Social Question

Jeruba's avatar

Do you keep wooden toothpicks around, and if so, for what use?

Asked by Jeruba (52077points) 1 week ago

We still call them toothpicks, but I never use them for teeth. They’re mainly for testing the doneness of baked goods, particularly cakes. One box is probably a lifetime’s supply.

I did use them once to create a sculpture out of Peeps for Easter.

The round colored ones are usually called “party picks.” I don’t know why I have those. Maybe I used them for a party once or twice.

Do you have any so-called toothpicks in your kitchen cupboard?

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24 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

When I had them I used them to eat canned smoked oysters with toothpicks.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Screw that’s in a wooden hole is falling out, put a couple pieces of broken toothpick in hole. Screw holds now.

SnipSnip's avatar

I use them in layer cakes for stability. I use them to hold flat-bread wraps in place. I use them to detail clean in tiny spaces, such as around drains in sinks and tubs. I use them when the hole is a little bit too big for the screw I have on hand….that will snug it up. I never put one in my mouth. I just brush and floss. :)

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Used a toothpick to clear the holes in the salt shaker, they were clogged with salt grains.

kritiper's avatar

I use them to hold my Dagwood derby’s together so they don’t fall apart when I’m stuffing them in my craw.

Mimishu1995's avatar

My family use it for exactly what it’s intended for.

I sometimes use it as a pointy tool for various purposes.

I’m actually surprised that people don’t use toothpicks for teeth.

SergeantQueen's avatar

To test brownies.

Kardamom's avatar

Mostly to test for done-ness in quick bread loves, but also to clean gunk out of things that have tiny holes or crevices. Sometimes I use them to apply tiny drops of glue when squirting it out of the bottle is likely to cause too much glue to be applied. I have also used them to “style” food for photographs, like moving a tiny piece of grain, or a speck of spice, or a little pumpkin seed to just the right spot.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have the round ones and use them often – maybe once per day.

They are a tapered tool that can be used to: clean small holes top of salt shaker and spray nozzle for my pond, clean shavings out of the pencil sharpener, dig dirt and dust out of the power strips, pull out crumbs from computer keyboard, etc.
I dip the tip into food coloring and swirl it around in the hummingbird sugar water so I can add just a touch of color to make it more visible to me. I figure I am adding less than 1/10 of a drop with that method..
Also I use them to eat cheese cubes and olives when we have company.

When finished, they go in with my burnable garbage so their last bit of usefulness is heating my home.

JLeslie's avatar

I always have either wooden or plastic ones in the house, currently I have both. Toothpicks for cut up fruit at a party. Toothpicks to keep a chicken cordon bleu rolled up while cooking. Toothpicks to clean inside of grooves or corners. A container of toothpicks lasts me five to ten years I use them so rarely.

I use wooden kabob sticks for testing the doneness of a cake. The sticks (skewers?) are longer so I don’t have to get so close. They are a little thicker, so they create a slightly larger hole.

zenvelo's avatar

I use toothpicks given away at restaurants to clean between my teeth. But I don.t have any at home.

My Swiss Arny Kife has a plastic one. Comes in handy cleaning out things like earbuds.

Forever_Free's avatar

Additionally I use when cooking things like Chicken Florentine or Chicken Cordon bleu to hold the rolled up chicken together around the other ingredients.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My mom and I just talked about this! I always have a box and she never does.
They’re handy for teeth, baking or any cooking requiring a pattern of bacon or fruit.

mazingerz88's avatar

Yes we have them in the house. I use it as back-up when I run out of dental floss.

Inspired_2write's avatar

In crafts that need precise glue placement and sometimes use to apply acrylic paint on tiny details ( Christmas Crafts etc

Zaku's avatar

Yes, I just bought some, for testing doneness of baked things.

Long ago, I used them to build small forts and rafts, and as javelins for clay soldiers. I’ve also used them to pick food out from between teeth, but now I use other things for that, including toothpick-but-better wood things (e.g. stim-u-dents, which I’ve also put to use to test baking).

LuckyGuy's avatar

I just used one to pull a large bread crumb out of the kitchen utensils drawer. The crumb was hiding in an opening between two trays. Got it!

Kardamom's avatar

@LuckyGuy I have used them to scrape the crumbs out of the crevices between the leaves in the table. The place where toast crumbs go to die.

Jeruba's avatar

One other thing I use them for is quick cleanup around the edges when I apply nail polish.

Oh, and I make a little tent with a damp paper towel when I microwave something that’s gooey on top, such as cheese or frosting.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I used about 10 over the past 2 days cleaning the nozzles and applicators on my wood glues. They are perfect for the job.
When done I threw them into my wood burning stove to extract the ~2 BTU of heat energy inside each one.

Forever_Free's avatar

I heard a story yesterday that reminded me of this question.
A work colleague told me that their husband was in the hospital in serious condition. I know the husband’s business is a tree service and was worried he fell of was hit by a falling tree or limb.
Come to find out he tore his esophagus by ingesting an appetizer that had a piece of broken off wooden toothpick in it.
Be careful out there during this holiday season.

jca2's avatar

Oftentimes, if a sandwich is held together with a toothpick or toothpicks are used for appetizers, they will be longer, plastic ones with frilly wrapping near the top, or shaped like a sword, so that people don’t miss them and swallow them.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I used one this morning to spread wood glue into some tiny cracks on the kitchen chairs.

JLeslie's avatar

I just used 5 wooden toothpicks to clean off the wax from my Chanukah Menorah. They were multicolored toothpicks; I enjoyed seeing the multiple colors in the container; I wasn’t sure what I had in the cabinet.

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