A still shot from Food & Wine’s YouTube video: “How to Cut Cake Layers with Dental Floss”
A still shot from Food & Wine’s YouTube video: “How to Cut Cake Layers with Dental Floss”

The Internet is rife with examples of people who use dental floss daily—just not on their teeth.

From YouTube to Pinterest to Facebook, to just about every do-it-yourself expert with a website, dental floss is showcased as the “swiss army knife” of chefs, travelers, campers, hobbyists, and a whole lot more.

Almost every life hack that relies on floss recommends either unwaxed or waxed varieties but suggests avoiding scented versions.

Incisor can’t vouch for the effectiveness of floss for anything other than oral health. Moreover, some of the uses listed below may actually be unsafe, such as using floss to stitch a wound.

With that disclaimer, these are some of the more interesting uses we spotted. Each of them should be credited to other authors, for better or worse.

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cutting cheese


  • Perfectly slice soft (or hard) cheese
  • Cut decorated cakes (floral) without damaging the toppings
  • Lift hot cookies off the baking sheet without them crumbling
  • Slice watermelon evenly and easily
  • Cut a layer cake straight through the middle, perfectly, every time (See this video)



  • Use as a thread to sew tears in your clothing
  • Use as a shoelace when one isn’t available
  • Need to dry one or more clothing items? Create an indoor clothesline
  • To secure a suitcase where two zippers meet in the middle, tie the zippers together with floss



  • Firestarter. Waxed floss burns easily. Also, use it to bundle kindling
  • Use floss to string together aluminum cans across the perimeter of a campsite to create an intruder alarm
  • Use as a fishing line (unscented only)
  • Replace a missing eyeglass screw with floss. Also good to hang glasses around your neck
  • In an emergency, use floss to stitch a wound


A still shot from a YouTube video posted by “WhyKnot”
A still shot from a YouTube video posted by “WhyKnot”


  • Having a hard time reaching behind your back to zip a dress or blouse fully? Tie a long piece of floss to the zipper head and simply "reel in" the floss over your shoulder
  • Need to remove a ring from your swollen finger? Poke the floss under the ring, then loop the floss multiple times around your finger and pull up (See this video)
  • Separate photos or photo-album pages that are stuck together (Slip floss between the photos and gently see-saw the floss until they separate)
  • Use as a hair tie
  • Make wire or plastic hangers “sticky” by wrapping them in floss. It will keep strapless blouses and silky clothing from slipping off
  • Attach to hooks behind a picture frame to hang the frame on a wall hook
  • Unlock a door chain from the outside (See this video)
  • Hang Christmas tree elements using thin floss instead of a more visible string
  • Thread popcorn, cranberries, and other items to create a garland
  • Tie top-heavy plants, such as tomatoes, to a wood stake to keep them upright
  • Wrap floss multiple times around the wrists of a perpetrator in lieu of handcuffs
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