7 Things You Never Knew Plastic Wrap Could Do

02/27/2015 08:21 am ET | Updated Feb 27, 2015

Sure, it's your go-to for wrapping up leftovers, but this multitasker does a lot more than just keep food fresh. We did a little research and talked to experts to find a few brilliant alternative uses.

By Jade Copple

  • 1 Prevent Bottles From Exploding While Traveling
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    Tired of opening your suitcase after a flight to find your toiletry bag full of gooey shampoo? Alexandra Jimenez, editor and founder of the Travel Fashion Girl blog, has a simple solution.

    Try It: Just remove the cap from the bottle, place a small square of plastic wrap over the opening, and replace the cap.

    Why It Works: Changes in air pressure during travel can expand and contract plastic bottles. The plastic wrap acts as a seal to prevent leaks. (Jimenez also suggests only filling your bottles 2/3 of the way to avoid problems.)
  • 2 Remove Cork Taint From Wine
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    A good bottle of wine can turn bad thanks to "cork taint", a musty taste that comes from higher levels of the chemical trichloranisole (TCA). While it's not actually harmful, the flavor is unpleasant and most people end up dumping the "tainted" bottles down the drain. But according toThe LA Times Wine section, a little plastic wrap can solve the issue.

    Try It: Loosely wad up about a square foot of plastic wrap and put it in a pitcher, pour the wine over the plastic wrap and swirl it in the pitcher for five or ten minutes. (You can repeat the process for especially stubborn cases.)

    Why It Works: The polyethylene in plastic wrap works to absorb the TCA for better-tasting wine.
  • 3 Repair A Shattered Makeup Compact
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    We've all been there: You drop your makeup compact and what's left is a crumbly, unusable mess. A little rubbing alcohol and plastic wrap could bring it back to life.

    Try It: Add a few drops of 70% rubbing alcohol to pieces of broken makeup in the compact and let them soak in. Wrap a piece of plastic wrap tightly around the makeup so that it covers the entire opening, then use your fingers or the back of a spoon to smooth the mixture into its original shape through the plastic wrap. (If it's too dry, add more alcohol as necessary.) Once it is nice and smooth, just let it dry and you're good to go!

    Why It Works: The oils in makeup help to bind it together, but alcohol allows them to remix with the solid materials, says Randy Schueller, cosmetic chemist and cofounder of The Beauty Brains. The plastic wrap helps you to smooth and press the makeup back into its original shape. Keep in mind, though, that this will work better on cream-based makeups than pressed powders, which are compressed in manufacturing and need that kind of pressure to hold up to shock and vibration.
  • 4 Keep Drawers And Cabinets Closed While Moving Furniture
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    Jenny Morrill, co-founder and CMO of Move Loot (an online, full-service marketplace for buying and selling used furniture), says plastic wrap can come in handy while moving and packing.

    Try It: Morrill says the best strategy is to anchor the plastic wrap first before wrapping. "You can tie one end around the leg of a dresser, and then wrap around the body of the dresser from there until you pass back over the initial spot."

    Why It Works: Drawers and cabinets can get damaged or cause injury when they swing open during transit. The plastic wrap keeps them held shut and adds an extra layer of protection for the furniture.
  • 5 Make Removable Labels
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    There are some things that sticky labels just don't work for. Morrill suggests plastic wrap as an easy alternative.

    Try It: If you're organizing items like antiques, furniture, large equipment or other things that you cannot put traditional labels on safely, just wrap them in plastic wrap and write directly on that.

    Why It Works: Plastic wrap sticks to itself rather than other objects, so you can write on it then remove it when the label is no longer needed.
  • 6 Protect Your iPhone While At The Beach
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    The beach and technology do not mix: moist air can harm electronics and sand can create scratches and get stuck in your phone's ports. If you're in a pinch, LifeHacker has a brilliant plastic wrap trick to help keep it safe.

    Try It: It's simple: just wrap your phone in a thin layer of plastic wrap. The touch screen will still work while protecting the nooks and crannies from filling with sand.

    Why It Works: Sand can't make its way into your phone with a layer of plastic in the way. But water can (it is, after all, just plastic wrap) and avoid keeping it wrapped up for too long, since sealing it up for a while can cause it to overheat.
  • 7 Create Gorgeous Marble Nails
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    This creative trick from Birchbox blogger Anna Norman will make you look like a manicure pro.

    Try It: Start with your first color and apply a coat to all your nails and let it dry completely. Apply a coat of your second color to each nail and blot it with a small piece of crumpled plastic wrap before moving on to the next nail. Repeat the process on each nail, let dry and apply one or two layers of top coat to seal.

    Why It Works: The plastic wrap pulls off some of the second coat of polish; what's left behind will look like a marble design.

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