For those of us who absolutely despise seeing random cables snaking around, across and all over our equipment, cable ties are a godsend. Cable ties like those from RS Components, not only can turn spaghetti-like cable snarls and tangle fests into neat, organized lines tucked safely out of view, they’re also quite simple—just a strip of strong plastic with a small slip latch. Moreover, they’re also pretty cheap, and you can buy them either by the pack or by the bulk.
Obviously, cable ties can have other uses other than just tying cables together. However, did you know about some of the most surprising ones? Here are some of them:
- Hubcap fastener. If your car’s hubcaps have a tendency of being knocked loose especially when the road gets particularly rocky, cable ties are hardy enough to fasten them a bit tighter to your wheels. Consider it a temporary hack until your mechanic can figure out how to affix them more tightly to your wheels.
- Suitcase lock. About to check your luggage into your flight and just discovered that you’ve misplaced a luggage lock or two? If you’ve brought some cable ties along, they make for great alternatives. Not only do they do the job well enough thanks to how tough they are, but they’re a great way to prove that your luggage may have been tampered with. Just make sure you pack a good pair of scissors so you can unpack after!
- Traction booster. If you’re walking (or hiking) through slippery roads, muck or grasslands, then looping a couple around the toe of your shoe with the latches facing down towards the ground will give you the added traction you need. Just snip off the excess before you do, since you don’t want them to work too well that they snag on something and cause you to trip. You can also do this for your bike wheel if you’re biking instead.
- Drain snake. Something clogging up the sink drain and you want to try cleaning it yourself before calling up the plumber? If you’ve got some cable ties handy, you can fashion them into a drain snake. Just connect them end to end using the latches, cut notches along their sides so they can ‘hook’ into the blockage itself and go to town on that drain! Cable ties are tough enough and stiff enough that they can easily withstand sharp pulls.
- Child-proofer. If you’ve got stuff in easy-to-reach cabinets that you don’t want the kids in your house to have access to but you don’t want to invest in costly locks, then you can secure them closed with cable ties instead.
- Wire fence fixer. If you’ve got a screen door or wire fence that for some reason has gotten a few holes punched or cut into it, you can use cable ties to help fasten a patch across the hole until you’ve got enough cash for a full replacement.
- Hose organizer. Garden hoses are beasts to manage when you’re not using them, and they can get very unwieldy very quickly. Thankfully cable ties are sturdy enough to keep them in a tight and organized loop. Just make sure to use more than just a couple, especially if you’ve got those bulky ones made out of mesh.
There you have it—seven surprising uses of cable ties that we usually rely on to keep our cables organized. Hopefully, you’ve picked up a couple or more convenient tips from this article about this amazingly simple and versatile accessory. And even if you don’t get to take advantage of any of these tips now, just keep them close at hand—you never know when they’ll come in handy, just like your cable ties.