10 Problem-Solving Floss Hacks That Are Useful To Know

9 other uses for dental floss - collage: sewing on a button; stringing popcorn; cutting dough; tying a plant to a stake

I was terrible at flossing regularly before I got my beloved water flosser, but now I use it every single night, and I’m sure my teeth and gums are doing much better for it! But that also means that I now have several boxes of string floss gathering dust in my bathroom drawer, so I did some research to figure out how else I could use it.

As it turns out, dental floss can help you solve all kinds of everyday problems around the house! Who knew? Learn about 10 unique uses for floss below.

10 Surprisingly Practical Uses For Floss

Uses for Floss - stringing popcorn

1. String Up Popcorn

Dental floss makes a perfectly sturdy material for stringing up popcorn or cranberries during the holidays. You could also use floss to make Cheerio garland or necklaces, or any other craft that requires string!

Related: 10 Holiday Decorations To Deck Your Halls With This Year

Uses for Floss - lacing a shoe

2. Shoelace Substitute

If you find yourself with a broken shoelace, floss can help! Replace the broken lace with a length of floss to keep it tied. The sturdy floss will keep your shoe on until you can find a pair of replacement shoelaces.

Uses for Floss - freeing freshly baked cookies from the pan

3. Cookie Helper

Use a piece of floss to help separate cookies from the tray after baking. Just slide the floss underneath the cookies, and it will free them without causing any smushing or crumbling. (Use unwaxed, unflavored floss to prevent wax and flavor transfer to your cookies.)

Uses for Floss - cutting dough

4. Cutting Or Slicing

Use a piece of floss like a knife to cut fruits, cheeses, hard-boiled eggs, cakes, and more! You can even use floss to remove skin from fish. I always use floss when slicing cinnamon rolls before baking. It’s the best way to do it without smashing them! (Unwaxed, unflavored floss is a good choice here too.)

Related: How To Make Perfect Cinnamon Rolls

Uses for Floss - using waxed floss wrapped around a twig for a fire starter

5. Start A Fire

You can use waxed floss to get a jumpstart on your next campfire! Just wrap a bit of waxed floss around some of your kindling, place it in your fire pit, and light. You’ll have a roaring fire in no time!

Related: 10 Easy Foods You Need To Cook Over A Campfire This Summer

Uses for Floss - using floss to tie up a chicken breast

6. Kitchen Twine

Certain recipes call for food to be wrapped with kitchen twine before cooking. If you don’t happen to have any twine on hand, you can use floss instead! Unwaxed, unflavored floss will work best, and you’ll get the same results as using twine. (And rest assured, it won’t burn or melt during cooking!)

Uses for Floss - tying to a dripping faucet to quiet the drip

7. Drip Silencer

Have a dripping faucet that’s driving you up the wall? You can use floss to silence the drip until you have a chance to get it repaired. Simply tie one end of a piece of floss around the end of the faucet, then guide the other end into the drain. As the water drips, it will cling to the floss and slide noiselessly into the drain. (How clever is that?)

Uses for Floss - using floss to tie a plant up to a stake

8. Plant Support

Use floss to help provide support to climbing plants! Just use a short piece of floss to tie the plant gently to some kind of sturdy support, like a dowel or piece of rebar. Make sure to tie the floss loosely to allow room for movement and growth!

Related: The Best Houseplants For Cleaner Air (And How To Grow Them)

Uses for Floss - sewing a button on with floss

9. Sewing Thread

Use a piece of floss as thread to fix a button, patch a hole, or for any other on-the-fly sewing job. Floss is much more durable than regular thread, so it’s perfect for reinforcing buttons that are susceptible to falling off. It’s also great for repairing torn screens, mesh, and more!

10. Fix Frizzy Hair

Frizzy hair driving you nuts? Try this hair floss hack: take a long piece of waxed dental floss and slide it down your hair from the roots to the ends. The floss will transfer just enough wax to your hair to keep it in place and frizz-free!

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What other uses for dental floss would you add to this list? 

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Having lived my whole life in Maine naturally I’m an “outdoorsy” person. I like to pack waxed, unflavored dental floss in my survival kit. Dentel floss has a wide variety of uses, besides the cutting, sewing and fire starting you mentioned, it can also be used for building traps and snares, fishing line, lashings, bindings, and in extreme situations even suturing wounds. Dental floss usually comes in a handy plastic case that will keep it clean, and it has a built-in cutting device.

  • I used dental floss to hang two pictures in my hallway on a louvered door. I put the floss through the hanging piece that was on the back of the frame, threaded it through the a couple of the louvers and tied it in a knot back under the hanger on the back of the frame. The door was the entrance to a small pantry and where the furnace was stored so it was opened and closed several times a day and those pictures stayed straight and sound for the entire 16 years I lived in that house. It worked really well.

  • When my daughter started pointe, we learned that you have to sew the ribbons and elastic onto pointe shoes by hand. Needless to say, it’s a little difficult to sew through a pointe shoe, but I founded that waxed dental floss worked beautifully for this because the wax made it easier to glide through the fabric of the shoe, and was also very strong. You certainly don’t want the ribbons or elastic to break while dancing.

  • Please warn your readers NOT to put the floss-strung popcorn or cranberries out for the birds when the season is over! Push the tidbits off of the floss, and immediately put the floss into the trash.
    Many well-intentioned people just hang the strings outside. Birds become entangled, strangled, and get the floss wrapped around their necks, wings and legs.
    I’ve saved a few birds, but sadly have seen others die.

  • When I was a teenage, years ago, I had a denim skirt with metal buttons. The buttons kept falling off. The metal seemed to be cutting the thread. Once I sewed them on with dental floss, they never fell of again and I never had to do a touch up sew again. So great if you need a heavy duty sewing solution. You can even touch up the white with a felt pen to match

  • I use waxed unflavored floss to slice a cheesecake. I have never found anything else as successful because you can just toss the ‘slicer’ afterwards.

  • Tried it with plants? That would be an asterisk for me, as it’s a little too “sharp”, even when tied loosely and gently. Old stockings are much kinder to plants.

  • Although a water flosser can compliment your dental hygiene regime, there is no substitute for string floss. It should not be “gathering dust” in your drawer … you should be using it every night!

  • I thought I was the only one who used it for kitchen twine! I used it one day with fingers crossed & now that’s all I use. Who knows where the twine is in the grocery store anyways? i love the one about using it for thread. I’m definitely using it next time I need to sew a button on my husband’s shorts! Regular thread never holds, no matter how much thread I use!

  • I use dental floss to cut my cakes (made in two 8″ pans) into four sections after they have cooled.It is so much easier than a knife and you get the layers more uniform in size.I frost every layer so it makes a large cake.

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