Don't knock until you try. Take this video for example: as soon as the strong oil hits the plastic, the tape breaks apart instantly. No scissors (or hooks) required.
After picking my jaw off the ground, I had to do some digging – I posted the video in question to a trusted source and it turned out that you can't just dribble every EO you have in your arsenal and expect the elastic can snap.
Citrus oils tend to do the trick: "I suspect it's the lime in the essential oil that interacts with the elastic and weakens the structure so that it breaks," says Sarah Villafranco, M.D., founder of Osmia Organics. "The essential oil and rubber are both non-polar hydrocarbons. When they come together, some of the rubber dissolves in the oil, making it weaker."
She even tested the oils herself on a couple of thin rubber bands. The judgment? Lemon and grapefruit oils worked the fastest, followed by bergamot and spearmint. "All of these oils contain lime in varying amounts, with orange, grapefruit, and lemon topping the list," she says. "In contrast, I tested clary sage and geranium, neither of which contain lime, and they didn't break the gum in the same way."
However, if you have orange, lemon, or grapefruit essential oils on hand, a few drops on the wrapped elastic band can help it break apart in no time. We should note: make sure you drop the oil on the elastic itself, not your skin or hair. When lime is applied directly to the skin, it is a common irritant. Since it's strong enough to dissolve gum when it is undiluted, you don't want to satiate your skin, especially without a carrier.