20 uses for cable ties

20 uses for cable ties

A round-up of some great uses for the cable tie around the home.

Apart from the obvious, cable ties have a multitude of uses around the home with many of us here in the office believing you should never leave home without a supply of these wondrous things either in the car or in your bag! Here are some useful and practical uses for the cable tie that you’ll wish you had thought of sooner!

1 Luggage lock

If you have a holdall or suitcase that fastens with two zips, a cable tie can be used to secure the two pull tabs on the sliders together. This is a great way for you to see whether your luggage has been tampered with and therefore whether you need to check for missing items. There’s nothing to stop the determined thief from cutting the tie, but it could act as a deterrent to would be thieves who are less likely to tamper with a bag that is fastened like this.

2 Emergency zip repair

Staying with the zip theme, have you ever gone to fasten a zip up, perhaps on a coat or pair of jeans and the pull tab has come away in your hand? Simply use a small cable through the slider that you can use as a pull tie and you will be able to continue on your way.

(Image credit – Bob Vila)

3 Childproof your home

If your days of having to keep little fingers out of cupboards are long gone but you are expecting small visitors, cable ties offer the perfect temporary solution. Simply secure a cable tie through two adjacent handles or tie around two adjacent door knobs for a quick fix that can easily be removed once your visitors have gone home.

(Image Credit – Erin Huffstetler)

4 Bubble wands

While occupying your young visitors you may want to introduce bubble mixture for some fun. Bottles of bubble mixture come with only one wand, while homemade mixture doesn’t have any. Simply make a loop at the end of a long cable tie, small enough to fit into the bottle, and there you have a makeshift bubble wand.

(Image credit – One Good Thing by Jillee)

5 Shower curtain rings

If you have a shower curtain that hangs by rings from a pole, you will know how grimy the rings quickly become. Replace them with cable ties for a solution that will cost just pence to replace as often as needed. Simply lay your curtain and pole down and loop a cable tie through the ring hole and around the pole before fastening.

6 Seal bags

The perfect way to seal bags to keep food fresh for longer, a cable tie can simply be used to tie the bag up. Perfect for foods that could dry out such as baking ingredients that may not be used on a regular basis.

(Image credit - International plastics)

7 Unclog your sink

Take a long cable tie and cut diagonal notches along both sides of the tie with a sharp knife. Insert the cable tie down a plug hole, move it around before slowly removing it – any debris will have been loosened and the cable tie will have caught any loose hair stuck down the plug hole. An easy solution to a perennial problem that doesn’t involve the use of chemicals.

8 Key ring

A small cable tie can be used as a key ring for spare sets that need to be given out, perhaps to a pet sitter or cleaner. Simply thread a cable tie through the keys you need to give out and the recipient will be able to find them easily without having to add them to their own personal keys.

9 Add traction to your shoes

A cable tie secured around your footwear, with the clasp facing towards the ground, will give you added traction when negotiating icy surfaces and can be removed quickly and easily once you reach your destination.

10 Release your inner hippy

If you have ever tie dyed a tee-shirt, you will understand the pain of wrapping endless amounts of string or elastic bands around the garment before dipping it in the dye!  Using a cable tie removes the need for all that wrapping as they can be tightened as much as needed with the minimum effort.

11 Mark a trail

A few cable ties in your pocket as you set out on a camp hike will help you to mark the path you follow and may help you to find your way back to base at the end of the day. Use brightly coloured ties that will stand out against foliage and remove once they are no longer needed. Using cable ties in this situation serves as a visual aid only, so tie them loosely to avoid damaging any plant life.

(Image credit - mikeasaurus)

12 Repair a wire fence

Ideal for a temporary repair only, cable ties can be used to mend a gap or hole in a wire, mesh fence. Simply ‘darn’ the area with a network of ties. These can easily be removed when the fence is repaired properly.

(Image credit - Instructables)

13 Fit a baby gate

Parents and pet owners alike understand the need for baby gates, whether across the top and bottom of a flight of stairs or in a door way. But the damage their fixings can cause is an eye sore that can be avoided. Rather than damaging hardware with screw holes, simply attach the gate with cable ties which can be removed without leaving any lasting marks.

(Image credit – Diply)

14 Secure your hub caps

While many new makes of car now feature alloy wheel trims, older models still have plastic or metal hubcaps to cover the wheel rim. If these come off, particularly while you are travelling at high speed, the danger to other road users is enormous. Never lose a hubcap again by securing them with cable ties, taking care to make sure the ties do not catch anything on the inside of the wheel rim.

(Image credit – Zip Tie Guy)

15 Send parcels securely

Sending a box through the post? Sometimes, parcel tape just won’t cut it and if the contents of your package needs to arrive safe and sound, you need to make sure the box will not come undone in transit. Package your item as usual before securing the entire box with cable ties. Use long ties or several shorter ones joined together. The recipient simply needs to cut them off at the other end.

(Image image – Alibaba)

16 Save space when packing for a holiday

Clothes and towels take up a lot of room and if you’re travelling light, for example on a backpacking/camping trip, it can be really important to pack as much as you can into a small bag. Simply roll bulkier items as tightly as possible and tie with a cable tie – you will be able to reduce the area the items take up – just remember to take spare cable ties for the return journey!

(Image credit – Simplemost)

17 Cleaning the shower head

A great tip for cleaning your shower head thoroughly is to place a bag of vinegar over the entire shower head, let it soak and remove. Run the water through the shower and use a brush to  remove any remaining debris. Rather than tying the bag around the shower head with string or elastic bands (cumbersome and not always secure enough), just use a cable tie that can be pulled as tight as necessary.

(Image credit – Molly Maid)

18  Trimming up at Christmas

There’s something rather lovely about a staircase adorned with a festive garland at Christmas, but how to attach it so it lasts throughout the season? Reach for the trusty cable ties and simply wrap around the garland, securing it tightly in place as you go.

(Image credit – Deborah Silver)

19 Artificial Floristry

With more and more people creating their own floral arrangements, either for a special occasion like a wedding, or simply in the home, the cable tie can be really useful. A green coloured cable tie will secure flowers in a bundle or bouquet without being obvious and will keep flower heads together when displayed in a larger vase. Alternatively, use a contrasting cable tie to create an added feature to your display.

(Image credit – One Good Thing by Jillee)

20 And finally..

We can’t resist including one of our favourite uses for cable ties as featured in our previous blog, ‘Unusual uses for cable ties’. Californian artist Brian Jewett uses hosepipes and cable ties to create modern art and has shared detailed instructions here.

(Image credit – Brian Jewett)