ScrapHappy – January 2022

Everytime I do a lateral flow test, and have to throw away so much stuff, a tiny part of me dies a little death

Then I had a genius* idea

My hairdryer doesn’t get a huge amount of use, especially since I stopped having a day job in 2014, but I’ve noticed that the external sheathing was worn through.

I’m no electrician, but I’m not an idiot, and I know that will eventually lead to the inner sheathing rubbing and then the two wires connecting. One would hope the fuse would blow before I’d be fried, but, hey. Let’s not test that assumption.

So. This is old enough to have a proper plug, and I’m old enough to have been trained how to wire them (in fact, I’m so old, dad taught me using black and white TVs, that had valves and with red and black wires, telling me “red is live and therefore brown is live cos it has a R in it and black has an l which looks like a – sign” a phrase that’s actually quite hampering now!)

All I needed was 5 minutes, a pair of screwdrivers – a possie and a flathead – scissors, my magic alligator tape** and the flexi test tube bit from a used (negative) NHS Lateral Flow Test pack. That element sat in the dishwasher for about 3 weeks, repeatedly getting washed, just to be on the safe side!

Cut a length of alligator tape, wrap it round the damage. Trim the tube so it will fit neatly over the cable

Remove the plug – if unsure how it will go back, take a photo for reference

Thread the tube over the cable and wodge it into the sheath at the other end as far as it will go. Because it and the alligator tape are both silicone, they’ll grip together nicely.

Rewire the plug.

Make a drink and bask in the smugness of saving two items from landfill

NB – if I were better at this, and if the hairdryer had any obvious way of disassembling, I’d have taken it apart properly, shortened the cable an inch and rewired. But it doesn’t, so I had to bodge instead.

*aka #Geniearse in the Gilly household

**I get mine from KernowCraft coz they are local to me, being in Cornwall (as the name suggests!) but I have it on good authority that if you can’t shop from them, you can get silicone pet bandage in different widths and sizes. I use mine for all sorts of things, mostly for protecting my finger and thumb when doing a lot of filing, or wrapping round plier jaws to soften the edges and give a little grip

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose


About DawnGillDesigns

Finally able to make stuff and get paid for it!!! How cool is this?! Find me and my shinies on and as @DawnGillDesigns on social media
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17 Responses to ScrapHappy – January 2022

  1. writinghouse says:

    That’s a great fix! I, too, am irked by the lateral flow test wastage and hadn’t figured out a use for any of it. But now… 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. katechiconi says:

    What a good hack! I’d follow your example and reuse those sleeves – if there was a single test kit to be had in this country! Here, they’re known as RATs (Rapid Antigen Tests) and they are rarer than rubies. I’m of a generation that learned to rewire a plug and change a fuse, too, and was a bit stunned to discover that people here just down, because all plugs are now permanently sealed to the cord. But I can if I need to!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. claire93 says:

    brilliant save ^^ and I too remember my Dad showing me and my sister how to change a plug, back in the 70s, because it was an important skill to have!


  4. Going Batty in Wales says:

    A very clever fix Dawn. I haven’t heard of pet bandage but will look out for some – it seems the kind off thing that comes in handy on many occasions!


  5. We are currently saving all the little bags to use when we sell buttons and beads in the shop… we put the test kit bits in the foil pouch that had the test strip in to chuck them away and, like you say, feel a sense of despair every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. great fix. I’m going yo look for the pet bandage, it looks very handy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dvberkom says:

    You clever girl, you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. nanacathy2 says:

    Those tests do come with so much stuff don’t they. Clever reuse, but no way would I try that

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Never had a lateral flow test and not about to start any time soon, but your idea certainly sounds super clever and inventive. No flies on you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ta. We’ve been encouraged to take quite a lot of LFTs. (guidance from gov’mt was for 2 per week,) but as I really only go to the PO I’ve only been taking one immediately before I attend a show as a stall holder, or if I know m going to be spending time with vulnerable people in an indoor environment and it’s been a few weeks since I last did. As a result I’ve probably only used about a dozen, but it’s so frustrating to have all the waste

      Liked by 1 person

  10. acflory says:

    -giggles- love this post, Dawn! Like you, I’m old enough to have messed around with lamps in my youth – red is live, black is earth. Still comes in handy when attaching a trickle charger to a car battery, or the battery to my fire fighting pumps. 🙂 Survival skills never go astray.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. Pingback: ScrapHappy March 2022: Lateral (flow test) thinking | writinghouse

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