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30 Uses For Old Socks

Updated on October 13, 2009

Socks Socks Everywhere and not a Pair to Wear


I have a sock bag. It holds all the odd socks that are missing mates. I have this dillusion that someday I will actually find the mates to all these socks and the world will be balanced again. I think I'm up to 30 odd socks by now. It occurred to me that I may have to find a new use for these socks. Maybe, just maybe, I won't actually find mates for these socks. So, I sat down to figure out what I could do with poor, abandoned foot coverings.

1. The most obvious that comes to mind is to cut off the ribbing and use as can and glass cozies to absorb condensation. And, it keeps your hands from freezing. For that matter, they could be used over hot beverage containers to keep your hands from burning.

2. When my daughter was a baby, we spent a lot of time outdoors. She didn't walk yet and the knees of her clothes were mud in no time. Which is why I bought most of her clothes at thrift stores and garage sales, but that's another story. I cut the feet off her dad's odd socks and used them as knee pads. They kept holes out of the knees of her pants and kept her a bit warmer.

3. Put your hand inside a cotton sock, spritz with dusting spray (or be cheap like me and use water) and dusting your furniture is a breeze.

4. Cat toy: fill a small child's sock with stuffing (that you took from an exploded pillow, of course) and a bit of catnip and just try to keep it away from him! Or use a very heavy sock (like wool) and make a doggy toy. You could cut up odd socks to use as stuffing.

5. Baby bath mitt: Use a sock over your hand as a mitt to wash baby. It's soft and you won't drop it.

6. Baby mittens: Babies are chauferred around everywhere and don't need to lift a finger. Baby socks over their hands work better than mittens because you don't have to find the thumb hole. But they get very confused when you try to teach them the difference between "foot" and "hand".

7. My kids always had trouble with nylon car seat straps cutting into their necks. I used to take the straps out and thread thick socks (with the toes cut off) over the straps to make it more comfortable. This also was handy because they mopped up spit up and are washable.

8. Are you STILL working on that remodeling job where you are going in and out of the house constantly and tracking dirt in? Keep a big pair of socks to slip over your shoes when you come in and you won't have to constantly take shoes on and off. Ok, this is a stretch. Perhaps plastic shower caps (who on earth still wears those?) would work better.

9. Umbrella sock: Sometimes I don't want a drippy umbrella in my car, so I fold it up and slip into a large tube sock. It fits better than those teeny nylon bags they come in and absorbs the water. Just remember to take it out and let the umbrella dry when you get home or you will have a mouldy umbrella.

10. Scrunchie: In a pinch, you can cut the foot off an unusually stretchy sock and use as a scrunchie to pull your hair back.

11. If you have big chunky legs on your dining room table and scratches on the floor are a problem, fold a piece of sock and put under each leg. Socks are very thick and will protect your floor and you won't even see them. Or, cut circles of sock and put a stack under the leg if you really don't want to see them.

12. Ice Pack: Fill with crushed ice and put it on that boo boo. You don't need to tie the end shut if the sock is long enough. The ice will stay in the toe.

13. Heat Pack: Fill with rice or dried beans (don't pack it tight, leave a little loose) and sew the end shut. Pop in the microwave for a minute or so (depending on your microwave) and you have a nice, heavy heat pack. And, it's reusable. You could even slip another sock over it that can be washed.

14. Bank: When I was a kid, someone gave us a bank that was a red sock and a disk for the opening. The disk had a groove all around the perimeter and a coin slit in the top. You put the mouth of the sock around the disk and tied a piece of yarn tight in that groove and it kept the money in! I remember it had a cat's face painted on it. Anyway, we kept pennies in it for YEARS which we used when we played cards as a family.

15. Travel: Are you always losing your underwear and other small items in your suitcase? Use a tube sock to keep all your underwear and socks in and you won't be searching for them under shoes.

16. Knitting needle case: Take a tube sock and sew the mouth closed but cut off the toe. Slip it inside another tube sock so they are double thicknesses. Sew the two together and you have a thick case to keep knitting needles that won't poke through. Tie the end shut with a pretty ribbon.

17. Ladder socks: Put socks over ladder legs so it won't mar surfaces. I'm thinking more along the lines of the top arms of an extension ladder to protect a wall that it's leaned against, not the legs it's sitting on. That might prove hazardous.

18. Keep Checker and Chess pieces corralled in a sock. The ribbed end will keep the pieces in (they will just stay down in the toe) and it's easy for kids to manage.

19. Scrubber: Cut or fold a sock into a square. Fold a plastic mesh bag that oranges come in (I don't throw away anything) into a square and top stitch the two squares together for a kitchen scrubby. Sratchy pad on one side, soft on the other.

20. Keep your sleeves up. It drives me crazy when I'm trying to do something messy or wet (ie. bathing the dog, gardening) and it's chilly enough that I want to wear long sleeves, but the darn things won't stay up when I push them up to my elbows. Cut the ribs off two socks and slip them over your sleeves and they will stay up!

21. Child's muff: Cut the toes off two or three tube socks and put them all together to make a thick tube. Sew a tube out of colorful fleece (or use a piece of worn out sweatshirt?) to cover and sew the ends all together. You can pin this to the front of a sweatshirt (if you don't want strings around the neck) and when their hands get cold, they have a cozy muff to put their hands into.

22. Dog Sweater: My daughter suggested this one. Make a doggie sweater out of a sock. I just noted that it had better be a really big sock or a really tiny dog.

23. Dog Hat: This one is a big more doable, although I'm not sure how you would keep it on. Cut ear holes and flaps that can be tied under the dog's chin. Add a pom pon to really humiliate the dog.

24. Back brush: Put two or three socks together as in the muff, add ribbon or rope to each end for handles and keep in the shower for a back scrubber. It would be easily washable.

25. Neck roll: Sometimes you just need a neck roll or a travel pillow. Stuff a tube sock really well with stuffing (or cut up socks) and sew the end shut for a nice, firm neck roll/travel pillow.

26. Keep odd socks in the car to collect rocks. When you stop at a park or the beach, give each child a sock to collect rocks in. They are very strong and easy to carry.

27. Store Candles. Keep taper candles from getting broken or scratched by putting them in socks so they don't roll around the drawer. Store tea candles all in one or sort according to color.

28. For tall boots: Stuff tall socks with newspaper and keep in your boots to keep them from flopping over. The newspaper will also absorb moisture. You can put pieces of charcoal in the toe of the sock too, to absorb odors.

29. Stuffing: Cut old socks up into small pieces and use to stuff toys or pillows. Or, perhaps they would be "cushier" if you didn't cut them up first.

30. Soap pouch: When your soap is worn down to a sliver and you don't want it melting down your drain, put it inside a small sock and use it as a shower scrubby.

I found something to do with all 30 abandoned socks. Maybe that will be the end of the odd sock? I doubt it.


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    • profile image

      Katherine Karlene Allen 

      10 months ago

      My Mom used to cut socks in half lengthwise and used them for mop heads

    • profile image

      Dora Bilton 

      22 months ago

      A pair of men's wool socks slipped over a toddlers boots gives them better traction on icy pathways.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      put a small water bottle in sock cut the end down and tie together for a dog toy ..can untie and keep adding new bottles as needed

    • yellowstar2000 profile image

      Candice Collins 

      3 years ago from WestCoast Florida

      great recycling ideas! Who knew those orphaned socks could have another life :)

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      grease rags in the garage

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I also tend to use them for dust covers/scratch proofing for my shoes. Slip a large tube sock over the shoe, and it will protect them, especially when they have to be packed in a suitcase.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      *delusion (not dillision)

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      use them for erasing dry erase boards. they work 100 times better than the erasers they sell to do the job and since always have old socks much cheaper. I homeschool so have lots of dry erase boards and we use the socks til too dirty and then thrown away. Love it

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Add some cat litter in the socks and they'll absorb humidity. It helps in the bathroom, in the car, etc., you'll no longer have fogged windows

    • profile image

      Carol Beall 

      5 years ago

      Work great for polishing shoes and boots. Use brush to put on polish. the put hand inside sock and buff-keeps polish off hands.

    • profile image

      Crystal Spurlock 

      5 years ago

      My grandmother would cut off the foot part and take two or three of the sock tops sewn flat together as pan holders.

    • profile image

      Ashley S 

      6 years ago

      I just organized my husband's sock drawer, have a bag of loose neck cotton socks. I will definitely use your idea for them. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Joaquin Lerner 

      7 years ago


    • profile image

      Vivid Dawn 

      8 years ago

      I don't know if this will be seen, as this post is over 2 years old. What about a drawer/closet sachet? Put dried herbs, used dryer sheet, or old scented candles/old wax tart melts in a sock and tie the end closed and keep it in a drawer or closet to help clothes smell nice.

    • Katelyn Weel profile image

      Katelyn Weel 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow, this is really creative. You must have socks all over the place. Some of these uses are pure genius...nice work!

    • wearing well profile image

      Deborah Waring 

      10 years ago from Lancashire U.K.

      The bain of my life with 3 children and a husband;where do they all vanish too! Sometimes however they are put to good use in your useful list.They make good hand puppets too for youngsters and they enjoy decorating them

      i.e. sewing/sticking buttons on for eyes.I use my cotton socks for polishing the windows or mirrors in the house.

    • thegreenerme profile image


      10 years ago

      Amazing! These are some great uses. I was using mine as dust rags, but these ideas are much better!

    • carriegoff profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Michigan

      Hey, thanks! Somebody around here always has a boo boo of some sort. I have seen people also put peppermint inside the heat packs for sinus headaches. Of course for some people this only adds to the headache....

    • wyanjen profile image

      Jen King 

      10 years ago from Wyandotte Michigan

      The heat pack is GREAT idea! Somebody had one of those around when I was little, but it was in a heavy felt pouch. I haven't thought about that for years! lol

      I like the sock idea much better :-)




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