Well-known products with entirely different uses today than their original intended use

Weren’t sanitary pads originally for treating wounds?

Shaving foam is an essential item in special education schools, used by all classes for sensory activities.
Corn flour is an essential item is special education, use by lots of teachers for sensory aictivities.
Key rings (attached to belt loops) are used for holding symbols - the MOST essentional item in a special educational needs school.

Can anyone guess where I work!

Graham crackers were originally for stopping masturbation and other moral failings, not pie crusts. Corn flakes had a similar motivation.

And I rarely eat popsicles (Magnums are another story), but I use that particular size and shape of stick in arts and crafts all the time.

Oops, yes, I goofed up and confused two antiseptic products starting with ‘L’. I guess I needed coffee when I made my post :unamused:

The mouse that came with my Mac - the Apple Mouse 2 - is totally unusable as a mouse, but makes a great doorstop.

I can’t remember how old I was when I realized that pipe cleaners could be used to clean pipes.

The guitar was originally a tool used in tuning harpsichords before it became an instrument itself.

I’m old enough to remember when Vaseline was marketed as “The First Aid Kit in a Jar.” Even as a kid I thought that was dubious.

What do you think is the base of antibiotic ointments?

Vaseline does help with skin irritation, keeps dirt out of wounds, and reduces scarring.

Kleenex was originally marketed as a way for women to remove cold cream, and advertising focused on movie stars using the product to remove their theatrical makeup. It was customers who started using them as disposable handkerchiefs.

Bag Balm is used for the same purpose, but in a different species, than originally intended.
Likewise, Absorbine, Jr.

Heroin was initially believed to be a non-addictive substitute for morphine in cough medicines. Oops.

Vaseline does have some benefits, but it does not have antibiotic properties (I’m not sure if you were implying that it does). The FTC banned the makers of Vaseline from making anti-infection claims back in 1963.

Cecil speaks

I wasn’t implying that, but my point was that it was good for wound and skin care. Antibiotic ointments use it as a base for that reason.

The reason I suggested Vaseline is not that it’s not still used for cuts and burns, but rather that its main uses (which are multitudinous) are mostly because of its lubricating properties. It doesn’t quite fit the OP, but I figured it was close enough.

Personally, I only use it on saddlesores which I occasionally get from bicycle riding. The lubrication is only reason it helps with those.

…what else are Q-tips used for?

Cyanoacrylates were developed as a quick way to treat greivous wounds on a battlefield but today is marketed as Super Glue.

I use them for cleaning up nail polish or makeup when I accidently slop some where it doesn’t belong, cleaning jewelry, and in arts and crafts - both for wiping up excess glue, etc. and as a smudge stick for blending.

The play-doh link is great - thanks!

Yes. They’re used for lots of other things, but they are still used for cleaning out ears.

Many sources say you shouldn’t use them for that, but people still do it. (Me included - as long as you don’t go too far in, which is the issue).

Baby wipes are a similar item that, obviously, are used for wiping babies, specifically their bums. However, I’ve always kept them around - useful for camping, some awkward cleaning things, and after sex.

In fact, when my daughter was a baby, 20ish years ago, baby wipes were a mainstay in our house for everything except bum wiping, because they were too astringent and just gave her nappy rash - it happened to most babies so often that applying sudocrem was just accepted as something you do after changing a nappy.

Modern brands tend to be better for their intended purpose, but there was a period of time where they were best for everything except that.

I go thrugh a couple of coat-hangers a year. My TV antenna. Holding up the muffler on my niece’s car. Cut into 1.5 inch nails for walllhangingss. Bookends.