15 Ways Duct Tape Could Save Your Life

Written by The Ready Store

You can do some amazing things with duct tape! Its uses range from house repair, hunting, space travel, clothing and more! People have used duct tape for every purpose imaginable. That is why duct tape is such a versatile tool to have in your emergency supplies!

Check out 15 of these uses for duct tape that could save your life! Comment below the article to tell us what amazing uses you’ve found for the shiny tape!

Catch flies and mosquitos
Flies and other insects can be annoying and, at times, can spread dangerous by spreading diseases. Sometimes it’s easier to get rid of flies instead of continually swatting at them. Place down strips of duct tape sticky side facing up. The flies will land on them and be trapped.

Short-term auto hose fix
Until you can get to your mechanic, duct tape is a dependable and strong repair for broken water hoses in your car. By no means is this a permanent fix. Duct tape will usually only stand up to 200 degree temperatures. Duct tape can also not be used to repair gas line leaks. The gas will dissolve the duct tape adhesive.

Temporarily hem your pants
Need to make your jeans a little shorter but don’t have a thick enough needle to pierce through the material? Fake it with duct tape! Fold up the jeans to where you need them and apply the duct tape to the inside of the pant. It should last through a few washes too!

Keep a secret key
One of the great things about duct tape is that it can stick to nearly anything. You can use it to keep an extra key under your car, in your yard or some other secret place.

Roofing shingle
If you have shingles missing and you know a storm is coming, you’ll need to act quickly. Place duct tape around a piece of ¼-inch plywood. Wedge the plank into place and it should repel storm water until you can get it repaired properly.

Make clothes waterproof
We’ve all seen people make purses and prom dresses out of duct tape. But one of the great things about duct tape is that it’s water resistant. You could repair waterproof clothing and even create your own line of waterproof clothing.

Extra insulation
Make your shoes or boots a little warmer by taping the inside of the boots with duct tape. Place the shiny side of the duct tape towards your feet and it will reflect the heat back towards you!

Repair tent poles
Have a busted tent pole or fishing pole? Quickly and easily repair it with duct tape.

Make rope
Stick one edge of the duct tape to something, pull out long pieces and then start twirling. You’ll create a sturdy piece of duct tape rope in no time!

Make/repair a boat
I remember in high school physics class we were assigned to make a boat purely out of cardboard and duct tape. (I’m proud to say that we passed with flying colors!) Like we’ve mentioned above, duct tape is a great waterproofing material. You can repair small holes and leaks in a boat.

Protect yourself from ticks
If you’re out hiking, working in the yard or just have a lot of ticks around the house, strap some duct tape around your pant cuffs to keep those blood suckers out!

Did you know?

Duct tape really was called duck tape! Duct tape started as a solution during WWII for the military when they needed a flexible, durable, waterproof tape. It was originally used for medical purposes and colored army green but was soon transitioned into everything from sealing ammunition to repairing jeeps. It was called duck tape because it was waterproof like a duck. After the war, it got it’s silver color when it transitioned into heating and air conditioner repair.

Cracked toilet seat
Now, this might not be a life-or-death situation, but it can seem dire. If your toilet bowl seat is cracked, you can repair it with duct tape to give yourself a temporary relief and solution to your toilet troubles.

Homemade band-aid
Have a smaller cut but no band-aids? Simply use a piece of duct tape to strap across your sore!

Create a splint or sling
Use duct tape and a solid object to prevent your broken arm or leg from moving too much. Don’t tape too tightly though, you don’t want to cut off circulation. You can also make some duct tape rope with duct tape padding to create an emergency sling.

Make a spear
Tape an arrowhead or shard piece to a stick and you have a spear ready for hunting and helping you find that perfect emergency dinner.

What other ideas do you have?
There are tons of things that you can do with duct tape! This is only a list of 15. For example, you can also make your own shoes with duct tape! So, we know there are tons of ideas out there.

What have you used duct tape for? Comment below and share the knowledge!

Updated August 22, 2012

57 Comments

  1. john chandler wrote:

    Very interesting. So much one product can do

    August 23rd, 2012 at 3:41 am
  2. Carolyn L wrote:

    Thank you for this valuable information. I use the duct tape a lot and now have more things for its use.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 5:59 am
  3. Susan Gilliland wrote:

    Before a recent cruise with my granddaughters, I purchased bright fluorescent pink duct tape and wrapped the handles of our suitcases with it. So easy to locate amoung the hundreds of similar bags.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 6:08 am
  4. DRC wrote:

    Now this is the story I heard: Duct tape wss invented to join seams and repair heating and cooling ducts in homes and other buildinge. Hence duct tape not duck tape.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 6:26 am
  5. Jerry wrote:

    Watch ducttape island on youtube. Its a mythbusters special and very good. Lots more ideas there. It will definatly be in my preps in quanity.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 6:45 am
  6. Cab wrote:

    Actually, DRC, Duck Tape was invented during WWII. The troops needed a water-proof tape. It was call “Duck Tape” by the troops because water rolled off it, similar to “…water off a duck’s back”.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 7:00 am
  7. Lee Anne wrote:

    I heard it was invented by ducks, but ducks cannot spell, hence Duct tape.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 7:13 am
  8. gary wrote:

    Mythbusters has a whole episode on the usesof duck tape.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 7:20 am
  9. BJ wrote:

    My granddaughter has used duct(duck) tape to patch holes in her jeans. She uses the animal prints and doesnt even try to hide the tape. She loves all the different colors and patterns.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 7:54 am
  10. Sue N. wrote:

    I have used it to remove a wart from the bottom of my foot. Air cannot penetrate the tape and the wart “dies”. It may take a couple of weeks, but it sure beats going to the docotor!

    August 23rd, 2012 at 8:05 am
  11. Eddy wrote:

    You forgot my favorite function of duct tape…. putting on my kids mouth on a family road trip.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 8:17 am
  12. Chacky Jan wrote:

    - Measure out a length wider than your face and double it over (sticky side to sticky side) and cut. Poke one hole on each side (around the temple area) and loop paracord/shoelace/duct tape rope through. Cut horizontal slits over the eyes and you have makeshift snow goggles to prevent blindness.

    - Cut two equal lengths and tape into a cross shape (sticky side up). *do this next part while sitting down on the ground* Over your bent knee (pointed skyward) place the sticky side of the cross onto your knee and use more duct tape to wrap around your knee cap to rough out a bowl shape. Once the outside is completed, tape the inside of the bowl (shiny side facing out) to make it waterproof. This can now be used for collecting water/wild edibles or eating out of.

    - Secure a small row of coins to the sticky side and then wrap it around your fist for makeshift brass knuckles. Do the same thing and wrap them around the top of your foot just in case you need to kung-fu your way out of a situation.

    - Tape a “X” to a window to prevent glass shards from splattering if you need to break one to escape from a building.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 8:21 am
  13. Tammy wrote:

    When I was a kid I used it to rapair a flat bicycle tire. I had biked a couple miles from home, had a flat, no one was home to come and pick me up. I borrow a roll of tape from a gas station, taped up my tire, they pumped it up and off I went. Made it home and it kept going like that for months.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 8:35 am
  14. Chris Allen wrote:

    My daughter got a bunch of warts, the Doctor said to use duct tape. Luckily it comes in Hello Kitty.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 8:54 am
  15. Passerby wrote:

    Got a grease container for bacon grease. Got a pinhole in the bottom of it. Sealed it off with duct tape. That was 2-3 years ago.

    August 23rd, 2012 at 10:33 am
  16. Andrew Jackson wrote:

    One of my greatest failures in life involved duck tape. I entered a cardboard boat regatta. My boat looked beautiful it was black and white striped, It looked like a canoe in every way, I even created an enclosed kayak out of it for extra strength. It functioned as a canoe/kayak in every way except floating. I spent hours and hours building that. I’m an engineer. By my calculations it should have worked.sigh. FAIL. In a few years I will get up the courage to go back there with a new boat, (that will float perfectly) And I will win that race.

    January 2nd, 2013 at 12:26 pm
  17. Weedy wrote:

    I don’t understand about making duct tape into a rope. What edge? The short edge or making a long edge and rolling it up.

    And what is “long pieces”? Several feet only?

    March 13th, 2013 at 3:54 am
  18. Tracy wrote:

    Duct Tape saved my Galiceno horse’s life!

    My first horse, Shane, was let out of his pasture by someone who did not lock the gate. He ended up getting caught in a cement cattle guard and severely injured his legs. It took the fire deapartment using the Jaws Of Life, and 4 hours of a wonderful equine vet working on him to save his life!

    The only problem was that once my horse started healing, his legs started itching. He then began chewing off his bandages and biting his legs! He ripped out over 100 stitches, and it took months to heal his wounds from the inside out.

    During this time we tried many things to keep him from chewing off his bandages, from putting hot pepper juice to tobacco sauce on the outside of them, to keeping him on several different medications, but nothing worked.

    My vet was very concerned about infection, and said I would have to keep him tied up in his stall. This stopped him from tearing off his bandages, but most horses do sleep lying down for at least a few hours every day, and being tied up nonstop eventually exhausted Shane so much that he stopped eating!

    I was about out of my mind with worry, and then it came to me–wrap his legs with bandages, and then cover the outside of the bandages with duct tape! It worked!

    It took 6 months for my horse to heal, and he ended up living a long and happy life into his 30s.

    I’ve been a very big fan of duct tape ever since!

    March 13th, 2013 at 5:07 am
  19. Ed Godoy wrote:

    Great read

    March 13th, 2013 at 6:07 am
  20. Gardner wrote:

    I had a good pot get a crack in it after a harsh winter. I just placed a piecer of duct tape over the crack and repainted. That was three years ago and I still use the pot.

    March 13th, 2013 at 6:32 am
  21. Sue Ricker wrote:

    I have used duct tape to cure warts on my fingers. It isn’t very eye appealing but I get a lot of questions of what it is doing on my fingers.

    March 13th, 2013 at 6:42 am
  22. Ed Martin wrote:

    I have been a big fan of Duct Tape for many years.
    I find that the quality is not what it used to be.
    Does anyone know a brand that is still good?

    March 13th, 2013 at 7:17 am
  23. Bob Lowery wrote:

    At my Son’s school he entered a state competition, they needed to design a way of transporting water in case of an emergency. He made a backpack out of only duck tape. It held 2 gallons and did not leak a drop. His school won the competition.

    March 13th, 2013 at 7:50 am
  24. Steve Bradford wrote:

    Ed, Gorilla Tape is good quality. For the best answer to your question though, try asking some local air conditioning repair businesses. They would know.

    March 13th, 2013 at 7:53 am
  25. John W wrote:

    After years of sun the rubber insets of roof flashing begin to crack causing leaks around the pipes that vent your homes sewer drainage, a temporary fix is duct tape wrapped starting at the base of the rubber seal and wrapping upward with a small overlap on each wrap. Last one I did lasted for 6 months while I waited for better weather before replacing the flashing.

    March 13th, 2013 at 7:58 am
  26. Craig wrote:

    It burns well also,starting fires when everything is wet….when you try lighting it make sure it is not stuck to your fingers.

    March 13th, 2013 at 8:01 am
  27. Rick wrote:

    Gaffers Tape works much better than duct tape. Duct tape is old technology.

    March 13th, 2013 at 8:16 am
  28. Brewse wrote:

    IF you can find it 100 mile an hour tape is even better! It’s like duct tape on steroids, not sure but I think it’s used for various purposes by the military, wink wink…

    March 13th, 2013 at 8:40 am
  29. Rick wrote:

    It will hold the sole of a hiking boot/shoe on until one can reach civilization. As for the warts, just use violet extract and cover with a band aid. The extract kills the virus causing the warts and the wart will NEVER come back. The only side effect is that the extract causes the skin to temporarily turn blue, hence covering it with a band aid.

    March 13th, 2013 at 9:32 am
  30. Bob Gross wrote:

    Duct tape placed on he lips of one’s spouse, can maintain peace & quiet all day.

    March 13th, 2013 at 9:56 am
  31. David wrote:

    Duct tape is great to repair a broken cross country ski pole. It can also make a temporary repair to a broken tip on the cross country ski. You can tape the broken tip back on making sure that the tip is under the broken end so that you do not have a ridge digging into the snow as you slide forward.

    March 13th, 2013 at 10:02 am
  32. Bob wrote:

    BLISTERS: On wilderness hiking treks or in emergency conditions, so it is in my car kit always, it will be used for all of the above. I put a piece of it folded three or for times onto its smooth side like it is rolled, in my hiking pack. It is the go to blister first aid for me. Absolutely the best protection against further skin damage.
    I have it in mind to seal a bleeding puncture wound or slice if Bleeding cannot be stopped. Wash and/or disinfect if possible, but stop bleeding until a surgeon can deal with it.
    Has anyone ever made a syphon hose from duct tape?

    March 13th, 2013 at 3:38 pm
  33. Cheri wrote:

    Paramedics use duct tape to tape people to back boards and as well as tape your head to the board to keep it stationary.

    March 13th, 2013 at 6:04 pm
  34. Charles wrote:

    Lint remover.

    March 13th, 2013 at 9:15 pm
  35. Susan wrote:

    My favorite use on our ranch is to make anything that might be sharp on a fence or post…it gets wrapped-up with duct tape. Hollow pipe horse pens even last a bit longer if I cover the rust with this great tape.

    March 13th, 2013 at 9:36 pm
  36. Sue wrote:

    Duct tape & baling twine are common fix-its! I’ve used tape to rig a broken sprinkler system–it lasted 3 extra years and did well! Have also mended fencing, windows, rugs and furniture, used it to line up things for quick construction, and, it can be a temporary fix for tools.

    Exposing it to heat causes glue to loosen so things won’t stick. And, your suggestion about it as a Band-Aid–it can be used but the bare skin needs to be protected.

    March 13th, 2013 at 10:28 pm
  37. Debbra W wrote:

    Thank you Lee Ann. I needed that. DW

    March 13th, 2013 at 10:59 pm
  38. Vicci T. wrote:

    A female friend of my son made wallets out of duct tape and gave them as Christmas gifts. They actually look good. My son uses his exclusively as it isn’t bulky.

    March 14th, 2013 at 3:42 am
  39. Four Seasons wrote:

    I used to know this little old lady she was a widow on a fixed income. She drove an old station wagon that was falling apart and this woman put her car back together with duct tape. As kids we laughed and called it the “duct tape mobile”. That station wagon held together with duct tape longer than her. God rest her soul.

    March 14th, 2013 at 12:14 pm
  40. GINGER wrote:

    the wind split a branch of my new dwarf plum tree.
    I had my hubby tape it together with duck tape and it is doing well two years ago had a bumper crop made lots of plum preserves.

    March 14th, 2013 at 2:32 pm
  41. Hollie wrote:

    My dog was in a terrible fight & was torn up pretty bad. Emergency vet was going to cost $500 to clean & stitch his wounds. I took my dog home, shaved around the wounds, cleaned them with betadine & taped the large wounds up with duct tape cut in strips w air holes poked in the strips to make it more breathable. Dog barely had a scar.

    March 14th, 2013 at 11:30 pm
  42. Live to Survive wrote:

    If your garden hoses spring leaks due to crimping or whatever cracks that appear, wrap duct tape around it two or three times. Seals it up and maintains water pressure through the hose.

    March 15th, 2013 at 11:15 pm
  43. David JAFO wrote:

    hello,
    The British Armed Forces are held together with Duct Tape. Primary piece of kit for all branches/arms.
    Regards
    David

    July 13th, 2013 at 2:09 pm
  44. Joe wrote:

    actually, “Duct” tape was originally used in the military. It was called “100 Mile per hour” tape and was used to patch bullet holes in airplanes. When the whole ductwork for homes starting happening, they realized that the 100 mph tape they used on airplanes in the military was perfect for joining duct pieces. Hence the name duct tape.

    July 13th, 2013 at 2:14 pm
  45. Guy Morrow wrote:

    You find duck tape in the sporting good section!!!
    HaHaHa. I uaed it to tow my son’s truck after the rope kept breaking. I taped a light fixture to the ceiling in a trailer house rental 8 years ago and is still holding. White tape holds up longer in the sun than gray. My test came fom the top of my RV that stoped a water leak.
    GUY MORROW

    July 14th, 2013 at 11:40 am
  46. NameLinda Boots wrote:

    On my first sky dive, the plane we flew in was so
    duct taped together that jumping looked more survivable than staying with the plane- we both
    landed and it’s still flying!

    July 16th, 2013 at 7:57 am
  47. Hank wrote:

    Take duct tape with you when you stay in a hotel or high rise. If there is a fire and you can’t exit the building (always the 1st option is to get out), shelter in your room. Use the duct tape to seal any ventilation grilles and cracks around the entry door to keep the smoke out.

    July 16th, 2013 at 8:46 am
  48. Larry wrote:

    My grandsons made ties out of it. Bow ties and the regular ones. They looked so good, the boys wore them to church.

    I use it to repair my foil hat.

    July 16th, 2013 at 8:47 am
  49. Clintlongley wrote:

    I once used Duct tape because my viagra prescription had run out Tore off about a 2 ft piece put it on in a spiral worked great added about 1/2 in diameter and 4 inches extra in length

    July 16th, 2013 at 4:31 pm
  50. Jim wrote:

    Keep your children’s mouth shut!

    July 16th, 2013 at 7:15 pm
  51. Kelly wrote:

    When traveling, use it to seal up seams around hotel door if there is a fire. Helps keep smoke out. You can also hang head over toilet (yes disgusting) and keep flushing as it helps bring in air while you wait for help.

    July 16th, 2013 at 8:15 pm
  52. Rose Dempsey wrote:

    I once repaired a major leak in our flat roof with duct tape. It held water tight until a repairman could come a week later.

    July 16th, 2013 at 10:47 pm
  53. Carol wrote:

    Great at removing a splinter and less painful than tweezers. Gently press over splinter area..then quickly pull tape. Splinter will now be on the tape.

    July 17th, 2013 at 7:35 pm
  54. Connie L. wrote:

    I’m 63 years old, and not long ago, one of the fiberglass panels broke off my garage roof and was flapping in the wind. Well, I live alone, so did not think it prudent to try to climb up onto the very slanted metal roof without a helper, so I proceed to climb to the roof from the inside up into the garage rafters where I also had a nice conversation with a family of mice in the bargain. From there, I used an entire roll of duct/duck tape to secure the panel from the inside. It was not, needless to say, a work of art, but it worked and kept the panel secure for several months. And by the way, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT, use discount-store tape. Its sticking power is nil. Spend the extra money for the real stuff. You’ll be glad you did. ;-)

    August 2nd, 2013 at 5:48 am
  55. Beano wrote:

    I wish I could find use for duct tape. Have several rolls still unused but bought them anyway because they said it was so useful. DUHHHHHH……

    April 15th, 2014 at 9:05 pm
  56. NameAnn wrote:

    Saying your using duct tape to silence anyone is not funny. It can suffocate a person (or child)!

    April 16th, 2014 at 3:52 am
  57. Barry wrote:

    I keep 2-3 rolls of duct tape at all times.You can repair, seam, protect, bundle. The uses are endless.

    May 16th, 2014 at 8:08 am

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