11 Secret Design Features Hidden On Products You Use Every Day

11 Secret Design Features Hidden On Products You Use Every Day

Brace yourself... we're about to shock you! It turns out that items we use every day have some pretty nifty hidden design features.

Today we're sharing our favourites. Prepare to be amazed and have your life made that little bit easier...

1. Drinks cans come with an inbuilt straw holder

drinks can
Stop it from shooting out with the tab. 

Have you ever put a can of pop on the table, only for the straw to shoot up out at you?  It turns out that the little tab on your drink's can has a secret function.

Once you've opened your drink, pull the tab back down and pop your straw through the hole. It's there to keep your straw firmly in place - who knew?

2. Tic Tac containers have their own serving tray

How do you get your Tic Tacs out of the container? Most of us shake them with wreckless abandon until a few too many fall out into our hand... but not anymore!

Take a look at the lid and you will see a little compartment, perfectly shaped for holding a tictac. Shake the packet upside down with the lid closed, angle it back so that they don't all come flying out, and you'll have a perfectly dispensed Tic Tac. You're welcome.

3. Paper ketchup cups are expandable

This is our favourite! When you go to a fast-food restaurant, like McDonald's, you might find that they have sauce dispensers with little paper cups. If you're a fan of dipping nuggets into ketchup, you'll probably be all too familiar with the struggle of trying to ram them into the paper cup - it's just not big enough. 

Did you know that the cups are actually expandable? Gently pull the top rim apart and you'll have a bigger cup to meet all of your dipping needs. 

4. Chopsticks come with their own rest for good hygiene

chopstick rest
Don't snap down the middle - snap the end off!

Now, this isn't the case with all chopsticks, so check if yours have this nifty feature. If there is a guideline near the base of your disposable chopsticks, do as the Japanese do, and snap the end off.

Rest the chopsticks on the block when you're not holding them. This will prevent you from picking up any germs or bacteria from the table.

5. Works with Japanese toothpicks too!

Just like with chopsticks, Japanse toothpicks have a similar design. Snap the end off to create a little block to rest them on. This is a great idea for when you're snacking on olives and other nibbles.

6. American-style takeaway boxes transform into plates

We don't see them in the UK too often, but if your local takeaway serves Chinese food in American-style takeout boxes, then you'll be pleased to know they've been designed to fold out into a plate. Think of how much time you'll save on the washing up!

7. The lid of a takeaway drinks cup doubles as a coaster

Isn't it annoying when your ice-cold drink starts to drip with water? Take the lid off and use it as a coaster to prevent annoying wet drips on the table. Genius!

8. Hair grips have ridges to keep your hair in place

hair grips
Have you been putting them in the wrong way round?

Now here's a great hair hack! Most women have at least a few hair grips lying around. According to beauty bloggers, one of the most used hair accessories is being used incorrectly...

Most of us use them with the wavy side up, but we're actually supposed to use them with the wavy side down. This means the end of the grip can scoop the hair into the grip and the waves keep hair in place. The straight side then helps compress the hair into the waves!

9. Flip the lid of a pill bottle to make it easy to open

Child-proof lids are brilliant when you have kiddies in the house, but if you have no need to keep pills under tight lock then simply flip them over on a traditional pill bottle.

They are designed to be able to to be used either side, and they'll be far easier to open without the child-proof locking.

10. Double yoghurt pots are designed to fold 

We hope most of you will know this one but, just in case...

Do you dip into double pots of yoghurt one at a time? Give it a fold and tip the smaller section into the large one - it was designed for easy pouring!

11. Crisp bags can be made into a bowl

bag bowl
It works best with tortilla chips.

Save time on washing up! Did you know you can turn your tortilla or crisp bag into a disposable bowl? Crafty Lumberjacks will show you how.

Did we miss any? Let us know your favourite hidden design feature in the comments below!

Anushka F


A keen money-saver and fan of all things natural, Anushka enjoys making her own beauty products and is partial to a bit of crafting. Never short of a clever tip or two, she's always looking for new ways to make her money go even further.

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  1. Author Debbie on July 20, 2016 at 10:53 am

    As someone who breaks can openers with amazing regularity, may I say that whoever invented the ring pull was a genius. Feeble but I have been known not to buy products because they came without a ring pull!!

    1. Author Anushka F on July 26, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Haha they are incredibly handy!

  2. Author Sheila Stoker on July 20, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    I love your tips. It took us many years the circle the plug chain comes out of is designed for the plug to sit in when not in use

    1. Author Anushka F on July 26, 2016 at 10:55 am

      Oh wow I didn't know that either...

  3. Author Vanda earl on July 20, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Your tips are great but I know you did a spray to keep flies of you and also mould on shower curtain

    1. Author Anushka F on July 26, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Thanks Vanda! An insect repellant spray?

  4. Author Lesley on July 21, 2016 at 5:27 am

    Will be trying no 10 - that's something I never knew. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Author Anushka F on July 26, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Glad you enjoyed them Lesley!

  5. Author Jackie on July 21, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    The hole in the middle of a spaghetti/pasta stirrer is to measure 1 serving of spaghetti

    1. Author Anushka F on July 26, 2016 at 10:48 am

      Really? Wow I've have never heard of that before. I will have to try that out... thanks Jackie.

    2. Author Kelly H on December 6, 2016 at 2:06 am

      I purposely bought a spaghetti spoon just for that feature when I found out as my guesstimations were appalling!

    3. Author Anushka F on March 9, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Haha! I could never tell before either...always far too much spaghetti!

  6. Author Janet Hawkes on December 6, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Very good!!


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