15 Brilliant Ways to Use Socks That Lost Their Mate
As frustrating as it is to lose a sock, imagine the remaining stocking's dismay. With no mate in sight, it’s often doomed to a lifetime at the bottom of your sock drawer or even worse—the trash. Instead of just tossing them out (and contributing to landfills), we have some options that can give them new life. In honor of Lost Sock Memorial Day on May 9, let's repurpose some of these lonely socks.
1. MOVE GLASSWARE IN ONE PIECE.
The cost of bubble wrap and packing materials can add up, especially if you need a lot of it during a move. Fortunately, single socks can be put to good use inside your packing boxes. Simply slide old socks over wine glasses, tuck socks into breakable cups or layer them between fragile plates. You can add extra padding by tucking more socks between breakables within a box. For this hack, the cleaner the better—no one wants to drink out of cups that smell like feet.
2. GET THE MOST OUT OF SOCKS AND SOAP.
Reusing socks for non-foot uses can save you a few dollars—but so can saving up those tiny slivers of bar soap. Fill old socks with remaining soap and tie them off for a soap-filled washcloth that uses every last bit of soap. If the thought of scrubbing with an old sock seems odd, you can trim them to create a smaller, less sock-like pouch that can also be used to transport soap in your suitcase.
3. CRAFT TOYS FOR KIDS.
When it comes to sock toys, there’s the obvious sock monkey and puppets. But regular old, white socks can be a palette for a variety of toys, like sock donuts for tiny culinary enthusiasts, spooky sock skeletons for Halloween, and themed toys for kids based on beloved characters from their favorite animated films. There are endless creative options when it comes to reassembling socks as stuffed toys and animals.
4. KEEP WINDSHIELD WIPERS ICE-FREE.
Having a missing sock is no fun. But come winter, chipping away at ice isn’t too fun, either. Slipping long socks over windshield wipers as you get out of your car for the evening means you can avoid iced wipers in the morning. Just remove the socks and get on the road. You can also use the same socks to wipe away any windshield fog as your car defrosts, making these glove box buddies a double-threat.
5. CREATE AN ARMBAND FOR YOUR PHONE.
Old, single socks can get a new life working out in the yard (or gym) by becoming an armband to hold your phone. After cutting off the heel and toe, shimmy the sock tube up your arm and fold to create a device-friendly pocket.
6. FIND TINY THINGS YOU'VE LOST IN THE CARPET.
Small items like earring backs, tiny screws, and bobby pins are all easily lost in carpets and under furniture and likely sucked up by the vacuum later on. Luckily, a solo sock can save the day and all of your small but important items that you can't find. Slide the sock over your vacuum cleaner hose and use a rubber band to secure, then power on the vacuum to search for small, lost items without having to dig through a vacuum bag full of dirt.
7. KEEP A DRAFT OUT.
A sock snake placed at the bottom of your door can keep cold weather out, heat in, and use up several lonely socks all at once. Fill a pair of socks with a heavy stuffing, like old beans, to create a fabric weight that stops air leaks. If your sock stash is large, you can add those in for additional stuffing that helps to clear out your drawers.
8. GET RID OF STATIC CLING.
Dryer balls are helpful at reducing static cling, but there’s no need to rush out and buy them. A sock and some yarn are all you need to make your own dryer balls for much cheaper than a trip to the store. Plus, they can be reused over and over again, cutting out the cost of dryer sheets.
9. MAKE MINIATURE SWEATERS FOR FELINE FRIENDS.
Pete Markham via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
Kittens can have trouble regulating their body temperature but one lone sock can be fashioned into a sweater to help. Making a cat sweater is easy: cut off the toe, add two armholes to the heel and pull onto your kitten for warmth. Solo baby booties are often too small to reuse, but ASPCA shelters will take donations of solo (or paired) socks to help keep paws warm during surgery.
10. CRAFT UP BABY KNEEPADS.
Babies who are crawling can benefit from your old foot duds by turning them into miniature kneepads. These tiny tubes, made by sniping off the foot of a sock, can protect delicate legs from bumps and scrapes caused by repetitious crawling. And during cooler weather, they can serve as leg warmers, as well.
11. MAKE ANTI-SCRATCH MITTS.
Sometimes kids (or adults) just can’t stop scratching a rash or bite, especially in cases of chicken pox or poison ivy. Just like mitts for babies, a pair of unmatched socks can be the perfect deterrent to breaking open scabs, bug bites, or irritating rashes, and help speed up healing.
12. HANG SOCKS AS BIRD FEEDERS.
If you need to clear closet space, taking old socks outdoors is one way to recycle them. Thin socks and stockings are perfect for DIY thistle bird feeders that can be made in about two minutes.
13. DUST YOUR HOUSE.
There’s no need to go out and buy dust rags if you have a few unmatched socks laying around. Use them instead of paper towels or more expensive microfiber cloths to wipe down counters, entertainment centers or shelves that accumulate dust. Better yet, slip a fuzzy sock onto a Swiffer to clean floors while saving on refill wipes.
14. MAKE A CUP COZY.
Socks protect your feet from the cold, but a revamped sock can keep your hands safe from scalding mugs or icy cold cans. Creating a cup cozy takes minutes: cut the sock above the heel to create a sleeve, then seal the cut edge with fabric glue to prevent fraying. If you’re handy with needle and thread, sewing on buttons can add some flair, but that skill isn’t required to sip your coffee in comfort.
15. CREATE PET TOYS.
Why buy new pet toys when you already have the materials in your sock drawer? For cats, fill socks with catnip and knot off for quick balls that will excite even the laziest feline (an advanced version adds in paper for crinkly fun). Homemade dog toys can make use of other household junk by filling socks with water bottles for crunch or sliding worn out tennis balls into a tube sock for a revamped tossing toy—perfect for cleaning out your sock drawer and recycling bin.