duct tape uses

We don’t need to tell you what duct tape is. Almost every American has used the tough, grippy stuff to patch, repair, or fasten something in a pinch; many of us have a roll or two sitting in the house right now. Duct tape has become an essential part of American society, and it’s no wonder—it’s an affordable, simple way to fix almost anything. It’s even available in a huge variety of colors and patterns, meaning consumers can get really creative with it. Since we’re guessing you don’t have an immediate need for a duct tape prom dress, here are some of the most practical uses for duct tape we’ve come across.

Patch blisters in a pinch

Adhesive bandages (known colloquially as bandaids) aren’t always around when you need them—but duct tape might be. The next time you find yourself far from a pharmacy with a minor injury, try duct tape. Just place a piece of cotton or gauze over the wound, then top it with tape. Trimming the corners will help the tape stay put while you pull on your socks. We’re not saying it’s better than a bandage, but like so many things on this list, it’s better than nothing.

Waterproof your shoes

On a hike and need to cross a patch of deep snow or muck? Duct tape can be used to create a pair of impromptu gaiters that keep the snow out of your shoes or boots. Just wrap some around the tops of your boots and the lower ends of your pants. You could even go whole-hog and wrap your shoes entirely with duct tape, though this might be a pain to remove later. Some cross-country runners also employ this method to keep their shoes looking fresh after miles of trail running.

Make stairs—and other areas—safer

It may surprise you to learn that stairway accidents are one of the leading causes of accidental injury in the U.S., second only to motor vehicle accidents. Each year about 12,000 people—mostly senior citizens—die from accidental stairway falls. You can help make things easier for seniors, children, disabled people, and everyone else by placing a strip of bright duct tape at the edge of each stair. You can also use duct tape to highlight areas people might be looking for, like access points, exit routes, and unsafe areas. This is extremely useful in workplaces and manufacturing facilities.

Remove a lot of pet hair quickly

Lint rollers are another item that never seem to be around when you need them. And if you have a dog or cat that sheds, you always need them. The next time you need to de-shed your car seat, couch, bed, or clothes, grab an empty paint roller (or empty lint roller, if you have one) and wrap some duct tape around it, sticky side facing outwards. This is a great solution for larger surfaces, because it’s much larger than most regular lint rollers, and you can cover more surface area with less effort.

Patch or fortify your “work jeans”

This is not a fashion tip. If you wear jeans patched with duct tape to a public place, you will most likely draw some snickers—though others may commend your enterprising and innovative spirit. If you find yourself burning through your Levi’s as you tackle tough jobs around the house though, you should definitely consider applying a few layers of tape to your knees before starting work. This can keep your knees safe and your pants nice for a few months longer, something your wife or other pants-buyer will certainly appreciate. Bonus tip: put some duct tape on your pant knees before doing a lot of kneeling in the garden.

Hide secret stuff creatively

The vast majority of people hide their extra front door key under the welcome mat, or inside a plant pot. You’re not fooling anyone with that—many professional criminals will comb through neighborhoods, pulling up welcome mats in search of a key. A tiny strip of duct tape can help you use a much more creative hiding space, like the underside of a patio chair, or the underside of a downspout. Some hunters also use camo-colored duct tape to hide trail cameras and cables.

Make at-home woodworking easier

Duct tape can also be very useful in your garage workshop. Some woodworkers recommend applying a strip of tape to a piece of plywood you’ll be cutting, to minimize the splinters from the saw blade. Others believe that the sticky residue from the tape will gum up the saw blade, though, so you might want to use masking tape instead. You can also apply tape to the back of sandpaper to keep it from tearing when sanding rounded surfaces. Lastly, if you get a splinter while you’re working, and don’t want to stop work to tweeze it out, a piece of duct tape can often be used to remove small, shallow splinters from the skin.

Close a wound in an emergency

As we said with the bandaids: this is not the best tool to use when you have a medical emergency, but it’s better than nothing. If you find yourself in a crisis with nothing to hand but a roll of duct tape, you can use it as a makeshift binding until better help can be obtained. Make sure that the wound is cleaned first, preferably with alcohol or clean water. If you don’t have a hose or running water, you can pour it out of a clean bottle or plastic bag. Once the area is clean and dried, tear off several strips of duct tape, about 3 inches long and a quarter-inch wide. Use them as you would use “stiches” to draw the wound together. This video offers a good demonstration, and this one gives more information and advice that may one day come in handy.

Where can I buy duct tape in Richmond VA?

We know what you’re thinking: now that I have so many ideas for duct tape uses, I just have to stock up on it. But where can I find duct tape in a wide variety of colors, patterns, sizes, and thicknesses if I live in Virginia or the rest of the East Coast? Worry no more, friend: SSI Packaging offers everything you could possibly need to tape a package, household item, or—God forbid—an actual air duct. We also have paper tape, clear packing tape, masking tape, strapping tape, and tape dispensers to make the job easier. If you have any questions we can help you answer, tape-related or otherwise, please feel free to give us a call or stop by and see us today.

(804) 808-1606