After the laundry is all done, there always seems to be a small pile of socks that the matches never show up for. Instead of throwing out those mismatched socks, find a way to use them in a different way around the house. This is a guide about uses for unmatched socks.
Having 5 young children it seems I am eternally ending up with "onesie" socks. I have been putting them to good use for my little ones by using them as a holder for ice pops and frozen yogurt in plastic sleeves. It protects their little hands from getting cold and sticky, as well as using up an item of clothing that I have no other use for!
By Robin from Belmont, MI
I discovered about a hundred (no kidding) unmatched socks this morning, all of different kinds and sizes. Does anyone have any idea what I can do with them before I'm forced to throw them all away? Most of them are still in pretty good shape, they just lack a partner. Thanks for the ideas! I'm open to anything.
You may think this is silly, but when I was a young teenager--before I learned to sew--I had several medium sized dolls, not Barbies. I didn't play with them any more, but I wanted to make clothes for them. The toe of a sock made great panties for my dolls. The stretchy part at the top made cute t-shirts by cutting two arm holes. Dresses could be made the same way as the t-shirt, just longer. I would use a needle to weave crochet thread or yarn at the waist for a belt. I also made stocking caps for the dolls by cutting the toe part and then folding or rolling the brim. A swimming suit was made by cutting the holes in the toe for the legs, then measuring to make sure the sock would go up over the bossum, then at the top of the bossum, cutting on up the sock so that there were ties for the shoulders. I didn't really do any sewing, just some creative cutting. This is something a younger child could do. I also made clothes for my little brother to put on his stuffed animals. These things weren't much by today's standards, but I had fun doing it and my dolls had lots of clothes. For a girl who was dirt poor, my dolls were never lacking for something to wear. Dianne
In addition to some of these ideas I have used I cut the foot off and slid the rest of the sock over the crawling baby's legs, up and over the knees. Extra padding for the wee one learning to get into things, also warmer for the legs.
Single socks in your drawer? Use socks as pot holders. One fits over the handle of any fry pan and two are great for picking up hot casserole dishes from the oven or microwave. You can easily slip them over your hands especially men's size.
By zimexlady from Boulder, CO
I am the proud owner of a large trash bag of widowed and orphaned socks--all colors, all sizes. Although Erma Bombeck would have known where to search for the mates, we've lost her and are on our own. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to use these single socks--or is there anyone who would like this bag for quilting scraps or something? Thanks.
Kathleen in Dallas
I stuff a tennis ball in one and my dog will play with it for the longest trying to get the ball out.
I get some wool dye usually dark blue and then dye all the socks the same colour. I then get similar looking socks together and wear them in pairs...haha thrifty or what!
Use your old socks to make dog toys. Buy some squeakers, you can buy them in bulk online. I found them on Amazon. Roll one in some socks to make a small ball. Stuff that in a long one and tie one or two knots in it. It lasts longer than all those toys. Squeakers are optional, but the dogs like the hanging parts that flip around.
Our cat loves to sleep on something that we use or have used. We had a bunch of odd socks and holey socks from years gone by. Originally I was going to make sock puppets but had a better idea.
So I took a old pillow case and stuffed all the socks in it and sewed the top up. Now she has a pillow to curl up on and when it is dirty, I just throw it in the wash.
By Valerie from Rockdale, TX
I used to recycle old socks by cutting the toe section off, then sliding the sock over my children's bottles, sippy cups, juice boxes or canned drinks. This helps keep little hands from getting cold. It insulates the drink. It also helps reduce messes. With the traction it provides, there are less slips and spills. The wet spots left on coffee tables, are no more, the sock absorbs the condensation and sops up any dribbles.
By Cblack28 from Walton, KY
I have a great tip for those who don't know what to do with those pesky lonely socks and mittens that we all have. I have 3 fantastic girls but they are always losing their mates.
If you are like me, you are constantly losing the mates to socks in the washer and dryer. Take a pair of your husband's mismatched tube socks and cut it off where the ribbing starts.
I cut off the bottom of socks just above the heel to put over my kid's water bottles to soak us the wetness from the bottle sweating. It saves papers, shoes, and whatever else your kids put in their backpack or gym bag from getting soaking wet.
I was needing to pack some highly breakable items they are very sentimental to me and I didn't want them to break while I have to store them. I didn't have bubble wrap or newspaper but I did have a million old socks so I decided to use them for my packaging.
When filling the gas tank on my vehicle I seem to always get the smell of gas on my hands. For years I carried a pair of gloves to wear just for this and slipped them in a plastic bag in between fill ups, now and then I would take them in and wash them.
When your kids go out to play in the snow let them wear pairs of unmated socks, probably more then one to keep warmer. Then when they come in just let them put on the regular mated socks.
This is a guide about uses for old socks. Whether it is worn out or you can't locate the matching sock, there are many ways socks can be useful around the house or used in crafts.
To keep your frozen water bottle frozen longer during the day, put it into one of those spare socks that have no mate. I was surprised at how much longer the water stayed frozen.
Little hands seem to have a hard time holding on to and using sponge or other type erasers that come with chalk boards. Slip one of the child's old socks (or new!) over the hand he is not using to write with.
A couple more uses for those single socks. Cut the cuff section plus 3 inches or so and slip it cuff end up over the top of dish detergent bottles. Keeps wet hands from dropping the bottle and catches drips. Just throw it in the wash now and then.
Another use has served me well with all the time on the computer the skin on my wrist has gotten very sore. I cut the cuff plus the heel off, then cut a hole for my thumb out of the heel, slipped it over my thumb cuff first and wrist and viola no more sore wrist.
I also use the toe end for a cozie on bottles or cans. My sister even sewed lace to the top of a black sock.
For years I have put that last small bit of bath soap in the toe end of a sock, now I am using both ends.
Source: Necessity is the mother of all inventions someone said!
By Ann from Loup City, NE
They also made great rags to stick your hand in and wash your vehicles, use when filling your gas tank (throw it away or keep it for next time, wash and reuse it). Storing winter onions in, just hang from a nail and drop in the onions. Sock puppets are super fun to make with the kids. Mittens in an emergency box in the trunk of your car. Storing marbles or other small toys and extension cords. (12/13/2009)
Really good ideas! However, personally I would not use around a dish soap bottle. The thought of having just washed poultry or fish then picking the bottle up to wash my hands and possible bacteria growing on the fabric before the next hand washing kind of creeps me out :-( The thought of even picking up the bottle at all bothered me enough a long time ago that I use a pump dispenser and use my wrist to dispense the soap. (12/13/2009)
All 3 of you have some wonderful ideas! Thank you all for sharing them and have a very Merry CHRISTmas!
God Bless, Sheila in Springfield, IL (12/13/2009)
I have a zillion socks that have NO mates. I hate to throw things out and have been wondering if anyone out there can give me some ideas on how to recycle them into useful items or gifts or whatever! No hand puppets though, already did that. Thanks in advance!
Linda from Lower Adirondacks in NYS
Just today, I was on my pc having a webcam chat with my sister who was cleaning/organizing her room. She showed me a basket full of single socks that she was going to throw away as she knew not what to do with them as well, and I gave her a few of ideas. I told her that I save things like that to fill pillows, or I stuff smaller socks into a bigger sock and knot on the end, it makes a good neck pillow. Filling a sock with uncooked rice and knotting the sock end is great for relaxation therapy by placing the filled sock into the microwave for 20-30 seconds and placing it onto tired muscles. Another relaxation therapy tool is taking an empty air freshener can and placing it into several pairs of socks, it makes an excellent massager to roll under your feet while sitting at your pc. I have one under my feet right now. You can also save your single socks to wear during the winter weather as a first layer of socks if you want to wear 2 pair for extra warmth. Since they are under a matching pair, no one will see that they have no match. Hope this all helps (07/22/2008)
You can make a "fetch" toy for a dog by stuffing several socks into one and knotting the end. Old socks make good "stuffing" for pillows and toys. And there's the old standby....Dust rags. (07/22/2008)
You can put your hand inside the sock and use it as a dust cloth. (07/22/2008)
We have a teething puppy who adores our leftover socks! They're great for tugging and chewing. I just tie a knot on either end (if it's a long one) or in the middle (if it's an ankle length) and let him at them. My husband was raised to dust with them, but that just makes me feel weird. Maybe because our old socks do NOT look like they would make anything they touch clean. I think that makes them even tastier to the dog. (07/22/2008)
By Beth - MA
My cat loves 'em stuffed with catnip! Just stuff and tie a knot at the top. (07/22/2008)
My husband and I made the absolutely cutest and crazy sock monsters for our daughters for Christmas (19 and 15) they were crazy excited about them. We even attached little adoption tags with a story about where they live and what they like to eat and evey gave each girl a bag of the "candy" their sock monster would eat (our daughters fav candies). Lots of fun and really cute. We did purchase the book at barnes and nobles. Check it out. we used childrens socks from the dollar tree store. pretty neat (07/22/2008)
I use my single socks for dusting and cleaning.
I also use them in our motorhome to keep glasses and cups safe from breaking during travel. I cut the foot off of the cuff and used the cuff part as a sleeve around the glasses and cups. They can be packed into the cupboard next to each other without clanking and cracking.
I use mine on my swiffer instead of buying the dry replacement pads (07/23/2008)
if your socks are longer ones you can use them to tie up vining plants in the garden, like tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. Sometimes I'll cut the length of the sock on both sides down to the toes and then leave the toe uncut to make the length of the strip longer. I use nylon hose in the garden all the time. Little girls can cut them up to dress their dolls. My mother used to hide her valuables inside of an old left over sock in her sewing box. (07/23/2008)
I use old socks as brushes for cats. I put the sock on my hand and just rub the purring cats. I also use them either on my foot or hand to dust in difficult to reach spots. It is quicker and lighter than setting up the vacuum cleaner and also very efficient. (07/23/2008)
turn them into potholders.
Check with your local elementary school to see if any teachers could use them for as erasers for white boards/dry erase boards. I have done this for several years and our teachers were most appreciative.
I always keep a half full bottle of water in the freezer so I can fill it up it Iwant to take a bottle of water with me. The ice cools the water as it melts. This causes moisture on outside of bottle, so I put it in a sock. Roll sock down to size of bottle. (07/23/2008)
Have you ever heard about a rice sock? Rice Socks are great things to have on hand when you have aches and pains.
Fill the sock about half-full of plain raw rice.( do not use instant rice ) Sew the end shut. Heat the rice Sock in the microwave up to two minutes.
Drape the heated sock around your neck, or an elbow, or knee; just where ever the aches and pains are. Some people use dried pinto beans, or the dried corn that is fed to ducks, chickens, and birds. Either of these work well. The rice is smaller and drapes easier. But the corn holds the heat longer.
These are often sold at craft fairs. Folks fill the sock, sew the end shut, and then make a "sleeve" of fabric. Flannel is good to cover the old sock. Some of those old socks don't look too pretty, but can be recycled for this very easily. Have Fun (07/23/2008)
Stuff them, sew them together end-to-end, then wind them into an oval and stitch together into a pet bed. You can make it any size you need. (07/24/2008)
I also make cat toys by adding crinkly cellophane paper and just a little catnip to mine. Cats really like the crackly noise. I also keep a small basket of them in the laundry room. If I forget to take something out of the dryer and it gets too wrinkly, I dampen 2 or 3 socks and add them to dryer and run it for 5 or 10 minutes. They give just enough moisture to unwrinkle my item for me. I have also stuffed them with a mixture of rice and foam peanuts and sewn two long gym type socks together in the middle to make door and window draft stoppers. I use old flannel shirt material to make sleeves to go over them so they look nicer and can even be given as gifts! (07/24/2008)
Some socks' tops make really good pony tail elastics when cut off. Or cut off the ankle part and sew beads, sequins, buttons, etc. on to make a pretty cuff style bracelet. (07/24/2008)
My children like to have bean bags to play with, so we cut the foot part off, sew one end, fill with beans or rice, sew up the end. We have a bean bag. Depending on the size of bean bag you want-cut the sock the size you want. also for the smaller sock, I cut the cuff part off, sew a little lace on and you have a dress for a small doll. I uses a sock to help keep my hand for getting cold by my iced water bottle, the bottle slip right into the sock. dusting is made easier for the kids, they put a sock on they hand and away they go. They enjoy dusting with a sock on they hand. I find if I hide my money in a sock no one can find it. The list is endless of what to do with the sock the washing machine forgets to eat. (07/24/2008)
We keep a bag of them in the house and out in the garage for those dirty jobs or nasty spills--wipe it up and throw the sock away. I always have a damp one tied to my ladder when painting--I rinse it out and reuse it until the job is done. Many charities would be glad to have them too because they get paid by the pound for clothing that is unusable. Pat V (07/25/2008)
I cut the foot off and glue to aluminum cans to make pen/pencil holders as desk accessories. (07/26/2008)
We have a baby chihuahua and as babies they don't fit in much of anything as far as doggy attire. For chihuahuas it is not all about making them look cute. They are short haired, small and cold blooded. After purchasing several extra small puppy clothes that she was far to small to fit into. I finally came up with a plan, I took old tube socks which had gotten small holes in the toe area. Cut the toe area off completely. This portion of the sock will be the bottom of the shirt, measure your puppy from neck to the back of the front arms. Measure your tube sock from the ribbed ankle portion down towards the toe and mark the measurement you got while measuring the puppy.
Cut a hole on both sides of the socks where you marked the measurement these holes will be the openings for your puppy's front legs. Now slip over the puppy's head, place front paws threw the holes and your puppy has a sweater that fits and will keep him warm! You can dress the sock up if you like, with fabric paints. (08/04/2008)
Put on rubber glove with a sock over and use to apply paste wax to car, polish silver, apply shoe polish, furniture polish, etc. (08/05/2008)