Time Wasters! - 10 Pins That Don't Work

Anyone who has spent time on Pinterest.com (a very popular social sharing site)  has seen the same tips  showing up over and over and over again. These tips look really great. But do they work? Many do but there are a surprisingly large number of very popular pins that are total duds. The popularity of a Pin does not always mean that a Pin is worthwhile.

In looking for creative ideas on Pinterest to share on our InventorSpot Pinboard, I did quite a bit of research on what Pins worked and what Pins didn't. I found there were quite a few tips and ideas that got consistenly bad reviews from pinners but were still getting pinned as helpful tips. I thought I'd try to help out fellow pinners and point out some of the most popular pins that aren't worth pinning. 

If you want to confirm my findings, just go search on Pinterest for the terms like "It Works" and "Didn't Work" to find all the pins of pinners sharing their personal  pin tests experiences. (I am only sharing some of the  most popular pins that seems to regularly disappoint pinners who tried a tip they found on Pinterest.) 

Here's my list of Top 10 Time Wasters on Pinterest - Pins That Don't Work:

1. Use Can Opener To Open Sealed Plastic Blister Packs


The Can Opener tip is incredibly popular on Pinterest. Almost everyone on Pinterest seems to have this tip posted somewhere in their pinboards. Unfortunately, it doesn't work or barely works for the folks who have tried it. A few folks who failed in making this tip work for them mentioned that their old can opener is likely the problem. I personally tried this tip with both an old cheap can opener and a brand new high end well-rated can opener. Regretfully, they both failed to help me open the plastic blister packaging of two different packages I used for my experiment. In trying to open one package with the high end opener, I actually ended up gashing myself on the plastic packaging.  So after this failed experiment, I am convinced that an excellent package opener like this one for around $10 is a good investment. 

2. Make Grilled Cheese Sandwiches With Your Toaster


You've all probably seen pins or and posts all over the place suggesting that if you lay a toaster on its side, you can make a grilled cheese sandwich quickly and easily. The tip has gone practically viral and is now in all sorts of tip posts. So it must work, right? Nope, it doesn't work. And it is dangerous! I've read several comments about the cheese dripping on to the toaster and creating a terrific mess and risking a fire. This idea is a total dud so please don't even bother trying this one yourself. 

3. The Best Drain Cleaner - Drain De-clogger


There are several variations on this post around on Pinterest. It's not clear that the homemade combination of vinegar and baking soda (sometime with salt) is an absolutely and total dud. This tip is more like a "why bother" tip. Some have reported success but most have reported that it doens't work at all or it barely works. For me personally, it was a total failure.  I think that it probably depends on the type of clog you have.  So you may want to try this DIY combo in case it can help your clog, but I'd have a really good heavy duty commercial drain declogger like this one handy just in case the DIY formula does not work.   This is one of those circumstances where commercial formulas are clearly stronger and more effective than home recipes.

4. Magic Eraser Toilet Bowl Cleaner


There are several popular pins citing the terrific benefits of cutting up pieces of a Magic Eraser and floating them in the toilet to get rid of toilet ring stains. It does not work!  This site details out why it's a bad idea.  Having a micro-abrasive sponge sitting in toilet water overnight is not going to clean your toilet. Even if it worked, I don't think you want to make a habit of scouring your toilet with abrasives.  Plus you will need to fish the sponges out. Not fun. So why do that? 


5. Oven Dried Strawberries

Oven Dried StrawberriesOven Dried Strawberries

It may very well be that slow dried strawberries are wonderful, but this particlar recipe that is so popular on Pinterest isn't that great for most of the folks who tried it. Following the super simple recipe seems to lead to a cooked strawberry rather than a dried one. Perhaps adjusting the overn temperature or drying time would make it work? Just don't follow this recipe's instructions. When I tried it, I just got hot mushy strawberries. 

6. Cut Wine Bottles With String And Nail Polish

Wine Bottle CutterWine Bottle Cutter

Several popular pin posts promise that you can easily break a wine bottle for all your up-cycling crafts with some nail polish remover, some string and a match. While it may work for some, for most mortals it will put both your body and your home at risk. If you are a risk taker or desperate to up-cycle wine bottles, you may want to try it out, but be super careful. For those of us that are fearful, you can just buy a $20 glass cutter and you're safe. I was too scared by the reviews to try this tip myself.

7. Brown Sugar Hair Straightener


There are several popular pins going around that you can straighten hair without heat by just applying a mixture of water and brown sugar to your hair. A sugar water mix is used by stylists to give you a sticky messy look and not to give a sleek straight look, so this tip doesn't work. So unless you are going for the icky sticky mess look, don't bother trying this hair formula.

8. Burning An Orange - Make A Clementine Candle


The idea of being able to turn an orange into a candle seems almost too pretty to be true, and it is. While creating a clementine candle may work for those with infinite amounts of patience and skill, for most normal folks, it does not work that well. The instruction in the tip post admits that "The tough part is getting the "wick" to light." It seems for most people who tried to light an orange, the tough part was impossible. I knew I did not have the patience to even try this tip so I skipped it.


9. DIY Sunless Leg Tanner From Cocoa


There are dozens of posts out on the web making the exciting claim that you can create a cheap and safe self-tanner using cocoa powder and mixing it with lotion. Unfortunately, it seems the results are disappointing. Most testers had little or no success seeing any discernable improvement in skin darkening after applying the cocoa mixture. Almost everyone had little success but huge messes to clean up. So this tip seems to be a total loser for most people who tried. it. A very well rated self-tanner will probably give you much better results. 

10. Mountain Dew Glow-in-the-Dark


This idea of easily converting Mountain Dew into a giant glow stick has been pinned by many pinners but it is a total hoax. I could not even find the original source for the idea.  Lots of pinners who have tried it say it doesn't work. The chemistry simply doesn't make sense so don't waste your precious Mountain Dew trying this tip out. 

So what do you think of the list?  Are these the tips you'd pick as total time wasters? 

As with many things, people's personal experiences vary. So all of these pins may have worked really well for some people under some circumstances. Have you tried any of these popular tips yourself? What was your experience? Did any of these work well for you?

I hope this list has been helpful. With all the time you saved, perhaps you'll go and take a look at InventorSpot's pinboards?

Please share this post on Pinterest if you found it helpful so that we can all stop wasting our time on Pins That Don't Work?

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