Can I Use Duct Tape to Ship USPS?

On the previous Wednesday, when I was about to pack my parcel for shipping through USPS, I found a roll of duct tape just beside my reading table. But I was confused that can I use duct tape to ship USPS?

Then is called one of my friends over the phone and I became shocked after hearing the answer. Actually, my friend made me aware that USPS could reject my parcel because of the duct tape packaging.

Yes, you read it correctly. Duct tape should not be used while packaging the mailing parcel. There are reasons behind this. Let’s find out the actual reason not to use duct tape to ship the parcel.

What Is Duct Tape?

Duct tape is like cloth tape that is coated with a polyethylene resin on one side, but another side possesses sticky rubber-based adhesive. Actually, it is like scrim-backed pressure-sensitive tape.

It is a multipurpose tape that is used for general sealing, patching holes and even for packing boxes and repairs.

The Importance of a Strong Seal for USPS Shipping Packages

A strong seal is crucial for USPS shipping packages as it ensures the safety and security of the contents during transit. A properly sealed package prevents items from falling out or getting damaged while being handled, sorted, and transported. A strong seal also helps to prevent theft or tampering, safeguarding the integrity of the shipment.

When packages are sealed securely, they are less likely to experience damage, loss, or delays due to items spilling out or becoming dislodged. It reflects your responsibility as a sender to protect the package and its contents, minimizing the risk of customer dissatisfaction. A well-sealed package also helps the USPS process shipments more efficiently, reducing the likelihood of delays and ensuring timely delivery.

Why Duct Tape is Not Recommended for USPS Sealing Packages?

Duct tape is not recommended for sealing USPS packages because it doesn’t provide the necessary strength, durability, and adhesive quality required for secure shipping. Duct tape can easily come undone during transit, leading to package breaches, content damage, or loss.

Furthermore, duct tape might not adhere well to different types of packaging materials, such as cardboard boxes, causing the seal to fail under the stress of handling and transportation. This can compromise the security of the package and the protection of its contents.

Instead, it’s advisable to use packaging tape specifically designed for shipping. Packaging tape is made to withstand the rigors of the shipping process, ensuring a strong seal that keeps packages intact and secure. Using the correct type of tape contributes to the overall successful delivery of your package and prevents unnecessary issues during its journey.

Potential Risks of Using Duct Tape for USPS Shipping

Using duct tape for sealing USPS packages can pose several risks. Duct tape lacks the necessary adhesive strength and durability to withstand the rigors of the shipping process. It may come off during transit, causing the package to open or its contents to be damaged, lost, or tampered with.

Additionally, duct tape might not adhere well to different packaging materials, leading to potential package breaches and delays in delivery. Using duct tape could result in customer dissatisfaction due to damaged or lost items and may lead to additional costs for reshipping or refunds.

Alternatives to Duct Tape for Sealing USPS Packages

There are better alternatives to duct tape for sealing USPS packages securely. You can use them stay away from the trouble of duct tape.  Some of the best alternatives are mentioned below.

Packaging Tape: Specifically designed for shipping, packaging tape offers strong adhesion and durability. It adheres well to various packaging materials, providing a reliable seal that withstands the shipping process.

Gummed Paper Tape: This water-activated tape creates a secure bond as it dries, making it highly resistant to tampering. It’s an eco-friendly option that works well with cardboard boxes.

Strapping Tape: Strapping tape is reinforced with fibers, providing extra strength and resistance against package stresses.

Clear Shipping Tape: Transparent and strong, this tape offers good adhesion and protection without obscuring shipping labels or barcodes.

Security Labels: These tamper-evident labels provide an additional layer of protection, indicating if the package has been opened or tampered with.

Using proper packaging tape not only ensures the safety and security of your USPS shipments but also contributes to smoother transit and customer satisfaction. It’s worth investing in quality sealing materials to prevent potential risks and maintain the integrity of your packages.

What Is the Difference Between Tape and Duct Tape?

Gaffer tape and duct tape are very different and used for different purposes. The main difference between them is the adhesive residue left behind when you try to remove the tape.

The tape is designed to remove residue-free to the cord, but the duct tape will leave a sticky or adhesive residue when you remove it.

Why Will Mailing USPS Not Accept Duct Taped Packages to Mail?

Duct tape does not hold the structure of the cardboard together. Again, it does not adhere well to the cardboard.

As cardboard possesses a porous surface, duct tape does not stick firmly to cardboard. Moreover, the tiny fibers do not allow the duct tape to bond adhesively, and ultimately the duct tape pulls over from the cardboard.

On the other hand, when the packages go to travel, any pressure can harm the package. But in that time, the duct tape could be removed from the cardboard and can be separated from the cardboard easily because of the extra pressure.

So, the duct tape can cause pre-opening to your package while traveling. As a result, your parcel can be damaged before reaching the desired destination.

What Is the Actual Reason for Failing the Duct Tape on Packaging?


The non-porous surfaces or plain surfaces bond well with the duct tape. It means duct tape does not firm well on any rough surfaces or cardboards. As it only met with only the high point of the surface, making firm adhesive bonding is very tough with the duct tape.

What are the other things That Should Not Be Used to Mail Packages USPS?

The following materials can also cause rejection of your packages if you use them in mail packaging USPS.

  1. Masking Tape
  2. Scotch Tape (cellophane)
  3. Cord
  4. String
  5. Electrical Tape
  6. Twine

FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I Use Duct Tape to Ship USPS?

Duct tape does attach firmly to any rough surface and lets the package pre-open during shipping. That’s why you should not use duct tape for USPS shipping.

  • What kind of tape does USPS authority accept?

You can use clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape, or paper tape. Do should not use cord, string, twine, masking, or cellophane tape for package shipping.

  • Will USPS tape my package for shipping?

You can easily get free shipping supplies from USPS for Priority and Express mail. That is, you can get labels, envelopes, tape, etc. USPS has regular tape available for parcel post, but it is restricted for any other person.

Final Words

Hopefully, you have got your answer that Can I Use Duct Tape to Ship USPS? However, the duct tape is not suitable for rough surfaces. So, it would be best if you used packing tape for packaging your parcel for USPS shipping.

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