TODAY   |  November 01, 2013

Everyday products are more efficient than you think

Ever wonder how to keep your straw from rising out of your carbonated drink? Alanna Okun of, corrects common misconceptions on how to use everyday products and demonstrates nifty little tricks you might not even know exist.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back on this try day friday. have you ever wondered why pots have a hole in their handle or why juice boxes have such thick tabs on their side?

>> you may be surprised to learn how many everyday products you're using incorrectly.

>> hi, sweetie, nice to meet you.

>> we're very excited.

>> we have no idea what you're talking about, so what are you talking about?

>> everyday objects have all kinds of uses that will make them easier or just sort of more fun. we're going to start here with tin foil , sarin wrap, anything that comies on a roll. you take one sheet of something and it will fall everywhere. but it turns out there there's a little hidden tab on either side that you just poke in. it is the easiest thing in the world.

>> do you see that?

>> that controls it. it can't go anywhere.

>> exactly, exactly.

>> all these years.

>> you can just pull it out.

>> it's not going anywhere.

>> this is an important one. you give your kids apple sauce in their lunch box . you forgot a spoon. what should they do?

>> you can use the little foil on the top to make your own spoon.

>> stop it.

>> uh-huh.

>> look, look, look.

>> how adorable.

>> so what do you do?

>> you want to have the little nubby part forward. then you just twist it. twist, twist, twist.

>> that's the strong part right there.

>> you have a little spoon. it also works if you happen to like apple sauce and on a bus ride, it's perfect.

>> the chinese food containers.

>> this is my personal favorite. if you want to add a little touch of flat ware. turns out that all you need to do is sun hook this little part on the side here. and it will unfold into --

>> a plate.

>> a plate, right here.

>> you know what, i like it. great.

>> and it's going to fold back up again at the end.

>> not for you right now it's not.

>> i know, i know, this is terrible.

>> okay, now here's something. whenever i have tick tacks, you say to someone, would you like one, and like seven comes out.

>> or zero. all you have to do is tip it and it's going to fall into that little hole right there. but you got to do it gently. there's a nice little tap.

>> look how --

>> but they have that there for you. we didn't know that's what it's there for.

>> the exact size and shape of a tic tac .

>> when you see these pots -- i thought this was here to hang them up if you needed to hang them up. what's it for?

>> it actually turns out, it's to hold your spoon. when you're making a sauce, you don't want to leave the spoon in the pot, your don't want to put it on your counter because it was all messy.

>> was that the original use for that?

>> sadly, i do not know the answers.

>> juice boxes. the two flaps on the side.

>> this is brilliant. this is to keep the juice from squirting everywhere. you can drink it just like that.

>> all right, here we have the straw and can combo. if you just put a straw in here, the carbonation is going to keep it from staying in place. all you have to do is turn it around.

>> brilliant.

>> oh, my gosh.

>> you will never mess up your lipstick again.

>> the last couple.

>> this one is to keep extension cords from getting all tangled and gettingen done. super easy. all you have to do is tie a nice little knot. then voila, right there.

>> yeah, so, it doesn't tangle.

>> when you step on it, it's not going to come undone. when you're vacuuming. this is for storing organic peanut butter . you know how the oil always rises to the top. it's yucky. you don't want a sand like that. if you store it upside down, it's going to be absolutely beautiful.

>> you're a genius. you are