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Uses for Bandanas

Bright and colorful bandanas are often inexpensive to buy and very versatile in their possible uses. This is a guide about uses for bandanas.
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woman blowing her nose

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Using a cloth handkerchief can be a gentler option than paper tissues, especially if you have a runny nose from a cold. This is a guide about use handkerchieves instead of tissues.

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A classic red bandanna with a black and white pattern, folded.

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You can buy inexpensive bandannas to use as colorful napkins. This is a guide about using bandannas for cloth napkins.

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A red bandanna on a white background.

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Handkerchiefs make great washcloths because they air dry quickly, so you don't have to worry about a stinky washcloths. This guide is about using bandannas instead of washcloths.

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2 found this helpful
May 14, 2012

Pack a few with your camping gear, bandanas can be used for napkins. They also come in handy to wash dishes or to wrap a cut or a sprain (temporarily).

By Karen H. from Pawtucket, RI

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May 21, 20120 found this helpful

Growing up in Girl Scouts (a million years ago :)) we called bandanas 104's because there were supposed to be 104 uses for a bandana.

Just off the top of my head: pony tail holder, hair scarf, potholder, placemat, tie the corners together for a collecting bag, skirt for little girls if you tie two together, washcloth, face towel, strainer for pasta if you have two adults hold the four corners over another bucket or pot and a third to slowly pour the pasta into the bandana, flag for marking your campsite, warning flags for clotheslines or tent guy lines, handkerchief, sun shade behind a ball cap... You get the idea.

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0 found this helpful
June 28, 2007

Any suggestions for finding bandanas that are soft? My husband uses the old fashioned bandanas for hankies, and his are looking horrible and need to be replaced? I look wherever I go for 100% Cotton bandanas, ones with a close weave, and what I feel will wash up nicely and become soft. Most of the bandanas I have purchased lately have been stiff after repeated washings (some up to a couple of dozen times). I have tried fabric softener, I have soaked them in vinegar, etc. I am at my wit's end....(I prefer not to buy used hankies). Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

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Shirley from West Michigan

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June 29, 20070 found this helpful

I've always gotten mine at WalMart for my dog and they are very soft..good luck...

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June 29, 20070 found this helpful

how about garage sales or flea mkts..

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June 29, 20070 found this helpful

I got some lovely bandanas from our local dollar store. My Girls used them as head scarves. However, if yours are too stiff, you might try a very old fashioned laundry method - boiling them. Yes, boiling them.

In a pot on the stove, heat up a pot of water to boiling, carefully add the bandands, let boil for say 10 mins, turn off the stove element. Leave for an hour until the pot is safe to remove from the stove, then remove the bandanas from the pot, launder as normal. The boiling should have softened the fabric significantly.

NOTE: Boiling is NOT for synthetic fabrics of any kind. COTTON ONLY. This method is used for whitening whites, sanitizing and stain removal for cotton diapers/white clothing.

Good Luck.

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June 30, 20070 found this helpful

My husband also use the large bandana style hankie I always got them at Walmart in the mens dept marked hankerchiefs

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June 30, 20070 found this helpful

I wonder if organic cotton would be softer. There are lots of websites.

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July 1, 20070 found this helpful

I just checked the price of mens handkerchiefs on google and I am amazed at how expensive they are. In Ireland you can buy a 3 pack of 100% cotton handkerchiefs for about 5Euros, thats about $7. (Some are even monogrammed).

So if you know anyone travelling to Ireland or the UK this summer be sure to ask them to buy you some, you can buy them in any department store.

I remember as a child there was always the 'hankie pot' in our house for boiling all the hankies, everyone used them.

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July 1, 20070 found this helpful

We find them at WalMart in the scarf/hat department. They are $ .98 and are 18"x18". Never see white, mostly country colors.

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July 1, 20070 found this helpful

I'm sitting here laughing because I almost answered "just leave them out on the counter for a couple of days and they will soften"...until I re-read your question and realized you wanted soft bandanas and not soft bananas...I've always known I was dyslexic!

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