It’s one of the greatest mysteries of life: How does our favorite hoodie go into the washing machine and come out with its drawstring wrapped around two bras, a pair of leggings and a sock you didn’t even know was in there? Here, the easiest way to re-string your zip-ups, sweatpants, etc.

What you need: A plastic straw

Step 1: Untie any knots on the end of the drawstring and thread one end through the straw. Tie a knot so the string doesn’t slip back out through the straw.

Step 2: Slip the straw (with your drawstring knot-side in) through the first hole, and thread it through the hoodie’s loop (or sweatpants’ waistband). The straw makes it easier for your hands to work it around the circle.

Step 3: Once you’ve worked the straw through the length of fabric, untie the knot, slip the straw off and voilà! A perfectly threaded drawstring without the hassle of that old safety pin trick your mother taught you.

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