The Hack That'll Save Your Keys If They Fall In The Water Every Time

If you enjoy spending your time out on the water (whether it's on a canoe, kayak, or larger boat) then you know that even if you don't plan on ending up in the water, sometimes it still happens. While these accidental swims aren't a common occurrence, it is important to be prepared because nothing is worse than flipping your kayak and ending up with your house and car keys at the bottom of the lake. Luckily, there's an easy way to save yourself from this situation and make sure your keys never sink again — all you need is a cork.

This hack works so well because cork is a buoyant material that naturally repels liquid which is why it has been used to top wine bottles for thousands of years. So, by attaching a used cork to your keychain, you can easily make a little personal flotation device for your keys that will keep them on the surface of the water during your next accidental dip in the lake. While some sporting goods stores sell cork keychains for sailing and boating, you can just as easily make one yourself using a leftover wine cork and a few extra items. So, how do you do it?

How to make your own cork keychain

The first step in making your cork flotation keychain is to find a good cork to use. You can use any leftover cork from a wine bottle as long as it is still in one piece and hasn't begun crumbling. Before using, you should double-check and make sure the cork is buoyant enough to hold your keys. If you have a particularly heavy set of keys, you may want to attach two corks to your keychain. To check, simply tie a string around the cork and your keys and drop it in a container of water. If it floats, you're good to go.

Now, you can start gathering the materials you need. For a simple keychain, all you will need is the cork and an eye screw — a screw with a loop on one end that is easily found at craft and hardware stores. You may even already have eye screws in your house as they are often used to hang decorations from the ceiling or wall. Next, go ahead and twist the eye screw into the bottom of the cork, and voilà! You have your simple floating keychain that can be attached to your keys with a keyring. If you want to use two corks for your keys, you can add another eye screw to a second cork and then attach it to the same keyring. 

What about the key fob?

Now that most new cars come with a push start function that requires an electronic key fob, simply getting your car keys to float may not be enough to save them. Sometimes, if the fob wasn't submerged for long, it may continue working after it dries. However, this isn't always the case and it is often better to not risk it.

One option for protecting your electronic car key is to keep it in a dry bag with your phone that is either around your neck or tied to your boat. Alternatively, according to a few Redditors on the whitewater forum of the website, the best option is to not bring the fob with you on the boat at all and instead hide it somewhere in your car. Some commenters recommended a console lock box with a traditional key. This is a good idea because keeping a dry bag around your neck or on your person at all times can be cumbersome and a traditional key is much easier to keep safe on the water than an electronic one. 

However, this method would require you to leave your car unlocked, so it is important to remove any valuables beforehand. You will also need to store your key fob in a metal box so that the fob is unable to transmit a signal and no one can push start your car.