If you’re like me, you have a drawer full of pantyhose with runs that you can only wear with slacks or boots. But there are lots more ways to recycle pantyhose, stockings and tights and save money in the bargain. All you need is a pair of scissors.
Lint mitt: Use the foot part as a mitt, to remove lint or pet hair from furniture and clothing.
Picker-upper: Cover the end of your vacuum cleaner hose with pantyhose. You can pick up dropped items like pennies or pins, and they won’t get sucked into the vacuum bag.
Dryer-ball maker: Use the leg of a pair of pantyhose to toss your homemade wool dryer balls into the washer and then the dryer for the felting process.
Soap scrap holder. Don’t throw out those bits of soap that are too small to hold. Fill a nylon foot section with soap scraps for a great scrubby pouch.
Deodorant stain remover: Get rid of those telltale white marks from your clothing by rubbing the spot with a piece of wadded up pantyhose. Or, use the other foot from the same pair you are using for a lint mitt.
Shoe shine: Rub-a-dub your dull shoes to bring back the shine when you haven’t got time for a full polish.
Non-abrasive scrubber: Old pantyhose won’t scratch tile or other surfaces, including when you’re polishing metals like silver, gold and brass.
Air freshener sachet: Fill the foot with your favorite potpourri and tie with a knot. Use it in your lingerie drawer or hang it in a closet.
Pot liner. Line your plant pots with hosiery to keep dirt in and allow extra water out.
Plant ties: Cut into strips to use as tie-ups for your tomato and other vine plants. The fabric is soft and elasticized, so it won’t cut into the plants, and the stocking strips are easy to re-tie as the plants grow.
Store onions: Drop an onion into the toe of a stocking and tie a knot just above it. Drop in another onion and repeat the process. Hang the filled stocking in your pantry, and your onions will stay dry and aerated to avoid soft spots. Simply cut below the knot to access the onion.
Luggage ties: Longer strips can be tied around your luggage for extra security. Tie shorter strips around the handle to identify it quickly on airport baggage carousels.
Stink out. Fill stockings with charcoal or cedar and stuff inside stinky shoes.
Shoe bags: Instead of buying shoe covers for travel, use the foot part of old pantyhose or tights.
Clothing bags. Use tights as stuff bags in your suitcase.
DIY shape-wear: 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 such as Spanx.
Plug a draft: Stuff a leg into the narrow spot to seal a drafty window. I’m using this trick on a drafty window air conditioner unit. 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.
Soft toys for tots: 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. My sock doll very likely was stuffed with recycled stockings.
Paint strainer: Leftover paint you’re 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.
Store rolls of wrapping or adhesive paper. Once you have started using those rolls of paper, it’s hard to keep them rolled tightly. Cover the rolls with a pantyhose leg and it won’t unroll in your closet or develop rips.
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 — fill an old pantyhose foot with other pantyhose pieces, to use in the bath or shower as gentle defoliation.
If you want to make your pantyhose last longer before they get runs, some folks suggest you put them in the freezer for a few hours, then thaw and wear. Freezing strengthens the fibers and reduces the risk of runs and snag. Just thaw before wearing.
If you have any other uses for recycling pantyhose, we’d love to hear them.
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