Introduction: Unusual Uses for Condoms

Since February is Condom Awareness Month, now is a great time to drop the taboo and become acquainted with this stretchy sexual intercourse protector.

Did you know that there's plenty of uses for this popular prophylactic outside the bedroom? These small, stretchy, impervious sheaths are perfect for a wide variety of applications, from waterproofing your gear to propelling projectiles. While some of the ideas here are silly, and some are serious, they will all need a non-lubricated condom (lubricated condoms will just make a mess).

Follow along as we explore 12 unusual uses for condoms. Make sure to share your own unusual use in the comments below for a free Pro Membership.

Ready? Let's cover up!

Step 1: Jar Opener

Stubborn jar won't open? Why not try stretching an non-lubricated condom over the jar lid and give it a twist. The latex condom will aid in friction between your sweaty palms and the slippery lid. Just make sure to remove the condom before serving up jam for your guests.

Step 2: Elastic Bands

Unroll a non-lubricated condom completely, then carefully cut it along its width to create rings.

To prevent the rings from breaking when stretched you'll need to ensure you cuts are straight and have no ragged edges, which with where the elastic will snap. Cut in one swift motion along the condom, and make sure the latex is not bunched when cutting.

By varying the distance between cuts you can make thick or thin elastics. They're surprisingly strong and are a great way to quickly get 20 elastics at once for keeping cables and cords nicely managed.

Step 3: Water Vessel

I'm sure many have filled a condom with water as the finishing move in a water balloon fight. Something you probably realized is that condoms are incredibly elastic and can hold a lot of water by volume. However, they are thin and fragile.

Condoms can be reinforced with a sock and can be used to carry water safely. Next time you're camping and don't have a way to carry water back to camp, think about maybe trying this trick. Condom into sock, water into condom.

I got just under 2 liters into this condom.

Step 4: Cold Pack

Sprained ankle or sore neck? A frozen water filled condom can be just the thing in a pinch.

Fill up a condom with 1 part rubbing alcohol and 3 parts water, tie a knot in the end and stick in the freezer. This will leave the cold pack malleable and able to contour to wherever you put it.

Step 5: Cooking With Condoms

Stick your meatloaf inside a condom. Or, any other food you'd like to reheat. Though the human body is warm, and can get warmer during condom activities, it's not advised to put the condom in water temperatures above 100ºF (38ºC). Think of it more like a sous vide rather than a boiling bag.

Unroll a non-lubricated condom completely, then stuff your cooked meat and other bits into the condom, then top off with sauce. Set a pot of water on the stove until boiling, once boiling turn heat down to low. Having the temperature too hot will cause the condom to burst, spilling your saucy meat.

Step 6: Slingshot Shooter

Personal protection can mean a lot of things, with condoms it can work both as a prophylactic and a powerful candy shooter.

Simply cut the bottom from a paper coffee cup and stretch the end on an unrolled condom over the cup bottom. Hold onto the bottom edge of the condom to prevent it from rolling off, and stuff the condom inside the cup. Then load up a candy into the mouth of the open condom and pull back on the tip and fire your load across the room. Careful not to get this in anyone's face or eyes, it can hurt.

Step 7: Balloon Animals

It's always a party when you open a condom, and nothing says party more than balloon animals (except maybe confetti). Making a balloon animal is easy with condoms, as they inflate really large and can withstand the shear stress from twisting them into shapes. Using an non-lubricated and unused condom, unroll and blow up. You'll want the condom almost completely full of air, but not so full that you can't twist it into shapes.

I twisted one condom into three equal sections, then twisted two of the sections together to make three spherical shapes. After I used a marker to draw on a face with whiskers to make a mouse. Dot helped me blow up some balloons and even made a duck.

Step 8: Waterproof Electronics

Condoms also make great moisture protection for electronics. Condoms can stretch over most smartphones and other electronics, then tied tightly to make them waterproof. I was able to use the capacitive touch screen with this phone through the condom, and even when it was underwater!

Step 9: Waterproof Bandages

Next time you use a bandage on your arm or leg and need to take a shower consider using condom to keep your wound dry.

Apply bandage as normal. Unroll and cut the tip off a non-lubricated condom, then stretch condom over arm or leg until it's completely over the bandage. The condom will form a tight waterproof seal around the appendage and keep the bandage dry.

Step 10: ​rifle Barrel Protector

Gun owners are a tidy and finicky bunch; they love their firearms and want to keep them in top working order. A few friends who hunt shared with me their tip for keeping their rifles dry when hunting in inclement weather is to wrap a condom over the barrel. Condoms can stretch over almost any barrel type, even this large bore shotgun with a magazine tube.

The condom will keep your firearm dry and free from dirt entering the barrel. The best part is that you can just shoot right through the condom.

Next time you're out hunting big game, bring protection - things could get messy.

Step 11: Fishing Bobber

Nearby a fishing hole without a bobber? Maybe you were skiing out of bounds and have a survival ski pole with fishing equipment, or maybe you're just a lazy fisherman who only packs half the required gear.

If you're ever caught with your pants down without a fishing bobber, an inflated condom can do in a pinch. Inflate the condom halfway, then tie onto your fishing line for an impromptu inflatable fishing friend.

You might get some weird looks, but they'll all admire your skills when you pull a large mouth bass from the lake.

Step 12: Fruit Saver

Halfway through eating a tasty fruit and need to save it for later? A non-lubricated condom may not be ideal, but like plastic wrap it can certainly save your fruit from oxidizing and turning brown.

What other creative uses for condoms can you come up with? Share your ideas in the comments below, comment ideas with pictures included will be awarded a 3-month Pro Membership on

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grannyjones (author)2017-07-19

Disposable gloves work for most of these tips. You can use latex, vinyl, or even nitrile. Imagine a hand-shaped zombie meatloaf in nitrile--sous-vide! Cut off the glove when done, add ketchup, and hit it with the torch.

NicoleR23 (author)2017-01-15

I have done a lot of research on multi-use items for bugout bags and survival kits. I was shocked when a condom came up in someone's premade kit and had to see what it was all about. Since I have a latex allergy, I've never really given them a 2nd thought. Thanks for the post and all the informative comments

SarahT130 (author)2016-12-29

If you look it up on youtube, I saw a solar energy generator using a condom.

YouLube (author)2016-09-27

i also found wrapping the iPhone up in a condom and using it underwater stopped me from burning my hands as well.

Norfolkson (author)2016-08-10

I carry condoms in my survival pack's med gear. The can be used as finger stalls in the case of an injured digit.

KrazyK4 (author)2016-06-28

Another idea: Loom Bands?? DIY?

Libstah (author)2015-12-08

I just wanted to say I loved this! My three daughters read along with me.(15,8,5) my eight year old giggled allot. My fifteen year old thought it was fantastic and tried it with her 5 year old was told its a small bag that has lots of uses. To all the people on their high horse. It might be time to have a chat with your children. Condoms are not taboo in Australia its a healthy part of life. Helmets protect your head. Seatbelts protect you, lige jaxkets protect you,comdoms protect you. My children grow up knowing this. I dont see the big deal.Its like a rubber glove its not like the condoms are used.

Obsidian Man (author)Libstah2016-06-16

Amen to that Libstah.

johnston_kieran (author)Libstah2016-01-22

Bruh what

bhanon815 (author)2015-05-11

hahah great if you don't think of it as something you put on a mans penis LOL xD

stodd1 (author)bhanon8152016-03-27

Who cares if it's something you put on a man's penis... You shouldn't be using a used condom for any of this and it's considered used as soon as it touches a penis.

jnichols6 (author)2015-12-29

Cooking food? You contradict yourself on that one... "don't use water above 38 C," but clearly show it in boiling water... Which boils at 100 C...

firstscout (author)2015-12-29

Nope nope. Lol

Dandytroopermagoo (author)2015-12-28

My video instructor mentioned putting them over microphones to protect from dust and removing wind noise

prammation (author)2015-02-13

They had me at "stick your meatloaf inside a condom".

Libstah (author)prammation2015-12-08

Hahaha i just read that and dribbled my coffee all over me.

Cambenora (author)prammation2015-05-04

Well, I saw the GIF of the meat filled condom in boiling water and I just lost it.

If that doesn't make your eyes water nothing will. :-O

Melia1661 (author)2015-05-05

im 12 years old, is a condom something that men use? cause if so, that is really wrong!!!!

Deadpool11 (author)Melia16612015-10-29

1. Yes guys use it. 2. Im an 11 yr old boy, and I know what a condom is. 11yts old!!!

mikeasaurus (author)Melia16612015-05-05

Boy or girl, your should definitely know what a condom is at 12 years old.

Melia1661 (author)mikeasaurus2015-05-05

im a girl

veiledvenus (author)Melia16612015-05-23

Dear girl, please make sure you learn everything about how to properly use condoms BEFORE you ever consider even kissing a boy you like-like (making out)! Check out for age-appropriate info on why it is important, since it doesn't seem that you know how to protect yourself from the things that can happen when people start doing the things that kissing can lead to...

timothy.av (author)2015-04-19

I do fiberglas work, composites and molding.... I use condoms as a parting agent all the time! if the plug is less than about 24X6 inches just put a condom on it... the technique I like best is to blow up the condom and then push it onto the mold as you slowly let out the air and invert the condom... then pull the second have over the first so the entire surface is inclosed... works with balloon as well however balloons are less consistent in thickness! and the condoms I've found are stronger than balloons. this lets me fiberglass using non foam safe resins over a foam plug. i.e. polyester resin over a bead styrofoam plug... the results are very smooth and consistent and very cheap compared to partall and wax.. A condom can also be cut and taped to a frame alowing for flat sheet work and the clean up is unbelivibly easy!

daniboyy (author)timothy.av2015-10-22

Do you also use it for vacuum bagging after you put on the epoxy?

mikeasaurus (author)timothy.av2015-04-20

Those are great uses, thanks for sharing!

iSuat (author)2015-02-11 Try this :)

billmotley (author)iSuat2015-02-12

Try what?

iSuat (author)billmotley2015-06-26


mikeasaurus (author)iSuat2015-10-06

Whoa, that's a smart idea! Thanks for sharing a picture, enjoy the Pro Membership!

veiledvenus (author)2015-05-23

When I come across free condoms, I always grab as many as I can (without denying anyone more needy than I am access to the sexual protection I need).

1a. Makeshift latex mittens:
Whether scooping cat poo, cleaning up unwelcome "icky" items from your yard (I use them to clean up used drug baggies from my driveway), or to protect yourself from potential bloodborne pathogens or contact contagions when providing emergency first aid to a stranger... Anytime you wouldn't want an item or substance to come in contact with your skin, a latex mitten will help! Put all your fingers of one hand together, while they are as straightened out as you can make them while their tips are still together, and unroll the condom carefully over the hand. (Careful of hangnails or ragged fingernails, they can tear holes if you aren't cautious.) Don't stretch your fingers apart very far, or many modern condoms (made extra thin so that more people will use them) will break from the tension.

Just be aware that if thin latex comes into contact with oils or fats, that exposed area will quickly break down and could develop holes (microscopic or bigger) - potentially within a matter of a few minutes.

To keep your hands clean when taking the mitten(s) off, be sure to keep at least one finger clean. Use that finger to hook under the opening of the condom mitten on the wrist of other hand, peel the condom off, pulling it inside-out as you go. When the mitten is completely off, tie the end off and dispose in the nearest garbage can.

1b. Doggie-poo bags (or disposable bags for any icky item smaller than about half the width of your first - like the drug baggies I mentioned in #1). Put the latex mitten on one hand (as in 1a), pick up the "icky" item and hold it in your hand, and take off the mitten (as in 1a), then knot the icky thing inside the now-inside-out condom.

(NOTE: Do NOT dispose of exposed needles yourself, unless you know how to handle & dispose of them properly! Do an Internet search for the phrase "proper sharps disposal procedure," then click on a link from an organization like a government health agency, or the official site for a respectable institution you know well and trust. If you don't have access to the Internet, contact a nearby hospital or the non-emergency line for the local police to ask for advice. But don't leave them lying around, either!)

veiledvenus (author)veiledvenus2015-05-23

I took pictures, but not all will upload, this is try #4 with just a few.

mikeasaurus (author)veiledvenus2015-10-06

That's a great use, since condoms are fluid barriers. Thanks for sharing a picture, enjoy the Pro Membership!

veiledvenus (author)veiledvenus2015-05-23

I forgot - body heat (e. g. from keeping a condom in a wallet) degrades latex quickly, also.

RustonReds99 (author)2015-10-05

Uses them as a magnifying glass to make fire. They would have to be filled up with water though.

mooyou (author)2015-08-05

I'm so pleased to see plenty of common sense replies to the main gripe about appropriateness of subject and audience. If you guys don't want to expose your children to content you deem to be inappropriate, you shouldn't blame a corporate entity for you failing to monitor your children. Parental controls are a flimsy solution to parental oversight and caring... :D

nuelma (author)2015-05-18

boredom :)

Cambenora (author)2015-05-04


This is just wrong on so many levels. ;-)

timothy.av (author)2015-04-20

Teaching Microscope use anyone?

cool school teaching tool! tip for all you teachers out there teaching kids how to use a microscope... inflate a condom and tie it like a balloon, then using a small sharpie grid the condom into little squares and write notes in the squares on the inflated condom.. then after you've filled as many squares as you desire cut the knot off and then cut the latex on the grid lines... the kids can then use the microscope to read the notes you have made... some of these can get very small! so you may need to experiment some on your writing size depending on the type of microscope you are teaching on (scale)... I've seen entire paragraphs that were written on a note the size of a pin head and were very legible under high magnification... this also makes a great science trick...

ronald.ferreira.39 (author)2015-04-09

my eye and stroke make me spell bad. bang a hard to open jar lid hard on the table to let all the air out so it can open easy.

ronald.ferreira.39 (author)2015-04-09

as for the jar unable to open my idea is better hold the jar 45 degrees to the cap and back the camp hard on the ground or on a rag it will let all the air out and will easilie open the toughest of jars.

DIY-Guy (author)2015-02-12

My kids USED to read Instrucables with me.
It's not "Family Friendly" now, there needs to be an "adult" section.
Please consider this option for the rest of us.
Thank you.

pponticelli (author)DIY-Guy2015-04-09

Its not bad for them to know what a condom is .

Spokehedz (author)DIY-Guy2015-02-12

"The rest of us" calmly explain to their children what they are, and what they are used for.

If you feel as if your kids can't handle it, then why did you click on the article and read it while they were on your lap?

Do you also go into stores in which you don't like the products, and complain about having to see them on the shelves?

Do you also listen to the radio, and complain to the station when a song comes on that you don't like?

Point being is to just move on if you feel the content is not what you want to be exposed to.

thundrepance (author)Spokehedz2015-02-12

believe me, YOU do NOT speak for "the rest of us".

Spokehedz (author)thundrepance2015-02-12

Believe me, you don't speak for them either.

amulder1 (author)Spokehedz2015-02-12

I'm with you on this, what are they going to do when they walk into a gasstation and the kids see the nude mags like playboy. This is way less confronting. Kids don't always need a full explanation, just tell them what it's for and don't go into detail.

static (author)amulder12015-03-23

I don't think I have ever seen Playboy have it's cover obscured, Hustler yes.. In the event Playboy should have it's covered obscured so should some womens magazines, as far as the covers go often there's not a lot of differance

Vyger (author)amulder12015-02-13

Most local and state ordaninces now require that X rated magazines and other similar material be covered up to prevent accidental viewing of under age children. Most of them use cardboard that covers the front except for the title.

amulder1 (author)Vyger2015-02-13

Now you're assuming we all live in the USA, which we don't.

Second it was a mere example, condom commercials are broadcasted on most of our TV channels. Chances that they see those are way bigger + the actual use of it is suggested one way or the other.

Hell chances that my little girl opens the drawer that we have them in are even bigger.

As I already said you don't have to tell them all of it. You don't tell them the full details of how mommy got pregnant from their little brother or sister either do you?

This Instructable and that program of Bill and Melinda Gates is about taking the shame of the condom away. So that when they need it they're not afraid to go and get it.


that is directed @ spokehedz.

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Bio: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
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