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They keep our feet warm in all kinds of conditions and settings. However, over time even the best pair of socks is going to show some wear and tear. If it’s a pair that you are not particularly attached to, tossing them in the trash may not be so difficult. But if that pair of socks that’s finally started to wear out to the point where you can no longer wear them comfortably is a favorite pair of socks, you do have an option. All you have to do is repurpose them.
Why Repurpose Old Socks?
We live in a world where a lot of emphasis is being placed on reducing our carbon footprint. One way to do this is to reduce the need for new products when you can reuse something that you already have. Socks are a fine example of this. They may no longer provide the fit or coverage as they once did, but worn out socks can be turned into something else by repurposing them. This means you find a different use for the old socks, eliminating the need to buy something new and reducing the number of socks that end up in landfill sites.
But What Can An Old Pair Of Socks Be Repurposed Into?
That is an excellent question. The list below will provide you with several possibilities. If you don’t find what you need on the list below, at the very least you will be inspired to create something new with those old socks. Your imagination is your only limit.
1 – Children’s Sock Puppets
Okay, you had to expect this one. It’s an old stand-by that never fails. The best part is that you can fashion these sock puppets to give away to local children, donate to your local elementary school or play with when your children or grandchildren are around. If you are a bit on the crafty side, you can make sock puppets as a cold or rainy day indoor activity. A visit to your local craft or dollar store should outfit you with all you’ll need to create some fun sock puppets. Think glue, beads, sequins, ribbon and whatever else will give sock puppets a personality.
2 – Office Stress Balls
You’ve seen them. They are called stress balls and apparently if you get particularly anxious about something in the office, you can work through it by squeezing the life out of a stress ball. Well, if you have a sock or two that are about a few steps away from getting tossed out, you can save them and still make use of them by turning them into your very own homemade sock stress balls. All you need is Play-Doh ®, plastic wrap, a rubber band, and a soon-to-be-retired sock. Wrap the Play-Doh ® in the plastic wrap, put it inside a sock, and seal with the rubber band. Voila! Your personal stress ball!
3 – Dry Erase Board Erasers
If you use dry erase boards at work, in the home or at school, you’ll appreciate this simple hack as it is one of the easiest repurposing things on this list. First, if you still have the dry erase eraser but it has become too worn to use, just wrap it with the sock you intend to use and you now have a new eraser. If the eraser has disappeared somehow, wrap the sock around a small piece of wood that is easy to hold in your hand. With either of these methods, you can just toss the sock into your regular laundry and reuse it over and over again.
4 – Never Buy Sweeper Mop Covers Ever Again
Socks are pretty handy around the house but you just have to be creative to see some of the great ways an old sock or two will save you some money. If you use the sweeper mop system that requires regular replacement pads, change that up by slipping an old sock over the sweeper pad you are currently using. You may have to cut the sock a little for a perfect fit, but once you start using this sweeping alternative you’ll never buy another one of those replacement pad sets ever again. Plus, once the sock you use is dirty, toss it in the laundry and use it over again.
5 – Wrap Up An Ice Pack Or Two
Ice packs are pretty cool to begin with, but if you are using one to treat an injury of some kind, applying one directly to the skin can prove to be painful. It’s true, sometimes the cold of the ice pack can sting an injury. With an old sock, you can prevent this from happening by just slipping the ice pack into the sock and then applying the ice pack to the injury. The extra layer provided from the sock protects your skin from direct contact and will act as an insulation layer which will keep the ice pack cooler for longer. Believe it or not, this is a very common trick.
6 – Homemade Driving Gloves
Sometimes you just need to have something on your hands and wrists when driving. This is particularly true if you happen to live in a cooler climate. All you have to do is either cut out a thumb hole in each sock or trim off enough where your toes would normally be to allow for fingers to poke through. Slide the socks on as you would a pair of gloves and you will be setting a new trend. Where socks outperform gloves in this example is that you can pull them up and over your wrists and higher to keep part of your arm warm as well under a jacket or coat sleeve.
7 – Unusual But Unique Drink Cozy
Tired of having that can of your favorite chilled beverage getting too warm to drink on a hot, sunny day? There are two solutions to this problem. First, drink a little faster. Second, give that can a sock buddy. All you have to do is slip your canned beverage inside that old striped sock and roll the sock down to reveal the top of the can. You could trim the socks to fit as well if you prefer. Either way, your cold drink stays cold because of the insulating layer created by the sock. Also, the sock provides you with an extra grip so you can firmly hold that can when needed.
8 – Very Effective Chew Toy
Have a dog or cat who likes to chew on things they aren’t supposed to chew on? Slip a squeaky toy inside an old sock, tie a knot in it and fling it at your pet. Once they get in the habit of using your homemade chew toy instead of your expensive pumps or sneakers to while away the hours, you’ll be able to save those precious items from getting destroyed. Although your homemade chew toy will eventually get so worn that it will have to be tossed in the garbage, you can just replace it with another of your old socks tied in a knot with a squeaky toy inside of it.
9 – Hippy Dippy Headband
One of the most unusual but visible ways to repurpose an old sock is to cut it in half and sew the ends together so that it makes a round, flat shape. This is the perfect design for a headband. If you have colorful old socks (purple, green, blue, etc.), this is even better. Mismatch the sock halves to make unique and unusual looking headbands. The cool thing about this hack is that you can use a headband in so many ways. It can keep hair out of your face, collect sweat from your forehead if you are a jogger or doing strenuous work, and it can also make you look cooler than your friends.
10 – Windshield De-Fogger
Isn’t it annoying to hop into your vehicle first thing in the morning only to find that the windows have fogged up on the inside? A couple of old socks and some kitty litter will solve that problem. Fill one sock up to the ankle with fresh kitty litter and then tie a knot in that sock. Slip that filled sock into another sock and place it in your vehicle near the windshield. The kitty litter will absorb the moisture, which will eliminate the fog that is created on the inside of the windows. By keeping the kitty litter filled sock in the vehicle, moisture will stay reduced.
11 – Camping Accessories
For the outdoorsy types, if you camp a lot and find difficulty in keeping your tents or RV awnings in place during a particularly breezy afternoon or evening, why not try this idea? Fill those old argyle socks with rocks and sand and tie them closed with a knot. Attach string to the socks and you can now tie them to tent tie-downs and canopy/awning legs to weigh them down and keep them in place. So you don’t end up hauling extra weight with you to your campsite, take the socks empty and fill them on site. Once you pack up to leave, empty the socks again so you can reuse them.
12 – Easy Furniture Mover
If you have a hardwood floor in your home, you will appreciate this tip. Cut off the ends of your old socks, sew elastic around the end, and slip them over the feet of couches, chairs, tables and any other large furniture you own. This way, when you move any of it for cleaning or to rearrange the look of the area, the hardwood floor does not get scratched. The sock ends will also make moving the bigger pieces somewhat easier so that you may be able to just slide them from one spot to another. Your hardwood floor will look fabulous forever as a result.
It happens. Socks don’t last forever. Just remember to keep some nice dress socks on hand from No Cold Feet. As for the other socks that wear out before their time, you can extend their usefulness just by repurposing them into something else. The list above is just a few ideas to get you thinking about how you can turn old, worn-out socks into something useful that not only reduces your carbon footprint but also saves you a little bit of money at the same time. Socks keep us warm from the soles of our feet on up through the rest of our bodies. When our feet are cold, generally the rest of the body is as well. This is why you should replace worn socks as soon as possible with new socks. And instead of tossing those old socks out, why not try one of our repurposing old socks ideas above?