Make a pot or dish scrubber
Clean those stains off your nonstick cookware by making a do-it-yourself scrub pad. Crumple up a pair of clean old pantyhose, moisten it with a bit of warm water, add a couple of drops of liquid dishwashing detergent, and you’re good to go. You can also make terrific scrubbers for dishes — as well as walls and other nonporous surfaces — by cutting off the foot or toe section, fitting it over a sponge, and knotting off the end.
Secure trash bags
How many times have you opened your kitchen trash can only to discover that the liner has slipped down (and that someone in your house has covered it over with fresh garbage anyway)? You can prevent such “accidents” by firmly securing the garbage bag or liner to your trash can with the elastic waistband from a recycled pair of pantyhose; tie a knot in the band to keep it tight. You can also use this method to keep garbage bags from slipping off the edge of your outdoor garbage bins.
Dust under the fridge
Having trouble catching those dust bunnies residing underneath and alongside your refrigerator? Round them up by balling up a pair of old pantyhose and attaching it with a rubber band to a coat hanger or yardstick. The dust and dirt will cling to the nylon, which can easily be washed off before being called back for dusting duty.
Store flower bulbs in winter
Pantyhose legs make terrific sacks for storing your flower bulbs over winter, since they let air freely circulate around the bulbs to prevent mold and rot. Simply 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. Hang them up in a cool, dry space, and they’ll be ready for planting in the spring.
Prevent soil erosion in houseplants
When moving a houseplant to a larger or better accommodation, put a piece of pantyhose at the bottom of the new pot. It will act as a liner that lets the excess water flow out without draining the soil along with it.
Keep small melons such as cantaloupe and muskmelons off the ground — and free of pests and disease — by making protective sleeves for them from your old pantyhose. Cut the legs off the pantyhose. As your young melons start to develop, slide each one into the foot section, and tie the leg to a stake to suspend the melon above the ground. The nylon holders will stretch as the melons mature, while keeping them from touching the damp soil, where they would be susceptible to rot or invasion by hungry insects and other garden pests.
Keep deer out of your garden
If you’ve been catching Bambi and her friends nibbling on your crops, put up a “No Trespassing” sign they will easily understand. Simply fill the foot sections of some old pantyhose with human hair clippings collected from hairbrushes or your local barbershop — or, even better, use Rover’s fur after a good brushing. Tie up the ends, and hang up the nylon satchels where the deer tend to snack. They won’t be back for seconds. The hair or fur will lose its scent after a while, so replace every four or five days as needed.
Clean up after gardening
Here are two recycling tips in one: Save up your leftover slivers of soap, and place them in the foot section of an old nylon stocking. Knot it off, and hang it next to your outdoor faucet. Use the soap-filled stocking to quickly wash off your hands after gardening and other outdoor work without worrying about getting dirt on door handles or bathroom fixtures inside your house.
Cover a kids’ bug jar
What child doesn’t like to catch fireflies — and hopefully release them — on a warm summer night? When making a bug jar for your youngster, don’t bother using a hammer and nail to punch holes in the jar’s metal lid (in fact, save the lids for other projects). It’s much easier to just cut a 5- or 6-inch (15-centimeter) square from an old pair of pantyhose and affix it to the jar with a rubber band. The nylon cover lets plenty of air enter the jar, and makes it easier to get the bugs in and out.
Apply stain to wood crevices
Getting wood stain or varnish into the tight corners and crevices of that unfinished bookcase or table that you just bought can be a maddening task. Your brush just won’t fit into them and give them an even coating. But there’s really nothing to it once you know the secret. Just cut a strip from an old pair of pantyhose, fold it over a few times, and use a rubber band to affix 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.
Test a sanded surface for snags
Think you did a pretty good job sanding down that woodworking project? Put it to the pantyhose test. 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.
Clean your pool
Want a more effective way to skim the debris off the surface of your 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 possibly clog — your pool’s filter unit.
Make a paint strainer
Strain your paint like the pros: Use a pantyhose filter to remove the lumps of paint from an old can of paint. First, cut a leg off a pair of old pantyhose, clip the foot off the leg, and make a cut along the leg’s length so that you have a flat piece of nylon. Then cut the leg into 12- to 14-inch (30- to 32-centimeter) sections to make the filters. Stretch the nylon over a clean bucket or other receptacle and hold it in place with a rubber band or perhaps even the waistband from that pair of pantyhose. Now slowly pour the paint into the bucket.