It happens more often than you’d like: your garden hose simply no longer does the job. Perhaps it leaks at its fittings, springs a tiny hole (or ten), or is too kink-prone to be of good service anymore. There are repair options available, but when your hose is hosed, it’s time to recycle—or repurpose.
Before you throw it out, did you know there are a number of ways you can reuse that hose? Some purposes are purely artistic and some are downright useful. Here are six quick ways to recycle your garden hose, with websites at the bottom that describe other unique ways. Tell us the coolest way you’ve recycled your garden hose.
Depending on the length of your old hose, consider making a garden bench. If you don’t already have a few old hoses—or prefer a rainbow bench similar to the one pictured above—plan to collect them from neighbors and family. You can make the bench frame however you please: logs, lumber, or an old bench that needs new “upholstery.”
Cut the hoses in pieces long enough to form the seat of your bench. Secure tightly with nails or screws and create your own imaginative pattern. The rubber hoses should provide ample cushion for your bottom while admiring your garden.
Turn it into a soaker hose
One of the easiest ways to recycle will also reduce your gardening expenses. Simply drill holes in your already leaky hose, attach to a spigot, and you have a new soaker hose for irrigation. You’ll need to crimp one end of the hose so water doesn’t escape. Alternatively, use a garden hose cap on the existing brass/plastic fitting (assuming you didn’t cut it off) to secure the open end.
Swingset chain protector
If you have children, you may also have a swingset. Your hose is likely thick enough to encase the chains holding the swings, which will prevent pinched and blistered tiny fingers.
Simply cut off the hose fittings on each end and slip over the chains. You will need to cut to length, leaving room for connectors. But don’t worry: the next three recycling methods all utilize those small, leftover hose pieces.
Support for trees
Instead of using suspenders, twine, wire, or plastic to directly secure limbs or keep growing trees upright, use pieces of hose around the portions touching the tree to avoid leaving friction marks. This provides a nice cushion that also adds substantial holding power.
This is a great solution for metal pails with those thin, uncomfortable wire handles or no handles at all. Cut your garden hose to remove the end adapters. If refitting over an existing handle, simply unhook the handle and measure out a piece of hose accordingly. Let the wire handle be exposed on each end of the hose to connect back to the pail.
Making your own handle? Cut the hose to your desired length. Insert an S-hook halfway inside each end of the hose; this becomes the connector to the pail. Be sure the S-hook is tight and secure, lest you end up with contents all over the lawn.
Use pieces to extend spigots
Finally, if you have particularly small pieces leftover, consider using them to extend spigots inside or outside. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to fit a vessel underneath a spigot that doesn’t extend far enough.
Simply slide a desired length of hose over the spigot on your rain barrel, utility sink, or outside spigot to add additional room.
Check out these other hose recycling ideas and photos:
Creative Commons Flicker photos courtesy of Sassy Gardener, Steven Depolo, and Dan McKay. Morguefile photo courtesy of cohdra.
If you go camping alot and build fires, take a 12″ piece of 1″ copper pipe and cut your old hose up into 12″ pieces. Stick a piece of hose inside the pipe and put it in your fire. It will turn your fire flames blue and green. When the fire is out, retrieve your copper pipe to be used again.
Great ideas for old hoses! We love to recycle and reuse as much as we are able! We are thankful and appreciate your help so much, ty!
Recycling old garden hose. I have read most info on this but still have a question.
If I cut the old hose to say 300mm lengths so as to avoid the tangling, is this now recyclable or is the hose material just a contaminant anyway
Water hoses are not recycleable.