If you’ve got something that’s zip-tied together that shouldn’t be zip-tied together—whatever it is, for whatever reason—a broken bobby pin can be an excellent release tool.
Yes, I know that in most cases (if you’re opening a package, for example) you’re going to want to use a pair of scissors to cut the zip tie off. But there are a few situations in which you might not have scissors handy—and a few situations in which you might need a tool that can be easily concealed in a hand.
That’s where the bobby pin comes in. Director and filmmaker Ava DuVernay recently shared a TikTok video from maikocosplay showing how it’s done:
A handy household tip for those who need to get zip ties off of your bread, bags of apples, Doritos and other everyday things that one might need to remove zip ties from. pic.twitter.com/gHA0h839y2
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 3, 2020
Here’s how to do it yourself:
Wear a bobby pin in your hair, or carry one in your pocket, if you aren’t into styling your hair with bobby pins.
When you find something that has been inappropriately zip-tied, remove the bobby pin from your hair and begin bending the flat end back and forth until it breaks. (This might take a while. Keep at it.)
Once you have a broken bobby pin, insert the broken, flat end into the zip tie so that it depresses the tongue gripping the tie in place. This releases the rest of the zip tie, which can then be pulled free.
If you see other people who are dealing with inconvenient zip-ties, pass the bobby pin around and/or offer to help.
If you don’t have a bobby pin handy, or don’t want to take the time to break one, a paper clip works just as well. When these methods were tested, Beth Skwarecki said that although she didn’t have a zip tie long enough to put around anything more than a couple inches in diameter, she was able to open the zip tie with her hands behind her back.
Just in case you might find yourself in a similar situation.
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