Hair dyers are pretty straightforward tools, but they can actually do way more than just dry your wet hair or defog your bathroom mirror. From the kitchen to the backyard, a blowdryer can help you solve common problems around the house and beyond, and here are our 10 favorite uses.
A steady, careful hand isn't the only way to achieve a smooth and slick cake icing. Turn your hair dryer's heat on the lowest setting, and aim its air at the cake. While it blows, use a cake spreader (or back end of a dinner knife) to smooth out clumpy and bumpy portions.
If you wear plastic-framed glasses, you're probably well aware that they stretch out over time and will eventually slip down your nose. Instead of heading to the optometrist to have them adjusted, place your glasses beneath the heat of a hair dryer. Once the plastic is warmed up, you'll be able to bend those frames back into their original, tightened shape.
Don't struggle with tiny matches, newspaper, and other typical fire starters—fan the flames with a hair dryer instead. Light the charcoal, or whatever you're using in your firepit, and direct the hair dryer's air and heat at the small flame. The increased air flow will grow the flame, getting your fire blazing.
Forgot to pull out the frozen foods you need for dinner before heading to work in the morning? Speed up the defrosting process with a hair dryer. Whether you're trying to defrost meat, vegetables, or leftovers—or even pipes or the locks on your car—a hair dryer offers enough focused heat to clear up whatever ice has taken over.
Paying for a heated eyelash curler works, but you don't need it if you have a regular metal eyelash curler and a hair dryer. Just warm up the curler with the blow dryer for about 5 seconds, then test the metal on your skin before curling to make sure it's not too hot.
Found a beautiful crayon-scribbled creation on your once-flawless walls? Use the hair dryer to heat the crayon, melting the waxy marks and leaving the drawing soft and easy to scrub away. Once it's warmed, combine dish soap, water, and a towel and scrub the stuff away, leaving no damage to your paint or wallpaper.
Trying to cram your feet into stiff, unyielding shoes can result in blisters, so it's important to stretch them out. You could use the well-known ice trick to do it, but you can also use a hair dryer. Pull on your thickest pair of socks and stuff your feet inside the shoes. Turn your hair dryer on its hottest setting, and focus its flow on the shoes. As the shoes heats up, the thickness of the socks will slowly stretch it out and make a perfect fit.
Photo albums are great—until you want to steal a photo for a frame instead of keeping it in a book. Some albums require sticky glue, but you can remove photographs without damage by turning on your hair dryer. Aim the dryer at the photo, heating it and the glue holding it in place. As the substance melts and softens, you'll be able to easily peel it from the page. This trick also works on stubborn stickers, Band-Aids, and other adhesives.
No microwave in your hotel or dorm room? Don't worry about reheating your leftovers, as long as you have a hair dryer handy. Just as a microwave heats food from the outermost surfaces inward, so does a hair dryer. Focus its heat on your leftovers, and heat around the entire plate. Once it's warmed all the way through, enjoy! (It's also good for making s'mores and melting chocolate in a jiffy.)
Finally, if your car suffers from a few surface dents and dings, you can pop these back into place with a hair dryer's heat. Heat the area of the dent with your hair dryer, keeping it on its highest and hottest setting. Once the surface is warmed, the plastic will expand, and you can use a can of cold compressed air to contract it back into place, popping the dent away.