Food & Drink
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6 super-useful chewing gum life hacks

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All photos by Anthony Humphreys

Trident can help fight cavities, but as anyone who’s ever tried pulling their keys from a grate with a wire hanger and a wad of gum can testify, the sticky stuff can be super-useful in other ways too. To prove it, we collected six hacks for making gum work harder, better, faster, stronger… and stickier:

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1. Bug the hell out of bugs
Leave a stick of spearmint amongst dry goods to keep greedy grubs like mealworms away. Menthol, a key ingredient in the alpine flavor, repels creepy crawlers more effectively than menthols repel people who don’t really like smoking of any kind.

2. Stay cool
Radiator busted? Patch up the hole with a wad of gum to prevent the fluid from leaking out and it’ll keep the cool flowing until a pro mechanic can properly emasculate you with a proper fix.

3. Make fire
If you find yourself on a desert island, laugh at the doofuses (doofi?) rubbing sticks together and break out a pack. Take a paper-lined foil wrapper and apply it to a D cell battery with the foil ends on each terminal, cut out a bridge (like so), hold over tinder, and you’ll have a fire in no time.

4. Switch your bait
Catfish love a) gum and b) silver wrappers, since they approximate the shimmer and shimmy of a minnow. Feeling crabby? They prefer spearmint.

5. Slay swimmer’s ear
Because the act of chewing gum allows air to move around, which opens up the nasal cavity, it’s a great fix for unwelcome ear water, and inner ear infections, and the discomfort of air travel… though it won’t change the fact that your in-flight movie fails at both romance and comedy.

6. Conquer electricity
Blown a fuse? Use the foil wrapper to conduct electricity by placing the foil side down against the two terminals. Unlike the coffin jet ski, this is something that a famously inventive TV action hero did that actually could work in real life.

Editor's note: Just because it could, doesn't mean it will! We're not all-powerful, and can't guarantee the success of any of these tips. We can only guarantee that we think you're great, and consider you to be very attractive. Learn 9 amazing facts about the history of gum AND get our totally enabling New Rules to Gum Etiquette right here!