30+ Usual Things With Unusual Purposes

By: Carol Kingston | Last updated: Jul 08, 2021

Every day we use so many different things without even knowing that we have been using them the wrong way. When used the right way,  these things can help you solve different small issues that you face.

Most of these common everyday things have hidden features that you might not have noticed. Well, you should get ready because we are going to expose you to all the things you did not know about everyday items you can find around.

Arrow On Your Gas Gauge That You May Not Have Even Noticed

Most vehicles that have been manufactured since 2010 have an arrow next to the gas gauge that either points to the right or to the left. The purpose of this arrow is to indicate to the driver which side of the vehicle the gas tank is on.



For example, if the arrow is pointing to the right, that means that the gas tank is on the right side of the car. Most people do not even notice this arrow because they instinctively know the side of their car the gas tank is located. However, if you are driving a rental or new car, this arrow becomes very handy.


Holes in Airplane Windows That Scared So Many People

We all freaked out a little bit when we noticed a small hole in the airplane window for the first time. This hole has two purposes. The first purpose is compensation for air pressure.


Flickr/Chris Waits

When the airplane reaches cruising altitude, there is a significant pressure difference between the inside and outside of the aircraft. The hole in the airplane window helps regulate this difference. The other purpose of it is to prevent the window from fogging up.

Silica Gel That You Can Find in a Shoe Box

Many people mistakenly believe those little bags that are found in shoe boxes are air fresheners. However, the truth is that it’s silica gel, the purpose of which is to absorb moisture.


Time Of India

The packets of this gel also have different uses, including drying out a wet smartphone that you dropped in water or helping your clothes smell fresh. Therefore, next time when you find these bags in a shoe box, do not throw them away.

Little Discs Under the Lid of Plastic Bottles

You probably thought that these discs are useless because if you pry them out, the bottle will still close fine. However, they have a purpose. They are under the lid in order to keep everything in the bottle, including both liquid and carbonation.


Wikimedia Commons/ProjectManhattan

Therefore, without these little discs, soda in bottles would go flat very quickly.

Holes in Converse Shoes That Have Two Purposes

It may be surprising to you, but two extra holes in the side of your Converse shoes actually have two purposes. That is right – it is not just a specific Converse design. The first purpose is providing ventilation to your feet. The holes allow the air to circulate inside a shoe and do not allow feet to sweat too much.

The second purpose is to let you be creative with laces. Yes, you do not have to choose traditional lacing all the time – there are other more creative ways to lace your shoes by using these two holes.


Pom-pom Hats That Had an Unusual Function in the Past

Pom-pom hats are extremely stylish and look very cute today. They are very popular accessories and can be found in almost any wardrobe. However, in the past, they had a very specific function that you may not know about. In the 19th century, most French sailors were wearing pom-pom hats.


However, the intention was not to look adorable and stylish – pom-poms on their hats were protecting their heads from bumping into the ship ceiling.


Small Dot on the Back of Your Smartphone 

There is a small hole in the back of your phone between the flash and the camera. Many people do not know but it is actually a microphone, the purpose of which is to reduce the amount of external noise when you talk.


In addition, it helps improve the quality when you are on the phone or when you are using a virtual assistant.


Holes in Pot Handles That You May Not Use Right

Unless you are a chef, you probably do not know that holes in your pots have two purposes. First, the hole makes it easy to hang the pot up on hooks, when the pot is not used or is drying out. There is also the second function of this hole that you may not know about.


If you are cooking something and are using a stirring spoon that you need to set down, this hole in the pot handle will help you.


Little Bumps on "F" and "J" Keys on Your Keyboard

If you are a trained typist, you definitely know what are the purposes of these two bumps. If you practice 10-finger typing, you can use “F” and “J” keys as the home keys, on which your index fingers rest.


They help you find the way back to the home position without the need to look down at the keyboard. Moreover, these bumps also help blind people with typing.


Pockets That Can Be Found in Women's Underwear

Most women’s underwear has little secret pockets sewn into underwear. No, they are not used for storing pads, tampons, or anything else fancy in there.


They are called a panty gusset and have a very specific purpose. Usually, the gussets are made of moisture-wicking breathable materials in order to keep the privates properly ventilated and dry. You still can store in there whatever you want.


Holes in Ballpoint Pens Caps That Not Everyone Notices

Most of us used ballpoint pens throughout our school years. Did you ever wonder what is the purpose of a tiny hole in the cap? Believe it or not, but this hole has a very specific purpose – it is placed there by the company if someone swallows the cap.


The hole in the cap will help the air flow through the cap. This means that with the help of the cap, the person who swallowed it will be able to breathe.


Blue Part of an Eraser That is a Source of Myths

You probably noticed that there are erasers that are different colors. Many people think that two colors look more appealing to kids. There are even rumors among school children that the blue part of the eraser is able to emit ink. However, neither of these is true.


The difference between the blue and the red part is that the blue part can be used on the thicker and tougher type of paper, while the red one – on either notebook or loose-leaf paper.


Wooden Hangers That Are More Useful Than You Thought

Is your closet full of plastic or wooden hangers? Hangers can say a lot about the personality of their owner. But did you know why wooden hangers were created?


They were made to keep such creatures as moths away from a wardrobe because they can damage clothes, especially if they are made of wool. Usually, wooden hangers are made of cedar that is known for its ability to retract moths and other insects.


Little Pockets on Your Jeans With Their Secret Function

This tiny pocket is so small that it is hard to believe that you can use it for storing something. In reality, this pocket that sits inside a real pocket has a long history.


It appeared on the jeans of cowboys in the 19th century, and its primary purpose was keeping their watches safe. It has also served many other functions, such as coin pocket, ticket pocket, key pocket, match pocket, and even condom pocket.


Women's Shirt Buttons Telling About a Social Status

You may not know it but the position of the buttons on a women’s shirt and blouse is symbolic and has a special meaning. Back in the day, buttons placed on the left indicated that a woman belonged to the upper class and is probably dressed by servants.


In contrast, if the buttons are on the right, it told the world that most likely you were a farmer or commoner, and you were probably dressed by yourself.


Matching Peace of Fabric You Get With New Clothes

It is common to get an extra button with your new clothes. The reason for an extra button is pretty obvious – if a button falls off, you have got an extra one to replace it with. But what about a piece of fabric that often accompanies the button? Many people think that it is used for patching up a rip in their clothing.


However, it is too small for that. The real purpose is that you can test cleaning products on this small piece of fabric in order to make sure that a cleaning product does not ruin the material.


The Headrests of Your Car Seats With a Secret Function 

The most obvious feature of the headrests is to provide comfort to passengers and drivers while driving. However, there is another, hidden feature at work here. You probably have noticed that the headrests are detachable and have metal bars.


If you are ever trapped in a vehicle and need to get out as quickly as possible, the headrests can be used to smash out the windows. It is a rare situation, but you never know what can ever happen.


Metal Rivets in Your Jeans That Have a Purpose

It is surprising but all of those metal rivets in your jeans have a function. They do not exist for a fashion statement only. They are strategically placed on certain areas where jeans used to fall apart. Jeans have a long history.


In the past, they became really popular among the working class, such as farmers, laborers, miners, ranchers, and others. They all wore jeans, and the metal rivets on them helped to keep their jeans from ripping apart at the seems.


The Ridge Pattern on The Edge of Some Coins

One of the most common questions people ask about their coins is why quarters and dimes have ridges along the edges. The answer to this question goes back to the 18th century when quarters and half-dollars were made from gold, and other coins were made from copper and silver.


This actually was a security feature that helped prevent the casual fraud from scraping off tiny bits of gold and silver. Nickels and pennies were never made of valuable and expensive materials, so there was no need to add ridges to them.


Holes Located at the Top of Your Running Shoes

If you have ever had a pair of good running shoes, you may have noticed that there are extra holes near the tops looking like the holes for shoelaces. Many people find them awkward and unnecessary because they simply do not know their real function and have no idea how to use them.


These holes were created so that runners can lace their running shoes in many ways by getting the customized support they need while they run.


The Unique Design of the Toblerone Chocolate Bar

Toblerone was created by Theodor Tobler and Emil Baumann in Switzerland in 1908. It is well known for its distinctive triangular shape and packaging. Most people mistakenly assume that this triangular shape is a shout out to the magnificent Swiss Alps. However, the design of this chocolate bar is rather functional and practical than aesthetic.


This chocolate is not meant to be eaten all at once but savored slowly piece by piece. The pieces of Toblerone are in triangles so that if you push on the end of one piece with your thumb, it will snap off easily and give you a perfect sized serving of delicious chocolate.


Escalator Brushes That Are Not For Polishing Shoes

You may have used the escalator brushes for cleaning your shoes, but they are actually an important safety feature. One of the most common reasons for escalator accidents is people getting their bags or clothes stuck in the escalator if they are standing too close to the sides.

These nylon brushes do not let you stand too close to the sides by making you keep your feet away from the escalator’s side panels. They helped prevent thousands of accidents.


Toothpaste With the Stripes of Three Colors

Aquafresh is probably the most famous toothpaste in the world – it is sold in 127 countries in the world and is used by over 260 million people. Its white, red, and blue stripes make the toothpaste distinctive. You may think that the combination of these three colors is simply a marketing hook.


However, in fact, each color is known for its unique purposes and ingredients. White color contains substances to remove plaque and whiten teeth. Blue is known for breath-freshening and antimicrobial effects, and red contains the special elements helping keep your gums healthy.


Lines On Red Solo Cups and Their Purposes

We have all used those red plastic disposable cups, most of us probably for different drinking games, such as beer pong for example. However, you have noticed the lines on a red cup that have a very specific purpose.

They were supposed to be used as measurements for wine, beer, and liquor. That way you would know how much you should pour in a cup in order not to over-serve yourself.


Reinforcement Stickers With Their Unusual Use

You may not know about an unusual use of reinforcement stickers that we all used in school in order to keep the sheets of paper kept in three ring binders from ripping loose. You can use these labels for getting a moon or half-moon manicure that is known as French or reverse manicure.


It first appeared in the 1920s and became very popular. With the help of reinforcement stickers, it is easier to create this manicure than you think. All you need to do is to apply a hole-punched reinforcement sticker to the bottom portion of your nails.


Colored Squares At the Bottom of a Toothpaste Tube

If you look at the bottom of your toothpaste tube, you will notice a colored square – blue, red, black, or green. Many people mistakenly believe that each color reveals the ingredients of toothpaste: red – natural and chemical, green – all natural, blue – natural plus medicine, etc.


The truth is that these squares have nothing to do with toothpaste’s formulation. It is just a mark for light beam sensors made during the manufacturing process.