I use rags for cleaning (old, faded, and/or stained towels and sheets) to save money and not have to buy paper towels, etc. and to not have to throw so much away.
This may sound strange, but when your rags are too "raggedy" for even rags, you can compost them. If they are cotton, either terry cloth or T-shirt material, they can be put into the compost pile and they will decompose. Another thing might be to give them to a company that uses rags and turns them into recycled fibers. Sometimes the Salvation Army takes this type of stuff, or another such charitable organization, or maybe even commercial company would take them off your hands.
I save them and when I have two or three, I stack them and sew them together around the edge on the sewing machine. The more used ones go on the inside. They make great spongy rags.
Carole - Monterey Park, CA
For the rags that were even too worn out to be used for washing the floor, I used them in the veggie garden. After planting the rows of seed or plants, I turned my attention to the in-between rows. With a hoe I scraped back a few inches of soil, laid the rags down (and newspaper when I ran out of rags), then scraped the soil back over. It did a wonderful job of keeping the weeds down and at the end of the season when the garden was completely turned over with the rototiller, the leftover hunks of cloth that were mostly rotted, were simply thrown into the compost pile.
I clean everything with rags, I use the old worn out ones when I clean the toilet, or something else nasty, then I throw the rag away.
I have composted some shopping bags which became mildewed although it broke my heart to do so. Have to replace them.
However, on This Old House an energy efficient home was featured. The insulation was chopped up old cotton clothes, mostly blue jeans. If we could find out who is manufacturing this insulation, we could send them our CLEAN rags.
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