Sunday, December 3, 2023


10 smart ways you can use toothpicks while RVing

My uncle always had a toothpick hanging from his mouth. As a child, I was fascinated by it. Why? Because he could talk around it, laugh, and even sneeze without dislodging it! That toothpick stayed between his lips no matter what! I kinda wish my uncle was still alive so he could learn some of the following tips and hacks for using toothpicks while RVing. I think he’d like them!

Using toothpicks in the RV kitchen

  • Cake decorating. Yes, you’ve probably used a toothpick to test a cake for “doneness.” (If you poke a toothpick into the cake and it comes out moist, the cake needs to bake longer. If the pick comes out dry, the cake is done.) But check out this tip! After you frost that birthday cake, use a toothpick to first lightly draw or write your message. That way, if you need to redo it, simply smooth the frosting and try again. Once you’re satisfied with the result, follow the toothpick line with a decorating gel pen.
  • Microwave faster. Cook potatoes faster in your RV’s microwave with toothpicks. Prepare the potato as usual and then poke little toothpick “legs” for the potato to “stand” on. The tater will cook faster and more evenly. (This works for other veggies, too.)

For repairs in and around the RV

  • Reattach buttons. When sewing on a button, place a toothpick between the button and the fabric. The pick will act as a shank as you sew the button on. (This allows the button to fasten easily into the buttonhole.)
  • Paint scratches. The woodwork (and faux wood) in an RV can take a beating. Use a toothpick to touch up scratches in the wood trim or cabinetry. Here’s how. Find a paint or stain that matches your woodwork—or at least comes close. Apply a small amount of the paint or stain to the tip of the toothpick. The pick will allow you to paint only the scratch, and the fix should be barely noticeable.
  • Wood filler. Road vibration and constant use can cause screws in door hinges or RV trim pieces to pull loose. Use toothpicks as wood filler for stripped screw holes in RV door hinges, etc. Dip the end of the toothpick into some glue. Then place the pick into the hole and break off the end. Continue until the hole is tightly filled. Then redrill the stripped hole.
  • Temp fix for eyeglasses. If you lose the tiny screw that holds the temple piece to your glasses, insert the tip of a pick in the screw holes for a temporary hold.


  • Clean brushes and more. A toothpick can help pull hair out of a hairbrush. Just insert the pick between the bristles and gently pull.
  • A toothpick can remove food bits and dirt from your computer keyboard. It will also help remove greasy grime from other small RV crevices, too.


  • Start a plant. Avocados can be reproduced—with some help from toothpicks. Poke three or four picks around the mid-section of the avocado seed. The toothpicks should be positioned to suspend the vegetable inside a drinking glass. Pour water into the glass so that the bottom third of the seed is covered. Roots will eventually emerge, and then you can transplant the avocado into garden soil.
  • Test plants. Poke a toothpick into the soil of your houseplant. If it comes out covered with soil bits or wet, the plant does not need to be watered. If it comes out dry, water the plant. (This is like testing a cake for “doneness” only the opposite!)

Find your way with toothpicks

Did you know that a toothpick can help you navigate? This is cool! Hold the toothpick near an analog wristwatch so that the pick’s shadow is cast on the hour hand. Next, find the line halfway between the shadow and 12. (During daylight saving time, use 1.) That line will run north and south. Sure, you can use the compass app on your cell phone, but what if you don’t have cell coverage? Besides, don’t you agree that this is cool? Or at least quirky!


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Impavid (@guest_209299)
1 year ago

Can you use the toothpick trick with peas? Probably makes a mess. Asking for a friend.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Impavid

Which tip/trick are you referring to, Impavid? Growing them like an avocado? Just for kicks, I just Googled “toothpick trick with peas” and it came up with more than 3 million results! So I guess you can pick your trick. 😆 Have a good evening/night. 😀 –Diane

L Beal (@guest_209225)
1 year ago

Whenever I make a fruit salad, or just cut up any fruit to eat on the spot, I put toothpicks into the pieces of fruit to invite the family to eat.

Bob p (@guest_209222)
1 year ago

As a last resort you can get the peanuts out of your teeth. Lol

Dan Donohue (@guest_209197)
1 year ago

Also to fill in a screw hole so you can reuse hole. Just push in till hole filled then snap off. Gives screw something to bite on and allows you to reuse same hole.

Jerry Chandler (@guest_209228)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan Donohue

I usually dip the toothpick (or I use a splinter of wood) in some wood glue before I insert it in the hole. That makes it a permanent fix. If the screw needs to be removed later it will come out easily and the toothpick or splinter stays in.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.