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15 Genius Uses for Orphan Plastic Lids Guaranteed to Make Your Life Easier

Discover how they can keep your paint job mess-free!

We all know the struggle: You’re cleaning out your food storage drawer and somehow have way more lids than you do containers. If you can’t find the bottoms to those tops, don’t throw them away! Surprisingly, there are many uses for plastic lids, besides being just a container cover, that can help you around the house. From moving furniture to outsmarting batter splatters, these toppers and more. Keep scrolling for all of the brilliant ways your plastic lids can save you time and money around the house.

1. Avoid a plant watering oops 

The new houseplant you picked up is a beautiful addition to your home. The only problem? The hole at the bottom of the pot keeps dripping water all over your windowsill. Dodge the mess by placing a plastic storage container lid under the pot. The lid’s ridge will catch any drips and keep water from spilling onto your windowsill. 

Related: Container Garden Ideas: These Displays Are Inexpensive, Easy to Make & Simply Stunning

2. Uses for plastic lids: Move furniture sans scratches

You want to rearrange your living room after getting a new chair but worry about the legs scraping your floors. What can help: Place a plastic lid under each leg of the furniture before moving it. The lid lets you slide it easily without harming the floor. Bonus? This works on carpet too! 

“Using a plastic lid as a slider is an excellent way to save money and your back,” says Sara McDaniel, an interior designer, home renovation expert and owner of Simply Southern Cottage. “Furniture sliders are quite popular, but plastic lids would serve the same purpose and you likely already have them in your pantry.”

3. Tangle-proof a ball of yarn 

Tangle-proof a ball of yarn 
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The last time you knitted a scarf, you ended up with rolls of tangled yarn. Next time: Cut an X in the center of a plastic storage container lid, then thread the yarn through. When you pull the yarn, the slit in the lid will help loosen up any tangles and keep new ones from forming. Or, if you have a leftover iced coffee to-go cup, just use the lid’s straw hole! Easy!

4. Uses for plastic lids: Clog-proof your bath drain

Whenever you bathe Buster, his fur gets caught in the drain and you’re worried about an eventual clog. Don’t have a drain cover? Poke a few small holes through a plastic lid and place it over the drain. Turn on the water and hold the lid until it is suctioned to the tub’s surface, then wash Spot as usual. The holes allow the water to drain while the lid catches your dog’s stray hairs.

Related: These Kitchen Staples Will Unclog a Bathtub Drain Quickly Without Harsh Chemicals

5. Easily corral earrings

If you’re tired of digging through your jewelry box to find your favorite hoop earrings, leftover plastic lids can help. Simply grab a sewing needle, poke several holes in a plastic lid, then slide the end of each earring through. You’ll be able to find the pair you need in no time! 

6. Uses for plastic lids: Paint without messy drips

Uses for plastic lids: Paint without messy drips
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“As a home renovator, paint is a big part of all of my projects and I’m always getting paint in places it shouldn’t be,” sighs McDaniel. Her secret to making any paint job neater: Cut a slit in a plastic storage container lid large enough to slip a paintbrush through. “As you paint, spills and splatters will be caught on the lid, keeping the paint contained and reducing messes.”

Related: Professional Painters Reveal the Best Ways to Clean Paint Rollers

7. Ward off any rust ring stains 

While deep-cleaning your shower or tub, you notice rust rings left from a shaving cream can. To avoid them from forming in the future, just place any plastic lid under metal cans you keep in your shower. The lid will act as a buffer between the tub and the canister, so there are no unwanted stains left behind.

8. Uses for plastic lids: Slice food in half the time

Uses for plastic lids: Slice food in half the time
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You love adding fresh grapes to your chicken salad, but cutting each one individually takes so much time and effort. “Every day we are looking for ways to save time while cooking without compromising quality, and this tip will help,” says Gabriela Pollack, owner of New York-based chocolate shop Brigadeiro Warehouse: Carefully arrange them close together in one layer on a plastic lid. Then cover with another plastic lid of the same size. Gently hold the top lid down to keep the fruit in place, then slide a knife between the lids. “Just make sure to use a sharp knife,” she warns. Remove the top lid and voilà — you’ll have perfectly sliced grapes for your salad in seconds. No hassle required! 

Related: Food Experts Share Why Sharpening Your Knives Might Make All the Difference in Your Kitchen

9. Scrape away frost in a flash

Nothing is worse than losing your scraper while your car windshield is covered in frost and you’re running late. To the rescue: a plastic lid! Use the side of the lid to scrape the frost off the window. The soft plastic won’t scratch the glass as it quickly clears away the frost, making your winter mornings a breeze. (Click through for more ways to defrost a windshield.)

10. Uses for plastic lids: Outsmart batter splatters

Using a hand mixer to whip up cupcakes saves you time and energy, but one little misstep means you’re covered in batter, and so is your counter. Shield it all by using a plastic storage container lid. Just cut two small X’s in the top of the lid, then slide the mixer’s attachments through the slits; attach them to the mixer’s body. The lid will act as a shield and keep batter from getting on your clothes and counters. 

11. Protect breakables in the dishwasher

Closeup of a woman putting plastic containers in a dishwasher, in a kitchen indoor
Doralin Tunas/Getty

You were so careful when you placed your wineglasses in the dishwasher, but somehow one broke during the cycle anyway. To keep this from happening again: Slide a plastic lid between each delicate glass in the dishwasher. The lid will stabilize the glasses so they’re less likely to shift, plus act as a barrier in case other dishes move.

12. Uses for plastic lids: Outsmart sticky honey drips

Even though you wipe your honey jar before putting it away, dribbles sometimes go unnoticed and leave your cupboard shelf sticky. Prevent this by placing a plastic lid underneath the bottle after each use. The rimmed lid will catch any drips, ensuring your cabinet stays clean.

Related: 13 Brilliant Uses for Honey to Save You Time and Money Around the House

13. Ward off accidental hammer dings

Oops! Last time you hung a photo, you missed the nail and left a dent in the wall. Next time, cut a hole that’s slightly larger than the nail in the center of a plastic lid, then slide the nail into the hole and start hammering as usual. If the hammer slips, the plastic will protect the wall. When you’re done, simply slip the lid off.

14. Uses for plastic lids: Securely close a ­garbage bag 

uses for plastic lids: Housewife throwing away garbage, taking of plastic garbage bag from the trash bin in the apartment
triocean/Getty

When you can’t find a twist tie — and there isn’t enough room at the top of the trash bag to tie a knot—enlist the help of a plastic lid. Using a knife or scissors, carefully cut a small X into the center. Twist the top of the bag, then slide it through the slit until it can’t go any further. The lid will bind the plastic together so the garbage bag will stay closed until pickup.

15. Safely scrape nonstick pans

When food particles get stubbornly stuck to your “nonstick” cookware, try using a plastic lid to scrape off the mess. Push the lip of the lid downward against the pan and repeat until all of the cooked-on food is removed. The firm plastic along the edge will get under the grunge so it easily comes off without damaging the pan’s finish.


For more brilliant life hacks, keep reading!

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18 Brilliant Uses for Clear Nail Polish That Are Guaranteed to Make Your Life Easier

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