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10 useful hidden features of popular products that many wish they knew about earlier

Sometimes folks are unaware of these hidden features of everyday products and devices that can make their lives easier.

10 useful hidden features of popular products that many wish they knew about earlier
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | MART PRODUCTIONS; Reddit | u/throwmeawayAKisCold

Hacks you wish you had known earlier.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Anete Lusina
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Anete Lusina

Do you ever buy items without realizing their full potential? Maybe you don't know how to use a certain everyday product like it is meant to be or perhaps you don't know about its hidden capabilities. Do you have any idea that you can easily open your oven door from the hinges to clean it properly? Your life might have been easier if you were aware of some shortcuts and key combinations you can apply on your smartphones. Sometimes, you wonder how much recycling you could have done if only you knew about those cardboard egg cartons that can be placed in your backyard compost bin if you have one. So, u/Independent-160 asked the community to share about some common products that have a feature not widely known by people. Here are the ten best responses by the people on the internet.

1. Warranties on consumer goods

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Roman Pohorecki
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Roman Pohorecki

Lifetime warranties on consumer goods. Like Columbia jackets and Jansport backpacks. If your zipper fails or the material separates or is no longer repelling water, file a claim online and pay for shipping to the factories. They will either repair it or ship you a comparable new version. Companies like this use your returns to identify weak points in their products while retaining lifetime customers. u/throwmeawayAKisCold. Osprey backpacks have a lifetime warranty also. My son lost his in a house fire, almost completely ruined. We called and they sent us a link and said, pick anyone off this list and they mailed it for free. It's the only brand we buy for any bags or backpacks. u/Msbossyboots

2. Reprogramming software

Representative Image Source: Pexels | cottonbro studio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | cottonbro studio

So, one that blows my mind and I use it all the time now. But you can program your phone to send texts at later times, depending on the software. You hold the send button and see if any prompts come up, it's insanely handy for calling out sick on a job or checking in with somebody when you think of them but know right now is a bad time to text, etc. u/Ghostbuster_119. Yeah, one feature I definitely missed from Android. However, I found a way to use the shortcuts app. You can set a new automation to run at the time you want to send a text and then the action is to send a message to some person. Way more obtuse and annoying to set up (also, I don't believe there's a one-time option, so you then need to disable it less when you send the same text every day), but at least there's a way to do it. u/NocturnalWaffle

3. The Notes app turns into scanner

Representative Image Source: Roberto Nickson
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Roberto Nickson

You can use the Notes app on your iPhone as a scanner. Start a note, hit the camera icon, and it will give you the option to scan a document. You can do single or batch and if you share the note or email it to yourself, it will come through as a PDF. The 'scan text' feature below that one is great too; instead of creating a PDF, it'll import printed (or some handwritten, depending on how tidy your writing is!) text into your note. You just hover over a document and it'll pop up as text. u/croque_mademoiselle

4. Rearview mirrors in vehicles

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Hadi Slash
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Hadi Slash

Rearview mirrors have a tab that lets you flip it upward, effectively reducing the glare if the car behind you has its high beams on. I've been surprised by how many people haven't been aware of this. u/ExtraHorse. It shifts the angle so that you see the reflection from the surface of the glass instead of the mirror finish that is on the other side of it. It cuts it down to about 7% of the original brightness. u/Fallacy_Spotted. And this is why everyone’s dad hated the dome light on. They would stop seeing the glass reflection and just see the ceiling in the rearview. I guess it was just easier to say you would get arrested than explain that though. u/bettytwokills

5. Payment card hacks

Representational Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representational Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

Mastercard and Visa both offer cell phone insurance on some of their credit cards if you pay your phone bill with their card. This can cover theft and damage to your cell phone. It's about time I add this to the main. Check your credit card benefits guide for details to see if it's applicable. And yes, it might be a pain in the ass, but it's still there for some cc's. u/this_is_poorly_done. We have to call phone insurance through a company with our insurance agent. It's about $5/month for 4 phones. Total replacement if you lose it, run over it or drop it in water. No deductible, either. My agent had no idea it was available. I just thought to ask. u/Geckomac

6. Pill bottle hacks

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Anna Shvets
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Anna Shvets

Many prescription pill bottles have childproof caps that can be difficult for some people to open. However, if you flip the bottle over, you'll often find that the cap also functions as a regular screw-on lid, which can be much easier to open, particularly useful for those suffering from arthritis or other conditions that limit their fine motor skills. u/deleted. Yes, I read this tip on another Reddit post at some point. I couldn’t figure out what they were talking about. My husband thought I was an idiot. But then we pulled out our medication bottles. He has had the reversible caps. Not a single one of mine did. u/JustAuggie

7. How staplers function

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Leeloo The First
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Leeloo The First

Nearly all staplers can make two kinds of staples: regular and temporary. You can spin the strike plate around by pushing it up from underneath and the resulting staples will go out instead of in, making them easier to remove. I thought this was common knowledge, but my wife of 14 years was amazed when I showed our daughter how that worked. u/iThinkergoiMac. Where I work, we pass around order sheets that keep verification information from each team. By the time the order is done; it’s been restapled a few times or missing a corner and stapled on another orientation. The claw has served me well. u/Cb1receptor

8. Locks

Image Source: Pexels | PhotoMIX Company
Representative Image Source: Pexels | PhotoMIX Company

KwikSet locks can be easily rekeyed in about 30 seconds. Buying the rekeying kit online comes with four new keys that are cheaper than duplicating a new key. u/DigNitty. Locks are more of just an inconvenience nowadays. Most of the time, at least in my area, if you get close enough to even touch the lock, you've already been on at least 3 cameras. Sure, you might get through the lock, but what about the alarm system or an angry dog that doesn't like strangers or even more cameras and sensors once you get inside? u/NimbleNavigator19

9. Free TV channels

Representational Image Source: Pexels | 100 files
Representational Image Source: Pexels | 100 files

As someone who works at a locally owned TV station, it blows people's minds when we tell them they can still get our channel for free over the air. Sure, we're on cable too, but if they buy an HD antenna from the dollar store, they can pick us up pretty easily. They're also shocked when we tell them we carry shows like The Office (COZI TV is one of our affiliates). We also have 5 sub-channels with other networks, all free over the air. u/BogFrog1682

10. Shopping cart organizer

Representative Image Source: Pexels |  Jennifer Gentner
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jennifer Gentner

Most parking lots in front of stores have this nifty railing device that can organize all of the shopping carts instead of having them left all around the parking lot. u/WallyBarryJay. I can’t leave my cart loose. Like, even in pouring rain, I gotta take it to the corral or back to the store. It’s like flushing a toilet, even if I didn’t do anything when I stand up, I flush. It’s just what you do and my brain won’t mark the task as finished until it’s done. I don't know why, lol. I do it for my grandmother too. When I take her shopping and she loads her stuff, I make her go sit in the car and rest her feet while I put away her cart. She’s not allowed that’s what granddaughters are FOR. (She also isn’t allowed to carry her own bags into our house. I’ve relaxed a little since she’s healed from her hospital stay and she can carry a few in, but if it takes two trips, I run back out and get the rest before she is done with the first load. I kind of know why I do that though, because she always buys me lunch when we go shopping and I feel like she deserves to be pampered a little. u/CenturyEggsAndRice

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