30 Creative Ways to Recycle One Thing That Will Knock Your Socks Off!

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

It’s a well-known fact: Washers and dryers eat socks. What isn’t well-known is where they go! — But if you have a drawer full of single socks, or if you have socks that have worn through at the toe or heel or are stretched out, we have some very creative ways to reuse the socks that you don’t really want to throw out, but that you don’t know what to do with.

You won’t believe all the fun and functional things you can do with socks! They are wickedly underrated and can be used for everything from housekeeping to accessories to pet toys. Even that ugly pair of Christmas socks your aunt gave you last year can be turned into something very cool!

Keep reading and learn about some of the best things you can do with old or ugly socks that will — literally — knock your socks off!


1.  Decorate Planters

Cut off the foot part of a sock and pull the top over the bottom of a plain pot for a pretty accent you can’t buy in any store! The more colorful the socks, the better the pot will look. This is a great way to use holiday socks, (socks with Santas or Easter Bunnies for example) and then you can give the plant as a gift!


2. Dusting

If you don’t already do this, you are missing out! Cotton socks are great because you can put them over your hands while dusting. This way your hands never get dirty.


3. Sock Puppets

Sock puppets are fun for kids of all ages (well, mostly for kids 10 and under)! Simply sew on two buttons for eyes, and you have a fun, talking puppet your kids will play with for hours.


4. Candle Cozies

Dress up plain candles by cutting the foot part off the sock and pulling the “sleeve” over the candle. If you have really small or thin candles, try baby socks! These also make great gifts.


5.  Cat Toy

Catnip is inexpensive, so why are toys made with catnip so pricey? Make your own inexpensive cat toy by putting dried catnip in a sock and sewing or tying it closed. Your cat will have a new best friend that will last for weeks!

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

6.  Toys for Kids

Fill old socks with beans to make colorful beanbag toys that your kids can use to play catch or other outdoor beanbag games.


7.  Sachets

Fill just the foot part of a sock and sew or tie off with a ribbon, and use as sachets in drawers or closets.


8. Dryer Balls

Rather than use toxic and expensive dryer sheets, simply put a dozen or so drops of your favorite essential oil inside a sock and toss in the dryer for some wonderfully scented clothes without using toxic chemicals.


9.  Homemade Caulk

Well, not exactly caulk – but you can stuff old socks around windows to keep drafts from coming through.


10. Clean Dirty Blinds

Slip a sock on your hand and clean the dust from between window blinds easily and quickly without the risk of cutting your finger! This also works well for cleaning ceiling fan blades.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

11. Storage

Old socks can be used to store all types of small things and not take up drawer space such as golf balls, kids toys, tennis balls — almost anything that tends to get lost or that you don’t have enough room to store.


12.  Door Draft Stopper

Cut the toe off  a few socks and sew several together, or simply individual socks to stop drafts and bugs from coming in under the door. Fill a sock (or several socks) with rice or sand, and sew closed. Instant draft stopper!


13.  Forget the Car Wash

Use old socks to wash, dry and wax the car! Tell your kids it’s good for them!


14. Create Unique Boot Socks

Boot socks are all the rage! Cut the foot off of a pretty pair of thick socks and scrunch up the outsides over the top of your boots so that it appears that you are wearing  long boot socks but aren’t. You can change the socks to go with any outfit or holiday!


15.  Quilts

If you like making patchwork quilts, cut the good parts of socks into patches and add them to your quilt.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

16. Bottle and Cup Insulators

Cut the foot part off of a sock and pull the long part over a cup, bottle or glass to keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot — and still be fashionable!


17.  Stop Ice Burns

Put ice packs inside a sock to stop frostbite when applying the ice pack to the skin. You can cut off the foot if you want a perfect fit or simply use as is.


18.  Make a Hair Bun

You can have a fuller-looking hair bun in minutes by wrapping your hair around a sock and pinning it in place!


19.  Insulate Hot Water Bottles

Similar to the way old socks can be used for insulating ice packs, they can do the same thing for hot water bottles or heating pads. You might need a pair of really stretched out socks, but you can find the perfect fit if you try.


20. Do You Use a Swiffer?

Stop buying those expensive sheets and just put an old sock over your Swiffer. Change as often as you like — just wash the sock, and use it again!

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

21.  Moisturize Your Feet

Put coconut oil or your favorite lotion on your feet before bedtime, pull on a pair of cotton socks and leave on overnight for the softest feet the next morning! You can also do this with your hands if you like.


22. Wine Bottle Wraps

Instead of bringing that plain bottle of wine to your next dinner party, put the bottle inside a pretty sock and tie it with a ribbon or piece of jute for a fun look that will stand out.


23.  Packing Material

Don’t buy those environmental nightmare packing peanuts! Use old socks to package fragile items before you mail them. You might want to print out this article and include it in your package so that your friend or family member will know what to do with those old socks once their package arrives!


24.  Keep Shoes Clean

Put old socks over your shoes when gardening or doing other messy chores to keep them clean and dry. This also works to help stop you from slipping on icy surfaces.


25.  Pet Care

If you have ever had a dog or cat with a broken or injured leg, you know how hard it can be to keep the cast or bandage clean and dry (as well as stop your cat or dog from chewing or licking it). Put an old sock over the cast or bandage and change  as often as necessary. If your pet chews the sock, you won’t mind so much either.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

26.  Make Your Own Heat Pack

Take a clean sock with no holes, and put a funnel through the top. Fill the sock with rice (not instant or quick rice, but regular rice). You can use Jasmine rice for a nice smell. However, if you don’t like the smell of Jasmine rice, you can add the contents of an herbal teabag or put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the rice. Sew the sock tightly closed so no rice falls out when held upside down. You can heat the sock by putting it in the microwave for two or three minutes. Apply the hot sock wherever needed.


27. Make a Back Massager

For this, you will need either a really long sock, or you’ll need to sew two long socks together. Put a tennis ball or two inside the sock and sew it closed. Hold each end of the sock and rub the tennis ball across your back, legs or feet — wherever you want a nice solo massage.


28. Make a Doggie Sweater

If you have one of those tiny little dogs (like a Chihuahua) you can make them a little sweater by simply cutting holes for their feet and tail. Brightly colored or socks with fun designs work well for this. You can also sew on little decorations, such as bows or buttons, for a super cute, custom sweater.


SEE ALSO: 15 Simply Outstanding Ways to Recycle Used Coffee Grounds


29. Baby Legwarmers

Another adorable look is to cut the foot off of a pair of socks and pull them over your baby’s legs for little custom legwarmers that are cute as a button!


30. Phone or iPod Case

You can protect your cell phone or iPod, and look cool doing it, by cutting the foot off of a sock and then sewing one end closed. Smaller socks work well for this. If the sock is a bit long, you can always  cuff  the open end and sew it in place. This looks super cute, almost like a mini-blanket for your phone. Change the sock to match your outfit, the seasons or the holiday.

Don’t throw away that old or single sock! Recycle and reuse them!  Landfills everywhere will thank you.