Put them to use in household tasks and projects from decorating and cleaning to gardening.

By Brigitt Earley
June 12, 2020
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As a safe way to clean precious fabrics like silk and bulky items like your favorite down comforter, there's no doubt that dry cleaning is an invaluable service. But there's one little issue most every dry cleaning customer ponders, and that's what to do with all of those wire hangers. You could, of course, add them to the hanging rod in your closet, but the truth is there are better options for long-term storage. Wire hangers are flimsy, bending easily under the weight of sweaters, and they're notorious for slippage, causing your formal dresses to puddle on the floor.

Emily Kate Roemer

 

Throwing away unwanted wire hangers isn't a great option, either. Tossing them in the trash means they'll end up in a landfill somewhere, which has obvious environmental implications. And even recycling is difficult—wire hangers can't go into the bin with other recyclables, they need to be specially recycled with scrap metal.  If you don't have any use for all of those wire hangers, reduce waste by bringing them back to the dry cleaner (they can often reuse them) or trying one of these creative ways to repurpose the humble item.

Clean out the drain. 

To clear a clump of hair from your sink, shower, or tub, unwind the hanger and snake it down your drain. Pull out any gunk, toss it in the trash, clean the hanger, and save it for the next time things are backed up. 

Prop up plants.

Unwind the hanger and use it as a stake in the garden. It makes a great support for tomato plants and other weak stems. 

Create garden markers.

Straighten a wire hanger, then cut it into six-inch pieces. Label a wine cork with identifying information—cherry tomatoes, for example—and use the signs to mark seedlings in the garden

Reduce static cling.

To separate two pieces of fabric clinging to one another, run a wire hanger over the fabric

Tame your hair.

The same thing works for static hair. If your hair is standing on ends after removing a hat, run a wire hanger over stands to relax it.  

Make a wreath.

To make a wreath, twist the wire frame into a circle, secure the ends, then add flair of your choice—faux flowers and vines, fabric, pinecones, and more. 

Clean a bird bath. 

Don't want to touch the icky stuff floating in your birth bath or fountain? Use the wire hook on the hanger to fish out leaves, sticks, and other debris without ever having to stick your hand in. 

Roast marshmallows.

If you can't find any sticks for the fireside activity, use an unwound wire hanger instead. Get it as straight as can be, then stick a marshmallow on the end. For added safety, curl one end around a wooden spoon and use that as your grip. 

Replace a drawstring. 

If the string escaped from of your hoodie or sweats in the wash, there's an easier way to fix it than fiddling with your fingers. Straighten a hanger, secure the end around the end of the string, then push the whole thing through the garment until it comes out the other end. 

Make a terrarium.

In tending to your terrarium, use a wire hanger to nudge all those little bits of moss and fauna into just the right spot. 

Create a bubble wand.

Unwind a hanger, then twist the end into a circle or fun shape (like a heart). Dip the shaped end into bubble solution and slowly wave through the air for a sensory activity that the kids are sure to love

Hang ornaments.

Missing those little hooks your ornaments hang from? Use wire cutters to cut a hanger into two-inch pieces. Twist one end around your ornament; the other around the branch of your tree.

Stir paint.

Straighten a wire hanger, then shape it into a zigzag, leaving a few inches at the end straight. Insert the straight end into a drill. Place the stirrer into the paint can, turn the drill on slowly, and stir out any clumps before tackling your next DIY project

Corral paper towels.

Cut the corner of the hanger, slip a paper towel roll on, then hang the whole thing from a nail. 

Make a hanging lantern. 

Wind a wire hanger around the mouth of a mason jar, then hang from a branch or hook to light up your backyard

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