Tech Now + Beyond

10 tampon life hacks that will totally change your life

We all know that tampons are never as great as commercials make them out to be. There’s no dancing in white or spinning through a field of flowers, just a whole lot of cramping and blood.

But maybe there are some slightly more fun, or at least creative, uses for feminine hygiene products.

1. Cleaning up a nosebleed.

Leave it to our girl Amanda Bynes to teach us the greatest feminine hygiene product life hack of them all: nosebleed clean-up (that, and distracting your crush from finding out that you’re actually a girl pretending to be her brother to dominate on the soccer field).

2. They make the perfect bandages.

Borrowing from She’s the Man, tampons and pads can actually help to absorb all sorts of blood (not just menstrual bleeding and nosebleeds). Worst case scenario, if you’re camping or far from immediate help, you can definitely put your handy feminine hygiene friends to good use AND maybe save a life.

3. Curlers

Taystee knows what’s up on- and off-set of Orange is the New Black. You definitely don’t have to be incarcerated to try out her tampon-curler life hack (after all, curlers are so uncomfortable to sleep in, we can only imagine that these would be wayyy more comfy).

4. Water Filter

If you were inspired by the idea of using tampons as bandages (look at those kickass survival skills!), pack a few more tampons the next time you’re out in the wild. Worst case scenario, you can always use a tampon as a make-shift water filter (though we certainly don’t recommend this as a first option).

5. Emergency kindling or candle wick.

Burn, baby, burn. Try putting those feminine hygiene products to use as kindling to build a fire (take that Jack London) or make your own candle. Cotton is super flammable, so tampons are a great alternative to wood or wax in getting a fire started.

6. Using it as a last-minute wallet disguise.

We all know how grossed-out dudes get at even the mention of a period (thanks for that, toxic masculinity). But, hey might as well put that misogyny to good use. If anyone rifles through your purse they’ll probably be tempted by your wallet, but we doubt they’ll reach for your stash of pads–so try hiding a twenty in there (wrapped up in a handy-dandy wrapper).

7. Uh – you could use it for a surgical mask.

Let’s face it, Orange is the New Black has really taught us almost everything we need to know (from racing cockroaches for cigarettes to turning duct tape into flip flops). Putting maxi-pads to good use as masks, to keep from catching a cold or inhaling pollution, was a surprisingly great tip we never knew we needed.

8. Or become the ultimate cat lady.

If you’re as in love with cats as we are, you know that they love chasing string (hello basket of yarn) and batting around small toys. What you might not have realized though is that a tampon is the perfect combination of these fun toys.

Next time you find a tampon that’s wrapper has popped open, consider tossing it at your cat and seeing what kinds of mischief you can both get up to!

9. Plus, it comes in handy if you need to remove nail polish!

Keep your tampon in its applicator for a handy nail polish remover. It’s like a cotton swab, only you get way more control because you have a whole applicator to work with. You can try the same thing with your sanitary pads, too (they’ll soak up a ton of nail polish remover and help you wipe off your polish in just a few swipes)!

10. Oh, and don’t forget – they’re perfect for shower shoes.

Hopefully, you packed a pair of shower shoes before moving into your college dorm. But, if you happen to be stuck in a new place (like Piper in the first episode of Orange is the New Black), pads can double as a super useful alternative to flip-flops. The sticky backing of maxi-pads should help them adhere to the bottoms of your feet, and while they might not be the most stylish solution we can guarantee that they’re way less gross than dorm showers.

We always knew that pads and tampons were useful things to have on hand, but never quite realized how great they were. The next time you find yourself stuck in a tricky situation, don’t be afraid to whip out a tampon and put it to good use!

By Cecilia Nowell

Cecilia Nowell is a freelance journalist and recent graduate of Wellesley College. She writes about politics and art, and gets excited about graphic novels, mythology, and art therapy. In her free time, she runs a cat blog, drinks too much tea, and enjoys hiking.