We Tried The Coat Hanger As A Paper Towel Holder Hack And We Can Roll With These Two Perks

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Whether you have a massive kitchen or a small studio, your kitchen counters likely provide some of your home's most precious storage space. With limited square footage, it can be hard to decide between having a coffee maker, toaster, air fryer, or slow cooker on display — and ensuring your small kitchen appliances aren't cluttering up functional space. One thing is certain: Paper towels aren't a priority when designing a functional and visually pleasing kitchen. However, they are one of the most commonly used items in the kitchen; the average American uses about 145 rolls of paper towels every year (via Tiny Waste). When you want to save counter space while keeping your paper towels nearby, your best option is a wall-mounted paper towel holder. And according to a viral TikTok hack by creator jmg8tor, you may not even need to purchase anything to get your paper towels up and off the countertop. All you need is a plastic coat hanger, cutters or shears, and a place to hang your roll. 

Before you cut up all your coathangers, we wanted to compare this DIY hack to a pre-made paper towel holder, so you can be sure you're getting the best results from either route. Here's how we put this hack to the test. 

Gathering up the supplies

One of the best things about this hack is that you probably won't need to purchase anything new. However, even if you do, your trip to the store is unlikely to break the bank. We grabbed a standard white plastic hanger from the closet, but if you don't have any on hand, you can purchase a similar product at Target for $3. You'll need to cut this, so locate, borrow, or purchase a strong cutting tool, such as a wire cutter or garden pruner. The blade should be large enough to cut through the plastic hanger in one clean snip.

TikTok creator jmg8tor hung his DIY paper towel holder on the corner of a metal utility shelf, but because we don't have a garage or metal shelves like those in the video, we decided to test this hack in the kitchen. To make the hack kitchen- and renter-friendly, we used a medium Command hook from Amazon to hang it on our tiled backsplash. The two-pack of Command hooks was $2.98. To compare the results, we also purchased a manufactured paper towel holder for $9.50 from Amazon, made with a similar white plastic material. To ensure that testing would be fair, we used leftover command strips to attach the pre-made paper towel holder to our backsplash in the same fashion as the makeshift model. 

Constructing our paper towel holders

Following the instructions from the TikTok video, we cut the plastic hanger along its bottom side, removing a portion about four inches long. This creates a space that can easily be bent open to accommodate a paper towel roll. We followed the Command hook packaging directions to install the DIY paper towel holder on our backsplash. On one side of the kitchen sink, we wiped the backsplash with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol before sticking the hook onto the wall with the provided adhesive strip. Once the hook was firmly attached, we looped the top of the hanger onto the Command hook. 

We used the same Command strip method to compare the DIY paper towel holder to a pre-made model. On the opposite side of the kitchen sink, we cleaned the backsplash with rubbing alcohol, then applied two Command strips onto the back of the paper towel holder and pressed it onto the wall until it held firm. Finally, we pushed a full paper towel roll onto the pre-made holder and compared how well each device performed.

Hang on to this hack!

For such a simple hack, we were pleasantly surprised by the results. In some ways, the DIY paper towel holder even outshined the pre-made one. First, the DIY holder was cheaper, especially if you exclude the optional Command hooks and hook the coat hanger directly on a shelf. The DIY version was also easier to bend and replace the paper towel roll, while the pre-made version was a bit stiff and clunky. Ripping paper towels from the DIY hanger was easy, as long as you remember to rip downward and avoid popping the hanger off the Command hook. Finally, the DIY paper towel holder was wonderfully mobile; it can easily be moved around different workstations in a garage, workshop, or large kitchen. 

So should you try this simple hack? We say yes! However, a pre-made paper towel holder is probably your best bet if you're concerned about aesthetics or long-term functionality. While the DIY hanger was surprisingly sturdy, it admittedly looked a little out of place in our kitchen and may eventually bend or break after months of use. That said, this was still a successful hack that will keep your countertops clear without breaking the bank.