Dental Floss: The New Duct Tape

By Deane Barker on June 3, 2006

Tricks of the Trade: Mother: I read this early this morning.

If you are repairing something which will need to take a lot of pressure (e.g. a rucksack or leather shoe), use dental floss,. It threads onto a needle easily and is virtually unbreakable. You can also make it black with an indelible marker if you need to.

In the afternoon, about six hours later and 20 minutes before I had to make a four-hour car drive, my daughter stepped on my glasses and broke them. The head of the hinge screw sheared off.

Remembering what I read, I grabbed some dental floss. Sure enough, it thread easily through both screw holes, and tied tight enough to keep my glasses together securely. It looked a little goofy, but I took my car trip without a problem.

Dental floss rules, it turns out. If you keep a roll of duct tape handy, just in case, consider augmenting it with a container of dental floss. I can imagine dozens of instances where this would come to the rescue. Stick a container in your toolbox, your purse, and the glove compartment of your car.



  1. When my son’s Boy Scout troop goes hiking, they always take along dental floss. One common trail repair with teenage boys is a detached shoe sole. Wrap some dental floss tightly around the shoe to hold the sole on and then a strip of duct tape to hold the floss on.

  2. my punk rock sewing kit consists of a container of dental floss with a small upholstery needle tucked inside of it. it has a slightly larger eye, and the curve seems to lend itself a bit better to general purpose repairs.

  3. gaffer’s tape is infinitely superior to duct tape. It costs 3 times more but is worth it as it is stronger and the adhesive doesn’t melt and leave residue on most surfaces.

    For saving money from gaffer’s tape, I’d recommend the new Gorilla Tape. It’s a double-weight duct tape with a rubbery exterior that doesn’t seem to dry and flake like old duct tape. The adhesive is about twice as thick and strong also.

  4. How ironic, I just saw a Wrigley’s Extra Chewing Gum (the one that claims oral sanitation), in which an office girl finishes her lunch, “flosses” with duct tape… the polor opposite to this post!

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