and knaw on the edges of books and papers.

Margins were added to the edges so the writing wouldn’t be lost to the ravenous creatures. Take a look at a very old book printed in the 1800s. It will likely have very large margins around the edges of each page.

Related: 25 Incredible Paper Lightbox Creations


Padlock Holes

Padlock Holes

Take a look at any padlock—the kind you unlock with a key. There is another very small hole next to the keyhole. Why would that be there?

Since padlocks are usually for outdoor use, they need to be able to stand up to difficult weather conditions.

The tiny hole on the bottom allows water from the rain to pass through the lock; the interior doesn’t become rusted. It is also used for spraying WD-40 or any other kind of oil into the lock to keep it opening smoothly.


Oyster Pails

Oyster Pails

Who doesn’t love getting some delicious Chinese food delivered in those cool, white-flapped boxes? They are called oyster pails, and when you get one, you know you are in for some deliciousness followed by a food coma! But did you know those boxes also have a special use?

Take the wire handle off and then carefully unfold the box. You have a plate! These boxes are Specially designed to become nice little paper plates from which you can enjoy your meal!

But if you’re like me, you really like eating it straight from the folded-up box! It’s just part of the experience.


French's mustard bottle caps

French's mustard bottle cap

Some people are not crazy about mustard. For me, there’s nothing better than it being on a hot dog, a burger, a sandwich, or a pretzel. But mustard can get messy.

Somehow the cap always seems to get messy and crushed up from getting mustard all over it.

If you have french’s brand mustard, that wouldn’t be a problem. The notch on the back of the lid is designed so the cap will snap open into place, helping reduce mess to keep the bottle clean.


Microwave oven doors

Microwave oven doors

When you are waiting that never-ending two minutes for your food to cook in the microwave, and you want to watch the progress.

This is when most of us do the “Microwave dance” by moving our heads side to side so we can see through the mesh embedded in the door.  As it turns out, that mesh is very important.

The mesh in the oven door is made of metal. The microwaves that cook your food carry radiation that could be harmful to humans.

These waves are unable to move through any type of metal which means the mesh is essential to keep you safe

Related: 25 Genius Microwave Cooking Tips


Pom-pom Hats

Pom-pom Hats

The classic winter hat in England is called “bobble hats.”

Some Dutch communities call them “Sipple caps.” The best name for them is from Canada, where they are called “Toques.”

I’m talking about the classic winter hat with the pom-pom on top. That strange little ball of yarn is not just for decoration.

The pom-poms were added to these hats because they were worn by French sailors, where they acted as a cushion between their heads and the low ceilings of ships.

It helped keep their heads safe during rough seas. Who knew? Now – we do!


Cap on a box cutter

Cap on a box cutter

Many box cutters now come with a black cap on the end of the handle. Not just a decoration, this cap has a very important function. When you use your cutter, the blade gets duller with each cut. But these caps help solve that problem.

If you look at the blade, you’ll see a line of grooves embedded in it. These are places where the blade can be broken to make a fresh one.

By removing it and slipping it over the end of the blade, it can be removed and used for just that purpose.


Foil and Plastic Wrap Boxes


Why is it that foil and plastic wrap are so difficult to use? The foil roll pulls out of the box when you try to pull it out, and what about the plastic wrap?

It’s nearly impossible to get it out without it sticking to itself or unwrapping with one end pulled out and the other still wrapped around the roll. You might be asking, “Why did they design it this way?”

They actually didn’t. If you look at each end of these boxes, you’ll find two tabs indented into the cardboard.

If you push these in, they keep the rolls from pulling out of the box. Why did we not realize this sooner? Just think of all the frustration that could have been avoided!


Laundry baskets

Laundry basket

Laundry baskets or hampers don’t seem like they would need much special design consideration in their production.

They’re big baskets full of holes that hold dirty clothes. What could be the big surprise there?

It’s the holes in the basket. Those holes are actually quite important. Dirty clothes tend to get moist or damp when they are worn.

If they were just thrown in a bin when taken off, they could quickly become mildewed, which would ruin the clothes. The holes in the hampers allow for airflow, which keeps the clothes mildew-free.




Have you ever tried to remove a staple from some paper? It is possible to remove staples with a stapler, but it is a difficult task.

Most times, having a staple that is permanent is exactly what you need. You may require something more temporarily bound together at times. Common staples can be used for just that purpose!

The silver plate above which the staple actually penetrates the paper can be rotated 180° for a different look and separate stapling function.

Whereas a normal staple goes through the paper and then curls in, the opposite side of the plate allows for the staples to turn out instead, making it easier to remove.


Condiment cups

paper cups for condiments

Every time you go into a restaurant that uses those little paper cups for condiments, it is difficult to dip anything in it when you get it back to your table.

How do the manufacturers expect you to get enough ketchup on your fries with those things? They don’t just like the oyster pails, these cups were designed with you in mind!

Those little pleats in all the cups are designed to be pulled apart, resulting in a small plate for you to use for your condiment needs!


Spaghetti spoons

Spaghetti spoons

If I say “spaghetti spoon,” do you know what I mean? I’m not referring to a big spoon used to help twirl your noodles around your fork. I’d be talking about the one with the big spoon used to stir your pasta as it cooks.

While it actually has many names, the purpose is the same. The teeth all around the sides help pick up your pasta, making it easier to serve. And the big hole in the middle lets the water flow out, but that is not its only purpose.

Before cooking, put your dry spaghetti through that hole. When the spaghetti bunch fills the entire hole, you have the perfect single serving amount ready to cook.


Refrigerator Caps

Refrigerator Caps

There were small caps embedded in the casing of your refrigerator. They really don’t seem to serve any purpose, so why are they there in the first place? Oddly, they have a very specific job.

Those caps cover a nut that has been implanted so that the door can be opened from either side. If your refrigerator door opens out and to the left but that doesn’t work for you, remove the bolts, take the door off, pull off those caps, and reboot it to the other side!

Then put those caps back in place on the other side.


Mcdonald's Sandwich Boxes

Mcdonald's Sandwich Boxes

Some consider a big mac, fries, and a coke to be the ultimate all-American meal. Three American diet staples designed to be consumed on the go!

but walking or driving while eating is awkward at best. Don’t worry, McDonald’s has you covered. If you open your sandwich box, you’ll notice a place right in the middle of the fold for your straw to go through.

You put the burger on one side, the fries on the other, and rest it on top of your drink, and you’re ready to go.

Full disclosure, it seems like if you took a bite out, the fries would spill over from the other side, but they say it works, so let us know if you’ve tried it and not made a mess!


Mcflurry spoons

Mcflurry spoons

Sticking with McDonald’s, what exactly is the deal with the McFlurry spoons? They look like big, thick straws, but when you try to use them, it doesn’t work! What’s up with that?

The spoon is what is used to mix the ice cream treat. The shape is designed to fit directly onto the stirring device mechanism and is sturdy enough to get all the ingredients stirred to perfection.

The did think about making the spoon function as a straw as well, but some of the McFlurryMix-ins can be large enough to become a choking hazard, so that’s out.




Jeans have little metal rivets around the pockets that most people don’t even notice. It would be understandable if these were viewed as a fashion accessory. But they are far from it.

These little pieces of metal are called rivets. They are placed at stress points where simple stitching may not be enough. Rivets strengthen the pants to make them last longer.


Elevator doors

Elevator doors

Why is there a small hole in the elevator doors? Does it even have a purpose? It actually does! It is a keyhole. I didn’t even know elevator doors had keys. But it makes sense.

If the elevator gets stuck, there needs to be a way to get stranded riders out. It would be unsafe if you were able to just open the doors, so, of course, there’s a key!


Bottle caps

Bottle caps

Is there anything worse than a flat soft drink? Well, I mean, yeah, there are lots of things that are worse, but it still stinks to get one.

There is a design element used in bottle caps to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Inside the cap is a piece of plastic that sits between the bottle and the cap. It is a seal used to ensure that the contents don’t lose their carbonation!


Car headrests

Car headrests

Hopefully, you won’t have to use this one. Many headrests in cars are built so they can be removed. Why would they do this?

Let’s say you get stuck in your car. The bars that connect the headrest to the seat back can be used to break the window so you can escape a dangerous situation.


Extra Eyelets in Athletic Shoes

Extra Eyelets in Athletic Shoes

When shoes are laced, the laces run through the eyelets in the shoes. While dress shoes have a straight line of them, most athletic shoes have extra eyelets that all serve a distinct purpose.

The ones at the very top of running shoes are referred to as “Heel Locks.

Their function is to provide an extra secure fit and prevent slippage. As your feet sweat, the moisture mixed with friction from the movement can cause chafing. This also holds true for Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. While these eyelets are not located at the top of the shoe, the two eyelets on the side of the shoe are there for “bar lacing,” which helps with a more secure fit. That’s why the laces are so long as well!


Sinks and bathtubs

Sinks and bathtubs

There are either one or two holes, depending on the manufacturer, in your bathroom sinks and tubes you may not have any idea what those people ate there, but they actually have two uses.

First, these are drainage points that help keep the water from overflowing. These openings also help the sink drain in another way as well.

If you have a full sink, these allow air to escape while the sink drains. As it turns out, they are very important.




Screwdrivers are pretty straightforward. But sometimes, a screw can be particularly stubborn and not want to come out.

Twist as you will, you just can’t get the right hold on the handle. Fortunately, there is a built-in solution.

Many screwdriver handles are made with four upper ridges with troughs in between each one; this allows the user to use an adjustable wrench to help get the job done.

Just put the wrench on the handle and tighten it. This will provide more torque to remove the screw.


Soda Can Pull Tabs

Soda Can Pull Tabs

The tabs used to open drink cans are simple. When you pull it toward you, the can opens. Simple. But that’s not all it was designed for; see, said cans are filthy. Tests have shown that a drink can have one of the dirtiest surfaces around.

But trying to use a straw in one of these cans is super awkward. The solution? Turn the tab around and slip a straw through the opening, and you have a handy straw holder!




Cooking Pan Handles

Cooking Pan Handles

Your everyday pots and pans have a hidden use right in plain sight. Every one of these kitchen tools, unless the model you use specifically removes them, has a hole in the handle.

Most people believe this hole is there so that the pot or pan can be hung for storage.

While that’s true, storage is not the main intended purpose. These are designed so the handle can be used as a wooden spoon holder.

Although a perfect fit for wooden spoons, most other, larger utensils can be placed there as well.


The Drawer Just Under Your Oven

The Drawer Just Under Your Oven

You know that drawer at the bottom of your oven? The one where you keep your baking supplies sheets, pie pans, and maybe even muffin tins? Yeah, that’s not what it’s for.

Although most people use this space for storage, it is actually known as a “warming drawer.” The main goal is to keep your finished food warm while you finish cooking the rest of your meal. It’s pretty nifty, isn’t it?

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