Reusing Bread Wire Ties




Introduction: Reusing Bread Wire Ties

About: Writer, engineer, techie. I've been using computers since the original Apple II in 1978 and have always been interested in technical topics. Check out my articles on They include how-to...

Most of the time when you buy a loaf of bread it's got a little wire twisty sealing the bag. The same ties are used with cables and power adapters which come with electronics.

I save all of my old twisty wire ties and reuse them, most often as replacements for nylon ties. Sure nylon cable ties have their purposes but nylon ties are normally not reusable (or much more expensive if they are reusable versions). In addition if something isn't permanent (and in my setup permanent is rarely for more than a year or so before something gets upgraded or moved around) then the nylon tie has to get snipped and almost certainly ends up in a landfill. Environmentally it's certainly better to repurpose a twisty tie than to use a nylon tie (and also less expensive).

Besides making cable storage neater and making cables neater there are lots of other ways to use wire twisty ties.

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Step 1: Bundling Related Cables

In this example I'm bundling a stereo audio cable (actually two cables permanently connected), a video cable, a second audio cable, and a control cable. All I did was wrap the twisty tie around the bundle several times. It helps keep these cables organized, especially since this bundle goes in a wire raceway along with many other cables and it helps to have the related cables in separate bundles.

Step 2: Identify Similar Cables

Many of my electronics produce R-F outputs and these all go into a matrix switch. The cables are basically identical. To make it easier to identify which cables come from which sources I wrap a colored twisty wire around the end of each cable.

Other choices would be to paint the connector with nail polish, a color-coded shrink wrap, or wrap the end in colored electrical tape, but the twisty wire is the easiest and least expensive choice.

Step 3: Hold a Data Cable in Place

I've got a USB cable which goes along the arm of a lamp (from my swing arm lamp instructable). To keep the USB cable in place a couple of twisty ties attach it to the lamp's power cord. The twisty ties keep the USB cable out of the way and in place at the same time without interfering with the lamp's operation.

Step 4: Keeping Cables Neat Inside a Dekstop Computer

When I first assembled my own computers I used nylon ties to hold the power connectors and other internal cables in place. After a couple of upgrades to computer components and replaced power supplies I realized that I was going through lots of nylon cable ties. With wire twisty ties I can easily redo the ties when I do upgrades and replacements.

There are lots of other uses for wire ties and I may update this instructable in the future. Comments on how you reuse twisty ties are certainly welcome.

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    3 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Won't coiling a twist tie around a live wire result in electricity from the ends of the twist tie?


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I only coil the twist ties around video, audio, data, and signal cables - not high power lines. I do use twisty ties to bundle power cords along with other cords, but they're simple ties - not coils.

    I haven't done the calculations, but I doubt that even you did wrap any reasonable length twisty tie around an 120V AC lines you could induce much current.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, that's probably right. I almost used a tie to fasten a live wire once, but remembered an old high school experiment and stopped because of it, but I'd probably be safe, I guess.