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Travel + Leisure
November 16, 2018

It’s happened to all of us. You find yourself low on phone battery and reach for your charger, only to find that the cord has frayed beyond all recognition.

Until now, beyond going out and buying a brand new charger, there hasn’t been much you can do to stop the fraying. Some people have used tape or embroidery floss to try and stop the wear and tear, but those solutions often just cover up the underlying problem.

Luckily, there is one simple hack you can do to keep your charger looking (and, more importantly, working) as good as new. And it’s been in your desk drawer this entire time.

According to Real Simple, you can prevent damage by using an old spring from a click pen and a small piece of electrical tape.

First, wrap a one-inch piece of tape around the base of the lightning cord. Then remove the spring from an old pen and attach it by opening one side and threading the spring onto the cord. It should be noted that you shouldn’t skip the tape, since the metal spring alone can actually cause more wear over time, and possibly not stay in place.

Once you’re done threading your spring, you’re all set. Feel free to charge your phone as much as you like. Celebrate the fact that you no longer have to spend $20 — or even more — to replace it. This simple trick can even work on laptop chargers too, which cost upwards of $80 for replacements.

Plus, if you really want to extend the life of your charger, it’s best to invest in a product that protects it from tangles and messes, too. The less pulling and twisting you need to do on your cord, the longer it will last, ready to give you power whenever you need it.

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