What are some terribly designed but wildly successful objects?
March 19, 2019 12:04 PM   Subscribe

As I struggled to get the ketchup out of the glass bottle for the eleventy-billionth time, I wondered what other objects are so poorly designed and unfit for purpose but have persisted despite--or perhaps because of--their design flaws. Any suggestions?

In this case, it seems it's part of the ritual to shake, palm, knife, pause, and share an exasperated sigh with your tablemates at the hilarity of how difficult it is to get the ketchup out. Before finally trying again and...PLOP...too much has landed on your burger/fries/plate. It seems everyone always shares a knowing smile and chuckle that is well-engrained in the ritual of meals and BBQs everywhere. (Of course they now have the plastic squeezy bottle, so it seems the glass would have become obsolete, but no!) I'd also add that the crusting of the ketchup around the rim is pretty gross and makes it hard to put the lid on.

I'm sure there must be more things like this, where the functionality of the object and its design are essentially unfit for purpose but never go away and, in fact, become part of the object's lore and perhaps even contribute to its success.
posted by stillmoving to Grab Bag (62 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
The standard shower knob, which combines three functions -- on/off, volume control, and temperature -- into a single control.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 12:10 PM on March 19, 2019 [30 favorites]


sealed rigid clamshell packaging, like for scissors? I keep hearing that it's going to go away and somehow it hasn't yet and I continue to rage.
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:18 PM on March 19, 2019 [41 favorites]


mascara that smears all over the goddamn place? kind of part of the mystique of mascara...
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:19 PM on March 19, 2019 [3 favorites]


The QWERTY keyboard
posted by Automocar at 12:25 PM on March 19, 2019 [26 favorites]


Those effing paper towel dispensers that have you pull on the paper towel itself rather than a lever.

Why yes, our distribution system relies on the tensile strength of a material that's actively degrading because of its exposure to water, the substance which creates the primary use-case for said material.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:25 PM on March 19, 2019 [26 favorites]


Kettles which place the water guage immediately behind the handle. Meaning that, whenever you pick it up, your own hand blocks your ability to see the level.
posted by mr_silver at 12:27 PM on March 19, 2019 [3 favorites]


I heard once, on Fresh Air, an interview with a product design consultant who is hired by companies to improve existing products; for example, his company added the coating which improved Burger King's french fries, a couple decades ago.

Host Terry Gross asked him if there was any product he'd like to take on to improve it. He said he only works for-hire, but he then added that he's pretty sure the state-of-the-art method for checking whether your fireplace flue is open is to kneel down and stick your head into your fireplace, so you can look up and check the flue. That's something he'd like to see improved. That design must be over a hundred years old, but it's the only design.

P.S. Hold the ketchup bottle, mouth downward, at a 45 degree angle over your food, and slap the long upper face of the bottle using a horizontal motion. It causes slow-speed turbulence in the bottle and gets things flowing.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:27 PM on March 19, 2019 [14 favorites]


Indoor flush toilets that are hooked up to the grey water drainage system. They spray fecal coliforms everywhere and dilute valuable organic fertilizer with water that could be easily reused otherwise.
posted by Jane the Brown at 12:29 PM on March 19, 2019 [3 favorites]


Boxes of baking soda (Arm & Hammer mainly, but generic brands do this too) all seem to have a perforated area on the side that you have to punch out to pour; yet you end up tearing more than just the perforated area away, and the pour is invariably messy. You would think that the baking soda people would take a cue from the salt people and put in a metal spout for easy pouring, but no.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:30 PM on March 19, 2019 [33 favorites]


The standard electrical accessory socket in the cabin of your car is shaped, both in plug and socket, to work as if they would still support the now obsolete cigarette lighter. You do see USB in cars now, but that main "accessory" socket is still large enough for an adult thumb, despite the fact that it's probably better for everyone if nobody can stick their fingers in the socket.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:30 PM on March 19, 2019 [12 favorites]


Airpods.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:32 PM on March 19, 2019 [6 favorites]


Those effing paper towel dispensers that have you pull on the paper towel itself rather than a lever.

To be fair, that is a reasonable tradeoff between paying the additional cost for a sensor-operated motorized dispenser, or the other manual dispenser option, where everyone has to touch the same piece of plastic, spreading germs.

Henry Petroski is the most well-known author on these sort of topics -- the design tradeoffs of functional objects.
posted by misterbrandt at 12:33 PM on March 19, 2019 [11 favorites]


See also the Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman. Anytime I encounter bad design I no longer blame myself for pushing a pull door or using the wrong knob on a stove and instead blame the bad design.
posted by carrioncomfort at 12:37 PM on March 19, 2019 [14 favorites]


Although most of the items on this clickbait-y list are stupid, or the result of pretty straightforward tradeoffs, #16—the grocery-store handbasket—seems pretty legitimate as an example of poor design. If the handle was just turned 90 degrees from its common orientation, the basket would be easier to carry (most people's hands are closer to parallel to their sides than perpendicular when walking) and it would also be harder to unbalance. But, nope, the handles go the stupid way because that's how they've always been. (I suppose it requires just slightly less material to build them that way, i.e. it's a cost-optimization at the expense of usability. That might have been significant in the days of metal baskets, because metal is expensive yo, but it's not really true of plastic.)

N.B. the glass ketchup bottle manages spot #13 on that list.

US bank notes all being the same size also gets a mention, which seems like a pretty good example. Making notes bigger with each increase in denomination is a win-win for basically all involved: it's good for the blind/sight-impaired, it deters counterfeiting (bleaching small-denomination bills and reusing the paper to print higher-denomination ones), and it lets machines more easily sense the denomination of notes and sort them. But nope, that would basically be Communism.

Also, the trigger nozzle on gas pumps is largely a result of automotive history, and we could do much better today except that there are always too many vehicles on the road for anything to ever change. It was designed in the days of gas tanks with fill ports so big you could see into them, because the whole idea is you look into the tank while squeezing the trigger so you can fill to an appropriate level. But during the switch from leaded to unleaded gas, we reduced the diameter of the nozzle part, and put in a baffle in cars requiring unleaded gas, so you couldn't stick the leaded-gas nozzle in there and have it stay in. The baffle keeps you from seeing the level of fuel in the tank, and most people rely on the automatic shutoff anyway. A better design would acknowledge this, and would probably be a fractional-twist-lock, vapor-tight, dripless coaxial connector with fuel flowing in one direction and vapor going in the other. (Vapor recovery nozzles try to do this, but it's a bodge.) Probably similar to that used on race cars. You could eliminate fuel vapor emissions, spark-induced fires, fuel waste due to drips and evaporation, have much faster fueling, and even get rid of the gas cap on the car... but nope. Not gonna happen. In fact, the trigger-nozzle design is being cargo-culted over to natural gas and electric vehicle charging stations. D'oh.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:44 PM on March 19, 2019 [14 favorites]


The snap-on plastic lids of glass and metal food containers are by a very large majority polyethylene, which cannot be sterilized with heat because it melts before water boils, instead of polypropylene, which doesn't begin to soften until ~155 °C.
posted by jamjam at 12:48 PM on March 19, 2019


To be fair, that is a reasonable tradeoff between paying the additional cost for a sensor-operated motorized dispenser, or the other manual dispenser option, where everyone has to touch the same piece of plastic, spreading germs.

Not really because they have a 'failure rate' of greater than 50%, meaning that just as many people touch them as touch lever controlled ones.

Also they still make straight-slot screws for some reason. That's the one with straight line that you have to hold the screwdriver in while turning the screw.
posted by The_Vegetables at 12:49 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Also 'slide to answer' the phone on Android counts. I'm looking at the phone and the screen in active -why can't I just tap without turning on the handi-capped settings?
posted by The_Vegetables at 12:53 PM on March 19, 2019


The typical, ubiquitous, US 120 volt plug in its current form where the two prongs are different sizes. It's not immediately obvious what the orientation of the plug is, or what orientation of the socket is. See Tom Scott's explanation of of the much better UK system for comparison.

We have some jars of spice that are so narrow at the top that they are too narrow for a 1t measuring spoon.

Some brands of breakfast cereal use inner plastic bags that are so strong they defy opening by hand, and, if opened by hand leave an ugly, ragged and inefficient opening.
posted by SemiSalt at 12:55 PM on March 19, 2019 [12 favorites]


Well, on google calendars you can only look at one month at a time, rather than the most reasonable group of 4 weeks (even if those weeks cross 2 months). Pretty annoying on February 27th.

Seems like we oughta be able to fix the most annoying part of paper calendars when they are online only.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:57 PM on March 19, 2019 [16 favorites]


Absolutely everything about USB plugs. It's like this is an ongoing design requirement for the USB standard.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 12:57 PM on March 19, 2019 [15 favorites]


Emmy Rae: Settings > General > View Options > Set Custom View > "4 weeks".
It's the only way I ever use Google Calendar.
posted by misterbrandt at 1:00 PM on March 19, 2019 [23 favorites]


Unless things have changed since I last bought bacon a few years ago, the standard packaging is idiotic. How hard would it be to design it in such a way that you can close the package again and have it stay closed?
posted by FencingGal at 1:15 PM on March 19, 2019 [25 favorites]


Apple chargers are trash. Why are they so fragile?! (I mean, I know why. But c'mon)
posted by nouvelle-personne at 1:22 PM on March 19, 2019 [3 favorites]


When the damn doorknob is so close to the doorframe that my giant paws don't fit around it with enough room to turn.

(On second thought, it may be that I am the poorly-designed item here.)
posted by wenestvedt at 1:24 PM on March 19, 2019 [3 favorites]




If cell phones had more buttons, you could use more functions without looking at them. The removal of buttons for ever more functionality through the touch screen is a problem.
posted by amtho at 1:37 PM on March 19, 2019 [9 favorites]


Unless things have changed since I last bought bacon a few years ago, the standard packaging is idiotic. How hard would it be to design it in such a way that you can close the package again and have it stay closed?

Some of my favorite meat foods are this way: bacon, prosciutto, and smoked salmon all come in containers that aren't truly reclosable and whose exteriors always get greasy.
posted by witchen at 1:52 PM on March 19, 2019 [4 favorites]


The Hitachi Magic Wand. Not ergonomically sound at all, it's murder on your wrists. And yet, it undeniably amazing at doing the primary task it was designed to do.
posted by ActionPopulated at 1:54 PM on March 19, 2019 [7 favorites]


Some brands of breakfast cereal use inner plastic bags that are so strong they defy opening by hand, and, if opened by hand leave an ugly, ragged and inefficient opening.

And/or scatters cereal all over the place because of how hard you have to pull on the bags if opening by hand.
posted by Archipelago at 1:55 PM on March 19, 2019 [12 favorites]


The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker is full of these types of product complaints. One that has always stuck with me is plastic straws vs paper straws. Plastic pops out of your drink and stabs you in the face!

Edit: Also, it's horrible for the environment, and we're starting to realize that now (duh).
posted by Miss T.Horn at 1:55 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Most cylindrical containers for wet wipes are terrible. If the wipe you want to use is not already perfectly positioned just so, you have to either pop the entire lid apparatus and reach into a wet roll of wipes (probably contaminating them) or else plunge your finger into a ring of sharp plastic spikes that will 100% cut you.
posted by witchen at 2:00 PM on March 19, 2019 [10 favorites]


Almost every time I go to the bathroom in a busy restaurant, airport, museum, or other public place I don't understand why the doors aren't designed like porta potties that show you when they are vacant or occupied and I am reduced to bending down to look for feet!

Granted there are bathrooms where there are vacant or occupied signs on a dial connected to the lock, but those are not universal. Adopting this design would end the jiggle the handle vs knock on the door debate.
posted by brookeb at 2:22 PM on March 19, 2019 [8 favorites]


commercial toilet paper roll holders with the drop down second roll that creates anger in me every time I have to use it.

In the office building in which I work, our floor seems to have tacitly agreed to keep an unfettered roll of toilet paper jammed between the tp dispenser and the grab rail on the wall so that we can all forego the fucking dispenser altogether.
posted by janey47 at 2:31 PM on March 19, 2019 [6 favorites]


I've noticed any kind of meat containers suffer from GSP syndrome - the Glue is Stronger than the Packaging. If you try to peel the film, at best you'll end up pulling a little bit of plastic off, but the container will remain sealed. Then you have to cut it open!

Actually, while we're here, I've never had a good experience plugging my computer into an external display and getting a result I both want and expect. In fact, every time I'm in a new office which has one, there's a general murmur of "let's see how this works...", but they're ubiquitous.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 2:39 PM on March 19, 2019


At the risk of having people disagree with me, virtually every software aspect of Samsung phones. Seriously, can't they just accept that they build great, very popular hardware and leave the software to Android and Google?
posted by forthright at 2:41 PM on March 19, 2019 [4 favorites]


One of my computer monitors has the HDMI and other sockets on the underside of a little shelf-like thing on the back. Not only do you have to turn the monitor all the way around but you have to crane your neck to peer at the bottom of the shelf in the dark. Even with a flexible neck light, it's hard to get the light at an angle to get a clear view of the ports and which direction various cords should be angled. To add insult to injury the HDMI port is positioned directly behind the leg the monitor stands on so not only is it almost impossible to see you have to wedge your fingers into the tight space - which blocks the light - and attempt to shove the cable in straight.

The other monitor isn't as bad - the ports are on the flat back off the monitor pointing outward.

I remember at least once using a monitor that had the ports on the front or on the side of the bezel. Was that an Apple product maybe? Next time I buy a monitor I'm definitely getting one with easily-accessible ports.
posted by bendy at 2:49 PM on March 19, 2019 [7 favorites]


The more you use your stick of deodorant, the more top-heavy it becomes. And yet, most of the containers are no wider on the bottom than they are at the top. By the time you’ve used 1/3 of the stick, it has a tendency to fall over from its own weight. This would be easily remedied by a tapered design.
posted by Knowyournuts at 3:05 PM on March 19, 2019 [8 favorites]


Hand dryers in public toilets. From the studies I've read - not hygienic at all, even those popular Dyson hand dryers are not considered hygienic by microbiologists. Recycled / recyclable paper hand towels seem like a much better option. Actually, while speaking of design, I was looking for a front-bike light recently and could not believe the complexity added to what should be a simple product design e.g. some lights used 3 separate sets of parts just to mount the light the handlebars. Not streamlined design at all.
posted by jacobean at 3:09 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Mousetraps
Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door (reputedly Emerson)
posted by TheRaven at 3:20 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Boxes of baking soda (Arm & Hammer mainly, but generic brands do this too) all seem to have a perforated area on the side that you have to punch out to pour;

Perforations on any cardboard or heavy paper boxes, really. Baking soda, garbage bag containers, ziploc bag containers, boxes of meal bars, etc etc. etc. Every single "perforated" box in my apartment looks like it's been pillaged by barbarians, because I usually just rip the entire top off.

Cereal & cracker boxes, too. The glue is too strong, the tops never separate neatly.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:22 PM on March 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


Large packs of AA batteries: If you look on the back, you will see perforations in the center of the paperboard, that would seem to imply you can punch-out the perfs and...maybe...create a nice dispensing hole for the batteries. But, no. The perfs are so shallow that it’s utterly impossible to punch out. And, even if you do manage to open along the perfs, you get nothing that you could ever get a battery through. You just end up ripping the package wide open.

On my refrigerator, there is an ice and water dispenser in the door. There is a light switch on the dispenser. It’s obvious that the manufacturer uses the same template the print themon/off icons (lightbulbs, natch) whether the dispenser is black or white plastic. If it’s printed on white (using, presumably, black ink) the icons read correctly. The “off” icon will be a solid black bulb, and the “on” icon will be an outlined bulb, letting the white of the plastic show through, indicating the light is on.

But, if you have a black plastic dispenser (with the icons now printed in white) the effect is the exact opposite. The “off” icon is now a solid white lightbulb, and the “on” icon is a white outline around a solid black bulb.

I know it’s a little thing, and one quickly learns what’s what, but it’s those little details that I tend to notice.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:53 PM on March 19, 2019 [4 favorites]


Also 'slide to answer' the phone on Android counts. I'm looking at the phone and the screen in active -why can't I just tap without turning on the handi-capped settings?
Slide-to-unlock prevents random jostling in your pocket (or other unintentional input) from being misinterpreted as button pushes.
posted by mbrubeck at 3:59 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Automatic soap dispensers. Who's ever left the soap running accidentally? No one. Who's gotten squirted 4x by auto-soap? Me.
posted by batter_my_heart at 4:53 PM on March 19, 2019 [10 favorites]


Self check-out in the grocery store. After you scan the item, the electronic voice instructs you to "Place the item in the bag". You place the item in the bag. It doesn't "register" your action and again demands that you "Place the item in the bag." So, you take the item out of the bag and then put it back in. Nope. It tells you to "Place the item in the bag". You repeat this several times. In the bag, out of the bag, in the bag, out of the bag. Finally, the system decides you're non-compliant, because, after all, you've come to the grocery store to NOT put the items you're purchasing in the bag. It tells you to contact an attendant, thus defeating the purpose of self-checkout.

I am enraged just by typing this.
posted by MissPitts at 6:44 PM on March 19, 2019 [9 favorites]


These are very frustrating examples of poor design! I am especially interested in examples where the crappy design sort of propels their legend; that is, it might be seen as an asset by the manufacturer.

Thanks for the tips about Petrowski and Norman. I’ll definitely check out their work!
posted by stillmoving at 7:05 PM on March 19, 2019


Door knobs instead of door levers in homes. This seems to be largely a US-centric problem.
posted by theory at 7:08 PM on March 19, 2019 [3 favorites]


Basically all the automated stuff in public bathrooms that hasn't already been mentioned. Toilets that flush themselves the moment you shift to wipe. Sinks that start and stop constantly because washing involves moving your hands. Motion-sensing lights that turn off if you're on the pot for more than two minutes (and aren't always easily reactivated by waving an arm). Paper towel dispensers that give you an unusably tiny square and then can't be activated again because they have a fucking refractory period.
posted by aws17576 at 7:21 PM on March 19, 2019 [4 favorites]


Also, conditioner bottles like this can be even more frustrating than ketchup bottles when you want to use the last couple of ounces. Conditioner is pretty viscous -- it wants to cling to the sides of the bottle, and the bottle is opaque and tall with a narrow opening. So you shake it, whack it, and try to knock as much conditioner as you can toward the opening, scrape it out with a finger, and repeat, never knowing how much is left.
posted by aws17576 at 7:30 PM on March 19, 2019


Decorative taps in bathroom sinks that don't stick out far enough, so that when you place your hands in the stream of water your knuckles inevitably rub against the rear wall of the basin. These are especially popular in trendy restaurants and mcmansions.
posted by theory at 7:38 PM on March 19, 2019 [5 favorites]


CD plastic cases, made to have their hinges break.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:16 PM on March 19, 2019 [5 favorites]


Dyson upright vacuums may be powerful, but they’re a pain in the ass to use in a furnished room. They’re heavy, difficult to turn, the head doesn’t fit under/around a sofa or bed or corner... it’s like they were designed by engineers who focused so much on the Vacuum Power aspect, they forgot this product was meant for humans to use in their actual homes. (Canisters with different nozzle attachments all the way! Also, team Miele)
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:12 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Certain stove controls for burners that have smaller circles within the main element, when a) the controls can be used both clockwise and counterclockwise (for the larger or smaller burner in a single element), and b) the instructions aren’t consistent for burners on the same side (L or R) of the stove. So eg if you want the front right “small” burner, you’re supposed to turn the knob to the right, and for the “small” burner on the back right, you’re supposed to turn the respective knob to the left.

Or WORSE, when the knobs aren’t physically mapped to their respective burners. So eg to turn on the front right burner, you’re asked to use the upper (vs lower) knob on the panel.
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:22 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Any dashboard on an automatic transmission car with a large radial tachometer. Utterly useless information and yet it's frequently a large dial balancing out the speedometer. No one needs to know the rpm to that level of detail any more. It seems to serve some weird emotional or nostalgic purpose.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:53 PM on March 19, 2019 [6 favorites]


So eg to turn on the front right burner, you’re asked to use the upper (vs lower) knob on the panel.

Isn't this how they always are? I think I would find the other way confusing.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:02 AM on March 20, 2019



The Hitachi Magic Wand. Not ergonomically sound at all, it's murder on your wrists. And yet, it undeniably amazing at doing the primary task it was designed to do.


Hahaha the Hitachi Magic Wand is also undeniably amazing at doing a secondary task that it wasn't designed to do!
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:12 AM on March 20, 2019 [3 favorites]


Slide-to-unlock prevents random jostling in your pocket (or other unintentional input) from being misinterpreted as button pushes.
Slide to unlock is awesome, I'm only complaining about 'slide to answer' the phone.

Everything about Dyson vacuums is wrong. The handheld hose holds the cord, so you use it you have to release the entire 15 ft long cord.

Also the non-handicapped bathroom stall - I'm not a big guy and I can barely turn around in there, and there is tons of spare space in your average public restroom.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:01 AM on March 20, 2019 [4 favorites]


French presses. They make good coffee, but they are such fussy pains in the ass. There is no good way to clean out the grounds without another utensil or two, they have to be totally disassembled into all their stupid little parts to clean them to food safety standards (which most people just don't do at home, but I had to do when I was a barista), and if you make a couple of common mistakes (grind the beans too fine, push down too hard), you can create flying broken glass AND splattering hot liquid. Also, you need a stove, a kettle, a grinder, a press pot, an insulating sleeve for the press pot or a separate thermos if the pot isn't insulated, and a sink and sieve (for cleaning out grounds) to make one damned pot of coffee.
posted by xylothek at 8:18 AM on March 20, 2019 [5 favorites]


Kadin2048: "#16—the grocery-store handbasket—seems pretty legitimate as an example of poor design. If the handle was just turned 90 degrees from its common orientation, the basket would be easier to carry (most people's hands are closer to parallel to their sides than perpendicular when walking) and it would also be harder to unbalance. But, nope, the handles go the stupid way because that's how they've always been."

If wire handles ran the long way they'd have to be significantly stronger but more importantly the vertical part between the horizontal and the basket would be uncomfortably short if the handles still folded flat (generally speaking you want the angle to be greater than 45 degrees and greater than 60 is much better).

My grocery store solved this by using nylon straps instead of wire handles. The straps don't have to fold flat and they have a good angle.
posted by Mitheral at 2:30 PM on March 20, 2019


plastic straws vs paper straws. Plastic pops out of your drink and stabs you in the face! Edit: Also, it's horrible for the environment, and we're starting to realize that now (duh).

Before deciding plastic straws are "terribly designed" full stop, please consider how important plastic straws are as accessibility devices to millions of disabled people. Plastic straws still fit stillmoving's question as examples of designed objects that have "persisted because of" their design flaws, so don't leave out the rest of the story about how plastic straws are still currently the best of our bad straw options.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:13 PM on March 20, 2019 [3 favorites]


#16—the grocery-store handbasket

Target does the handles lengthwise. Soooo much better.
posted by bradbane at 9:38 PM on March 20, 2019


Belatedly, something occurred to me that might fit your criteria which is the way software developers have pretty much stopped creating a manual in which you can look up how the program is supposed to work. If you have a question about Facebook, or YouTube, or how to use your tablet, you pretty much just have to Google your question and see what you can find. It's true that the developer may have printable documentation somewhere or a video to watch, but they are not really distinguished among all the third party offerings and form discussions pulled up by a search.

It's not just social media or the huge companies. For example, the level of help functions on the current H&R Block software is nowhere near as complete as was on tax software of old, either with respect to program instruction or tax advice.

I'm sure the argument that "no one read the manual anyway" has some merit but, to me, it's not an adequate excuse.

One of the side effects is that since the software doesn't have to conform to a manual, it can be changed in pretty big ways in a typical update. And this leads to the information you do find on the web being out of date, or using menus that don't match the menus on your screen.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:29 AM on March 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


I've decided I'd like home toilet paper dispensers that are a vertical arm/bar (think like a saguaro cactus arm, but straight) so I could fill it up however high. If it had bumps on it or something to slightly separate the bottom roll, even better. I could make something like this myself, yes... but then I'd need perforated toilet paper rolls to easily remove them. It'd solve storage AND running out of reachable toilet paper, and maybe even reduce the chance for cats and toddlers to unroll the entire thing. Doubt it would solve my household's JUST THROW THE EMPTY TUBE AWAY problem, though.

On second thought, there's gotta be a way to not need the cardboard tube in the first place.
posted by stormyteal at 12:55 PM on June 20, 2019


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