Q-Tips, Plus All the Other Products We Use Against the Manufacturer’s Instructions

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There are so many products that we use every single day without even thinking about it. You clean the earwax out of your ears with Q-Tips as part of your morning routine. At lunchtime, you pop your Cup O’ Noodles into the microwave and enjoy a hot, salty, noodle-y meal. When you have a cold, you rub a generous amount of Vicks VapoRub under your nose and instantly start feeling better. And when you’re in the mood for your favorite Girl Scout cookie, you polish off an entire sleeve without giving it a second thought.

I have some bad news for you: All of that was very, very wrong. In fact, some of these uses are so wrong that they can actually be bad for your health. (I know, right? Eating an entire sleeve of Thin Mints is BAD for you?!)

Keep reading to find out what products you’ve been using incorrectly this whole time. And then, it’s up to you to decide if you want to change your wicked ways or not.


“The correct serving size is one pastry, they were originally packaged in twos to save money and it caught on.”-RonnieGetWrecked

Axe body spray

“The directions say wrist and or neck. Not a massive f*cking cloud that you spray on.”alcaste19

Candy or chips where one portion is a third of the bag

“Nobody stops at that.”-HannahAching

Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mints

“Serving size is listed as 2 when everyone knows it’s the full sleeve.”-babbrun

Drink Responsibly

“Also, any ‘drinking game’ sold in an actual store will come with a warning that you should play it with water or juice or soda and never alcohol.”-Oudeis16

Sugar sachets in the long stick shape (also called sugar sticks) that are meant to be broken open in the middle

“Pretty much everyone tears off an end of the sachet and pours in.”-daisy-chain-of-doom


“Toothpicks are hardly ever used to pick your teeth. They have so many uses, like, who hasn’t used these in a school project, or any other craft for that matter.”-ncommon337


“All of them come with that ‘No more than one individual should jump at one time.’ No one is gonna sit by themselves while their friend jumps.”-Dakotaequalsyes

Rubber bands

“They have become instruments of war.”-Thatoneguyinthestars


“The back of the can of Red Bull explicitly says ‘Do Not Mix With Alcohol’.”-SeaLenz

Old Nintendo cartridges say both specifically not blow on them and not to use alcohol to clean the contacts

“Those are the only two methods I’m aware of to make them work.”-sharrrp

Vicks VapoRub

“Tells you not to put it directly in your nostrils. Me and everyone I know swipe it in there anyway.”-Phemia

Duct tape

“It’s actually not supposed to be used as a fix-all, especially not for anything inside a vehicle.
Gorilla Glue is also not a fix-all, especially not for anything inside a vehicle. Paper clips are also not a fix-all, especially not for anything inside a vehicle.
…Basically, if you can find it in an office supplies store, it’s not meant for your vehicle. So just don’t.”-AleksNightmare

Hair dye

“You are supposed to do a ‘test patch’ on skin with every new box you buy. Does anyone do that?”-world_citizen7


“It’s not a lubricant. Spraying it on things like hinges can actually attract dust, making the situation worse.”-Akito_900

Pre-made cups of ramen

“It says on the package DO NOT MICROWAVE. But everyone fills the cup with water and microwaves it.”-CloCat17

A serving size of Oreos is two



“They come with safety books and guides and even information on how to care and clean them. Yet people still have negligent discharges or break safe conduct ending with ‘I didn’t know it was loaded!’
It’s a tool, not a toy. Take some sort of safety class and get into the art of basic gun safety.”

Can openers

“Never put them in the dishwasher. But we all do when they get dirty!”-jwc1995

Spray paint

“The usage probably breaks down like 95% graffiti, 4% huffing, 1% actually painting something.”-Youwannaseemyballs


“Lifesavers when you get a nosebleed.”-urdathors

Cold medicine

“Have one small cup of Nyquil? Nah, just chug part of the bottle every day until you fall asleep or feel better.”-ans9393

Rolling papers

“‘For tobacco use only’. Yeah, okay.”-twss416

Those little sticks that look like straws when you get coffee

“I always thought that they were smaller straws meant for sipping on hot drinks more slowly but apparently they are sticks for stirring.”-beelzeybob


“Q-tips should never be inserted into the ear canal. It says so on the box. Everybody does it, though.”-negotiate

Flat head screwdriver

“People use them as everything but a screwdriver. They get used as chisels, scrapers, can openers, pry bars, and levers. Meanwhile, people use butter knives to turn flat head screws.”-Kilgore_troutsniffer


“It works better if it’s applied at night, right before you go to bed. This is because it is allowed to absorb into your skin, where the aluminum salts can clog your pores/sweat glands. Applying it in the morning effectively does nothing to battle perspiration for the coming day, as it has no chance to absorb and is likely just being ‘sweated out,’ so to speak, by your…perspiration.” Leopard_Fish    

Bobby pins

“The wavy side actually faces your head.”-chilichickify

Sink plungers

“They look like little domes, usually red rubber. Those are for sinks, not toilets. Toilet plungers are accordion-like and usually a thinner, more pliable material.”-lrhoades1