New Uses for Wire Coat Hangers

Stop caulk-tube ooze To prevent caulk from oozing from the tube once the job is done, cut a 3-inch (7.5-centimeter)

Stop caulk-tube ooze
To prevent caulk from oozing from the tube once the job is done, cut a 3-inch (7.5-centimeter) piece of coat hanger wire; shape one end into a hook and insert the other, straight end into the tube. Now you can easily pull out the stopper as needed.

Secure a soldering iron
Keeping a hot soldering iron from rolling away and burning something on your workbench is a real problem. To solve this, just twist a wire coat hanger into a holder for the iron to rest in. To make the holder, simply bend an ordinary coat hanger in half to form a large V. Then bend each half in half so that the entire piece is shaped like a W.

Extend your reach
Can’t reach that utensil that has fallen behind the refrigerator or stove? Try straightening a wire coat hanger (except for the hook at the end), and use it to fish for the object.

Make a giant bubble wand
Kids will love to make giant bubbles with a homemade bubble wand fashioned from a wire coat hanger. Shape the hanger into a hoop with a handle and dip it into a bucket filled with 1 part liquid dish-washing detergent in 2 parts water. Add a few drops of food coloring to make the bubbles more visible.

Create arts and crafts
Make mobiles for the kids’ room using wire coat hangers; paint them in bright colors. Or use hangers to make wings and other accessories for costumes.

Unclog toilets and vacuum cleaners
If your toilet is clogged by a foreign object, fish out the culprit with a straightened wire coat hanger. Use a straightened hanger to unclog a jammed vacuum cleaner hose.

Hang a plant
Wrap a straightened wire coat hanger around a 6- to 8-inch (15- to 20-centimeter) flowerpot, just below the lip; twist it back on itself to secure it, then hang.

Make plant markers
Need some waterproof markers for your outdoor plants? Cut up little signs from a milk jug or similar rigid but easy-to-cut plastic. Write the name of the plant with an indelible marker. Cut short stakes from wire hangers. Make two small slits in each marker and pass the wire stakes through the slits. Neither rain nor sprinkler will obscure your signs.

Make a paint can holder
When you are up on a ladder painting your house, one hand is holding on while the other is painting. How do you hold the paint can? Grab a pair of wire snips and cut the hook plus 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of wire from a wire hanger. Use a pair of pliers to twist the 1-inch section firmly around the handle of your paint can. Now you have a handy hanger.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest