17 Crazy Things You Never Knew You Could Do with Duct Tape

From DIY dog bowls to blister prevention, there's a whole lot more you can do with duct tape.

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When it comes to the reasons you use duct tape, there are the obvious ones—to repair something in a pinch or seal a box you just packed, for example. But the dynamic product is capable of so much more. In fact, the range of everyday crafts and unusual tasks you can do with duct tape stretches so wide that is could almost be described as vast. Need to remove a splinter or add grip to your shoes? Duct tape to the rescue. And you probably already have a roll laying around just waiting to show you what it can do. So, here are all the ways to use duct tape that you probably never even considered.

1
Open a stuck jar

senior trying to open tough jar lid
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You have almost certainly experienced the frustration caused by trying to open a jar with a lid that just won't seem to budge. But now you can stop banging it on the floor or enlisting the help of someone else in the room. Simply cut a piece of duct tape about a foot in length and wrap it around the lid. Then fold the first few inches down on the lid to "help hold it in place" and fold the rest in half to "make it a little sturdier." Holding the jar with one hand, pull the duct tape with the other hand. And voila! You should have an open jar. Need a little help? Just follow this YouTube tutorial from DIY Hacks and How Tos.

2
Make a makeshift lint roller

a typical painting roller isolated on black background
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Have a home covered in pet hair but no lint roller in sight? Don't worry! Duct tape can serve as a great replacement. Just wrap the tape (sticky side up!) around a paint roller and you have your own DIY lint roller. Plus, even if you have an actual roller on-hand, this DIY version can be a quicker solution for a cleaning a large area.

3
Make an old tote bag water-resistant

beach bag with hat,towel, sunglasses, sun lotion, pebbles, seashells and flip flops at the beach
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A tote bag can be the perfect beach accessory to carry your sunscreen, clothes, and towels. But if it's not waterproof, you could have a real mess on your hands. You can either wrap an old tote in duct tape or create an entirely new tote bag using the tape alone with this HGTV tutorial. And while duct tape isn't technically waterproof, it will make your bag water-resistant, which is exactly what you need for a beach or pool accessory.

4
Protect your floors from scuffs

close-up of a grungy wooden floor.
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Moving furniture around can easily scratch up your hardwood floors, which is not a good look for any room in your home. But don't worry about going down to your local hardware store to spend money on furniture leg caps just to protect your floors from scuffs. All you need to do is reach for that endlessly handy silver roll. Applying duct tape to the bottom of your furniture's legs will easily negate their scuffing and scratching powers. Your floors will thank you.

5
Remove a splinter

young man's hand showing wooden splinter after removing it from foot. Accident on wooden floor after walking by barefoot. Front view. Close up.
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No one enjoys getting a splinter, but with duct tape, the removal process becomes all that easier. According to Medical News Today, duct tape can easily "help remove a deeper splinter." All you need to do is thoroughly clean the area, cover it with duct tape, wait 30 minutes, and then pull it off. You should find that the splinter is now on the tape, not in your body.

6
Get rid of a wart

wart on the finger verruca freeze concept blurred neutral background, selective focus
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Similar to the way you'd use it to remove a splinter, you can use duct tape to get rid of a wart. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some people swear by this home remedy. Simply cover a wart with duct tape, and through changing the tape "every few days," it will end up possibly peeling away layers of the wart, which speeds up the removal process.

7
Prevent blisters from developing

Woman with sore feet
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Anyone who has had blisters on their feet knows how much they can ruin your day. And no matter what remedy you try, nothing seems to bring you any relief. That is until you try using duct tape. As Erica Sadun wrote for Life Hacker, you should apply duct tape when you "first feel burning" and before a full blister develops, which will help prevent your shoes from rubbing against your already raw skin. However, if you already have a blister and are worried about putting duct tape directly on it, don't worry. She says to "cut out a circle of paper or gauze" and "attach it to the center of the duct tape" to cover the wound area with something non-sticky, but still using the duct tape to hold it in place.

8
Hem your clothes

Woman measuring fabric
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While knowing how to hem would be a helpful skill to have, it's not one everyone has the time—or patience—to learn. And taking your clothes to a tailor can be costly. So what do you do with those great jeans you got on sale, but are just a couple inches too long?

"All you have to do is turn the jeans inside out, put them on, and roll them up to where you want the hem to be," Krista Burton writes in an article for Rookie magazine. "When you find the sweet spot, fold the pants down crisply and evenly. Rip off a few two-inch pieces of duct tape, then, without unfolding anything, firmly tape the original hem to the jeans." Burton notes that this technique works for skirts and dresses, as well. Plus, she says that a duct tape hem can last for years.

9
Add insulation to your boots

black hiking boots walking outside in the snow
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Your winter boots may be great, but sometimes the cold winds and inches of snow call for even more protection. According to Reader's Digest's book Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things, you can tape the insoles of your boots with duct tape (silver side up) and the shiny tape will "reflect the warmth of your feet back into your boots."

10
Add grip to your shoes

woman wearing heels on steps
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Have a pair of shoes that are a little too slippery for safety? No worries, duct tape can help. By simply applying a piece of duct tape to the soles of your shoes, your shoes will better grip any surface, lowering  your chances of an embarrassing slip-and-fall situation.

11
Create a clothesline

clothes line with two white sheets
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If you're in need of a clothesline, whether you're on a camping trip or just in your yard at home, Reader's Digest again recommends using duct tape. Simply twist a long piece of tape into a rope-like shape and secure it between two trees. And there you have it, a makeshift line to dry your clothes!

12
Start a campfire

flaming bonfire and embers.
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For the camping and survival fanatics, duct tape can come in handy in multiple ways. One of them being its ability to serve as kindling for a fire. After all, it is flammable. According to Mark Wilcox, writer for camping tips site Camping Forge, duct tape can be shred into strips and combined into a makeshift "birds nest." After that you just need a flame to ignite it.

13
Remove sticky residue

sticker trace and glue trace on grey wall texture. Perfect for background.
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Duct tape is even the solution when it's the problem. Wild, we know! Reddit @Odnetnin90 swears by ductape as a method of removing the residue it may leave on your walls and other surfaces. Simply take a new piece of duct tape, stick it over the desired area, and rip it off. This will effectively remove the sticky residue without tearing off any of the paint on your wall. Others recommend using a dabbing technique, but through trial-and-error, you can find the perfect method for you.

14
Create a fly trap

fly in home perched on door or window screen
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No one enjoys pesky flies flying around their house, so why put up with them? According to Aerex, a pest control company, hanging pieces of duct tape can help catch flies. Place a few strips of duct tape (sticky side up!) around your home, especially close to windows and doors, and you've got yourself a DIY fly trap that will have those tiny pests thinking twice about using your home as a hangout.

15
Patch up window screens

window screen torn with a big hole against a black background.
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Have a little hole in a window screen that's been driving you crazy, but you never get around to fixing? Simply cover it with duct tape and bolster another line of defense against those insect intruders.

16
Make sweeping easier

person using broom on hardwood floor, how often you should replace your cleaning supplies
Shutterstock/Syda Productions

Anyone who has ever quickly tried to sweep up a messy floor knows how hard it can be to get the dustpan to work properly. Between the floor and the pan, there always seems to be the slightest gap where dirt slips through. Then you're stuck trying to do that awkward move where you hold the bottom of the broom handle while bending down to hold the dustpan. Now you can wave all that goodbye. All you need to do is add duct tape to that gap between the floor and the pan, so when you sweep, nothing gets left out. And you can easily remove the tape when you're done.

17
Make an on-the-go dog bowl

chocolate labrador retriever looking up and panting outdoors on a summer day.
iStock

Don't let your precious pooch get dehydrated when outside the house just because you don't have an easily portable water bowl. Using just duct tape you can make a collapsable dog bowl that's light and easy to carry. Using either a wine or similar-size bottle as the base, roll duct tape around the bottom of the bottle—sticky side facing out so the adhesive isn't in the drinking area. Once you've covered the base of the bottle completely, go back over it, this time with the sticky side facing in. Then just you pull the bowl off and there you have it.

Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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