Duct Tape to the Rescue

This heavy-duty tape has an amazing number of uses. Learn how it can help you!

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Repair a taillight Someone just backed into your car and smashed the taillight! Here’s a quick repair that will last until you have time to get to the repair shop. Depending on where the cracks lie, use yellow or red duct tape to hold the remaining parts together. In some states this repair will even pass inspection.

Short-term auto hose fix Until you can get to your mechanic, duct tape makes a strong and dependable temporary fix for broken water hoses on your automobile. But don’t wait too long. Duct tape can only withstand temperatures up to 200°F (93°C). Also, don’t use it to repair a leak in your car’s gas line — the gasoline dissolves the adhesive.

Make a temporary roof shingle If you’ve lost a wooden roof shingle, make a temporary replacement by wrapping duct tape in strips across a piece of 1/4-inch (6-millimeter) plywood you’ve cut to size. Wedge the makeshift shingle in place to fill the space. It will close the gap and repel water until you can repair the roof.

Fix a hole in your siding Stormy weather damaged your vinyl siding? A broken tree limb tossed by the storm, hailstones, or even an errant baseball can rip your siding. Patch tears in vinyl siding with duct tape. Choose tape in a color that matches your siding and apply it when the surface is dry. Smooth your repair by hand or with a rolling pin. The patch should last at least a season or two.

Replace lawn chair webbing Summertime is here, and you go to the shed to fetch your lawn furniture, only to discover the webbing on your favorite backyard chair has worn through. Don’t throw it out. Colorful duct tape makes a great, sturdy replacement webbing. Cut strips twice as long as you need. Double the tape, putting sticky sides together, so that you have backing facing out on both sides. Then screw it in place with the screws on the chair.

Tape a broken window Before removing broken window glass, crisscross the broken pane with duct tape to hold it all together. This will ensure a shard doesn’t fall out and cut you.

Repair outdoor cushions Don’t let a little rip in the cushions for your outdoor furniture bother you. Repair the tear with a closely matched duct tape and it will hold up for several seasons.

Repair a trash can Plastic trash cans often split or crack along the sides. But don’t toss out the can with the trash. Repair the tear with duct tape. It’s strong enough to withstand the abuses a trash can takes, and easy to manipulate on the curved or ridged surface of your can. Put tape over the crack both outside and inside the can.

Mend a screen Have the bugs found the tear in your window or door screen? Thwart their entrance until you make a permanent fix by covering the hole with duct tape.

Tighten shin guards Hockey players need a little extra protection. Use duct tape to attach shin guards firmly in place. Put on all your equipment, including socks. Now split the duct tape to the width appropriate for your size — children might need narrower strips than adults — and start wrapping around your shin guard to keep it tight to your leg.

Add life to a hockey stick Street hockey sticks take a beating. If yours is showing its age, breathe a little more life into it by wrapping the bottom of the stick with duct tape. Replace the tape as often as needed.

Extend the life of skateboard shoes Kids who perform fantastic feats on their skate-boards find their shoes wear out very quickly because a lot of the jumps involve sliding the toe or side of the foot along the board. They wear holes in new shoes fast. Protect their feet and prolong the life of their shoes by putting a layer or two of duct tape on the area that scrapes along the board.

Repair your ski gloves Ski glove seams tearing open? Duct tape is the perfect solution to ripped ski gloves because it’s waterproof, incredibly adhesive, strong, and can easily be torn into strips of any width. Make your repair lengthwise or around the fingers and set out on the slopes again.

Repair a tent You open your tent at the campsite and oops — a little tear. No problem as long as you’ve brought your duct tape along. Cover the hole with a patch; for double protection mirror the patch inside the tent. You’ll keep insects and weather where they belong.

Extra insulation Make your winter boots a little bit warmer by taping the insoles with duct tape, silver side up. The shiny tape will reflect the warmth of your feet back into your boots.

Pool patch Duct tape will repair a hole in your swimming pool liner well enough to stand up to water for at least a season. Be sure to cover the area thoroughly.

Protect your gas grill hose For some reason, mice and squirrels love to chew on rubber, and one of their favorite snacks is often the rubber hose that connects the propane tank to your gas grill. Protect the hose by wrapping it in duct tape.

Repair your ski pants Oh no, you ripped your ski pants and the wind is whipping into the nylon outer layer. No need to pay inflated lodge shop prices for a new pair if you have a roll of duct tape in the car. Just slip a piece of tape inside the rip, sticky side out, and carefully press both sides of the rip together. The repair will be barely detectable.