25 Survival Uses for Dental Floss

Dental floss is lightweight, compact, and perfect for your preps.  But more than just great for oral health, dental floss has a wide range of uses in survival situations.

There are several kinds of dental floss available, waxed, flavored, and unwaxed.  It’s a good idea to have some of each variety available as each one is ideal for specific uses.


  1. Tripwire. Wrap a few strands of dental floss together and tie each end to a tree shin height. Because dental floss is small, it blends well into the surroundings.
  2. Spear making. Tie your knife around a branch with dental floss for fishing, hunting, or self-defense
  3. Make a snare. You can catch small game by creating a snare using floss.  It’s strong enough to hold onto most small game and having the ability to catch prey is a good morale booster.  Here’s a great article about how to create a snare.
  4. Create or fix a bow. Tying several strands of floss together is a great alternative if you don’t have any Paracord to create or fox a bow.
  5. Fishing line. A tree branch, some dental floss, and a hook are all you need to make a fishing pole. Tie your hook into the dental floss, tie the floss to the branch and catch some fish!


  1. Make a lean to. If you have a tarp, you can make a lean-to shelter and thread the floss through the eye holes to secure it to a tree.
  2. Lashing for larger shelters. You can lash together branches and twigs to create a larger shelter.  Dental floss is very sturdy, making it a great option for lashing.
  3. Tinder. Waxed floss burns well. You can use it on its own to help start fires, or you can lash twigs with it to get your fire going strong.


  1. Hang your food. You can use floss to tie up your food to keep it away from pests.
  2. Cut your food. You should have a great survival knife in your preps, but if you’re without one, you can use floss to cut through foods.  Wrap it around fruits, meats, and cheeses to cut it.  Pull it tightly to get it to cut through.
  3. Survival garden. If you have any climbing crops, such as pole beans, peas, or tomatoes, you can use dental floss to create a support system.  Just make sure you don’t tie it off too tight.
  4. Drying herbs and more. If you have herbs or fruits and you want to dry them without the use of a dehydrator, you can use floss!  For herbs, gather them in a bundle, tie them together and hang them upside down to dry.  For fruits, slice your fruit, then thread floss through them and hang them to dry.
  5. Catch water. Tie a strand of floss to a leaf or branch and hang it in your water bottle to collect rain water for drinking. The water will travel down the floss and into your bottle.


  1. Shoe laces. If you don’t have Paracord in your preps, you can use dental floss to replace shoe laces. Braid a few strands together to increase the strength.
  2. Mending clothes. Again, dental floss is easy to thread into a needle and it’s small size makes them great for stitching and mending clothing.
  3. Clothes line. If you only need to hang your socks or undergarments, dental floss can make a great makeshift clothes line.
  4. Stay dry. Keeping your feet and legs dry when you’re traversing through wet or marshy areas is important. If you have trash bags or other plastic that you can use to wrap your shoes and pant legs, you can use floss to tie it on if you don’t have any duct tape.


  1. Stitches. You want to make sure you’re using unwaxed, flavor free floss for this purpose. Dental floss is small, easy to thread into a needle and can make great stiches in an emergency situation.


  1. Sound the Alarm! Gather some empty cans, add a few rocks in them, and tie them in 6-12-inch intervals with dental floss to create an alarm system.  Because the floss blends well into the surroundings, most people won’t see it and will trigger it easily.
  2. Restraints. It’s not something most people like to think about, but in a full-scale SHTF scenario, there will be people who wish you harm.  Desperation makes people do things they wouldn’t normally do, and if a person is cold, hungry, or out of supplies, they will be looking for food, shelter, and warmth.  You can use dental floss to create restraints if you don’t have any paracord available.


  1. Rope. Tying several strands together will make a thin rope that can be used for light weight things.
  2. Whip a rope. If you are using Paracord to create a rope, you can whip it with floss using this method.
  3. Tie up your hair. Most women prefer to have their hair tied back when they’re working outdoors.  If your hair tie breaks, you can easily use dental floss to tie it back.  (I’ve done this myself a few times.)
  4. A dummy cord. You can use floss to tie items to your belt loops or pack.  Things like a compass, whistle, or even a water bottle.
  5. Repair your glasses. Dental floss is small enough that you can use it to repair broken glasses.  If you’ve lost a screw, simply thread a piece of floss through the screw hole and tie it off.

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What are some other ways you can think of to use dental floss?  We’d love to read your comments below!

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