bobby pins
Brittany Hambleton
Brittany Hambleton
July 12, 2020 ·  3 min read

How To Undo Zip Ties With a Broken Bobby Pin

Have you ever gotten a package in the mail or brought something home from the store that is closed up with zip ties? Zip ties can be a pain to remove, even if you have a pair of scissors on hand. If you don’t, getting them off becomes a near-impossible task. Thankfully, there’s a very effective hack for undoing zip ties. Here’s how to undo zip ties with a broken bobby pin.

How to Undo Zip Ties

This simple method for removing zip ties was demonstrated in a Tik Tok video from maikocosplay. The directions are as follows:

  • Acquire a bobby pin (if you don’t typically wear them in your hair, they’re easy to carry around in a wallet or purse)
  • Bend the flat end (the one without the grooves) back and forth until it breaks. This will leave you with a broken end that is flat.
  • Insert the broken, flat end into the zip tie and press down on the tongue that is gripping the tie in place.
  • This will release the rest of the zip tie, which can then be pulled free [1].

Beth Skwarecki of has also tested a similar method using a paperclip and has confirmed that it works just as well. This is a good alternative for those who don’t usually use bobby pins, and the benefit to this method is you don’t have to take the time breaking it, which can sometimes take several minutes [1].

Read: 100-Year-Old Life Hacks That Are Surprisingly Useful Today

Ten More Handy Uses for Bobby Pins

Of course, the most common way people use bobby pins is to hold their hair in place, and they are the popular choice for hair stylists giving updos for weddings, proms, and other fancy occasions.

There are, however, many other creative uses for these handy little pins. Here are a few ways you can use them to make some everyday tasks easier:

A nail holder. If you clip a bobby pin to a nail, you can secure it while you hammer it in place without getting your fingers in the way, saving you a potentially painful experience.

A toothpaste clip. As you gradually use up your toothpaste, clip a bobby pin to the end to keep the end of the tube empty. Slowly move the pin up to help you get every last squeeze out of the tube.

Pitting cherries and olives. Push the ends of the pin into the fruit, making sure that they are on either side of the pit. Push them until the end pops out the other side of the cherry or olive, then grab the ends to pull it all the way through. If you do it right, the pit will come right out with it.

Tape roll marker. When you’re done using your clear tape, pin it so you can avoid the inevitable task of trying to find where the tape roll ends the next time you need it.

Zipper. Next time you’re zipper breaks, thread the bobby pin through the bokeh part of the zipper to act as a stand-in until you can get it fixed.

Bag clipper. Bobby pins work very well as a clip to keep non-resealable bags, like the ones used for chips, closed.

Reset your electronics. If you’ve ever had to reset one of your electronics, like your wireless modem, for example, you know how difficult it can be. Bobby pins are the perfect size for fitting into those tiny holes.

Thread spool. Wrapping a thread around a bobby pin makes a great makeshift spool, and is a good way to keep lots of thread together in a sewing basket.

Fitting a t-shirt. Bobby pins are a great way to gather up excess fabric and take a shirt from baggy to fitted without needing to sew.

Anti-clogging device. Bobby pins work very well for getting into drains to dislodge hair or debris that’s clogging your shower or sink drain [2].

A Cheap and Useful Tool

Bobby pins are a great item to have around the house because they are useful in so many situations. They are also cheap, and can be purchased at most dollar stores, drug stores, and even some grocery stores.

Pick yourself up a pack of bobby pins today to have on hand the next time you need to untie some zip ties, reset your wifi modem, or unclog a drain.