The new Three R’s are recycle, reuse and re-purpose.
That includes the drawer full of pantyhose, knee-high hose and tights with runs or stretched-out elastic.
Instead of throwing them out, save money by giving them a second life with more than a dozen different uses.
Here are 16 ecoXplorer thrifty tips for living on the cheap for new uses for old hose, as household cleaning tools, in the bath, for travel, even in the garden.
One of my favorite toys when I was very little was a sock my grandmother turned into a soft little toy doll, decorated with a face and hair made of brightly colored yarn.
So I was taught from an early age the value of recycling, re-using and re-purposing things, long before it became a “green” thing to do.
It was just a normal thing my grandmother did, my mother, and me, too, and I’m glad to see it’s back in fashion.
Cover the end of the vacuum hose with a foot part of pantyhose. It will pick up pennies, pins, paperclips and such, preventing them from getting sucked into the vacuum bag.
Use the foot part as a mitt, to remove lint or pet hair from furniture and clothing.
Deodorant stain remover
Use the foot part as a mitt, or use a wadded up section of hose, to get rid of those telltale white marks from dark clothing by rubbing the spot.
When you haven’t got time for a full polish, rub-a-dub dull shoes to bring back the shine. Add a drop or two of ordinary baby oil for a high-gloss shine, and the oil also lubricates and softens the leather.
Old pantyhose won’t scratch tile or other surfaces, including when polishing metals like silver, gold, and brass.
- I also recycle an old toothbrush to get into the tiny nooks and crannies on the decorative rim of Grandma’s heirloom silver bowl.
Fill an old pantyhose foot with other pantyhose pieces, to use in the bath or shower as gentle defoliation.
Soap scrap holder
Don’t throw out those bits of soap that are too small to hold. Fill another foot section with soap scraps for a great scrubby pouch.
Air freshener sachet
Fill another foot piece with your favorite potpourri, tie it with a knot, and use it in your lingerie drawer or hang it in a closet
Cut longer pieces into strips to use as tie-ups for your tomato and other vine plants. The fabric is soft and stretchy, so it won’t cut into the plants, and the stocking strips are easy to re-tie as the plants grow.
Use longer strips tied around your luggage for extra security. Use pieces of colored tights or stocking to tie around luggage handles, to help identify it quickly on airport baggage carousels.
Instead of buying shoe covers for travel, use the foot part of old pantyhose or tights or the leg part of knee-highs.
- Stuff shoes with socks or hose when you travel, to make use of the empty space in your suitcase.
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Cut at the thigh or knee to wear under clothes when you don’t want a panty line to show. It will create a smooth, red carpet look without spending $20 or more on branded shape wear.
Plug a draft
Stuff a a stocking piece into the spot to seal a drafty window. Fill a leg with kitty litter to use under the door to seal a draft. Just be sure to knot or sew the leg on both ends first.
Leftover paint you are using for touch-ups to little nicks and scratches on your walls is often clumpy and lumpy. Use old pantyhose as a sieve. Either stretch a leg over the paint can, or over the paint tray.
So now you have a pile of cut up pantyhose pieces. Do you throw them out?
No, because there’s one last DIY recycling suggestion for thrifty green living —
If you want to make your pantyhose last longer before they get runs, the folks at Planetforward suggest you put them in the freezer for a few hours before wearing.
Freezing strengthens the fibers and reduces the risk of runs and snag. Just remember to defrost before wearing
And here are yet more suggestions from the green living website BrightLife
If you have any other uses for recycling pantyhose, let me know. Email me at evelyn@ecoxplorercom
Note – A version of this article was submitted to the website Living on the Cheap in 2015, which published it without paying me as per our written agreement and without identifying me as the author, with my name as writer and creator removed.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
Contact me at email@example.com.
Also follow my NYC website, NYC Travel Guru
This article and all its contents is (C) Copyright Evelyn Kanter
Recycled Crafts has mail in recycling. A search for ‘save my hosiery’ will pull up their website.
I love these ideas. I have at least 10 pairs of panty hose I will never wear again. Did not want them to end up in a land fill. Thank you.