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Uses for Packing Peanuts

Category Reusing
This loose packing material can be reused for shipping and for a variety of other things. This page is about uses for packing peanuts.


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By 10 found this helpful
December 3, 2008

Like many others I use packing peanuts in my flower containers. I don't have to use as much potting soil, and it keeps my containers lighter. This year I went to go change out the soil in my biggest container. I had to hand pick out each peanut from the soil. What a chore! When I went to replace the peanuts this time, I put them in an onion net bag and tied the bag off. Next time I go to change out the potting soil it will be a snap!

By Liz from New Baden, IL

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By 3 found this helpful
January 5, 2011

Recyclable packing peanuts made from peanut starch make a great sculpting medium for an activity for kids. Wet the ends and press them together to build fantastic sculptures. I got this idea when I worked at a children's museum.

By Veronica from Boston, MA

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By 1 found this helpful
February 26, 2008

Save all the styrofoam peanuts you get in packages. When storing potatoes, apples, onions or fruit, just sprinkle the peanuts between layers to keep the items separated and allow air circulation.


By Ted from Leavenworth, WA

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December 23, 20041 found this helpful

You can use a large needle with fishing line to string together packing peanuts for draping over trees in the yard at Christmas. It won't hurt the tree, but if you live where there is significant wind, forget it. You can also use them indoors on the Christmas tree.

By Great Granny Vi

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By 2 found this helpful
August 14, 2013

While teaching visual arts and elementary math, packing peanuts were desirable freebies from my students' parents. They served as visual counters for math operations. With art-on-a shoestring budgets, a frugal teacher can use them for multiple projects in painting, printing, texture, and gluing.

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By 2 found this helpful
March 21, 2013

If you have extra packing peanuts that you want to reuse, then you can put them between your toes while polishing and doing your pedicure.

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December 12, 20060 found this helpful

Do you have some Styrofoam packaging peanuts lying around? String them together using a large needle and sturdy thread (or fishing line).

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By 0 found this helpful
December 4, 2009

I placed packing peanuts in my plants, now they emit a horrible odor. What can I do?

Hardiness Zone: 10b

By Lev from Sarasota, FL


December 4, 20090 found this helpful

Remove them, good luck.

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December 11, 20090 found this helpful

Packing peanuts are made from oil products and I strongly recommend against ever using them in a planter. They do eventually dissolve, and then the plants take up the residue. It could kill the plant.

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May 14, 20120 found this helpful

Yes. Remove them from the pot and all the soil. Toss it in a hazardous waste receptacle. Wash the pot 1st with hot water and soap. Then use a scrub brush and scrub the inside vigorously with vinegar. Sprinkle in some baking soda, scrub some more.


Wash again with just hot water (no soap). Let dry in hot sun. Take plant and gently rinse off ALL the soil, you now have a bare-root plant. Trim off any really sick looking branches and leaves closely so there are no little "nubs". Fill the pot with "Potting Mix", not "Garden Soil" as Potting soil is designed for potted plants.

Garden soil is fine, but Potting Mix has special things that help both in maintaining water in the soil yet designed to let excess drain away properly. Also for an ill plant it is fortified with a low/gentle level of fertilizer for starting plants off on a new life. If you want something for drainage in the bottom of the pot, use clean pebbles about twice the size of peas. These can also be bought at the nursery.

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October 11, 20170 found this helpful

Be careful using vinegar around plants. Vinegar is a natural weed killer and it will kill plants.


So if you use vinegar as suggested make sure it is totally removed from the pot before using the pot for your plant.

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February 12, 20130 found this helpful

Where can I purchase the non-biodegradable, non-dissolvable packing peanuts for large planters?

By Deanna H


February 14, 20130 found this helpful

I am assuming you want to fill in on the bottom of a planter so you don't have to use so much soil? A better way to do this is to use soda cans. They take up a lot of room and when you need to dump the soil for any reason, they don't all blow away. I know this from experience!

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February 14, 20130 found this helpful

Recently I was to the U Haul store (where you get boxes, rent a truck, and bubble wrap etc.). They have bags of packing peanuts.

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February 17, 20130 found this helpful

Stationery stores, UPS, etc BUT I would check with local drug stores, or shops which get in alot of glassware to sell, etc. You'd be surprised at what they are willing to give instead of throwing out. Also, check your local recycling center.


They may have an idea for you to check out.
Certain companies I order from use TOO LARGE of boxes to send, and pack the rest with styro. So I bag them up, let friends know of them, and recycle them out that way.
By the way, I also use them for planters too.

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October 21, 20140 found this helpful

Could I crush the packing material for making a potting soil? Will this packing material be dissolved in water, making a mess?

By Sabine Wei

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February 12, 20130 found this helpful

Does anyone know where I can find a pattern for a Kansas City Royals baseball tissue box cover made out of plastic canvas?

By Linda from Kansas City,MO

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November 8, 20180 found this helpful

Create icicles indoors for the holidays. You just need a needle and thread and foam peanuts. This is a page about making Christmas decorations using packing peanuts.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 31, 20070 found this helpful

Looking for uses for packing peanuts? Use them to create a drainage layer in the bottom of your planter. This is wonderful for large planters because it helps keep them lighter when you need to move them. Make sure to use styrofoam peanuts. Biodegradable peanuts are great, but they will not work as a drainage layer since they will decompose.


Packing Peanuts For House Plants

Is it true that biodegradable packing peanuts make a good fertilizer, (organic?)


Packing Peanuts For House Plants

Although I cannot vouch for this myself, I have read somewhere on the web that one can identify biodegradable "packing peanuts" by their green color. Non-biodegradable "peanuts" are, supposedly, white.


Packing Peanuts For House Plants

Way back in the 70's I used the the packing peanuts in pots that hung in the neat macrame pot hangers, to keep them from being too heavy. I also put them in the kid's beanbag chairs. The bags seemed to go flat after a while, and that add some more puff to them. Broken up styrofoam packing can be used in both planter and beanbags!! Worked well for us and it was cheap!!

Post by trashcrafter

Packing Peanuts For House Plants

This is a great idea that I've used several years now. I did find that if you pack the "peanuts" in an old pantyhose leg, it saves picking out all those "peanuts" when you repot or empty pots in the fall.


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December 4, 20090 found this helpful

To lighten the weight of a planter (indoors or outside), fill the bottom quarter of your pot or planter with packing peanuts or Styrofoam. This is really a four in one tip:

  1. It lightens the total weight.
  2. It enables you to "stretch"' your potting soil.
  3. It is good for the roots of plants.
  4. It aids drainage.

And it keeps that expanded foam out of your local landfill.

Regards- Farmerella from rural WI


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