Other Uses for Floss

If you are not using your floss for its intended purpose, try some of these unconventional other ideas.

We’ve all been there: Stranded on a sun-drenched island, needing to dry your wet clothes as quickly as humanly possible, with nary a branch or flat surface to be found.

Luckily, you do have plenty of dental floss. And it makes a perfect clothesline. You saved the day. If you’re saying to yourself right now, ‘of course that’s a thoroughly reasonable scenario,’ you are probably the sort of person who walks around with plenty of dental floss at all times, just in case.

And that means you might have been upset to see widespread reports that the science is still inconclusive on whether it actually improves your health. Sorry friends, but rest assured: According to a collection of survivalists, crafters, do-it-yourselfers and convicted felons, there are dozens of alternative ways to use your cache of tooth-rope.

Here are a few we think would be and interesting idea.

Cutting a cake. We haven’t tried it, but this video looks pretty legit. Using a knife is also a pretty satisfactory option, though. Usefulness.

Hanging a picture. One way of hanging pictures is to use the wire that’s designed to hang pictures. Seems preferable, but apparently picture wirecan damage your walls, so soft, waxy floss could be an alternative, sure.

Making music. This guy restrung his guitar with dental floss. It worked, but c’mon, guitar strings aren’t that expensive.

Silencing a dripping faucet. It seems you can tie floss to the bottom of a leaky faucet and let it hang to the sink so the water will slide inaudibly down the string rather than drip-drip-dripping and keeping you awake. We don’t know if it actually works, but if so there’s some high upside.

Escaping prison. Accumulate enough floss at the commissary and you could use it to fashion a rope as thick as a telephone cord, as one man did in 1994. Or you could combine it with toothpaste to saw through wire, as one man did in 2002. Your prison has probably banned floss, but if you can get your hands on it, this seems pretty useful.

Fishing line. Why are you in a boat with a fishing rod and dental floss but no actual fishing reel? How did you end up in this situation? What is wrong with you? 2/10.

Shoelaces. You’re on a hike, your left shoe catches a thorn just right, and suddenly your lace is shredded and your shoe is flopping everywhere. It’snot completely impossible.

Sewing up your wounds. The Associated Press reported in 2012 that a group of escaped prisoners used floss to patch themselves up. Very resourceful, and they presumably had no better options. 9/10.

Mending Clothing. Floss is strong enough to mend shirts, pants, and even shoes. If you can, store some unwaxed floss just for this purpose.

Pulling loose baby teeth. O.K., this is dental in nature, but not the purpose for which floss was intended. While it works in a pinch, the blogger behind “1,001 Uses for Dental Floss” warns against it. And he’s a dentist.

Make a rope – Braiding several strands of dental floss together will create a strong rope you can use to pull gear, hang heavy items and any other purpose that requires something a little stronger than floss.

Removing a ring. Take it from this man, who sounds like he’s in a great deal of pain — it works.

Of course there are dozens upon dozens of other uses for floss. See what you can come up with and share it us.

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