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Things to do with old pantyhose

Once a pair of pantyhose is no longer usable as pantyhose, there’s nothing to be done but throw them out, right? And nylon isn’t even biodegradable. But it turns out there are actually quite a few ways you can re-use old pantyhose, maybe even for years.

Old black pantyhose laying on white table

Re-using old pantyhose

I love when there’s a way to re-use something that’s beyond repair. It can save you money and it also means less junk in the landfill. Note: all these tips assume you’re going to wash the old pantyhose very well before re-using them.

  1. Sachets. Old pantyhose are the perfect breathable material for a sachet to plant in a drawer or closet. Just snip off the foot area, put some potpourri in it, tie it off with a pretty ribbon and put them wherever you want some scent. You can refresh them from time to time by adding a few drops of essential oils. Sachets like this can last for years.
  2. Make a nail polish remover pod. Stuff old pantyhose legs into a small container. Pour in some nail polish remover. Bingo – you’ve just made a homemade version of those removers that you dip your fingers into and twist around to remove the polish.
  3. Hang your onions. Cut off a leg from your old pantyhose. Stick onions or similar vegetables down into them, and tie the top to a beam in your kitchen.
  4. Quick shoe polish. When you’ve got a pair of shoes that just need a little buffing to add some shine, pantyhose material is great for that job. Just buff the shoes with the nylons, and the shine will come back.
  5. Protection in the outdoors. Pantyhose can protect your legs from insect bites, so toss on an old pair whenever you’re working outdoors, gardening, hiking or camping.
  6. Line your planters. In another post, I talked about how you can line plant potters with coffee filters to keep water and soil inside. Pantyhose will do exactly the same trick in the same way.
  7. Control top hair scrunchies. The tops of control top pantyhose can be cut into strips (all the way around) to make hair scrunchies.
  8. Straining. You might be repulsed at the idea of straining a food item through old pantyhose, though it’s perfectly safe as long as you wash them well first. You can definitely strain other things through them, such as paint into which bits of debris have fallen.
  9. Tying plants to sticks. Old pantyhose can be great for tying tomato vines and similar plants to stakes. They’re soft enough not to choke the plant at any point in its growth, but strong enough not to let it fall.
  10. Soap on a rope. Put soap in the toes of old pantyhose, snip off the legs and tie the ends shut. Now you have a soap-on-a-rope/scrubbie for when you shower. The soap will come right through the nylon. This is also a great way to make sure ends of soap bars get used up, because you can always just open the stocking up and add more bits of soap.
  11. Stuffing or re-stuffing toys. You can stuff homemade toys with old pantyhose for a nice plush feel. You can also re-stuff toys that you’re mending, which have lost some of their original stuffing.
  12. Stuffing pillows. Following on the last idea, you can stuff or re-stuff pillows with old pantyhose. If you have a pillow that’s a little too hard, adding a layer of scrunched up nylons between the hard stuffing and the pillow cover can work wonders.
  13. Laundry line. Stretch the legs of old pantyhose to make a drying line for indoor clothes and delicates that don’t fare well in the dryer. Items that tend to get wrinkle lines when dried under a rack won’t do that with a soft nylon line under them. You can also braid some pantyhose legs together to make an outdoor laundry line. Braiding will give it the strength of a store-bought nylon line.
  14. Store rolls of paper. Wrapping paper, wallpaper, art paper – any paper on a roll that can tend to get scraggly edges if you don’t store it just so will do very nicely in the leg of a pair of pantyhose. The nylon will keep the ends from unraveling without making any marks in the paper the way rubber bands and similar items sometimes do.
  15. Makeshift mesh bag. Instead of buying a mesh bag in which to wash delicates, you can always just toss them in the leg of an old pair of pantyhose. It’ll keep them safe while letting them get a thorough washing.