Dental floss, also commonly known as string floss, is quickly being replaced by alternative methods when it comes to cleaning the spaces between your teeth and around the gum line. If you’ve found yourself with some leftover floss after making the switch yourself, don’t just trash it! As you’re about to see, the uses of dental floss can be quite numerous!
You may already be familiar with this, but string floss is often just waxed nylon string. That makes it possible to find uses in several different areas, some quite unexpected!
1. Fishing Line
While Dacron, Spectra, and Dyneema are all available and seeing more and more use as fishing line, Nylon remains the most popular material. Given that dental floss is just Nylon at the end of the day, it is possible to use it for fishing!
Don’t believe us? Watch this and see for yourself:
While it obviously isn’t advisable to use it over purpose made fishing line, it does in fact work and catch fish.
2. Used for Cordage/Rope
There’s two methods to use dental floss for rope, first to whip the ends of natural fiber rope and second braided together as a crude nylon rope.
Whipping the ends of natural fiber rope will prevent the fibers from fraying and unraveling. This not only protects your rope from falling apart at the ends, it also makes it easier to handle your rope as you can easily feed the end of the rope through loops without worrying about frays getting caught.
This same technique applies to shoe laces as well, where you can use string floss to create new aglets on your shoe laces.
Because dental floss varies in construction and thickness, so too does it’s tensile strength. A single strand of dental floss may have a tensile strength between 3.5lbs to 25lbs. We don’t have the expertise needed to say how much each braid will add to the strength of the floss, but sufficient quantities can support a 155lb man.
At this point, we could add any number of items to this list based on how useful rope is, but we’ll stick to other uses.
3. Thread for Sewing
Given the strength of dental floss, it’s use as thread for sewing is also a logical option, although not one without complications. For one, waxed floss can’t be tied into a knot so you’ll be sealing it with flame by melting the waxed floss and pressing it against the fabric. This will leave a dark brown or black spot on the fabric, and thus may not be suitable for applications where appearance is a concern.
On top of that, the sealed ends could feel scratchy if they’re pressed against the skin, so that will be something to keep in mind as well.
Finally, floss tends to have a more pronounced look due to the wider flatter nature vs thread, and thus will make stitches more apparent, especially in conjunction with dark fabric. This could be a pro if you want contrasting stitching but may not be ideal if you’d like the stitches to completely disappear.
4. Sealing Plumbing Threads
While teflon tape is the best option for sealing threads in plumbing applications, dental floss can be used in a pinch and will hold up well enough to last!
Half a dozen wraps should do the trick, but you may need to experiment with the number of wraps for your particular fixture as no two fixtures fit the same. Wrap the floss around in the opposite direction of how the pipe will turn into the fitting to minimize chances of unwrapping or balling up your dental floss.
5. Cutting Soft Foods
Dental floss can also be used to cut through soft food like cake, cheese and even bread dough. Some people prefer this as it lets them cut these objects without dirtying any knives. Additionally, the string floss can be used to get a more even cut than a knife as you’ll find it easier to keep the cut straight.
6. Picture Hanger
Some people will hang photos on the walls with wire, but this method can damage the paint on your wall if the picture frame gets bumped. Unlike hard wire, string floss is plenty strong, while still being soft enough to not scrape at your paint. For this it’s best to use unwaxed floss so no residue is left on your wall.
7. Separating old photos from photo albums (or Cookies from Trays)
If you have any old photo albums, chances are, your photos have gotten stuck to the pages overtime. Attempting to peel them up runs the risk of damaging your photos, but if you use dental floss you can get them off with minimal risk of damage.
Simply slide your string floss between the photo and the photo album page and it’ll cleany and safely separate the two. This trick can also be used for baked goods like cookies, which can be separated from their cooking trays without worrying about breaking them apart.
8. Cooking Twine Replacement
If you’ve run out of cooking twine, you may find yourself in a predicament, some solutions, such as wrapping up aluminum foil are shoddy at best. But dental floss offers a great alternative as it won’t easily break apart and is easy to tie!
9. Cleaning small spaces (like your keyboard)
While string floss is surpassed by water in terms of cleaning the small spaces between your teeth and gums, it can still be useful for cleaning. In particular, small spaces in and around electronics are a great candidate for being cleaned by floss as water could ruin them.