If you order anything by mail, you’re likely to collect an overflow of bubble wrap. The stuff does a great job keeping fragile items safe, but what do you do with all that plastic? It turns out, there are many uses for bubble wrap — and not just as a toy (who can resist the satisfying “pop” it makes?) From keeping food hot in transit to protecting your jewelry, here are 15 uses for bubble wrap that will save you time, money, and hassle!
1. Uses for bubble wrap: Add warmth to a pet bed
If you worry your pup isn’t warm enough in his bed on chilly nights, reach for some bubble wrap! Simply slip a few sheets of bubble wrap into an old pillowcase and lay it underneath your pet’s bed. The bubble wrap will create a barrier that protects him from the cold, plus it adds cushioning to keep him extra cozy while he snoozes.
2. Make car rides more comfortable
Heading out on a long road trip? “Upgrade your car seat for extended journeys by adding a double layer of bubble wrap,” says lifestyle blogger Olivia John of My Sparkling Life. ”Bubbles should be facing outward, on both the seat and the backrest. The bubble wrap provides support and makes for a more pleasant ride during lengthy travels.” (Click through for natural remedies for motion sickness.)
3. Uses for bubble wrap: Upgrade your bath
Aah, soaking in a bath is so blissful — if only you had a comfy place to rest your head. No need to shell out for a bath pillow. The alternative: Fold a few sheets of bubble wrap into a pillow shape, then tape together and place behind your head next time you run a bath. The air-filled pockets in the wrap help support your neck so you can truly sink in and relax.
4. Help food stay hot on the go
You can’t wait to bring your famous casserole to the holiday dinner, but you don’t want the dish to get cold by the time you get there. To the rescue: bubble wrap! When you pull the dish out of the oven, cover it with aluminum foil, carefully wrap it in a clean dish towel, then follow with a layer of bubble wrap. Place in a sturdy bag to transport. The packing staple acts as insulation and holds in the heat of your yummy dish. (Click through for our best Thanksgiving casserole recipes.)
5. Uses for bubble wrap: Eliminate stress
The next time tension hits and you need a release, grab some bubble wrap: It’s a proven stress buster! Indeed, a study published in the journal Psychological Reports found that people felt more energized and more calm after popping bubble wrap. The researchers credit the fact that popping the stuff takes no skill or training.
6. Uses for bubble wrap: Ward off wrist pain
Ouch! Between work and online shopping, long days on the computer leave your wrists achy and sore. What can help: Craft a wrist rest by rolling strips of bubble wrap in front of your keyboard until your wrists are at a comfortable height. Secure with tape. The cushiony material will ensure your wrists are properly positioned so you can type without pain. (Click through for more remedies for hand and wrist pain.)
7. Take the “ouch” out of shoveling
If clearing snow off the driveway leaves you with uncomfortable blisters on your hands, try this: Cover the handle of the shovel with bubble wrap and fasten with tape. The wrap provides a gentle grip and prevents the friction that causes sores.
8. Snow-proof a windshield
Skip the hassle of cleaning your car windows the morning after a snowstorm. Instead, use bubble wrap to cover the front and back windshields (taping each corner) before bed. The snow will settle on top of the wrap instead of freezing to the glass, so you can just slide the plastic sheet off.
9. Uses for bubble wrap: Restore crushed shoes
The pair of shoes you plan to wear for your cousin’s party got squashed in your closet. To restore them, cut two pieces of bubble wrap the same length and three times the width of each shoe. Roll each into a tube and wrap tape around one end until it’s narrow enough to fit in the shoe. The wrap will push sunken arches and inverted toes back to normal.
10. Winter-proof windows
A clever way to keep cool air out and warm air in? Reach for bubble wrap, says home expert Stefan Bucur of Rhythm Of The Home. “Cut a piece the same size as the window, then spray water on the side (it makes it stick) and place against the glass — all drafts will be blocked!” (Click through for tips on how to clean windows with newspaper.)
Check out the video below to see YouTuber AlaskaGranny put this trick to the test!
11. Extend the life of produce
To prevent bruises on fresh fruit and veggies, line the fridge’s crisper drawer with bubble wrap. The soft padding helps ensure thin-skinned produce like pears and apples won’t get damaged if knocked around in the drawer,
12. Ensure drinks stay cold
When you’re throwing a bash, you like to make sure your guests have cold drinks to grab throughout the party. What can help: Line a cooler with bubble wrap and fill it with ice. The wrap adds extra insulation to hold in the chill so the beverages stay the perfect temperature.
13. Avoid harsh hanger bumps
You have a beautiful new scarf to hang in your closet, but no more padded hangers. Instead, roll bubble wrap around the hanger and secure with tape. The bubble wrap creates a cushion so you can hang your scarf without the fabric getting any bumps.
14. Uses for bubble wrap: Pain-proof your knees
Household chores that force you to kneel, from cleaning the baseboards to scrubbing the bathtub leave your knees achy and sore. To avoid the ouch: Place three or four sheets of bubble wrap on the floor where you’re working. The cushioning will provide a comfortable place to kneel to keep your knees pain-free. (Note: This works great for gardening, too!)
15. Keep necklaces organized in transit
While packing for a weekend visit to your sister’s house, you worry the necklaces you’re taking with you will end up in a tangled mess. To keep them organized, place each necklace on a sheet of bubble wrap, roll tightly and tape closed. The wrap keeps the jewelry from sliding around and getting tangled, plus protects it in transit so it’s ready to wear upon arrival!
For more life hacks, keep reading!