Cleaning hacks: how to reuse ripped tights

Instead of throwing away your ripped tights, try these clever used tights hacks around the home!

Updated 21 February 2022


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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However careful you are with your nylon tights you’re probably not expecting them to last very long. They get snagged on swinging bags, chairs or even when you’re just pulling them on – and most of us don’t bat an eyelid about getting rid of our used tights and buying new ones.

But think twice before throwing your used pantyhose in the bin. Like many other forms of plastic, nylon doesn’t biodegrade easily and is therefore a threat to the natural environment when it becomes landfill waste. And, with so many nylon fabric uses in cleaning, storage and beauty, there’s no need to let your ripped tights go to waste.

Use tan or skin coloured tights to store food as they’re easy to see through than black tights. Don’t forget to give your tights a good wash before using them to store food either!

Turn ripped tights into gentle, abrasive scrubbers

Nylon fabric has uses in cleaning across the whole house. The material is abrasive but gentle, meaning that it’s perfect for scrubbing surfaces without scratching them.

Roll up a leg of used pantyhose or cut out a square of the material and use it like a cloth or sponge to polish delicate furniture, leather shoes, or anything else that needs a delicate clean


ball up some washed, used tights and turn them into a loofah for gentle exfoliation in the shower!

Varnish wooden furniture with used tights

To apply varnish or a clear finish to wooden furniture evenly, roll up a leg of used pantyhose to create a makeshift sponge, then dip it in the varnish before applying it to the wood. It’s flexible enough to get into awkward corners and it won’t drip or leave streaks!

Health Warning

Don’t mix household cleaning and personal care! Nylon tights can be great in the shower or the bath but don’t use anything on your skin that has been in contact with strong household cleaning products.

Make a DIY soap-on-a-rope with used pantyhose

An old-fashioned classic, soap-on-a-rope is always handy to have hanging in a garage, shed or anywhere it’s impractical to have a soap dish.

Used tights give it an upcycling upgrade that’s less slippery: simply pop a bar of soap into the foot of a one leg of some used pantyhose, tie a knot to keep it in place and hang it up where you work. Whenever you need to give your hands or tools a quick scrub, just add water and work up a lather through the nylon.

Use a piece of your old tights to make hairbrush cleaning easier

Cut out a scrap of nylon from your ripped tights and push the bristles of your hairbrush through it so that it sits at the base of the bristles. The next time you want to clean the hair out of your brush, simply pull the nylon out again, taking the hair with it!

Using used tights as a hoover attachment

Vacuuming in a hard-to-see area, and think there might be some jewellery or coins under there? Stretch a scrap of tights nylon over the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner and secure it in place with an elastic band. Use this makeshift attachment as a pre-vacuum tool to pick up lost earrings and treasures so that you don’t lose them to the hungry vacuum cleaner!

Storing onions and bulbs

Take a leg of used pantyhose and tie several knots down its length, leaving spaces of roughly 10cm between them. Then, cut a slit in one side of each space to form little pouches. Hang the leg on the inside of a cupboard door or by your vegetable tray and use the pouches to store onions, garlic or bulbs. It’ll keep them dry and aired and save space in your cupboard.

Is nylon recyclable?

Although there are initiatives across the world turning old nylon products into new ones, tights are not often publicly recyclable. That’s why finding new life for your ripped or used tights is so important.

Key steps:

  • Rolled up scraps of ripped tights make great makeshift sponges and polishers.

  • A knotted leg of tights can be turned into a handy, hanging storage solution.

  • Give used tights a good wash at a high temperature before using them on your body or to store food.

  • Never use old tights on your body if you’ve used them for cleaning.

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