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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Duct Tape: Why You Need to Store It

Duct Tape Hung A Rack At The Store

Duct tape was invented for the US military back in 1942, right during the middle of WWII. American soldiers used “duck tape” because of its versatility and adhesiveness to repair windows and use them as temporary bandages. It became duct tape later with its general use by the public.

Over the past several decades, people have come to use duct tape to fix almost anything. It’s tough stuff!

Duct Tape: Why You Need to Store It

Mark and I have a good doctor friend who has always valued having and using duct tape. He often gives it as a wedding gift because he thinks “every young couple should have a supply of duct tape available. They’ll soon learn how to fix things around their apartment or home!”

Whether you’re a prepper or not, duct tape is one item that you should have because it’s one of those emergency items that will disappear first during an emergency. That’s why you need to have a healthy supply of duct tape tucked away in your home. 

Duct tape should not only be used for packaging boxes or holding something together, clever people have discovered hundreds of uses for duct tape over the years. Keep in mind that most DIY uses of duct tape are for short-term/temporary repairs and NOT a long-term solution. Also, many of the uses of duct tape listed here are when you are away from home hunting, hiking, camping, at a sporting event, etc.

Duct Tape: Why You Need to Store It

Listed below are several ways to use duct tape that you may have never thought or heard about before:   

Repair Leaking Water and Drain Pipes 

Have you ever had a crack in your drain pipes and the constant drip that follows? Duct tape is your short-term answer to fix these kinds of water pipes. First, make sure that the surface of the pipe is dry when you apply the tape. It will hold pretty well, but not if the surface is wet. You’ll probably want to make a more permanent repair by filling in the hole or making a new connection when time allows. Most duct tape brands available aren’t waterproof tape, they are water resistant.

Most water lines have a fair amount of water pressure, so the flow stays consistent. If you have a metal or PVC water pipe that springs a leak, you can use duct tape as a temporary repair tool. You’ll want to do a more permanent job or hire a plumber as soon as possible. You must shut the water off and ensure the pipe is dry before applying the duct tape. Sealing off the leak may take several wraps, but it should get you by until a permanent fix can be applied.

Other home repairs where duct tape can prove to be a Godsend include covering small holes in the roof, siding, garden hose, screens, and even your eyeglasses. Gorilla Tape Is Even Better

Keeps your Feet Warm 

Are your boots or tennis shoes not holding enough warmth for your feet during winter? Take the soles of your shoes or boots and apply duct tape around them. You can also try putting some duct tape inside the boot or shoe with the shiny side up. The adhesive should hold it in place pretty well, and the tape acts as insulation to help keep your feet warm. You’ll be surprised how much warmer your insulated shoes keep your feet. 

Removes Warts 

You might have heard the rumors that duct tape can remove warts. It’s true! Keeping the tape over the wart for several days removes any oxygen that the wart needs. Cover the area with plastic wrap when taking a bath or shower to prevent air or water from getting on the wart. Within a week or so, you could be wart-free!  

Use Duct Tape to Repair Broken Windows 

Until you can replace your window, a strategically placed piece of duct tape can keep it from breaking further. It can also keep you safe from any more pieces of glass breaking off when you go to repair it. This solution should help in extreme weather. You don’t want air to escape your home until the window glass can be replaced.

Catch Flies or Other Insects 

At some point during the year, you may encounter flies or insects in your home. Strands of duct tape hanging in strategic locations can become a magnet to help trap them. Duct tape can also help you catch those annoying crickets and other crawling things in your garage or basement. Place some duct tape along the floor next to the wall where the critters usually travel.

You’ll have to replace the strip of duct tape from time to time since it also gathers dirt and dust.

Prevents Scuff Marks On Wooden Floors 

Do you have wooden floors at home that get scuffed easily? It’s aggravating when you see long scratches and scuffs across your floor. You can apply small amounts of duct tape to the end of the legs on chairs and bases on other furniture pieces. This helps to keep them from scratching the wood floors in your home ever again. It can also make it easier to move heavy pieces when they need to be relocated in your house.

Create Shelter

You can create a shelter that keeps you from being exposed to the elements by having duct tape and trash bags present. While it might not be as ideal as having a tent, these two together can be lifesaving. You’ll need some branches or poles to create the frame. Duct tape can also hold those together unless it’s very windy.

Brace-Cracked Ribs and Other Medical Uses

Until you can get medical attention, using several inches of it to create a brace for cracked ribs will do the trick. Make sure you’re wearing a smaller shirt to apply the duct tape tightly around your torso. You may want to wrap the duct tape over the clothes until you can get proper medical attention. It could prove to be painful when it comes time to pull the tape off if applied directly to your skin, much like when you pull a bandage off.

If you have a sprained ankle or you break an arm, leg, finger, etc., you can use duct tape to hold a brace or splint in place. The strength of the tape should help provide the stability you need to hold the affected area in place until professional help is available.

This also applies to your ankle or wrist, which may be injured and need stabilizing temporarily. Remember to always seek professional help as soon as you can.

Using duct tape as a bandage was one of the original purposes of duct tape out on the battlefield during World War II. It can be used as a temporary bandage. Apply cotton, tissue, or paper towel to your wound, and hold it in place with the tape. 

Other Medical Uses

If your arm or shoulder is injured, you can also use duct tape to make a sling. Make a large loop with the tape based on the size needed to hold the arm in place and prevent it from flopping around, causing more damage.

If you get blisters on your feet while hiking or camping, consider using duct tape to hold the bandage or gauze in place. Don’t ever put the tape next to the blister itself, though, as you may end up tearing the skin. Note that the tape can also act as an insulator or cushion until you can get home and take care of the blister.

It would be great to know how to put stitches in a wound. The stitches hold the wound together so the body can heal naturally while keeping dirt and germs out of the open sore. Here is where duct tape can truly come in handy. The adhesive makeup of duct tape can help hold the wound shut until you can access your doctor or a clinic where medically applied stitches can be placed.

The tape covers the wound so unwanted materials and germs can’t get inside. Coupled with an antiseptic ointment you should always have handy, you have the best of both worlds.

I’ve heard of people using duct tape for a tourniquet. This may work well, but I always caution my readers to be very careful using a tourniquet in any medical rescue situation unless they are properly trained.

Duct Tape Can Repair a Tent 

If you have a rip, tear, or hole in your tent, a few inches of it will fix the problem. Being out in the weather makes it hard for the tape adhesive to last very long, but duct tape can certainly tide you over for a few nights if necessary.

Tent poles often break during transport to your favorite camping spot or when setting up the tent. Duct tape can provide a temporary solution until the pole(s) can be replaced. If you can find a piece of wood or tree branch to help brace the pole before applying the tape, you’ll have a more successful result.

Mark told me of his fishing pole breaking in a hail storm while on a Scout trip in Idaho. He wishes he’d had some duct tape to repair it. After that experience, he and his dad always took duct tape with them. The tape can also be used to repair a fishing creel, ammunition cases, knife handle, an arrow, or other sporty items.

Repair or Temporarily Hem Clothing

If your clothing has a rip or tear, apply a few inches of duct tape on the inside of your shirt or pants, with the sticky side against your clothes. When you put the two pieces together, they should be hardly noticeable for a temporary fix.

You can also hem your pants temporarily by folding the fabric underneath and using duct tape to hold it. 

If you have a short pile carpet like a throw rug, you can use strips of duct tape along the edge to patch or seal the carpet until you can get it professionally bound.

Duct Tape Removes Lint

Isn’t it great when you’re hurrying to make it somewhere, and your dark button-down shirt is covered in light-colored lint? That seems to always happen when the lint roller is nowhere to be found.

Great news! Simply use duct tape to remove the lint. It will also remove pet hair from your clothing or furniture if you have a cat or dog that sheds heavily. 


Needing to blend in with the fall foliage? Create a camouflage covering using only duct tape, trash bags, and leaves. Your presence may go unnoticed this way.  

Handcuff an Intruder

Heaven forbid if someone were to break into your home, but you must have some way to subdue them until first responders arrive. You can use a few inches of the tape to create temporary handcuffs and tape them to a chair for extra protection until the police arrive. 

Fix a Hole in Your Boat 

If your boat has a minor hole, duct tape can also temporarily solve that problem. Place a piece over the hole on the outside surface of the boat. Again, this is a temporary solution to the leaking issue.

If you’re at home when you discover the leak, heat it up with a hairdryer so that the stickiness melts enough to attach securely to your boat. Make sure you press down firmly all over it so it sets properly. 

Leaking Air Ducts and Other Repairs Around Your Home

It goes without saying that it can be used to repair the air ducts in your home that may have developed leaks. Note that over time, it may get too hot for extended periods and lose its adhesion when used for ductwork. Plan a more permanent solution so you don’t have to get up in your attic every year to perform new repairs.

Storing Duct Tape 

You must store it in a proper place, or it will last no more than one year. That’s because the tape will lose much of its adhesiveness when it’s left in hot surroundings.

Sunlight also can tamper with the life of your stored duct tape.

Your best bet is to store it in a dark, cool, and dry place—the cooler, the better. Some people even put their stash in storage bags and tuck them in the freezer. 

Final Word

Are you surprised by how many tasks duct tape can accomplish? Which of these surprised you the most? If you’ve found other reasons and uses for this excellent product, let us know by leaving a comment below so I can share it with my readers. May God bless this world, Linda

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