12 Hidden Product Hacks You're Probably Missing Out On

Hidden Product Hacks

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From Ordinary to Extraordinary

It happens to the best of us: We get a new cellphone or other gadget and don't take the time to slow down and review all of the new product’s features. The result? We might be missing out on some cool hacks and handy features that come with the product.

In a recent Reddit thread, users divulged their favorite product hacks that people might not know about — and the suggestions were eye-opening. After reading through the thread, it’s almost as if companies hide their most impressive product features on purpose. Well, no more: We're sharing our favorite hacks so that you can get the most value out of the products you've purchased.

laundry advice

1. The iPhone's Camera Translates Laundry Symbols

This was a fun one to learn. The iPhone's Photo app comes pre-installed with a feature that can handily translate laundry symbols (you'll need iOS 17 to use this function). Simply take a photo of the laundry label, open the photo, tap the "i" button, and select "Look up laundry." It'll then translate all those confusing symbols. 

Apple cameras can also identify species of birds, other animals, and plants. It even converts measurements: If you’re on a website, take a picture, and tap and hold onto the identified measurements, your phone will pull up a helpful selection of conversions. 

Barilla spaghetti

2. Barilla Pasta Has a Perfectly-Timed Spotify List

Barilla might’ve pulled the power move of the century with this one. The food company went ahead and made a Spotify listpairing a specific song with the appropriate song duration to match each of their pastas' cooking times. Now you have the chef’s secret to perfectly cooked noodles. Do with it what you will.

Febreze and Glade air freshener sprays

3. Febreze Covers Up More Than Nasty Odors

Maybe it was Febreze's marketing campaign that dropped the ball on this one, but most folks assume that the company's products exist merely to cover up bad smells. However, Febreze is actually an effective odor remover as well. You’ve just got to get your hands on an unscented version. The best part about the unscented version is that it leaves no smell behind, which is great if you’re not the biggest fan of intensely floral or earthy aromas.

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School Supplies.

4. Most Staplers Have Both Regular and Temporary Staples

Here's a fun fact: Staplers can provide both regular and temporary staples. To use a temporary staple, spin the stapler’s strike plate around by pushing it up from underneath. The staples will go out, as opposed to in, which ultimately makes them easier to remove. 

A clutch function for temporary staples is if you have to mail in your tax returns and don’t want the important documents to get damaged during the review process, so you elect to use temporary staples.

Related: 10 Cheap and Easy Hacks That Replace ‘Normally Expensive’ Items

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Inside Creative House/istockphoto

5. The iPhone’s Notes App Serves as a Scanner

Yep, you read that right. Simply start a note, tap the camera icon, and you’ll be given the option to scan the note that you have on hand. You can either scan a single document or a whole batch. If you decide to share the note or email it to yourself, it will then come through as a PDF. 

The camera also has a “scan text” feature, which imports external text (including handwriting!) into your note. Just keep your phone placed over a document, and it will scan those words into your notes field.

Related: 5 Apps That Will Actually Save You Money, According to Redditors

Nature is beautiful

6. Many Products Have Lifetime Warranties

There are plenty of folks out there that don't realize some products come with lifetime warranties. Lifetime warranties on consumer goods are, by design, in it for the long haul to help you out. 

Take a Columbia jacket or an Osprey backpack. Both of these products offer lifetime warranties, in which you might be able to have a busted zipper or ripped fabric fixed at no cost to you. Simply fill out a claim online, and make sure you handle the proper shipping to the designated factory. They’ll either take care of the repairs or go so far as to ship you a new and comparable version. 

What’s in it for the companies that do this? Well, this whole repair-friendly workflow is able to help these companies identify weak points in a particular product, course correct, and ultimately provide their consumers with new, top-tier products. Pretty brilliant. 

Related: Buyer Beware: 9 Things You Should Never Buy Without a Warranty

Worried mature businessman using the mobile phone in the street
FG Trade/istockphoto

7. Some Phones Have a Panic Button

Ever find yourself in need of an emergency call? It's likely that your phone has a "panic button." All you have to do on most new phones is plug in your emergency contact, and when the panic button on your phone is activated, your specified contact will be notified. On many Samsung phones, your contact will receive a text, call, and even a live map that identifies your location. On iPhones, the emergency button is activated when you hold the slide button and one of the volume buttons until an Emergency SOS slider appears.

Sam's Club in Citrus Heights

8. Sam’s Club Has a Scan and Go Checkout Option

We’re not sure if this works abroad, but as long as you have a Sam’s Club membership in the U.S., you can use their “Scan and Go” checkout option. The hack allows you to efficiently check out anywhere within the store by scanning and paying in the Sam's Club app. If you’re someone who despises waiting in line at the grocery store, this membership perk spares you all the cortisol and/or rage rushes. It’s high time for other stores to follow suit. 

Unrecognizable warehouse employees seal packages
SDI Productions/istockphoto

9. The Tape Dispenser Tab Helps You Find the Edge of Tape

Consider our minds blown. You know how it's notoriously difficult to find the edge of tape on shipping tape dispensers? Turns out that the attached tab can help with just that. Simply press the tab down on the tape and move it around until it makes contact with the tape's edge. Check out this video that demonstrates the product hack in action. 

Mid latin adult man smiling celebrating good news with fist raised, holding mobile phone. Indoor studio shot isolated on blue background. Copy space.
Lux Estudio/istockphoto

10. Smartphones Have a Magical Cursor Trick

Seemingly simple enough when taken at surface level, this hidden trick that’s available on smartphones might be the one trick that excites us the most. If you need to move the cursor on a text you’ve just typed on your phone, simply hold down the space bar and then move your finger around until it lands on the correct text. 

You now live in a new timeline where you no longer have to meticulously tap around to try (and fail) to delete a word or two wedged in the middle of a sentence. 

Man hand holding credit card and using laptop at home, Businessman or entrepreneur working, Online shopping, e-commerce, internet banking, spending money concept.
Kunakorn Rassadornyindee/istockphoto

11. Some Credit Cards Offer Wild Perks

When you open a new credit card line, you should always inspect the fine print. But it's not just so that you can avoid overdraft fees or other crafty penalties. There are credit cards out there that have beneficial features like life insurance, concert pre-sale access, or extra car insurance. Some credit cards will even cover damages suffered to valuables like a laptop if you break them within the first year of opening your credit card. The bottom line: Read the fine print.

Related: 16 Cases Where a Credit Card Beats Cash

Different types of baked bread