Duct Tape: Why You Need to Store It

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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 decade’s, people have come to use duct tape to fix almost anything. How many of you when growing up strapped your little brother or sister to a chair with it? It’s tough stuff!

Mark and I have a good doctor friend who has always placed great value to having and using duct tape. I think he often gives it as a wedding gift since he thinks “every young couple should have a supply of duct tape available to fix things around their apartment or home!”

Whether you’re a prepper or not, duct tape is one item that you should have a decent supply of because it is one of those emergency items that will disappear first when SHTF. Here’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 up boxes or holding something together. There are hundreds of uses for duct tape that clever people have discovered over the years. Keep in mind, most uses of duct tape on a DIY basis are for short-term/temporary repairs and NOT a long-term solution. Also, many of the uses of duct tape listed are at a time you are away from home hunting, camping, at a sporting event, etc.

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

Repair Leaking Water and Drain Pipes 

Have you ever had a crack in your drain pipes, along with the constant drip that follows? Duct tape is your answer. First, make sure that the surface of the pipe is dry at the time you apply the tape. It will hold, 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 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 until you can do a more permanent job yourself or hire a plumber. You’ll need to shut the water off and make sure the pipe is dry before applying the duct tape. It may take a number of wraps to totally seal off the leak, but it should get you by until a permanent fix can be applied.

Some other home repairs where duct tape can prove to be a Godsend would be to cover holes in the roof, siding, garden hose, screens, and even your glasses.

Keeps your Feet Warm 

Are your boots or tennis shoes not holding enough warmth for your feet during the winter season? 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. Don’t allow air or water to get on the wart by covering the area with plastic wrap when taking a bath or shower. Within a week or so you could be wart-free!  

Use Duct Tape to Repair Broken Windows 

Until you can get your window replaced, a few inches of duct tape can keep your window from breaking any further. It can also keep you safe from any more pieces of glass breaking off when you go to repair it. This solution should be a real help in extreme weather, hot or cold, so the air doesn’t escape your home until the window glass can be replaced.

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Catch Flies or Other Insects 

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

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 all 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 to keep them from scratching your 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 since they will slide more easily.

Create Shelter

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

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 that you’re wearing a smaller shirt so you can apply the duct tape around your torso tightly. You may want to wrap the duct tape over the clothes until you can get proper medical attention since it could prove to be painful when it comes time to pull the tape off if applied directly to your skin, just like it often is when you pull a bandage off.

You can use duct tape to hold a brace in place if you sprain or break an arm, leg, finger, etc. The strength of the duct 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 that may be injured and need to be stabilized for a short period. Remember to always seek professional help when you can get it.

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

You can also use duct tape to make a sling if your arm or shoulder are injured. Make a large loop with the tape based on the size needed to hold the arm in place and not flop around causing more damage.

If you get blisters on your feet when out hiking or camping consider using duct tape to hold the tissue or gauze in place. Don’t ever put the tape next to the blister itself since 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 if we all knew how to put stitches in a wound. The stitches hold the wound together so the body’s natural healing process can take place 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 have access to your doctor or a clinic where true stitches can be put in place.

The tape also 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.

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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.

Often tent poles get broken in 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 a time his fishing pole was broken in a hail storm while on a Scout trip in Idaho. He wishes he’d had some duct tape to repair the fishing pole. He and his dad always took duct tape with them after that experience.

Repair or Temporarily Hem Clothing

If you have a rip or tear in your clothing you can 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, it should be hardly noticeable.

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

Duct Tape Removes Lint

Isn’t it great when you’re in a hurry to make it somewhere and your white button-down shirt is covered in lint, while the lint roller is nowhere to be found?

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

Camouflage 

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

Handcuff an Intruder

Heaven forbid if someone were to ever break in your home, but you need to have some way to subdue them. 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 get there. 

Fix a Hole in Your Boat 

If you have a minor hole in your boat, duct tape can help temporarily solve that problem too. Place a piece of it 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, take a hairdryer to heat it up so that the stickiness melts enough to then attach securely onto your boat. Make sure that you press down firmly all over it so that it sets properly. 

Leaking Air Ducts and Other Repairs Around Your Home

It goes without saying, 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. Plan on a more permanent solution so you don’t have to get up in your attic every year to perform new repairs.

Storing Duct Tape 

It’s very important that you store it in a proper place or it will last no more than one year. That’s because when it’s left in hot surroundings the adhesiveness wears out.

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

Your best bet is storing it in a dark, cool and dry place, the cooler the better. Some people even put their stash of it in storage bags and tuck them away 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 a number of other reasons and uses for this awesome product, let us know what you’ve discovered by leaving a comment below. May God bless this world, Linda

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24 thoughts on “Duct Tape: Why You Need to Store It

  • December 21, 2019 at 8:54 am
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    I have several rolls of duct tape in various colors. I don’t use it often but know that if I do need to use some, I always have some on hand.

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    • December 21, 2019 at 9:00 am
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      Hi Leanne, it’s a good feeling knowing we have some rolls to use when we need that tough tape! Linda

      Reply
  • December 21, 2019 at 9:11 am
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    Just a note: duct tape has latex in the adhesive, so latex sensitive people should not use it directly on skin. Thanks for your articles, Linda!

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  • December 21, 2019 at 9:26 am
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    I’m a fan of duck tape myself. One use is to cover an old beat up combination folder and clipboard or any worn out binder, folder, clipboard, etc., by laying the tape over it. Even a notepad with a thin cover on top and the thicker cardboard in the back can be wrapped in duct tape and made much sturdier. You can also lay it over a book cover to make it more durable.

    You can wrap a cracked broomstick to keep it from breaking or to wrap anything to create a handle or a spot with more grip.

    You can seal a cooler or other container and if done neatly will keep the inside dry.

    If you have rough calloused skin, the application of duck tape and removal a few days later will “cure” that problem. It will serve as a substitute for mole skin by reducing friction of boots against your heels and ankles.

    It works as a temporary patch on an air mattress.

    You can tape your pants and long sleeves at the cuffs to keep bugs from getting inside your clothing.

    If you needed to make homemade arrows the duct tape can be applied to the shaft so two layers meet, sticky sides together, and then trimmed with scissors to the shape you desire. Or you can form the fletching or vanes and then attach them to the shaft with thin strips of duck tape or glue.

    Duct tape can be used as to ignite tinder and create a fire.

    In snowy conditions or very bright light, one can make goggles by layering the tape, sticky side against sticky side or over paper or cloth and then make two small slits to see through. This will help prevent snow blindness.

    You can secure excess lengths of canvas webbing on a belt, harness, dog collar and so on or to secure a coil of rope (Also to protect the ends), an extension cord or to bundle cylindrical objects like PVC pipe or pencils.

    Reply
    • December 21, 2019 at 10:02 am
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      Hi Frank, oh my gosh you nailed it on duct tape! Oh my goodness, my readers will love your comment!! You rock! Linda

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      • December 5, 2020 at 7:00 pm
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        I ALWAYS kept duct tape and WD-40 in my vehicle. Great for patching broken hoses or taping make-do ones in place if stranded. Also, windshield installer forgot to SEAL new one and the”screams” from car at 60mph were agonizing. (Mechanics didn’t find problem, I did on multi-state trip. Duct tape across windshield and onto borders cleared it up til destination reached!

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        • December 5, 2020 at 7:28 pm
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          Hi Mary, wow, thanks for sharing your story about the window and the duct tape. WOW!!! I always have duct tape in my car as well. Thank goodness you discovered the problem. Linda

          Reply
  • December 21, 2019 at 1:11 pm
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    I have about 25 rolls of different colors, from bright to camo. I notice that not all duct tape is created equal. Some fall off after rain, or cold weather. Be careful of what quality you buy. I do use international orange on all my tools. This helps them not disappear in the grass when I’m working with them. Works so well my 90-year-old neighbor uses it for his tools too.

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    • December 21, 2019 at 1:42 pm
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      Hi Gregory, I agree duct tape is not created equally. I actually went to Home Depot to take a picture of several colors that I had seen there before. They had colors like camo, black, red, yellow, orange, etc. Today they didn’t have that many colors or brands. I should have bought some when I saw a year or so ago. Great comment today, thank you! Linda

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      • December 21, 2019 at 5:43 pm
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        I’m getting the bright orange from Amazons. I use a lot of it on tools and marking boxes (writing on the tape for contents)..

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        • December 21, 2019 at 5:48 pm
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          Hi Gregory, I like the idea of the orange tape. I will be ordering some very soon. Thanks! Linda

          Reply
  • December 21, 2019 at 8:20 pm
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    This one’s rather like a combination of bandage and boot sole! With horses, if you need to keep a dressing on a hoof, the dressing goes on, then a layer of sheet cotton or other padding (baby diapers are common!) and finally, a covering of duct tape, which both holds it all on and wears better than about anything else. If a shoe comes off, some padding and duct tape will keep the hoof from splitting until the farrier arrives–possibly even allowing for light riding in soft arena footing.

    Matter of fact–the bar across one stall door is currently strapped with duct tape. Horse tried to sit on it and cracked it–so far it’s holding.

    Couldn’t live without it on the farm. You know the saying–If it moves and shouldn’t, apply duct tape. If it won’t move and it should, apply WD-40.

    Reply
  • December 21, 2019 at 8:25 pm
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    We love Duck tape here and I confess we do not have enough. We also loved it’s uses on that old Canadian “Red Green Show” too. We use it for making games for Scouts, swords(paint stick variety or pool noodle) on tarps to reinforce holes for aiming objects through (mostly balls of various sizes or water balloons). It seems to me that the tape that is the light weight weight variety comes in smaller rolls at hobby stores and is thinner. JMO thanks for this heads up. I read all of your posts you are wonderful!

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    • December 22, 2019 at 9:58 am
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      Hi Sue, I LOVE your comment! Isn’t it funny how WE ALL USE it one way or another??? I love hearing how people store it and use it. Linda

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      • December 23, 2019 at 10:57 am
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        What great tips, Linda! Especially the flycatcher and wart remover ones!

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        • December 23, 2019 at 11:12 am
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          Hi Wendy, we may look a little nerdy with the Duct Tape strips hanging from the lights, but we do not have flies! LOL! Merry Christmas! Linda

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        • February 20, 2020 at 9:46 pm
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          The doctor actually applied silver duct tape on my child’s plantar wart. And a copy of a medical article about its use. It worked, too!

          Reply
  • December 22, 2019 at 8:13 am
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    the best “duct tape” – professional grade adhesive tape – “gaffer’s tape” – isn’t even available at the retail store level >> twice as good as the vaunted gorilla tape …

    not cheap $$$ – use it sparingly and when endurance & reliability is everything …

    Reply
    • December 22, 2019 at 9:59 am
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      Hi Illini, I need to go look for the good stuff! Thanks for the tip! Linda

      Reply
  • December 23, 2019 at 10:01 am
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    Duct Tape Yes! Can never have enough duct tape!!! Every time I hear stories about duct tape it reminds me of a comedic Canadian TV show with a colorful character named Green or Red or something like that! NASCAR uses it extensively, they call it a 200 mph retention device! (Ha)
    Another great article…Stay safe and Merry Christmas

    Reply
    • December 23, 2019 at 11:11 am
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      Hi Bill, I mean really we have to laugh at how many rolls we have. It feels awesome, right? I love the 200 MPH retention!! Love it! Merry Christmas! Linda

      Reply

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