A paper clip can be used to unlock a basic center key door

What Would MacGyver Do? Use Paper Clips to Solve Common Home Repair Jams

Thanks in no small part to MacGyver, the paper clip has found many uses around the house, especially when it comes to quick fixes.

A paper clip can be used to unlock a center key bathroom door. See how in this article. Image: Liz Foreman/HouseLogic

Perhaps one of the most popular examples of MacGyver’s resourcefulness is his use of the paper clip. It’s small, it’s simple, and it has evolved beyond its original purpose of binding papers together. Don’t underestimate its potential–it could help you out of a tricky home repair jam one day.

We’ve collected some MacGyver-inspired ideas from the Internet.

What MacGyver did:
The question is: What didn’t he do when a paper clip was within reach? MacGyver hotwired cars, picked locks, disarmed missiles, and everything in between.

What you can do:

  • Unclog spray bottles. Unbend the paper clip and use one end to clear tiny clogs in your perfume bottle, lotion pump, etc.
  • Pit cherries. Unfold a paper clip at its center, insert one hooked end into the top or bottom of the cherry. Once you feel the pit, lift it up and out.
  • Reach tiny “reset” buttons inside electronics. Unfold and use the end to poke away.
  • Temporarily replace a broken zipper. Untwist a small paper clip and slip the end through the zipper hole, twist it back, and unzip.
  • Pick a small lock on a jewelry box, screen door, or a basic center key bathroom door. Untwist a paper clip and slip the end inside the lock. Then jiggle it to open the locking mechanism.