How to Recycle Metal Clothes Hangers

An Overview On Recycling Metal Clothes Hangers

Yet another often-overlooked tool we use every day, clothes hangers are incredibly useful regardless of your fashion sense. And we go through a lot of them - more than 8 billion invisible plastic and metal hangers are trashed in the US every single year![1] So what do you do when you have too many metal hangers? Is it even possible to recycle hangers? Yup! Read on and we’ll show you how.

Ideas for reusing metal clothes hangers

The best way to recycle metal hangers is to reuse them, and here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Crafts: You can often do really creative things with old metal clothes hangers, like make giant bubble makers, marshmallow roasting sticks, wreath frames, and Halloween costumes. You can find loads of crafty ideas on Make-Stuff and
  • Household chores: Used wire hangers can even serve as drain uncloggers when that kitchen sink or bathroom shower slows down. Or use them in your garden for staking tomatoes and other plants.
  • Pretty them up: If you don’t like using metal hangers for clothing because of their slim nature, try adding some ribbon or fabric to give them a softer edge as demonstrated at Tiny Choices.

How to recycle hangers

Most metal hangers are made from steel which is a highly recyclable material. Yes billions are thrown into landfills every year where they take 100 years to break down. Let’s find ways to recycle them:

  • Give them away: Try finding someone willing to take your old hangers by advertising them on your local site. There’s bound to be someone willing to take them off of your hands. If that doesn’t work, call up your local green dry cleaning company to see if they’ll take metal clothes hangers for use in their business. They may be quite thankful for the donation.
  • Donate to charity: If you’re not a crafty type, look for local charities like Goodwill or the Salvation Army and see if they will take them to use in their clothes departments.
  • Curbside and drop-off recycling: Contact the authorities at your local recycling to find out if they recycle clothes hangers. Unfortunately, because they can catch on recycling equipment and sometimes come with a petroleum polymer coating, many recycling programs will not accept them. But if yours does, just put it with the rest of your metal recycling and process as usual.
  • Reduce: If reuse is out of the question, and you can’t recycle your wire hangers, then be sure to limit your consumption of them. That means avoiding metal hangers from dry cleaners and clothes shops. Bring your own to these establishments and refuse them when offered as much as possible.



1  Barker, G. (2008, February 1). Eco-Clothing Trend Spreads into Eco-Hangers. Retrieved August 2, 2010, from Organic Consumers Association:

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