Instructables
Picture of Remove Cactus Thorns with Ease
I love cactus, and I'm pretty well fearless when it comes to working with them which might change should I ever fall on one.  However, cactus thorns/spines aren't so much fun, so I keep a roll of duct tape at home and in the car because I never know when I might get bit by a cactus while nursery hopping which is precisely how I learned about this trick. 

Normally I keep a roll of duct tape in my car because the stuff is pretty darn useful for a lot of things.  While visiting Old Man Cactus Nursery*, I managed to rub against a cactus, and the lady helping my husband and me told me about this trick.

*The nursery is generally not open to the public, but we were allowed to visit after setting up an appointment.  I think we bought a lot more than if we'd ordered online because we were there in person, and everything looks a lot more tempting when you can see it right there and be able to own it right away...  DANGEROUS!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
You're going to need duct tape but hopefully not a full roll.

Step 2: Apply and Rip

Picture of Apply and Rip
Apply a strip of duct tape to the area where you got bit.

Press down.

Rip it off!

Re-apply as necessary.

Done!
 
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dchall84 years ago
That's fun playing "Where's Satan" on your first picture!

My mother planted a bunch of that same cactus when I was a kid.  What a mistake that turned out to be.  Maybe it's okay for adults but when you're a kid chasing a ball into the cactus, it's unbearable.  Those little stickers are evil because they break off very easily into your skin...and they are the color of your skin.  And usually they get in around your knuckles so every time you flex your hand you feel it.  Wish we knew about the tape back then. 
here here. I killed my cacti cuz of that.
where is satan
One of the evil thorn buds is listed as Satan. Keep looking.
AngryRedhead (author)  dchall84 years ago
That's exactly the problem with cactus thorns like the one in the first pic. They're nearly invisible and hard to pull out with tweezers. The duct tape trick is the only thing that'll really work.
i found one of the tags in the first picture that said satan!
found it

kricketone3 years ago
I use spray contact cement , let it dry and just peel it off
I would like to see pictures of the actual process, any chance you could re-create the incident for documentary purpose? :P Just kidding of course. This is good knowledge to have, thanks for the 'ible.
kstruve4 years ago
I can attest to this method. It works really well. I had gotten a leg-full of these darn glochids and I used duct tape. They are like tiny shards of fiberglass!
Sunbanks4 years ago
I absolutely love the first picture :P
AngryRedhead (author)  Sunbanks4 years ago
Thanks! It's the same one that bit me at Old Man Cactus Nursery where I learned about this trick!
It's a great trick too! Except I rarely come into contact with cacti, which I'm just fine with :P
Jayefuu4 years ago
Your first picture made me laugh so much.
AngryRedhead (author)  Jayefuu4 years ago
Yaaaay!!
Plasmana4 years ago
Lol that there is Satan on the first pic :P
AngryRedhead (author)  Plasmana4 years ago
Indeed! That pad is about 2" long, and look at how many thorns it has in such a small space!
corey114 years ago
I wish I knew this when I was about 9 because I wet. Tp'ing my neighbors friends house (she invited me and my brother to pull a prank on her friend) and I accidentally hugged a cacti trying to rap tp around it. I was tired at the time as it was about 2:30 in the morning.
AngryRedhead (author)  corey114 years ago
Yipes!!!
Hoopajoo4 years ago
My grandfather used to put Elmer's Glue on the affected area, let it dry and then peel it off taking the needles with it. When I once installed fiberglass insulation at a Habitat for Humanity build, I got some down my back and it drove me absolutely nuts. The foreman suggested duct tape as well then and it worked like a charm for that too.
AngryRedhead (author)  Hoopajoo4 years ago
Letting glue dry sounds like it would take a long time, but dried glue is pretty fun to play with.
onrust4 years ago
I was told this, but now I have faith!
AngryRedhead (author)  onrust4 years ago
It works a helluva lot better than tweezers or squeezing or whatever else people do.
When I took this photo, on the side of the road, I fell back into some Cholla. Well, I hid behind some Creosote (not good cover) and did the best I could. I may just roll with duct tape now!
4501288951_8a7fde7496_m.jpg
ToniRose onrust4 years ago
But you got the shot, that's the main thing. (And a lovely pic at that.)
AngryRedhead (author)  onrust4 years ago
Oh, wow, that's bad. I've been bit by cholla too, and those are some mean thorns!
If you get it on your shoe.... don't kick it off because it will stick on your forehead as well!