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5 Bizarre Uses for Old Stockings

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by Helen Petrovic (subscribe)
Full-time mum, part-time writer, avid fantasy reader and wannabe novelist. My articles focus on family and fun. Visit my site:
Published May 10th 2012
For those of you who wear stockings, you know the scenario. You're running late. You grab a pair of pristine stockings from the drawer and in your rush to put them on manage to stick your fingernail through them, causing an enormous ladder. You rush to the bathroom and apply a good coat of nail polish to the ladder, but its too late you can still see the ladder peaking up the side of your court shoe. You try putting the stockings on backwards, but it doesn't help. You can't chuck the stockings out you just bought them, so instead you stick them back in your drawer in the pile you mentally label "boot stockings", then you push that pile down so you can shut the drawer. It bulges ominously.

If you need to get rid of that pile laddered stockings, here are a few uses so that you can at least get your money's worth.

1. Finding Small Lost Objects in Carpet

If you've ever spent time on your hands and knees looking for a contact lens or an earring, you know how frustrating it can be. But fear not your old stockings can help you out of a pickle. Cut a leg off a pair, keeping the toe section intact and then pull it over the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner. You can double it up for extra protection by pulling the other leg over too. Then simply wrap a rubber band around the stocking so it is secure and vacuum the carpet. The little item you couldn't find will get sucked up onto the stocking filter. Viola.

2. Cleaning your Hairbrush

Hairbrushes can get pretty gross. Not only do you need to pull off all the hair, invariably you end up with lint, dust and dead skin on a hair brush which makes you want to put it in the bin. Once again, your stockings can come to the rescue. Using a thin stocking, cut a strip from the leg section and stretch it over the bristles of your new brush. A bobby pin works well to push the stocking over all the bristles, so that the piece of stocking sits next to the body of the brush. When you need to clean your brush, simply pull off the stocking layer and all that gross stuff will come straight off! Replace it with a new piece.

3. Organising Your Suitcase

It's a seasoned traveller's secret - rolled up stuff takes up less room than flat. But have you ever become frustrated when those well-rolled items unravel, especially when you are in a rush to pack? Instead of spending a fortune on those little travel bags, make yourself some flexible nylon tubes by cutting the legs of stockings. Cut off the foot section and stretch the remainder over your rolled up garments. Easy!

4. Collecting Dust Bunnies

Have you looked under your refrigerator lately? Most of us are scared to. How do you get the dust out from underneath it, after all? This is where stockings help nylon naturally attracts dust. If you ball up a pair of stockings and attach them to something long and skinny (like a coat hanger, or a stick), you can easily get rid of all that dust with no effort at all. Simply wash and reuse.

5. Cleaning Your Pool

Pool scoopers can be really annoying they catch the big leaves, but lots of the little stuff just floats straight through them, leaving your pool looking dirty. Instead, pull a pair of stockings over the scooper you'll be amazed how much extra dirt it picks up. You can also fit the stockings over your pool's skimmer basket so that the dirt doesn't clog up your filter.

So there you have it, 5 uses for those old stockings.

Image: Stuart Miles /

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Why? Waste not, want not
When: Anytime
Where: Your place
Cost: The cost of a pair of stockings you can't wear
Your Comment
What a load of fascinating and useful ideas. I add a few more. One would be to pull over your head for use in a bank robbery. My other half uses my old ones for stuffing full of barley grass or barley straw for our fishpond. It's supposed to stop the build up of blanket weed. When I was pregnant for the first time I started to make soft toys for my baby and used to use old tights for stuffing.
by Sandra Lawson (score: 3|1280) 3371 days ago
You can use them for a vignetting filter over the front of a camera lens as well. Old school but works.
by mullb (score: 0|3) 3335 days ago
Also, to tie plants or trees to stakes in the garden...the softness of the stocking is perfect and the plant won't get damaged.
by Joan0fArc (score: 1|12) 3305 days ago
Great article! I saw an old pair of stockings used in place of a fan belt for an old Morris in Burma 20 years ago!
by Julie Mundy (score: 3|1738) 3158 days ago
Very clever! And yes, I have a lot of 'boot stockings'. Except we say 'tights'.
by laura (score: 0|6) 3371 days ago
Interesting article, I just wish people would check their spelling, not a good look! (draw..... no no no .... drawer please! )
by sally (score: 1|26) 2619 days ago
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