Metal clothes hangers

Using divining rods to look for underground water, also called dowsing, isn’t a new practice. While centuries ago people used twigs or specially made rods for dowsing, you can try to find a waterline with a clothes hanger using much the same technique. While you can try looking for the underground water yourself, dowsing can also be done as an activity or party game with friends willing to test whether this method actually works.

Clip the hook end off each of your clothes hangers behind the twisted portion. Clip apart one of the two lower corners as well on each hanger to leave you with two V-shaped wires.

Bend the wires open slightly to form a 90 degree angle. Rotate the wires so the long side of the L shape is running horizontally on top, with the shorter side running vertically.

Clip the length of the horizontal wire to be nine inches long. Clip the vertical length to four inches long. Cut a plastic straw in half and slip each half over the 4-inch length of each wire.

Hold the straw portion of the wire, one in each hand, with a loose grip. Keep your elbows bent, with your arms away from your sides and your hands in front of you.

Walk while holding the wires in front of you. Practice walking steadily, because the wires will swing if you walk to quickly. As you walk over your property looking for water, the wire should swing inward and cross in front of you when you are standing over a waterline.

Mark the point on the ground where the wires crossed by scuffing the ground with your shoe or placing a rock or twig there.

Walk the area again to see if the wires cross again in the same spot. If they do, the area can be dug up to hopefully discover water underneath.

Things Needed

  • ['Two metal clothes hangers', 'Wire cutters', 'Tape measure', 'Plastic straw', 'Knife']


  • There is a fair amount of skepticism about whether dowsing actually works, so be sure to test your results carefully with multiple people before you dig for water.