24 Ways to Re-Use Pantyhose

June 14, 2011 One comment View all articles in Re-Use-It

Though the popularity and sales of pantyhose, or nylons, have been steadily declining since the mid-90s, they continue to be a bare leg fashion accoutrement and workplace dress code necessity for plenty of women the world over. They also pose several economic and environmental problems: they cost anywhere from $5 to $20 per pair, they rarely last more than three wears without tearing, they can't be recycled, they aren't biodegradable, their disposal contributes to landfill waste, and burning them releases toxins. The swiftest way to counteract and prevent the negative impacts of pantyhose is to re-use them in various ways around the house.


  • Paint/Varnish Strainer: The fine and porous weave of pantyhose makes them perfect for straining impurities from paints and varnishes. Just stretch a leg of a worn-out pair of pantyhose across a new container, then pour.
  • Garden Hammock: If you grow melons and squash vertically with wire mesh fencing, you'll need to provide some extra support to keep the weight of the fruit from pulling the vines back into the ground. To do so, slip a midsize melon into each toe of each pair of pantyhose. Then hang them on your fencing to ripen more evenly and to conserve space.
  • Potpourri Sachet: Cut off the foot of an old pair of pantyhose, fill it with potpourri, and tie off the opening. Hang the sachet from a hook in your closet or from the neck of a clothes hanger.
  • Mothball Holder: Use a similar technique as the one above to keep mothballs from rolling around in the area where you store your off-season clothes. Cut one foot off an old pair of pantyhose, insert several mothballs, and tie off the open end. Note: you can use a combination of dried rosemary, mint, thyme, American ginseng, and whole cloves instead of carcinogen-containing mothballs.
  • Piecrust Roller: If you've ever made a pie, you know having a moist crust stick like glue to the rolling pin is a major frustration. To solve this problem, cut the toe off a clean, knee-high pair of pantyhose and then slip the rest of the stocking over your rolling pin. The pantyhose will hold enough flour to keep even a very moist crust from sticking to the pin.
  • Duster Nylon Pantyhose
  • Dust Bunny Collector: Meet the challenge of cleaning up all the dust bunnies that collect under and behind your refrigerator with pantyhose and a coat hanger. Bend the hanger so that it makes a loop, tie several old pairs of pantyhose to it, and then swirl the whole thing around and under the refrigerator.
  • Flour Duster: Cut the foot section off a clean old pantyhose leg, fill it with flour, tie a knot in it, and keep it in your flour jar. Give your new flour dispenser a few gentle shakes whenever you need to dust flour onto a baking pan or prepare a surface for rolling out dough for breads or pastries.
  • Surface Scrubber: If your countertop has a stain or spot that needs scrubbing, but you don't want to scratch the surface, cut off one or both of the legs of an old pair of pantyhose, knot them several times to increase their bulk, and then scrub, scrub, scrub.
  • Vacuum Nylon Pantyhose
  • Lost Valuable Locater: If you drop a particle-size valuable such as an earring back or a gemstone from your ring, don't despair. Cut the foot off one leg of a pair of old pantyhose, draw the foot tautly over the end of your vacuum hose, and secure it with a heavy rubber band. Vacuum all around the area where you suspect you dropped the item and the air will suck it to the end of the vacuum hose, where the pantyhose will make sure it gets no farther.
  • Travel Organizer: Organize your clothing and personal items so they stay together and are easy to find while traveling. Cut the legs off a clean pair of pantyhose, then cut the legs in half again so you have two pieces with feet and two tubes. Take your socks, underwear, or any other small item and stuff them into the tubes, loosely knotting the open ends. The stockings will keep the items organized and visible.
  • Vegetable Preserver: To make your harvested onions and potatoes last much longer, store them in a leg from an old pair of pantyhose. Put one onion or potato in the leg and tie a knot above it, then slide another into the leg and tie it off. Each time you need an onion or potato, just cut the lowest-hanging one, leaving the knot above it intact. This method will keep each vegetable separated, but will also allow air to circulate between them, and thus prevent them from rotting.   
  • Broom Bristle Shaper: Cut a 5-inch band from one pantyhose leg and slip it over the bristles of a broom, leaving 3 inches free at the bottom. The band of nylon will prevent the broom straws from bending out of shape, even if they're synthetic.
  • Scrunchy: While this isn't the prettiest solution, tying a 3-inch section of pantyhose around your ponytail will give you a hair holder in a hurry.
  • Bedroll/Blanket Bundler: Cut the waistband from an old pair of pantyhose and slip it around a bedroll or rolled up blanket to keep it together. Wrapping Paper Nylon Pantyhose
  • Wrapping Paper Band: Once you've opened a roll of wrapping paper, slip the excess into a sleeve made from one leg of a pair of pantyhose so there will be no more tears or unraveling.
  • Sweater Protector: Avoid getting clothespin marks on your newly washed sweater by putting an old pair of pantyhose through the neck and running the legs out through the arms. Then hang the sweater to dry on your clothesline by clipping the clothespins onto the pantyhose instead of the wool, or whatever material the sweater's made from.
  • Box, Newspaper, or Magazine Tie: If you run out of twine, tie up your bundles of boxes, newspapers, and other types of recyclable paper goods using an old pair of pantyhose.
  • Delicate Plant Supporter: Use strips of pantyhose to attach young plants and trees to your garden stakes. The nylon's flexibility will stretch s the seedlings or saplings fill out and mature, unlike string or twin.
  • Flower Bulb Protector: Pantyhose legs are great for storing your flower bulbs over winter, since they let air freely circulate around the bulbs to prevent mold and rot. Just cut a leg off a pair of pantyhose and place your bulbs inside, knot off the end, and place ID tags on each sack using a strip of masking tape. Keep them in a cool, dry space, and they'll be ready for planning in the spring.
  • Dog Toy Play Pantyhose
  • Dog Toy: Cut both legs off an expired pair of pantyhose, making the initial cut around mid-thigh. Drop an old tennis ball into one toe, then put that leg inside the other to double the strength. Tie a knot three inches above the tennis ball and add more knots at three- to four-inch intervals. This homemade toy is perfect for small or medium dogs that enjoy a good chew or game of tug-of-war.
  • Soil Erosion Preventer: When moving a houseplant to a larger or better accommodation, put a section of pantyhose at the bottom of the new pot. It will act as a liner that will let excess water flow out without draining the soil along with it.
  • Stain Applicator: Cut a strip from an old pair of pantyhose, fold it over a few times, and use a rubber band to secure it to the tip of a wooden Popsicle stick. Dip your homemade applicator into the stain or varnish, and you'll have no trouble getting it into those hard-to-reach spots.
  • Snag Tester: Think you did a pretty good job sanding down that woodworking project? Wrap a long piece of pantyhose around the palm of your hand and rub it over the wood. If the pantyhose snags onto any spots, sand them until you're able to freely move the nylon over the surface without any catches.
  • Pool Skimmer: If you want a more effective way to skim the debris off the surface of you pool water, cut a leg off a pair of pantyhose and fit it over your pool's skimmer basket. It will catch a lot of tiny dirt particles and hairs that would otherwise make their way into – and potentially clog – your pool's filter unit.


Granola Girl on June 15, 2011 at 4:28 a.m.

I love these tips! I always feel so guilty when I have to throw away a pair of pantyhose. The worst is when you put your thumb right through the thigh of a brand new pair while putting them on for the first time. When will Corporate America move past this outdated requirement??

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