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101 Uses for Coathangers

The wire coathangers used to return your clothes from the dry cleaners are a really useful source of structural wire

Here's what I and other devotees have used them for. Ps - I don't guarantee the links

I get questions about coathangers

I've reordered the list so the latest uses show first

and...(the number is creeping up) - last updated 8 June 11

64.  As a microphone support/ boom for nature recordings as demonstrated by BBC Springwatch's Chris Watson - thanks Guen

63. Andrew Oakes has seen the movie Birdemic ( )  where people are defending themselves from attacking eagles using coat-hangers.  He does however caution against watching the movie.

62. David Mach's Silver Streak -  a huge ape sculpture made of wire coathangers - Royal College of Art's Summer Exhibition 2010

61. To make wire helices to demonstrate the difference between left and right helices and to show the DNA helix - to help my daughter tutor at Cambridge University (UK).

60. Bend to make a stand to hold bottles of creams/ shampoos upside down so that they are ready to use without shaking to get the liquid to the spout.

59. Use to repair chain link fence - thanks Mike W

58. Make loops on the end of two straight pieces of coathanger wire - tie string between then and use them as a garden line to get straight edges

57. As wire for the frame of a chinese lantern

56. Wire for the frame of an insect collecting net.

55. Use 2 AOL CDs plus some coathanger wire to make earmuffs (glue some fur on one side, then attach a U-shaped piece of bent coathanger to both disks) - from 102 uses for an AOL CD

54. Use coathanger wire to make a tripod for supporting items, eg cans, whilst heating from below - Annette Andres given in Orchid Digest 29/9/01

53. Unbunging a vacuum cleaner - put a curve on the end & then twiddle it around to loosen the impacted fluff etc - thanks again Paul

52. Fishing stuff out from behind a radiator/desk/piano thanks Paul

51. Keep the ends of a bicycle chain together while you reinsert a rivet or removable link - thanks Mark

50. Make the frame for a butterfly net,. fishing net etc with a coathanger and a pair of tights/ orange net

49.How to fix your garbage disposer.

48. How to repair the headrests on the electric seats of E28 BMWs47.

47. How to make a harmonograph - everyone needs their own!

46. You can use the wire to roast a wiener (sausage) - thanks Doris - toast muffins etc, or even weave your own BBQ grid.

45. Joanna's music stand lost one of the clips that stops the paper turning back. Just happened to be coathanger wire sized.

44. If the autodefrost pipe on your refrigerator is blocked, coathanger wire might clear it (but check you don't disconnect it) - thanks John E

43. Crosman suggest using coathanger wire to clear blockages from the barrels of the air pistols they make.

42. How to feed a cable through a cavity wall? - drill the hole then poke some coathanger wire through - tape the cable to it and pull it back - thanks David and Susan

41.  Soldering picks are an essential: they may be made from coat hanger wire. 'Some Soldering hints and tricks' From: "Cheap Thrills in the Tool Shop" Article by: Charles Lewton-Brain ( © 1994/97

40. Kathy suggests " Toilet paper holder, bend ends to hold roll and hook anywhere"

39. I've started using coathanger wire as a 'third hand' when doing silver soldering.  Click here for a picture

38.  He also locked himself out of HIS OWN car and a coathanger came to the rescue.

37.  One of my nephews scratches inaccessible parts of his body with one - I didn't ask where!

36. A cat calmer. I have always found a wire coathanger very useful for disciplining my cat. For some reason she doesn't like them. Whenever she is naughty all I have to do is wave a coathanger a few feet in front of her accompanied by a bit of shouting and she runs off and comes back five minutes later on her best behaviour. - Clare. Mark then commented "My technique was to unravel the twisty bit, then rub the two resultant spiral-shaped bits together - the cats would then scarper pretty quickly..."

35. A silver burnisher - take 1.5 inches of coat hanger wire, bend the bottom 1/4 inch of one end to a 45 degree angle. Stuff the long end into your foredom, and watch the cool little hammer rotate! This will just rip your metal though, it must be polished by 'whirling' it on a piece of sandpaper (on a phone book) until smooth. Karen Morrow given in Orchid Digest 29/6/00

34. Coathangers in science demonstrations - see this link - thanks Meg

33. We also hang clothes on them, but traditional wood is best!

32. To hang up other coathangers - nice spacesaving idea - (Thanks again Oli)

31. As a probe to unblock sinks - (Thanks Oli)

30. How could I have forgotten the Blue Peter Advent candle wreath - and developments onto candelabra (Thanks again Jane)

29. Aromatherapy oil burner - A coathanger twisted so one large circle makes a base, then a stalk with another smaller circle at the top. In the top circle sit a soy sauce dish, or other small dish & shove your candle underneath (Thanks Jane)

28. A clip to hold the bath panel in place - much better than Blu-Tack (R)

27. Stiffeners(or wings) in a fancy dress costume (Thanks Nikki (and Kathy))

26. They can be used as dowsing rods in a suitable holder (Thanks Stuart)

25. Fixed into a wooden frame, each coathanger provides two supports for shoes on a shoe rack

24. With the tip bent around a piece of sponge, you can make a fine bottle brush

23. Bend them to make toast on top of the stove when the toaster isn't working (Thanks Suzanne!)

22. A hook to hang up the laundry basket in the garage

21. An additional hook on my gas torch

20. Three in a triangular frame to hold plants upright

19. Some stakes to keep the nozzles in the greenhouse watering system pointing in the right direction

18. The door to the guinea pig cage is hooked open during the day with a piece of coathanger wire

17. The chest freezer lid doesn't hold itself open anymore. A coathanger wire hook helps.

16. A toy sword (stick something over the point for safety)

15. A model of the St Helens school star cross

14. Replacement school bag handle links

13. Seed row markers in the garden

12. More hooks in the garden shed for the sprinkler and hose parts

11. A toy bow for bows & arrows

10. Some components for the garage door lock

9. Something to poke the grot out of the drain covers to improve water flow

8. A suitably bent length in an electric drill makes a fine paint stirrer

7. A replacement car aerial (not my style though!)

6. A hook to hold the dart board onto the garage door

5. The launch stand for our toy sky rocket

4. As a 'U' shape covered with a plastic bag to make the end for a garden cloche

3. A stand to hold the loofah in the air so that it dries thoroughly (choose your coathanger wisely)

2. To make to 'U' - shaped tools for extracting car radios from the dashboard fitting

1. To make hooks to hang up pictures

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