Day 111 Single function gadgets

The word gadget alone conjures up images of items with more of a novelty factor than any real practical use and for the purpose of this post it is meant to do so.

How many things on your “really don’t need or use” list come under the Single Function Gadget title. For example, my contribution for today to my 365 things are a set of plastic ice cubes. I am sure they were bought for their novelty factor but after using them both to keep liquids cool and in an icepack I really didn’t feel that they radiated the cold as well as the real thing.  I could find no science to back up my claim here but never-the-less I don’t find them useful and they are out of here.

Another thing I found quite useless are those silicon cup cake baking cups. What a pain they are to get clean. I soon went back to using the disposable paper cups.

If anyone out there has a product that they have found to be next to useless please contact me and I will make of page of  Single Function Gadgets as a warning to other innocent consumers.


Plactic Ice Cubes

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. I have some like this but in the shape of fish! they are outta here!

  2. I actually like the silicon baking items and have several — bread pans, cake pans, various cupcake shapes/sizes ranging from a 6-large to a 12- small. (Unless you’re talking about individual cupcake ones — if those exist. Then I think those would be a pain.)

    I love that I don’t have to grease and flour pans or fuss with paper cupcake liners which inevitably collapse on me when filling. I also love that they smoosh in the cupboard if needed, don’t rust if I leave them in the sink water too long and are dishwasher safe.

    But, hey, go ahead and send yours to the thrift store. I make large batches of baked goods and could use another pan… 😉

    • Hi Crystal Apple,
      thanks for your comment. I too think that the silicon baking items are great in general but my cup cake pans were individual ones with the zigzag sides. They were hard to wash by hand and would flip over under the water pressure in the dishwasher and not clean effectively.
      I have old metal pans than are from my grandparents bakery back in the 40’s and I just pop the paper pans in those, the pan stays clean and the papers stay in shape so there is no washing to be done when I am finished. With such a good result I don’t know why I bothered to attempt a different method in the first place.
      If I ever need new large cake pans though I would definitely go for the silicon ones.

  3. I just discovered your blog recently and it has really inspired me! I have been tossing random useless stuff for about a week now. Last night I tossed some single function gadgets gathering dust in my kitchen drawer–two caps to put on soda cans when you want to keep the remainder of the soda from losing its fizz. Well, I haven’t bought canned soda in a long time so those went! Also, a plastic lid that fits a cat food can. My cats won’t touch food that’s been refrigerated so there’s no point in keeping that around. Out it goes!
    I have some of those individual silicon cupcake pans that I have rarely used. I originally bought them to make frozen fruit cups in but I don’t think I’ve made that recipe since I bought them. They are a big pain to clean! I’ll toss those into the Goodwill pile when I get home tonight.
    I’m so thankful for all the inspiration I’m getting from your blog.

    • Hi Alice,
      welcome to my blog, I am glad what I write is being helpful to you. Those pesky single function gadgets are so novel and tempting until you have bought them which is when you realise how useless they really are. A classic case of “It seemed like a good idea at the time”.
      I went over to have a quick look at your stitching blog and it served to remind me that somewhere in my house is a crossstitch the I designed and made for my daughter just after she was bone. It is still in the cylinder that I used to keep it clean while I was making it and hardly ever seen the light of day. Maybe it is about time I framed it and gave it to her. She is now 21.

  4. The only single use gadget that we use quite regularly is something my aunt got from Norfolk Island. It’s a gadget that you put on the side of a lidded jar like tomato paste or pasta sauce and it releases the pressure and it’s then easy to open. Also things like a garlic mincer are quite useful too. A melon baller we got rid of quite some time ago because we just cut a rockmelon etc into pieces, much less fiddly…

    • ahyeah, someone is making way through the archive as well, I see 😉

      funny enough I refused exactly that thing to open up jars from my mum. She brought it anyway and against my will I had to use it already 3 times… Seems like this thing will stick around in my kitchen now 🙂

    • Somehow I missed this comment. Sorry Low Income Lady
      I use the bottle opener part of my old fashioned can opening to do the exact same task as the gardet you speak of here. I also decluttered by garlic mincer because I found the difficulty of cleaning it outweighed the time it saved using it. I now use a trusty knife which is usually already being used to chop up something else for the meal I am making.

      • Funny. I love and use my garlic mincer, even though it is a bit of a pain to clean. There are some models that are easier to clean than others, too.

        My other gadget that I would keep for only one use (but does have more uses) is a Chef’s Rival chopper thing. It chops onions beautifully and I hate chopping them on a board. Hate it! My Mom likes to make salsa in it, so it’s a two use item most of the time — proof we need to branch out in cooking and use it for more…

  5. Slow day at the office so am trying to read some of your archives. My one use item is a cherry pitter. My husband planted a cherry tree in our yard about 30 years ago but planted a sour cherry tree not a fruit tree. In my excitement, I bought a cherry pitter and the first time I used it, it smashed the cherries to bits. Plus, as you can imagine, the cherries were awful. I made a tart and boy was it a “tart tart”. I used a regular cherry pie recipe but not nearly enough sugar. So, I never used the cherry pitter again. Over time, the cherry tree began to lose branches in big wind storms and this last year, it fell over. I keep asking my husband if he wants to plant a “sweet, eating” cherry tree but he says – No more cherry trees. The birds sure enjoyed it, though. So, the cherry pitter goes out. 🙂

    • Hi Maggie, it is items like that at which I shake my head and wonder why I kept it so long int he first place. Oddly enough now, 2 and a half years later I am still finding items like that.

  6. When I had my ‘kitchen tea’ before my wedding (25 years ago!) every guest gave me ‘gadget’.
    Some have been fun and/or useful… But why do I still have a ‘Bean slicer’ in the drawer that has NEVER been used in all that time.
    Yep. It goes today. lol.
    Thanks for your ‘support’ 🙂

  7. Hmmm, interesting you mentioned the silicone baking cups. I was cleaning out a Tupperware cabinet yesterday and found my 4-piece set of silicone bakeware. Today I washed it along with the other keepers because I remember looking for it recently, then deciding I must have already gotten rid of it. I don’t think I’ve ever used any of it, didn’t even know it is hard to clean, can’t remember which piece I was looking for, and almost never bake. Maybe I need to reconsider…lol

    • I rarely bake these days myself, which is why I reduce my baking items to the bare minimum. I figure I can always borrow a pan from someone else should the need arise.