This Incredible Gadget Makes Changing the Toilet Paper Roll a One-Hand, One-Step Chore

Jay_Zynism/iStock via Getty Images
Jay_Zynism/iStock via Getty Images

Failing to swap out the empty roll of toilet paper for a new one would likely top the list of the most common roommate issues. While it’s far from the most time-consuming, disgusting, or aerobic chore, it still feels unnecessarily complicated and irksome.

Some clever engineers are hoping to change that with TP Sidekick, a set of two plastic mechanisms that you fasten to the arms of your toilet paper holder to make changing the roll a one-hand, one-step job. Ultra-strong double-sided adhesive foam keeps the pieces firmly in place on your holder, and all you have to do is push the new roll of toilet paper up through the bottom of your holder. That will push up the small plastic tabs, releasing the existing empty roll and locking the new one into place.

We recommend practicing a few times so you can see where the empty cardboard cylinder usually lands on the floor—then you can place a wastebasket to catch it (as long as you’re planning on recycling the contents of the basket). The TP Sidekick makes changing the roll more convenient for children, elderly people, and those with motor disabilities, and it’s also much more hygienic, considering you don’t have to touch the holder at all.

Before you decide to back the project on Kickstarter, make sure you have toilet paper dispensers that will work with the design: The TP Sidekick fits onto standard dispensers that have two extended, flat-surfaced arms that secure a spring tube in the middle. As seen in the video above, your holder doesn’t have to be totally flat—the arms can be slightly curved upward or inward, and the plastic pieces will still fit well.

One TP Sidekick costs only $11, and you can see more purchasing options from Kickstarter.

While we’re talking about toilet paper, find out if you’re wiping correctly here.

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You Can Control This Smart Candle’s Flame From Your Smartphone

This smart candle lights up with a real flame, but you won't even need to leave the couch to ignite it.
This smart candle lights up with a real flame, but you won't even need to leave the couch to ignite it.
Candle Touch

You can already turn on your lights, TVs, Instant Pots, and pet feeders from your smartphone—so why not a candle with a real flame? The Candle Touch aims to make lighting a candle as easy as scrolling through Instagram, and it's currently available on Kickstarter beginning at $49.

Working a Candle Touch is just like any smart device—just download the app (iOS and Android), pair it with your device, and hit the right prompts to light the wick. Once the base receives the Bluetooth signal, it sends a current up two metal rods that ignite the cotton wick, according to Apartment Therapy.

The candles themselves are made with a natural coconut wax, and there are nine scents to choose from, including white tea and ginger, amber and clove, and avocado and mint. Each candle should burn for around 40 hours, and a single smartphone can pair with up to 10 of them.

Because it involves an open flame, the app comes with several safety features. To start, you need to be within 60 feet of the candle to light it, so there’s no need to worry about accidently igniting it while you’re away from home. You can even password protect the Candle Touch, which is useful if you have kids running around. The app also has a timer and a reminder feature if the candle has been on for too long.

When the wax runs out, or if you just want to change out the smell, you can just plug a new wax refill into the smart base. Currently, you can buy the candle’s base in silver, white, or black. And for a limited time, carbon and wood colors are available.

With $32,353 raised, the campaign has already surpassed its original $30,000 goal. But you can still help bring the project to life and get your own smart candles by heading here.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

This Puzzle Teaches Kids—and Adults—About Amazing Women Scientists

This 500-piece puzzle sold on Amazon celebrates the achievements of women in STEM fields.
This 500-piece puzzle sold on Amazon celebrates the achievements of women in STEM fields.
Clarkson Potter/Amazon

It’s no secret female scientists have been overlooked for decades, but this puzzle, which sells for $17 on Amazon, aims to rectify that by spotlighting 15 notable women who made incredible strides in STEM fields.

The puzzle is the work of illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky, author of the best-selling picture book Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World. “The most important way to fight gender bias is to share stories of amazing women with boys and girls,” Ignotofsky told Mental Floss in 2016. “Many of these women have changed the way that we understand our world forever, but we don’t know about them. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are more household names than Grace Hopper, who invented coding. When we don’t tell these stories, we allow these inequalities and stereotypes to continue.”

The 500-piece puzzle features Grace Hopper along with several other notable scientists, including astronaut Mae Jemison, particle physicist Sau Lan Wu, and Nobel Prize-winning cytogeneticist Barbara McClintock.

Ignotofsky hopes the puzzle, as well as the book it’s based on, will inspire children and adults alike. “My hope is that seeing these women who have led in the past will help girls feel more confident, like ‘Not only do I deserve this, but I’m going to take it,’” she said.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

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