Check Out This Hack for Reusing Zip Ties

Don't cut and throw away used zip ties. Try this tip to reuse them.

From making a DIY phone stand to clearing out debris in your sink, zip ties can handle numerous small and large tasks in and around your home.

Also known as cable ties, hose ties and tie wraps, zip ties are plastic fasteners that hold things together. They work simply by feeding the narrow end (or tail) through the head to form a ratchet. Once tightened, they generally they can’t be loosened.

However, TikTok user @jmg8tor posted this video showing how to unlock a zip tie. In the video, the user presses down on a tab inside the zip tie head with a small flathead screwdriver, which loosens the ratchet and lets him pull the tail back out of the head. Of course, it went viral.

Take a look.

@jmg8tor Zip tie hack #jmg8tor ♬ original sound – GATOR

It’s worth noting not all zip ties include a depression tab to release the ratchet. This hack won’t work without it, so check the zip tie before purchasing.

When I tried this hack, a flathead screwdriver was the only tool that released the latch. My finger and a paper clip were not strong enough. Other tools, like a small chisel, were too thick to get between the release and the head.

TikTok is a treasure trove of useful hacks and DIY gadgets, many of which Family Handyman has tested and vetted for accuracy. We recently tried the viral DIY swamp cooler hack, which helps you beat unbearable summer heat. You can also use ice cubes to clean a stinky garbage disposal and a corkscrew to remove wall anchors. And here’s how to make a DIY cleaning slime.

While TikTok can be a great resource, always be careful attempting any hack you discover online and thoroughly research any safety precautions to take.

Alex Shoemaker
Alex is an avid DIYer but had little experience before purchasing his first home in 2019. A Family Handyman subscription was one of his first purchases after becoming a homeowner, and he's been hooked ever since. When he’s not working, he can be found fixing up his 1940s Florida home or relaxing on the beach with his family.