20 Money-Saving Ways to Reuse Old Pantyhose

By Jeff Yeager on 29 November 2009 (Updated 20 December 2010) 39 comments
Photo: stockingvixen

I was a bank robber, the first Halloween I can remember. That involved carrying a burlap bag filled with stacks of newsprint "loot" over my shoulder, wearing a black turtleneck sweater like Illya Kuryakin wore in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and — most memorably — sliding one of my grandmother's worn out silk stockings over my head.

That memory (the last part, in particular) is etched upon my mind. And, my therapist says, no amount of counseling is ever likely to erase it.

Silk stockings are of course as long gone as my dear grandmother; truly sad to say, in both cases. But here are 20 creative ways to repurpose today's worn out nylon pantyhose, even if you're not planning to rob a bank.

1. Gift wrap storage

Keep rolls of gift paper neat and tatter-free by storing them in old pantyhose — one roll per leg — and hanging them in the closet.

2. Green Cheapskate soap on a rope

Put bath soap slivers in the foot of a pair of pantyhose to get every last bit of suds out of them in the shower. Rub-a-dub-dub, there's a cheapskate in my tub. (See more "Recycling Oddities.")

3. Plant ties

Use lengths of pantyhose to stake up tomatoes and other plants in the garden; because of its elasticity, it's easier on tender plants than string.

4. Mold and mildew stoppers

Partially fill pantyhose with kitty litter and place in shoes, luggage, closets, dressers, etc. to absorb moisture and reduce mold and mildew.

5. Panty-pantry storage

Store onions, potatoes and garlic in pantyhose and hang them in the pantry to promote good air circulation and keep them from rotting.

6. Sweet smelling sachets

Fill lengths of pantyhose with potpourri, tie off at both ends, and use to keep closets and dressers smelling sweat. They also work well when filled with cedar shavings or moth-repelling herbs to prevent damage to clothing in storage.

7. Pillow stuffing

Cut pantyhose into strips and use to stuff throw pillows or toys.

8. Repair torn pair in a pinch

If she has a run in the left leg and a matching pair with a run in the right, my wife sometimes cuts off her bad legs (so to speak) and doubles up, wearing two layers of panties with a good leg attached to each. (God I love that frugal woman.)

9. Packing peanut storage

Store menacing foam packing peanuts in a pair of pantyhose to keep them from invading the house until you're ready to reuse them. Cut a hole in the toe and tie it off with a twisty seal for easy peanut dispensing.

10. Homemade bungee cords

The elasticity of pantyhose make them perfect all-purpose tie down straps, or tie a metal "S" hook from the hardware store on each end for a homemade Bungee cord.

11. Lint mitt

Use like a mitten to remove lint and pet hair from clothing and upholstery rather than a lint brush. The mitt will also remove deodorant residue from clothing.

12. Scratch-less scrubbers

Try pantyhose to scrub tile and other surfaces where you're afraid of scratches. Also good for applying polishes to silver, brass, gold and other easily scratched metals.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

13. Protect prized veggies

Put pantyhose over vegetables like squash and melons while they're still growing in the garden to protect against pest damage without using chemical pesticides. Is that a zucchini in your pantyhose, or are you just happy to see me?

14. Flower bulb storage

Store seasonal bulbs in pantyhose and hang them up in a dry place to promote good air circulation.

15. Shoe shine buffer

Old pantyhose are perfect for putting the spit-shine on shoes.

16. Wear them outdoors

Guys, don't be shy about sporting a pair of worn out pantyhose next time you go camping or work in the yard. Real outdoorsmen (and outdoorswomen) have known for years that they prevent chigger and other insect bites and minimize foot blister.

17. Draft dodgers

Partially fill pantyhose with kitty litter to seal off cold drafts from under doors and windows.

18. Fishing trick

When I wasn't wearing my Granny's worn out stockings over my head, my Gramps was using them to catch catfish. He'd wrap a piece of chicken liver bait in a section of nylon stocking to keep it on the hook; the fish would still bite, and he'd still have his bait.

19. Paint/stain/plaster applicator

Use pantyhose to add interesting texture and designs when applying and/or finishing paint and plaster.

20. Special photo effects

Stretch pantyhose over your camera lens to give photos a muted or starburst effect. (NOTE: It's best to have her take them off before you try this.)

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Guest's picture
Guest

I love this list! I just bought a pair of nylons and my cat promptly destroyed one leg. I don't want to throw them out and now I know what I can do with them :D

Marla Walters's picture

Great hints, Jeff!  The wrapping paper one is my favorite.

Guest's picture
Guest

You've left out my favorite: poor-man's shredder. Just fill up your pantyhose with paper, tie them off, and throw them in the washing machine. The ink will wash right off. Then toss the mass of white paper in the recycling.

Guest's picture

I imagine all that fiber wouldn't be too kind on your washer! Instead, maybe try a rubbermaid tub with diluted bleach.

Guest's picture
gt0163c

Old pantyhose are great for making "flour whompers". Fill the toe with about 3/4th cup of flour, tie a knot just above the flour and cut off the leg (also works with knee highs). You now have a great "weapon" that doesn't hurt when you hit someone (you can feel it, but it doesn't really hurt or sting or leave a welt. I wouldn't recommend hitting anyone in the head or face.) during games. Great for playing capture the flag (hit someone rather than tag them) or tag games or just for running around bopping people. It will leave a white mark on clothing, but that brushes off. Adds a great new aspect to all kinds of youth group games.

Guest's picture
Guest

"Old pantyhose are great for making "flour whompers". Fill the toe with about 3/4th cup of flour, tie a knot just above the flour and cut off the leg (also works with knee highs)."
I would never fill old panty hose with anything especially food items such as flour. This is f'ing gross. In fact using old panty hose for anything other than wearing and tossing them in the trash is kind of sick.

Guest's picture
Guest

that person is not suggesting that the flour be consumed. did you understand what a "flour whomper" was for? it was meant to make childhood games like tag a bit more interesting to young'uns. they get to bop each other with flour (or possibly baby powder).

i'm not exactly sure why well-maintained pantyhose would be "f'ing gross" since the posts are all suggestions for the legs of the hose rather than the panty portion. still, you reuse towels you dried your ass with, right?

Guest's picture

These are absolutely wonderful - #13 made me laugh out loud. I'm also trying to picture myself telling my dad, who relishes rolling his socks up over his pant legs to avoid bug bites, that he could always wear panty hose to avoid the critters. Nope, that won't go over fell well.

Guest's picture
Guest

I will definitely use some of them - I hate throwing out my hose with runs!

Guest's picture
the Hamburgler

What happened to just using them for bank hold ups and liquor store robberies?!

Guest's picture

People always suggest using the mesh bags onions come in for soap slivers, but I think they are not ideal. Pantyhose are ideal. Great list. I will use this!

Guest's picture
Pinklette

My family has always done this with leftover soap slivers, which were then tied to the outside faucet for easy clean-up after working or playing in the dirt! Quick and easy wash and rinse, and the dirty hands are clean and good to go!

Guest's picture
Tim Price

Great Tips, but...Who's he pantyhose model?!?!? WOW! Hubba Hubba!!!

Guest's picture

Don't leave out tying each other to the bedposts for some special romance! Ha Ha.

John DeFlumeri Jr

Guest's picture
Richard Head

I cannot believe that no one has yet commented on how lovely those legs and shoes are!

Guest's picture
Guest

Thanks, everyone, for all your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed my article. I'm also glad to see that some of you have a more twisted sense of humor than even I do! ;-)
As for the panyhose model pictured above, I'm always trying to economize, so I posed for that photo myself.

Guest's picture

Never in my entire life would I have suspected that panty-hose could be this economic. :)

Guest's picture
Samira

Fill a leg with rock salt and tie off. Flip up over the gutter to the ice dam on your roof. The salt melts the ice and the salt-filled-pantyhose can be safely removed afterwards and reused. Of course, it may be a little unsightly with a pear of panties hanging from your roof line. :)

Guest's picture
croatian1

I had just wrapped some birthday gifts and was going crazy on how to store those rolls---great idea! Also the one for soap scraps, (not in my shower tho...), and hanging it from the outside faucet---perfect for that use!

I will add though that the one about rock salt and tossing it on the roof for ice damns----that is very hard on the life of your shingles, so not a good idea at all. Also if you have any plants that it can drip on, it will kill them. The one about a poor man's shredder and putting in the washing machine also----how economical is it to run the washer just for that, since you would not want any clothes in the washer when you were doing this. Also over time those bits of paper that escape the pantyhose are going to cause problems with your washer.

Guest's picture
Sean

Tie one to the end of the washing machine hose. Thread, lint, & any foreign items, such as tissues left in pockets, get caught in the stocking. This keeps that junk from going down the drain preventing clogs.

Guest's picture
Guest

If you lose a contact lens or something small, like a piece of jewelry, slip the toe end of a pair of panty hose and vaccuum. The stocking will catch the small item.

Guest's picture
Guest

Comment number 7 -- I was thinking the same thing! LOL

Guest's picture
Smai

Pantyhose can also be a great dust filter for your notebook's air vents!

Guest's picture
Guest

I use old panty hose to make my own filter material for aquariums. Saves me loads of money every year.

Guest's picture

When I started doing Internet DJ work, I needed a pop filter. I used my (now ex) girlfriend's old pantyhose, stretched them out using a circlet bought at a craft store, trimmed off the excess cloth, and held it up using a pair of helping hands (a heavy base with two alligator clips used for hobbies). Now I had my very own pop filter. When speaking and using heavy consonants like "p", "ck", "t" and so fourth, the pop filter filters out the heavy breaths when those consonants are spoken.

Guest's picture
pimptacular

I use them to cover my lemons/limes/oranges holds the seeds in.

Guest's picture
Guest

My soap bars usually end up too small to use (opposite of too big to fail).

I put these fragments in an old panty hose, and use them as a chunk. Even better is you can use the long panty house to tie the whole thing to an outside tap, for guests, or if you work in the garden. You can keep adding new soap fragments over time.

Guest's picture

I guess Portuguese always knew all of those above :-)

I will toss a few more

1. Butterfly catcher, yes you have to make the frame.
2. Fish catcher, same has above
3. This one's mine. Anti-Bug Green House. Yes, still with a frame. The easier one it's to cut a plastic bottle top and end, in the top just glue the pantyhose.
4. I have seen a dor mosquito mesh with it.
5. The aquario filter was already told, but it's very used in here. I have a big lake so the filter it's bigger. I just asked some cofee shops in here for the cola caps. Then I place them in the pantyhose to make a biologic filter.
6. Tye one end to a pole and in the other one insert a tenis ball. Just play with it :-)
7. To old the fruit in the trees. Like that it will not drop to the flor, it will also prevent bug problems. If you have a diospirus tree, this will help a lot :-)
8. If you have children, it's a very good way to play and store stuff. Just tell them they are role-playing burglar and have to cath all the toys inside.
9. If you're a fisherman it's very interesting to old those worms next to you... and they can be in water fresh and alive ;-) You know what I mean :-)
10. Use it has a special pot. If you do bonsai or are interested in root development, just give it a try ;-)
11. I have always used one when cutting and storing cactus for 2 weeks (or more) before planting them. (This increases the success of rooting). After that I just hang it in a roope inside the green house. When time comes I just cut it to get the cactus. Most of the times I reuse it for step 10.
12. I use it also with some other materials, like a cloth embeded with tar+sulfur+lime (just tiny quantities) insert it along one leg of the pantyhose and tye it to the main tree trunk. It will keep some bugs away, like ants ;-)

Ok... I stop now :-)

Guest's picture
Guest

I cut 1" strips of pantyhose leg material and use it to tie up my tomato plants. It doesn't damage the fragile stalks, it gives a little but not too much.

Guest's picture
Peutch

Hi!

Thanks for all the tips.

Another tip for those of you who record music at home.

You can use the pantyhose to create a filter screen to put in front of microphones when singing. It prevents the singer creating "plop" sounds when singing words with "b" "p", etc. and stops too much breathing going in the mike, rather than the voice.

I use a piece of coat hanger, that I shape in a circle and stretch the pantyhose on it. Then I attach this 2-3cm in front of the mic.

Hope it helps!

Guest's picture
propman

Re # 19. Paint/stain

They can also be very useful for straining out lumps in old unused paint or for filtering new paint that is to be used with a paint spray gun.

Guest's picture
m65

Silk stockings are of course as long gone as my dear grandmother; truly sad to say, in both cases. But here are 20 creative ways to repurpose today's worn out nylon pantyhose, even if you're not planning to rob a bank.

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Guest's picture

Typo alert! Would you use sachets to keep things smelling "sweat"? Or maybe to KEEP things from smelling sweat(y)?
Fix No. 6!
Great tips, however.

Guest's picture

Many ways to use it, I'll try to remember these tips next time I'll think of throwing away my old pantyhose. It's interesting to try special photo affects next time.

Guest's picture
Guest

I used to own a house painting business and we used them as paint strainers.

Guest's picture
Guest

I have been using my wife's old pantyhose for years on the washing machine discharge hose. They collect all the lint, that will clog up your drain pipes. They are also great to put chemicals into your swimming pool. They disperse them gradually into your pool water. As long as you leave them dangling in the pool water, they will last a LONG time. Once they are exposed to the air, the chlorine soaked nylon will deteriate in no time.

Guest's picture
Kristine

Fishnets work great for garlic- air circulation.

I would suggest stockings for your wife- interchangeable, and stockings and garters are so much more fun! And airy.

I used my stocking for an emergency car repair...picture this: driving hours from home, 2am, alone, torrential sheets of rain, and my driver side wiper broke. Before people had cell-phones. I pulled over, took off my stockings, and used them to tie the driver wiper to the the passenger wiper-parallel, at the normal distance. It had just enough give to gently yank the driver wiper along with the other, so I could see! Worked like a charm.

Braided stockings make excellent flexible rope.

Guest's picture
Lisa Under the Redwoods

My grandmother used to braid them and sew them into a rug to use by the back door.

Guest's picture
Lisa Under the Redwoods

Oh, and of course if you have 2 identical pair each with a run in one leg you can cut off the offending leg of each pair and wear what you have left. I did this often when I worked in an office.