Every product is created with a specific function in mind, and nothing about that item is made by accident; everything is designed with a purpose. It might not, however, always be clear exactly what that purpose is. This can mean that some of us are overlooking these design functions, which are sometimes subtle, and are missing out on using features of everyday objects that will make our lives easier and help us to perform tasks better and more efficiently.
So, here’s a rundown of 15 everyday objects that we will all have in our possession, and the unknown features you didn’t know they had. For even more life hacks to make your daily life a breeze, check out this unusual way for washing vegetables and a clever £1 trick to stop condensation on windows.
The small pocket on your jeans
Many pairs of jeans have a smaller pocket above the main pocket. Many of us now see this as an added style element and don’t see it as a usable pocket, but it was apparently once used for people to store their pocket watches, or coins and other small items.
The ridges on the ‘f’ and ‘j’ keys on your keyboard
If you look down at your computer or laptop keyboard, you will notice that there are ridges on the ‘f’ and ‘j’ keys. These are supposedly put there to help people to instinctively feel their way around the keyboard so they can continue to type without actually looking down.
The number ‘57’ on the Heinz ketchup bottle
You may have noticed that your Heinz ketchup bottle has the number 57 embossed around the top of the bottle where it begins to narrow. Apparently, this is the best place to tap the bottle to get some ketchup out of the bottle, not hitting the bottom.
Your dressing gown cord
We all tie our dressing gowns around the front, but we’ve all been supposedly doing it wrong. It’s meant to help us pull our dressing gowns around us tighter if we instead tie them at the back.
The hole in the pasta spoon
If you have a pasta spoon then the chances are you will have used it to help you get your pasta out of the pan after it’s cooked while leaving the water in the pan. But, it also has another use. You can use it to measure the perfect portion of spaghetti for one - something which is very difficult to do.
Your takeaway drinks cup
When you get a takeaway coffee or tea, there’s always a lid on top of it. This actually has several uses; on the one hand it helps to keep your drink warm and also safe in the cup as you travel, but it also doubles as a handy drinks coaster.
Wearing hair grips
Hair grips have a wavy side and a straight side, and most people wear them wavy side up, thinking that this is just a style choice. That’s not true, however, and the clips should be worn wavy side down as it is these waves which help them to grip properly in the hair.
The pocket in women’s knickers
Women may notice that all of their knickers have a little pocket inside. This is called a gusset and it does have a purpose. It’s made of breathable, moisture-wicking fabric which helps to keep ladies healthy and reduces any possibility of infection.
The holes on the handles of pans
Many pans have a hole at the end of the handle, and this has two purposes. The first is so that the pans can be hung up to be stored and the second is to rest kitchen utensils in so that you can stop your work surface getting messy.
Detachable headrests in the car
In all cars, at least some of the headrests are detachable. Depending on the type of vehicle, this is usually the front driver and passenger seat. This is because when the headrests are taken out they have two metal rods on the bottom. If you find yourself in a situation where you are trapped in the car and need to get out you can use these rods to safely smash the car window.
The tiny hole in the aeroplane window
There’s a tiny hole in every aeroplane window, and it has two very important uses. Firstly, it allows air to flow through the aircraft to prevent too much pressure building within it as it rises through the altitude. Secondly, it keeps the windows from fogging up because of all the warm breath from the passengers.
The black hole on the back of the iPhone
iPhone users will have noticed a black hole on the back of their phone, somewhere close to the camera lens. This is actually a third microphone which acts to eliminate background noise when speaking on the phone, or pick up better sound when recording a video.
Extra shoelace holes in your shoes
If you’ve ever owned a pair of laced-up shoes, such as trainers or Converse, you may have noticed that they have extra shoelace holes in different places. With some pairs of shoes, these are near the top of shoes and with others they are on the side. Some people think they are used for ventilation, and while they can help with that it’s not their actual purpose. These holes are there so that they can actually be used to thread the laces so they can be tied in different ways.
The flaps at the top of cardboard cartons
Things which come packaged in cardboard containers often have extra flaps at the side. Think of a juice carton. These flaps may seem useless but apparently they have been put there so that they can be folded out to help children - who have little hands and may not be able to grip things with ease - carry these things around.
The hole in pen caps
Next time you use a pen with a removable lid, you’ll probably notice that it has a small hole at the end of it. The manufacturers of these pens are said to have put the hole in the plastic so that if a child accidentally swallows the pen lid as they chew on it - something they supposedly knew they would be likely to do - they could still breathe.