Weird but Surprisingly Practical Uses for Scotch Tape

Weird but Surprisingly Practical Uses for Scotch Tape
Photo: kram-9, Shutterstock

We all know the virtues of Scotch tape when wrapping gifts, connecting errant pieces of paper, and mending torn book pages. But it turns out we may be sleeping on some of this adhesive strip’s lesser-known, but no less useful applications. Here are a handful of creative ways to use it, beyond the basics.

To clean your keyboard. If you don’t have a can of compressed air on hand, a piece of tape can quickly lift away crumbs and dust almost as efficiently — especially when they’re lodged in that annoyingly thin crevice between your laptop’s keyboard and screen.

To pick up broken glass. When you’re done sweeping up the larger pieces of of a broken glass or jar, small ones may remain, just waiting to get stuck in your heel the next time you stroll through the room barefoot. So wrap a wad of paper towel in tape (sticky side out) and use it to pick up any remaining tiny shards.

To repair frayed shoelaces. If the end of your lace is too banged up to slide through the shoelace hole, make it narrow and tidy again with a piece of tape — it should last until the laces can be replaced.

To make your own lint roller. Yes, actual lint rollers exist. But sometimes, even as functioning adults, we don’t have one around when we need it. Enter Scotch tape: Wrap it generously (sticky side out) around the handle of a hair brush or an empty toilet paper roll. Voila: DIY lint removal at its finest.

To neatly arrange flowers. Drape strips of tape over one another in a criss-cross pattern to make an evenly spaced grid on top of a vase. Place flowers in the empty squares between the pieces of tape to ensure they’ll be properly spaced and stand up straight and pretty.

To hold plastic wrap edges in place. Use a piece of tape to hold the edge of your plastic wrap in place between uses (and assist you in locating it when it inevitably gets swallowed by the box). Or, attach a piece to the end of the roll and fold it in half to create a tab (or two) for easier pulling.

To prevent damage caused by your cat’s claws. No amount of tape can prevent all cat-related wear and tear, but it can help minimise claw damage to your furniture. Slap some double-sided tape on the areas you’d like your feline to avoid and chances are good they will.

To make your own fly paper. Wrap an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll in tape and hang it from the ceiling (or near the buggiest spot in the house) to catch flies.

To check produce ripeness. OK, you don’t actually check the ripeness with the tape. But, if you’re curious whether a fruit is ready to be eaten, cut out a small triangle, have a look inside, and if it’s not, use tape to seal the the triangle back into place without messing up the ripening process.

To attach spare batteries for later. If advance preparation is your jam, use tape to secure a spare battery behind that wall clock, kid’s Minecraft, lamp or other small device for when the old battery needs to be swapped out.

To amaze small children. If you need to impress a small child on short notice, grab a balloon, a piece of tape and a thumb tack. Place the tape in the middle of the balloon, insert the tack through the tape and watch their eyes light up as it (hopefully) doesn’t pop. Have a lollipop in your pocket in case it does.

To create a flawless cat-eye. For makeup lovers who may not be experienced enough to create a “cat eye” freehand, use two small pieces of tape to make a triangular shape just next to the outer corner of your eye. Fill in the empty space between the tape pieces with eyeliner. Don’t forget to remove the tape before you leave the house.

To prevent label smudging. Prevent the dark print or wet marker on everything from seed and prescription labels to return address and folder labels from smudging by covering with a thin layer of, you guessed it…beans. Just kidding. Tape. Protect them with tape.

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