March 15, 2023 | Molly Seif

People Share The Hidden Features Common Everyday Products Have That Most People Don't Know About

Several things we use on a daily basis are filled with all sorts of hidden features. And it isn't just technology and cell phones that are jam-packed with them—even some everyday objects have their own secret elements. Some of them are relevant and useful, while others might make you ask why the manufacturers even bothered including them in the first place.

Why do all of these products have hidden features, and why aren't they being fully disclosed? The truth is, many hidden features were probably not intended to be hidden at all; it's just that consumers never noticed that they were there. Remember that instruction manual you never got around to reading? That's where most of the secrets lie.

For those of us who just don't have time for that, these insiders are here to fill us in on some of the coolest, craziest, and handiest hidden features that we probably never knew about:


Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 A Truck That's Ready For Anything

I'm not sure about the newer models, but Honda CRVs built between 2000 and 2006 have fold-up picnic tables built into the floor panels of their trunks.


#2 Finally Something Good Is Hidden In A Credit Card

Credit cards come with a whole package of benefits most people don’t know about. There's rental car insurance, refund protection (they pay you if a store refuses refund), extended warranty (the card covers your stuff after the manufacturer warranty runs out), and theft protection (card covers your stuff if it’s stolen).

You just have to check out the full info for your card to see what you get.



#3 Water Pressure Is Serious Business

On most shower heads, if you unscrew the head, there should be a small metal filter in the back. Clearing this occasionally, especially if you live somewhere with a lot of sediment in your water, will do wonders for your shower pressure.

The same goes for the cold water pipe leading to your washing machine. Remove this and clean it if your washer starts filling slowly. Be sure to turn off the water at the valve first, unless you want to make a mess behind the machine. Oh, and have towels handy because the pipe will drip when you unscrew it.

Also, some advice from my college days: in addition to a filter, there's usually also a plastic or rubber flow restrictor on public showers that's easy to remove. I'm all for saving water, but sometimes it's nice to have a shower with some serious water pressure. Just don't get caught, or you can get fined for "tampering" with school property.


#4 It's All About The Layers

Most whiteboard erasers have layers. When the bottom is matted and useless, just peel a layer off and it becomes brand new.


32-1537546018287.jpgOffice Supply


#5 The Secret Life Saver

When I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, I brought an expensive backpack. The clip that connected the shoulder straps was orange and there was an emergency whistle on the buckle.

I thought those features were exclusive to my high-end pack, but on the island that I'm currently visiting, I've seen dozens of people walk by with all sorts of backpacks having the same clips and buckles. I always tell them about the whistle and most people are totally shocked when I point it out.


31-1537546286932.jpgBest Trail Backpacks

#6 These Keys Unlock More Than You Know

Double turning the key on the door for your car will unlock all of the doors. For many cars, holding it in the open position will also open the windows.


30-1537546532080.jpgState Farm

#7 You Can Still Teach An Old Nintendo New Tricks

When playing Nintendo's Duck Hunt, the second controller that is plugged in always controls the duck.


29-1537547145611.jpgHunt Fowl

#8 Emergency Exit

Onesies for babies have a weird neck construction so that you can pull it down over the baby in case of a diaper blowout.

I didn’t know this until all of my kids were out of baby clothes.


28-1537547317094.jpgMy House of Millers

#9 No Need For Scissors

Most caulk guns have a little hole on the handle. Turns out that behind that hole is a small blade that let's you use an unloaded caulking gun to cut off the tip of a new tube of caulk.

I somehow spent 2 years remodeling my entire house before making this realization.




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#10 More Things Should Have A Mute Mode

Most microwaves have a mute function.

Pretty nice if you're a night owl or an early riser and you don't want to wake anyone up.


26-1537547830786.jpgHeart and Stroke


#11 Honey I Unshrunk Your Sweatshirt

Conditioner (like the stuff you use on your hair) can be used to unshrink clothes. Put some cold water in a tub, mix it with a bunch of conditioners and let it sit for like, an hour or two. The conditioner will relax the fibers in the garment, and as an added bonus, it'll smell really nice.


#12 Knocking Down The Language Barrier

Google Translate has an option to download a language on your phone so you can use it offline. This saved me in Japan.


24-1537548295803.jpgTravel Wire Asia

#13 How To Feng Shui Your Kitchen

Most clothing dryers and refrigerators have reversible doors. We moved into a terribly configured house and it took me a while to notice that I could reverse the hinge side and latch side.


23-1537548493225.jpgWell and Good

#14 Pumping Gas For Dummies

Most modern cars have a small arrow on one side of the gas pump icon to show which side of the car the filler tube is on. Helpful when you have a rental and aren't sure.

#15 Little Did You Know, There Is A Wrong Way To Make Ice

The tops of your ice cube trays are shaped that way for a reason. You should be filling it until there's a solid layer of water across the top of the cube holes. The resulting ice sheet will crack easily when twisted and leave each cube protruding, with little flanges on the corners that make them easy to remove.


21-1537549121587.jpgEnza Beautiful

#16 Your Check Engine Light Better Recognize

You know that little port on pretty much every car ever, usually under the steering wheel somewhere? That port is legally required for any car sold in the US. It's the OBD port.

Wondering why your check engine light is on? Plug a $15 Bluetooth adapter in there and you can see the engine codes it's giving you. A lot of those things you can fix yourself with YouTube tutorials.



#17 No More Need For Pointing Fingers

The surface on your kitchen stove has two hinges at the back corners that let it open like the hood of a car. Lift that puppy up to clean out all the nastiness that your old roommate left behind.



#18 YouTube Lessons You Never Knew You Needed

You can listen to YouTube while your phone is locked by double clicking the power button while you have the YouTube app open.



#19 Cut The Mustard Correctly

This one is for French’s yellow mustard squeeze bottles. After you open the flip cap and push it fully open, it snaps into place. This simple mechanism holds the cap out of the way so that, when you're squeezing the mustard on your food, you won't get mustard all over it. I just discovered this about a month ago... Mind blown.


17-1537550693244.jpgManitoba Cooperator

#20 Crosswalk And Chill

Most pedestrian traffic lights that require the press of a button to turn green have a button on the underside as well. It's for disabled people and it causes the light to stay green longer.

Press that one instead.


16-1537550884267.jpgNY Times

#21 Potato Peeling For Pros

Most potato peelers have a little L-shaped hook on the opposite side to dig out potato "eyes" and bad spots.

15-1537551130241.jpgTaste Essence

 #22 Everyday Braille

The little ridges under the F and J keys on your keyboard. Not all keyboards have them, but most have thin, embossed lines that are supposed to tell you where your fingers should be positioned. So, even when your eyes are shut, you don't have to guess where the other letters should be.



#23 No More Mr. Clean

All you really need to clean almost anything is dish soap, white vinegar, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and microfiber rags (preferably high-quality ones).

A mixture of vinegar and dish soap will remove a huge variety of stains. Combining alcohol and a couple drops of dish soap is perfect for glass, granite, stainless steel and general disinfecting. Hydrogen peroxide combined with baking soda works as a whitening paste and, if you leave it to soak for a bit, it removes the toughest baked on stuff from pots, pans, stove tops, etc.

Vinegar smells awful so people miss out on the fact that not only does the smell fade once it's dry, but it also works to cancel out the stink of whatever stench problem you are trying to get rid of. Don’t use it on things like granite and marble; stick to the alcohol for those. Dish soap works so well because of the way it easily cuts through grease. Don’t mix vinegar and baking soda—they cancel each other out, and you'll basically end up with a bucket of water.


13-1537551602679.jpgThe Spruce

#24 Hope You're Not Color Blind

In the US, the lines on the edges of the highway are actually painted different colors on purpose. The left edge is yellow and the right is white. I never knew what the purpose of this was until I found myself driving in the middle of the night while it was pouring rain. The visibility was so bad that I literally couldn't see more than 20 feet in front of me. Being able to follow a single color line was mind-blowingly useful when the road started curving a lot. I would have had to pull over had I not noticed.



#25 Look At The Legs On That Washer

Found this out the hard way: washing machines can self-level. All you have to do is lift the back of the machine off the ground and it will drop the legs, locking them into place once it's level. I messed around trying to level the machine for hours. Eventually, I gave up and put two enormous bags of salt in front of it to stop it from wobbling. Now I have to clean the blue scuffs from the bags of salt.



#26 Technology Over Tutors

A decent number of my classmates that don't realize Microsoft Word has a built-in feature for references and a bibliography. If you use Word, it's really helpful to keep track with that, as it automatically formats everything. I used it for my individual papers and it was a very useful feature.


#27 Subtle Signs

Highway exit signs will display the number of the exit on the same side of the highway. If the exit number is on the right side of the sign, the exit will be on the right. If the number is on the left, the exit will be on the left. This was life-changing for an idiot like me.

9-1537552770381.JPGCross Country Roads

#28 Guess Who?

Most people with an iPhone know about the AirDrop feature, which lets you send stuff offline to your friends. What I learned recently is that you can switch your AirDrop feature from "Contacts Only" to "Accept From Everyone."

It’s like being part of a club. There are some people out there who just AirDrop random memes and stuff to strangers. It’s interesting to try and figure out who it is when you’re on public transport.



#29 A Carefully Measured Device

Tape measures have a couple of tricks. They usually state the size of the actual tape housing so you can add that to the total measurement if the device is pushed up against something. Also, the little hook has a hole in it for grabbing onto nails. This should account for the head of the nail and allow you to measure from its center.

8-1537553089347.jpgHome Planet Gear

#30 Wkj60vc1j7 No More

iPhones have a feature that allows you to share Wi-Fi passwords with other iPhone users who are also at the password screen at the same time. The person who is already connected will get a prompt asking to share the password and if you select yes, it will beam the password over to the other person. This is pretty useful if you don't want to share the actual password or if you have a few guests over at a party.


7-1537553374031.jpgLori Ballen

#31 Pro-Tip For Travelers

On an iPhone, if you text an airline code and flight number to yourself (or anyone else), it will show up with an underline. If you click it, you can pull up flight data. For example, texting AA1902 will show you what gate the flight leaves from, if it’s on time, etc. Easier than using an app or having to Google the flight.

6-1537553788549.jpgTravel and Leisure

#32 Before You Throw Your Laptop Out A Window, Try This

Have you ever had a Windows program freeze itself to the front of your screen?

Windows 10 has a button called "Task View" at the bottom next to Siri search. If you click it, then at the very top left corner you will see "New Desktop." This is helpful when you have a program freeze. Sometimes, "CTRL+ALT+DELETE" doesn't work because the frozen window layers are over the top of the task manager, but you are still able to see the taskbar at the bottom.

So, if a program freezes, press the Windows key on the keyboard, click "Task View," then "New Desktop," then press CTRL+ALT+DELETE while in the new desktop view to allow you to close the program.


5-1537554071177.jpgDigital Design Solutions

#33 Battery Life Blues Solved

iPhone has a macro key that you can use as a DIY dark mode. It’s a bit janky, but it still works.

Go to "Settings," then "General," then "Accessibility" and scroll all the way down to "Accessibility Shortcut." Set it to "Classic Invert Colors" and triple-click the home button to invert the colors of the screen. This is basically a DIY dark mode.

Human eyesight is weird. We need exponentially more light to see brighter things. Instead of it going from one photon to two photons to three photons, it goes from one to two to four, and so on. That obviously requires exponentially more energy as things get brighter.

To save energy, just triple-click the home button with the color inversion macro when the screen is bright. Figuring out when you should invert is more of a judgment call than anything.


#34 The Real Guitar Hero

Most guitar string winders (like the cheap Jim Dunlop ones that come in all different colors) have a small notch in the side of the “cup” that holds the tuning peg on your guitar.

This is for gripping and pulling out the pins that hold the ball ends in place, below the bridge of an acoustic guitar. The pins tend to get stuck in pretty tight, and they can be really tough to remove without any tools.

I just found out about this feature four weeks ago. I have been playing the guitar and using string winders for at least 25 years. Maybe other players already know about this, but I was blown away.


4-1537555218723.jpgSilent Winds Of Change

#35 Swiss Army Knife Gone Wild

Newer Swiss Army Knives, in addition to the legendary toothpick and tweezers, have a slot behind the corkscrew to stash a straight pin.

If your knife has a pen in the handle scales, you can open the hook on the back of the knife, insert the pen, and close the hook over the pen. It helps if you have to do more than just sign a receipt. The hook is also great for pulling zippers on stubborn luggage and Jeep soft tops.

Aside from the hook, the notch under the bottle opener is ideal for bending coat hangers into useful shapes if you don't have a pair of pliers available.


#36 A Hidden Sewage System That May Save Your Digital Life

Some modern laptops have drainage channels, so if you spill something over the keyboard it should flow out at the bottom without damaging any of the electronics inside. However, they are not very effective because if you spill something, people usually react by lifting and tilting the laptop to try to prevent more liquid flowing through. In doing so, they enable the liquid to spill over the channels and onto the electronic components.


#37 No More Burnt Meals

The knobs on your oven have calibration screws on the back. You can adjust them to get more accurate temperature control and avoid overcooking your dinner.



#38 An Accidental Shortcut

Sticky keys. My manager broke his arm and one day I caught him trying to type with his chin on the shift key. Let him know that's exactly what that annoying pop up was for

Almost all computers have a function called sticky keys which mean function keys (shift, control, etc.) toggle if it's turned on so you can use a keyboard one handed. It’s usually activated by spamming shift 5 times. Most people know this as the annoying pop up that happens if you crouch too often in PC games.



#39 No More Excuses

The standard iPhone has a level built into it. Go to the Compass app and swipe. Boom, now go fix that crooked painting in the dining room.



#40 You Don't Have To Go Back For Refills

Those little white cups for ketchup at fast food restaurants are pleated. If you pull on them at the edge, the cup gets bigger to hold more.



Sources: 1, 2

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