It can be frustrating when your favorite pair of pantyhose gets a run in them or starts looking a little ratty. When this happens, you’re probably tempted to just toss them away with nary a thought about what else you could do with them.
Believe it or not, old pantyhose are some of the most useful items to have lying around. There are all sorts of uses for old pantyhose both inside and out. In fact, I’ll bet you I can think of 20 uses for old pantyhose right off the top of my head. Don’t believe me? Check it out…
1. Plant Ties
Old pantyhose have a number of uses in the garden, including acting as plant ties. I actually prefer to use old pantyhose as plant ties, since they’re softer than twin or twist ties and much less expensive than commercial plant ties. Cut small strips from them and use them to tie up garden plants like tomatoes.
2. Fruit and Vegetable Protectors
Another one of the uses for old pantyhose in the garden is as fruit and vegetable protectors. When your melons, pumpkins, and zucchinis start forming, slip them inside a piece of old pantyhose to keep the critters away. You can also grow heavier fruits and vegetables, like watermelons and pumpkins, vertically on a trellis by slipping them into old pantyhose legs and tying them to the trellis. This takes the weight off of the plant and prevents them from dropping prematurely.
3. Store Onions, Garlic, and Flower Bulbs
When it’s time to store your onions and garlic, toss them into an old pantyhose leg and hang it up. This allows air to circulate around them and prevents the papery skins from getting everywhere. It’s also a lot easier than trying to braid them together, if they’re from your own garden! You can also store flower bulbs during the winter in old pantyhose.
4. Strain Liquids
Do you have some leftover soup you want to toss, but don’t want to put liquid in your trash or soup chunks down your drain? Stretch the leg of an old pantyhose over the container and dump the soup into it. The liquid will strain out and the soup chunks will stay in the pantyhose, which you can toss into the trash.
5. Scrub Non-stick Pans
You’ve probably already realized that non-stick pans aren’t always completely non-stick. To remove stuck on food without harming the non-stick surface, wad up a pair of old pantyhose and use it to scrub the surface. It’s gentler than a dish scrubbie, but abrasive enough to do the job.
6. Wash Your Delicates
You can use old pantyhose as mesh garment bags as well. Just toss your delicates into the leg of an old pair of pantyhose, tie or clip shut, and toss it into the washer.
Old pantyhose are great for dusting, with or without furniture polish. You can use them to remove dust from wood, plastic, and metal surfaces. You can also slip the leg of a pair of pantyhose onto a broom handle, twist it a little, and use it to dust underneath large pieces of furniture and appliances.
8. Find Tiny Dropped Items
It you dropped a contact, earring, pin, or other tiny item on the floor, use a pair of old pantyhose to find it. Secure a piece of material from old pantyhose over the wand of your vacuum cleaner with a rubber band, and vacuum the floor with it. The tiny item will get stuck on the pantyhose.
9. Make an Air Freshener
Keep your closets smelling pretty! Stuff a section of old pantyhose with potpourri or other nice smelling things (like orange peels), tie off both ends, and hang it up. You can also use mothballs or cedar chips in old pantyhose to keep critters and moths away.
10. Infuse Your Bath Water
Easily add flower petals, citrus peels, cinnamon sticks, or anything else you want to your bathwater without the mess. Just toss them into a section of old pantyhose, tie off the ends, and drop it into your hot bathwater.
Cut the waist and feet off your old pantyhose and use them to wash your face and body. The material is abrasive enough to slough off dead skin, but it’s not harsh enough to damage it.
12. Remove Nail Polish
Next to Magic Erasers, old pantyhose are one of the best ways to remove old nail polish. Unlike cotton balls, they’re a little abrasive and the polish just comes right off.
13. Make Stockings
If the legs of your pantyhose are fine, but they don’t fit or the top is worn, why not try to create a pair of thigh high or knee high stockings? Cut the legs off to the length you want, and sew on some elastic or a garter belt at the top of each leg after you hem them. I have a pair of thick pantyhose that I’m going to try this with sometime soon. Possibly today.
14. Stay Warm
Old pantyhose that aren’t too far gone can be used as an extra layer under your clothes to help you stay warm in the winter. Guys, even you can do this. Rumor is even some of the rough and tumble types like construction workers and oil rig hands wear pantyhose while working in extremely cold weather. They’re much thinner than long johns and don’t add any extra bulk.
15. Shine and Buff Your Shoes
You can make your scuffed shoes look almost new again by buffing them with old pantyhose. Use shoe polish or a combination of lemon juice and olive oil for extra shine.
16. Keep Your Hairbrush Clean
My daughter and I both shed like sheepdogs, and our long hair quickly clogs up our hairbrushes. Gross, I know, but cleanup is a lot easier since I started putting a piece of clean pantyhose over our hairbrushes. Just push the bristles of your (clean) hairbrush through a rectangle of clean pantyhose material, and secure it with a small rubber band on the back. When lots of hair gets into the brush, just remove the piece of pantyhose and add another one.
17. Strain Paint
Sometimes old paint gets lumpy, and it’s a good idea to strain it to remove the lumps and dust before using it. Actually, it’s a good idea to strain any paint before using it, and old pantyhose makes a great paint strainer! Just stretch a piece of pantyhose over the container you’re staining the paint into and pour the paint over the pantyhose.
18. Patch a Screen
If you don’t have a new piece of screen to patch a hole in your window or door screen, put a piece of old pantyhose over it. Use tape or a needle and thread to keep it in place.
19. Fix a Fan Belt
On long trips, always keep an old pair of pantyhose or two in your trunk or glove compartment. If a fan belt breaks, tie the leg of the pantyhose tightly around the pulleys until you can get somewhere to replace the broken belt. If you aren’t sure where the belt is supposed to go, there should be an illustration under the hood to help you. Oh, and just in case you didn’t know – make sure the vehicle is OFF and cool before attempting this!
20. Clean Your Pool
If you want your pool sparkling clean, stretch the leg of an old pair of pantyhose over the head of your skimmer. The pantyhose should strain finer particles of debris out of the water, leaving you with a crystal clear pool.