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I saw a post about recycling cloth towels by cutting them in to 12 inch squares and using them as cleaning rags. I thought "why not be creative and quilt those squares into new bath towels, beach towels or picnic blankets?" You can cut the quilt pieces to any size you wish and not only would the finished products be unique but also would have an extra life before becoming cleaning rags.
By Deeli from Richland, WA
We all know we can recycle bath towels that are worn in spots to become potholders or washcloths. But, another nifty way to recycle them is to make them into braided rugs. These absorbent and washable rugs are great for the bathroom or by a door for people to put wet shoes and boots on.
Cut the towels into 2 inch strips, and attach strips to each other to make 3 large balls of strips (similar to balls of yarn). Braid the 3 strips together. When your braid is good and long, start your rug in your desired shape, and sew the braid down with thread that coordinates in color. You can make your rug as big as you like (and add to it later). Or, you can make your strips more narrow and instead of a rug make coasters or place mats. For care, wash on gentle (to keep your stitching in place). If large, lay flat or hang to dry.
By mom-from-missouri from NW MO
About two months ago I went through my towels. I had some of my own which were old and some I had inherited. I had a lot, some of which were cheap and worn.
When my bath towels start looking worn or shabby I cut them into 4 pieces, hem them, and use them for dish towels. When these have served their purpose, I cut a notch in them and use these for rags.
After I have used my dishtowels for awhile and the the design is fading, I use them to dry my hands on in the kitchen instead of paper towels. And they are also great to use to clean up spills on your carpet instead of using paper towels.
Our hand towels always seem to wear out at either end. Why make the entire towel into a rag? Cut a 12 inch square out of the good center part, do a fine zigzag stitch around edges.
When our bath towels get worn around the edges, usually the center portion is still nice and plush. I cut them in either 4 equal pieces for hand towels, or 6 pieces for wash cloths.
We took several well worn towels out of our RV that had become favorites and "old stand-bys". They are getting a new life; crocheted into a rug, mat, seat cushion, or other useful item.
Instead of tossing the occasional ripped towel, we make them into washcloths. This can be done very easily by sewing a zig zag stitch around the edge.
After I shower, I use my damp towel to dust my bedroom furniture and lamps. By Peggy Williamson
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If you have old towels that are stained or have holes in them, you can use them to protect your counter tops from spills, as tub mats, or as throw rugs in front of your doors.
By Linda from Union Grove, NC
Editor's Note: Do you have any other uses for old towels? Post them here!
I use old towels to wipe down the bath and shower and taps after use. Also use others to rub dog down after a wet walk. They are useful in the car too to protect ends of long things being transported from scratching the glass at either end of the car. They are useful too in mopping up spillages on the floor, carpet or tiles.
I use them for insulation for: coasters, hot pads, covers for hot dishes, batting for small quilting projects, for washing/drying cars, using for paint splatters, covers for heating pads.
I have used them as liners when making bibs, the size for toddlers, like a lobster bib. This is absorbent. Also, have gone through mine, picked out aging towels and gone with them to our vet clinic. They use them when pets have had surgery, a nice soft old towel for them to curl up on, be covered with if they are cold, etc.
My smaller but not worn towels have been gathered up and given to new teen moms, a small soft bath towel is perfect for a newborn's body, too big and fluffy ones are hard to fit into little spots needing wiping. I had bought a medium bath towel sized, about a dozen at Sam's Club, used them for my grandbabies until they grew into the larger sized ones. These new moms struggle for many things and a half dozen towels for each mom helped.
Another area, our church 5-6th graders collected still usable hand and bath towels to put into health kits to send off to missions with other supplies. And I have nice neighbors/friends who share gifts at Christmas, etc and those towels always seem to be replaced! In seeing that, my gift to graduates is always a nice huge bath towel to start their college dorm days off with. Sometimes I get their names put on it by a friend. Wal-mart tends to run good prices for the 30 x 54 inch sized bath towel. $4 or less.
I have an old pot scrubber made from an old towel that my sister bought for me at a farmer's market years ago. I am trying to find out how to make them. It is just a common towel with something on it to make the terry towel loops hardened. It is the best pot scrubber I have ever had that is safe to use on non stick pans.
The only ones I seem to find are ones that you will need to knit or crochet. I would suggest that you take the old one you have and make your own pattern out of this one. Youj can take it apart to get the exact size that you are looking for. Use a piece of paper or even newspaper to make your pattern. I am sure you will need to sew this one. Many of them are filled with some type of form on the inside. I would suggest that instead of using foram that you should consider using plastic on the inside of yours. This should make it last longer and is easier to use and to clean.
You can soak your towl in resin to harden it to use in your kitchen. Resin is a good for many things. It would make perfect sense that they would use resin to do this with.
Many of my smaller towels have edges that are frayed and old. What should I do with them? They are still useful, but not pretty.
I'd cut the towels down and hem them for hand towels or washcloths. I prefer using cloth cleaning rags to paper towels.
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Tips for reusing towels that are past their prime. Post your ideas.