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11 Creative Ways to Recycle Nylons (Plus Readers' Ideas)

Creative uses for nylons

Frugal Parenting (featured column)
by Rachel Keller

When I turned 10, my parents enrolled me in a Christian school. By the time I was in sixth grade, I wore nylons nearly everyday to school and church, and this continued through my college and graduate school days.

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As a stay-at-home mom, I rarely wear nylons, but I feel like I’ve bought enough to own stock in the Leggs® company. Over the years, I’ve discovered some unique ways to reuse those nylons.

1. Cut off the nylon leg that has a snag, rip, or tear. Save the good leg to use as a one-legger. Two one-legger nylons makes one good pair of hosiery. Just make certain you are wearing two of the same shade.

2. Once those one-leggers have rips in them save them for homemade stuffing. One of my favorite stuffed toys as a child, was stuffed using old nylons. Even when the stuffed toy wore out, we could still reuse the nylons for another toy.

3. Use nylons to make the head on a homemade doll. My mom made me a doll with a nylon head stretched over regular stuffing you buy at the store. Sew buttons or beads on the head for eyes or draw or stitch noses and mouths on your creations.

4. Nylons make a great buffing material for shoes. My husband uses them all the time to buff his dress shoes.

5. My husband also places his shoes inside one-leggers to protect his shoes while traveling.

6. Store onions in them. You can tie a knot between each onion. When you need an onion, just snip one off the bottom.

7. Cut the nylon into strips and use to tie tomato stalks to stakes.

8. Instead of throwing out small soap scraps or slivers, toss them into a nylon leg. After accumulating these you have a great soap scrubber for the shower.

9. If you don’t want to wait until you have enough soap slivers, take a bar of soap and place it into the nylon leg. Tie a knot in the nylon on either side of the soap bar leaving a little extra nylon on both sides to hold onto while in the bath or shower. If you leave a long enough nylon "handle," you can even use the scrubber on your back.

10. To solve the problem of children washing their muddy hands inside, place some soap in an old nylon and tie it around faucets outside in your yard. You can now wash your hands after gardening, walking the dog, and playing or working outside.

11. Cut your nylons into small pieces. These work great with nail polish remover to clean your nails.

Do you have other uses for nylons? We would love to hear from you!

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Readers' Ideas  
Compiled by Editor

"When I was younger I would use old nylons as a colorful headband to hold my hair." - Donna B.

(Editor's Note: These two submissions came in at almost the exact same time, so I'm including them both! :o)

"I just have one that you did not have.  Cut the nylon across the leg so you have circles, these can be used as disposable head bands (which is great for me as I have my own home based Cosmetic business)  and in a pinch they can be used as hair bands for ponies.  Once you get the circles there are likely another hundred uses!!!" - Cheryl M.

"These are great ideas.  This one's probably a bit weird, but I found they work pretty well for gently exfoliating dry skin." - Audrey

"How about those new non-slip bars of soap for kids.  The soap is incased in some sort of material that keeps it from slipping out of kids' hands.  Instead, make your own by putting a bar of soap in the foot of a one-legger, then tie it in a knot and cut off the tail.  Now you have a bar of soap that will not slip out of your children's hands." - Cissy

"Hi! I use nylons as lint catchers. I zip tie one on to the end of the washing machine's hose that hooks on to the sink in my basement... when it fills up with lint I just replace it with another one. This is much cheaper than buying those mesh ones and they work better too! I also do the tomato ties trick and the onions trick. And I tie up my cornstalk decorations in the fall with them too!!!" - Lara

"Ladies in my home town (a small town in Indiana) used to make braided rugs out of them. They were boring in color, but washed well and dried on the line fairly fast. They could be sewn together with red or purple thread to look pretty. They were generally under foot at the kitchen sink. Or in the mud room." - Susan from Atlanta

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Copyright © 2005 by Rachel Keller.  All rights reserved.

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