Let’s Make Twist Ties the New Domestic Battleground

twist ties

Now that the argument over which way to hang the toilet paper has been definitively settled, it’s time to turn our attention to the burning issue of twist tie direction.

In case you missed it, the Internet at large declared that toilet paper goes over, not under, all based upon a single illustration in a patent document from 1891. Though already in the public record for over a century, the drawing by Seth Wheeler of Albany was tweeted recently by a writer with nearly 10,000 followers, and, well, you know how that goes. (Many media outlets pretended that the question of one-ply versus two-ply TP is left unanswered, when in fact all reasonable people agree that one-ply is the work of the devil.)

Shockingly, no one is using Wheeler's patent from two decades earlier as proof that toilet paper belongs on the ground.

Shockingly, no one is using Wheeler’s patent from two decades earlier as proof that toilet paper belongs on the ground.

The next frontier in pointless household disputes needs must center on the twist tie, that flexible slip of metal coated with plastic or paper. It secures bread bags and trash bags and coiled cables, and it has somehow escaped widespread criticism for failing to adhere to a clear standard.

Some rotate the ends of a twist tie, when tightening its beneficent grip, in a clockwise motion.

Others – and we shall refrain from vile invective no matter how appropriate – do so counter-clockwise.

As divisive as the toilet paper conflict has been lo this many years, the silent war between clockwise twisters and counter-clockwise deviants has wrought incalculable damage of its own. Consider the countless seconds wasted when opening a tasty snack sack, gently unwinding the coiled wire locking freshness inside – but no! In fact the hungry consumer has been further closing the packaging and must undo all the work already done before even commencing the original intended task!

twist tie on bread bag


All precedent is on the side of a clockwise closing twist:

  • Beverage caps invariably tighten via a clockwise motion.
  • The time-honored adage of “righty tighty, lefty loosey” is firmly entrenched as a manufacturing practice for screws and bolts in the construction trades.
  • The very term “counter-clockwise” is not standardized; some English-speaking regions use the term “anti-clockwise”.

Therefore let us all commit to #TwistRight when closing bags. Please spread this campaign far and wide, of course shunning all who refuse to cooperate.


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