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January 19, 2008

7 Ways to Reuse Wire Hangers

Hanger_wire_2 Yesterday, I asked you what to do with my ginormous stack of wire hangers, accumulated from years of dry cleaning runs.

Turns out wire hangers aren't exactly the hideous scourge I thought they were. They are, after all, made of steel, North America's most recycled material. In fact, 26% of the steel in the wire hangers is made from recycled metal.

Many recycling facilities actually will accept metal hangers. Mine just doesn't happen to be one of them.

So what is to be done if you cannot recycle them?

1.  Take them to the cleaners
By far, the most popular suggestion has been to take them back to the dry cleaner. Many dry cleaners welcome hangers so they can reuse them and reduce their costs. Excellent idea!

Anna from green-talk.com mentioned that her dry cleaner doesn't accept them, but her Wash and Fold place is. A little experimentation may be necessary to find an accepting business.

2.  Give them to a thrift store
Beth from fakeplasticfish.com suggested that thrift stores might accept wire hangers. According to their websites, Goodwill and Salvation Army will only accept plastic ones, but some local chains, like Value Village, are happy to accept them.

3.  Offer them to a local shelter or hospital
Apparently hospitals and shelters are always in need of hangers for their clients, and might be willing to accept a donation. I'd only go this route if you have a really large quantity to part with.

4.  Do a hanger drive and go to the scrap metal place
Scrap metal facilities would love to get their hands on wire hangers, but only in large quantities. Gather wire hangers from your neighborhood or church and take them in bulk for recycling.

5.  Freecycle
Freecycle is always a good option when you have something useful that you don't need. Believe it or not, somebody might want your hangers!

6.  Wirehangerexchange.com
Somebody mentioned wirehangerexchange.com to me as a useful way to get rid of hangers. But then I went there and thought, "This has to be a joke". I mean, nobody is actually exchanging hangers. It's just a bunch of empty categories. But maybe it's just that good that the instant you post, your hangers are spoken for. I'm too scared to try it. Any volunteers?

7.  Make crafts
I'm not really a crafty person. Maybe I'll keep one or two wire hangers around to unlock my car or unclog a drain if I get in a fix. But I'm not going to be making bird cages or lampshades. Still, if you are into that sort of thing, here are some ideas.

As for me, in an odd twist of fate, there are three dry cleaning businesses within 50 feet of my home. So whoever reuses wire hangers is going to get my business.

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I agree with all of the different ways of using/getting rid of wire hangers...Honestly, the easiest way is just to drop them off at your local dry cleaner. As a dry cleaner owner, we are more than happy to take back hangers new or old from the customer.

I tried posted having excess wirehangers on http://www.wirehangerexchange.com/ and I'm meeting someone today at noon to give away my wirehangers:-) I think the site is just a little new...

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