DIY Repair & Maintenance

12 Things You Didn’t Know Duct Tape Can Do

Duct tape is an extremely durable and versatile product that can be used to mend, patch, hem, and more. Here are 12 ways that you can put a roll of this ubiquitous silver multitasker to good use in your home.
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Hold a Hemline

Need to hem a pair of pants quickly, but don’t have access to a needle and thread? Duct tape to the rescue! Simply fold the hem of your pants or skirt inward to the desired length, and place duct tape all the way around the edges. No one will be the wiser, and you can easily remove the duct tape later when you’re ready to sew the hem. You can also use a piece of duct tape to mend small tears, or to keep a sweater snag from unraveling—push the edges of the tear or snag through to the inside of the garment, and duct tape in place until you can effect permanent repairs.

Related: 10 Toolbox Hacks for Your Next DIY Project

Repair a Damaged Vehicle

Duct tape can be useful in addressing a variety of car troubles. Use it to prevent a crack from worsening on a windshield, to tape up a broken taillight, to reattach a dangling rear-view or side-view mirror, or to keep a hood or trunk lid shut until you can get to the repair shop. Also consider taping a spare car or house key to the undercarriage of your vehicle or inside a wheel well; you’ll be grateful it’s there if you lose your keys.

Related: 10 Easy Repairs Never to Pay Someone Else For

Banish Bugs

Use duct tape to seal small holes or gaps in your basement walls, around water pipes, or anywhere else pests can invade. To trap ants and other crawling insects, lay a piece of duct tape with the sticky side up along the edges of the basement floor or in between floor joists. Hanging strips or loops of tape from the basement ceiling can assist in catching flying pests.

Related: A Dozen 10-Minute DIYs for a Pest-Free Home

Lock Up a Leak

Flickr via lexngr

If you have a small hole in a boat, canoe, or kayak, use duct tape to make a watertight patch that will get you underway until repairs can be made. Apply the duct tape underneath the hull, as the water pressure will help keep it in place. You can also use duct tape to patch holes in other outdoor gear, such as canvas covers, camping tents, or even torn umbrellas.

Related: 10 Space-Saving Ideas to Steal from Houseboats

Lift Off Lint

Flickr via youngandwithit

Make a jumbo lint roller by wrapping duct tape—sticky side out—around an old paint roller; use it to remove pet hair and dust from upholstery, curtains, and carpeting. For smaller jobs, like your navy blue blazer, loop a length of duct tape around your hand and press it all over the fabric to remove the traces of your furry friends.

Related: 15 Remarkably Easy Ways to Create a Dust-Free Home

Corral Cords

Reddit via WetNeon

Use several layers of duct tape to create a wrap to corral extension or long appliance cords. For added organization, consider assigning a color to each type of cord—for example, pink for phone accessories and green for TV cables. To avoid getting adhesive on the wires, fold the tape strip in half, leaving the ends at their full width. After winding the tape around the cords, press the two sticky ends together to seal. 

Related: 9 Terrific Tools Every Neat Freak Needs

Save a Screen

If you discover a small tear or hole in a window screen, use a strip of duct tape as a temporary patch until you can purchase replacements. It’s as easy as rip, stick, and press!

Related: Time’s Up – 9 Things to Repair in Your Home Before It’s Too Late

Remove Residue

Flickr via summervillain

It may seem counterintuitive, but duct tape can actually be used to remove stubborn, sticky residue left behind by other adhesives, especially on glass surfaces. Place a piece of duct tape over the sticky mess, rub a few times, and peel it away. Keep in mind that it might take a few applications to thoroughly strip off all the residue. Finish by wiping the area with alcohol or window cleaner.

Related: 9 Brilliant Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Know

Assist in First Aid

Instructables via cloudifornia

If you find yourself with a nasty splinter, use a piece of duct tape to remove it before it can work its way deeper into your sensitive flesh. Duct tape can also be a great temporary bandage for a deep cut, holding the edges of your skin together and minimizing blood loss until you can seek medical attention. For a sprain or a broken bone, use duct tape and a rigid stick to craft a temporary splint to immobilize the affected area.

Related: 10 Safety Essentials That Most Homes Are Missing

Act as a Rope

Youtube via RussOlsenVideo

Twist a long piece of duct tape into a rope to use as a temporary clothesline. You can even combine several lengths of duct-tape rope to fashion a stronger chain that can help you achieve other heavy-lifting feats, such as crafting a sling to carry large objects or binding together items for moving or storage.

Related: Be Ready for Anything with 10 Mighty Pocket Tools

Patch Up Plastic

Instructables via g0zdnim0z

Extend the useful lifespan of household essentials by duct taping cracks in plastic trash cans or storage bins. Other plastic home and garden items—vacuum cleaner hoses, buckets, planters, yard lights, or just about anything from your shed—can also benefit from the duct-tape treatment.

Related: Small Miracles – 9 Amazing Home Repair Products

Create Crafts

Instructables via neumaics

Duct tape is the essential ingredient in an impressive number of craft projects. Use a colorful or classic gray roll to construct, among numerous other items, a shock-resistant cellphone sheath, personalized textbook covers, doll house furniture, flashlight headlights for your bicycle, quirky floral arrangements, or fun and unusual Halloween costumes.

Related: 15 Lazy Ways to Make a Big Change in Your Home