Uses for Unmatched Socks

Uses for Unmatched Socks, Small Pile of Unmatched Socks
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 page about uses for unmatched socks.


This page contains the following solutions.

May 28, 2010

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

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
January 9, 2009

Do you ever wonder what happens to the socks that go in a pair and come out a single? Well, instead of doing the sock puppet route, I use them for other things.


Source: Just my mind working overtime!

By Sandra from Salem, OR

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August 12, 2010

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 Avis from Boulder, CO

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January 21, 2005

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. A quick tip I found to keep gloves and mittens together is to tie a few strings to a hanger and place large paper clips on the ends. The pair of mittens easily slide on the paper clip and they are mated and drying in no time.

However for those that have totally lost their mate I pick similar colors or totally different to make a pair. I take some fabric paint or appliques which ever sounds fun. Most of the time I use pieces of fabric left around the house and decorate as loud and flamboyant and I like. my girls think they are just the cutest and want to wear them all the time. Even with the socks.

I took a white and black sock, making sure that they were about the same size. I tied black ribbons all over the white sock and white ribbons all over the black sock. my middle daughter, who is 9, didn't want to take them off. Even my 12 year old thinks they are cool.

I also will use those cute socks with the decorations sewn in such as frogs as patches on my oldest daughters jeans. Most jeans today are stretchy so when you patch them with a non stretchy fabric it just seems to come out. Cut the sock and use as a patch. She now has a pair of jeans with frogs on the knees, and a matching pair of socks, one green, one black, with those buggy frog eyes all over them.

Hope you have fun with this. it is really a treat for the kids and a great friend maker.

Melissa from NY

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July 15, 2009

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.


Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
March 10, 2017

If you have mismatch socks, socks with holes, or the elastic of your socks is stretched out - you can reuse the socks to clean around your house and car.

A pile of mismatched socks on the floor.


August 18, 2011

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.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 306 Posts
November 23, 2009

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.


February 1, 2012

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.


September 20, 2004

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.


March 11, 2009

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.


February 1, 2005

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.


January 8, 2009

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.


21 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

December 16, 2004

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


December 16, 20040 found this helpful

Could you donate them to a daycare or preschool for sock puppet making?

December 16, 20040 found this helpful

An idea I read on this site, and am planning to try, is to take the longer socks and fill them with fiberfill or other stuffing and use for stopping air leaks at the bottoms of doors. I just haven't gotten around to doing it yet!

December 16, 20040 found this helpful

Use them to dust! Slip one over your hand, spray and wipe!

By (Guest Post)
December 16, 20040 found this helpful

If you have a small loom you can cut them into strips(the short way to form loops) and weave pot holders. Another idea is to again cut them the short way and weave a rug. I have done both of these ideas and they work out great.


For the rug you take one loop(lets call it red) slip it over the index finger,twist it and slip over the middle finger, twist it and slip it over the ring finger, and the same for the pinky. Do the same with a second loop(we'll call this one blue). When done grab the bottom red loop of the index finger and and slip it up and over the top of your finger. This makes a "LOCK" over the blue loops. Do this all the way to the pinky. Slip on a red loop as done above and then slip the blue loops over. Continue doing this till the peice reaches about 6 feet in length. lay it flat and coil it. As you coil you are going to stitch the coil together to hold it in place. VIOLA !! A rug.

By Mari. (Guest Post)
December 16, 20040 found this helpful

If you use a food saver and canning jars, slip one over each jar to limit the jars getting broken in the freezer from getting bumped. Also if they do get broken, the pieces are contained in the sock.

By Glynda Lomax (Guest Post)
December 16, 20040 found this helpful

If you cut off the feet, they make great legwarmers for babies.

By Paula W (Guest Post)
December 16, 20040 found this helpful

For crafts--sock puppets and also cute animal theme beanbags that are easy for kids to fill and stitch (older kids) or have adult hot glue closed (for younger kids).


For cleaning purposes, I have a bag of odd socks hanging in the laundry room and also a long 1/2" dowel. When the narrow space between my fridge and cabinets gets full of dust that I can see but can't reach, I place a sock over the end of the dowel and secore the top of the sock with a rubber band wrapped tight enough to hold. Then I am able to spray the sock lightly with cleaner and wipe up all the dust and also any spills that have gone down the side of the fridge. I use the dowel and sock under my entertainment center and big pieces of furniture that are hard to get under otherwise. When I'm through, I throw the sock away as there are many more where that one came from.

By Carol (Guest Post)
December 17, 20040 found this helpful

When we were children Mom saved all of the mis-matched sock for the winter. When we went out side we would double up our socks to keep our feet warm.


There were four of us so just to have enough socks to go around we used any we could find and who care if the socks matched...

By Enid (Guest Post)
December 18, 20040 found this helpful

I use the socks that have lost their mates to make pet beds. My dogs love to get their new beds stuffed with these socks. They are launderable and fluffy!


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 148 Posts
December 18, 20040 found this helpful

Slit them from the toe through the heel and up to the top. Use them for cleaning rags. You can rewash and reuse or use once, and toss them out. I keep a bagful in my woodworking shop to wipe off excess glue or paint spills, etc.
Harlean from Arkansas

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April 15, 2009

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.

By ramona

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November 5, 2011

This is a page about making a sock snowman. With some simple accessories, you can turn a plain sock into an adorable snowman. They are cute decorations for around the house and make great gifts too.

Homemade sock snowman.

February 22, 2018

Mismatched socks are perfect for covering recycled cans to make containers for pens and other items. This is a page about making a sock covered can holder.

A holder made from a can and a sock.

October 9, 2014

This is a page 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.

sock snowman

September 30, 2012

This is a page about making a sock puppet. Sock puppets are fun to make and even more fun for your little ones to play with.

A sock puppet with shaggy yarn hair.


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

May 28, 2010

Uses For Single Socks

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


Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Ann Winberg

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Deeli

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Sheila Saey

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December 11, 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


Uses For Single Socks

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)

By sbb1

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Marty Dick

Uses For Single Socks

You can put your hand inside the sock and use it as a dust cloth. (07/22/2008)

By Harry

Uses For Single Socks

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

Uses For Single Socks

My cat loves 'em stuffed with catnip! Just stuff and tie a knot at the top. (07/22/2008)

By joy

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Jeanne

Uses For Single Socks

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.


By Joanne

Uses For Single Socks

I use mine on my swiffer instead of buying the dry replacement pads (07/23/2008)

By suzanne

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By suzin

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Ginelou

Uses For Single Socks

turn them into potholders.

Zig (07/23/2008)

By Athena

Uses For Single Socks

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.


By Kim Holsapple

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Wisgal

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Barbara Petty

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By susan

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Kathy Klahn

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By tara

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Rose.

Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Pat

Uses For Single Socks

I cut the foot off and glue to aluminum cans to make pen/pencil holders as desk accessories. (07/26/2008)

By Mere

Uses For Single Socks

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)


Uses For Single Socks

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)

By Fran.

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