Women's legs, wearing pantyhosePantyhose -- the bane and blessing of women's fashion -- have been around for a long time. The nylon-and-spandex invention blossomed in the '60s, when miniskirts arrived and garters and stockings made their way to the specialty section of stores. In recent years, the lingerie staple has become a bit passé, as fashion has trended away from leg coverings -- other than slacks --- to a bare-legged look.

No matter, many women still are shackled to the perspiration-inducing, run-guaranteed clothing item, especially businesswomen, whose workplaces often forbid bare legs.

So, what to do with pantyhose after they've run -- you should excuse the expression -- their course?

Here's a list of handy uses for pantyhose, besides covering your legs:

Soap on a rope: You know all those end-of-use slivers of soap that fall out of your hands, but you can't bear to throw away? Voila! Jam them into a pantyhose toe, tie it off, and soap up.

Onion caddy: Onions, when stored improperly, are known to develop smelly, black mold and become squishy. Here's a great way to store them in used pantyhose: slide those babies into the hose leg, separate and tie off each onion with a twist tie, and hang the bulbous plants in a dry place that's easy to access.

Sweet smell of sachet: Sachets fastened out of cotton prints are nice. But what's more practical than putting your dried lavender, juniper and eucalyptus leaves into a length of pantyhose? Tie off the stocking at each end (you can replace the flowers when they lose their fragrance) and stick it in a drawer or closet.

Vacuum filter: We're not talking major carpet-cleaning here. This device is meant for sucking up small items, such as a coin, contact lens or tiny gem. Cut off the leg of the used pantyhose, keeping the toe section intact. Pull it over the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner hose. Secure the stocking with a rubber band or metal tie. Switch on the vacuum, run the nozzle across the carpet, then retrieve that heirloom ring.

Scrub-a-dub-dub: Washcloths rarely are long enough to get to those hard-to-reach places when bathing. So, take apart your pantyhose and use one leg to stretch the length of your back. Defoliate your skin for less.

Pesky packaging peanuts: You get a package, open it, and those annoying peanuts fly all over the kitchen table and stick to your shirt. No more. Place those peanuts in a pair of pantyhose, tie off the ends, and then reuse them later.

Keep it cool (and warm): Partially fill pantyhose with kitty litter to seal off cold drafts from under doors and windows.

Shoe shine: Lost the soft cloth for shining your shoes? Uh-huh --- pantyhose!

Soft scrubber: Need your tile cleaned, mold removed, silver polished, table shined? Use old pantyhose and avoid scratching those surfaces.

Artsy artifice: Give a gauzy look to a photograph by stretching pantyhose over your camera lens.

Sources: eHow; Squidoo; Jeff Yeager

See also: Alternative uses for dryer sheets, plastic bags and Coca-Cola



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