Ways to Recycle Old Socks for Practical New Uses

Remember the old standup comic bit about how washer/dryers seem to feed on a single sock? You go to wash your socks and one of a matching pair always seems to come up missing? Maybe this is true and maybe it is just an urban myth, but one thing is inevitable: there will come a day when you no longer use one or both socks from a matching pair. Rather than adding the landfill problem facing America’s future, why not recycle your old socks by putting them to good use for a new purpose?

Moving Furniture

One very practical use for old socks can help prevent unnecessary damage to your home. When it comes time to move furniture so heavy that it is much easier to simply slide it across the floor, you can prevent damage to that floor by sliding socks over the legs. You only need enough leverage to tilt the heavy furnishing up enough so that you can quickly slide socks over the legs. Not only will using socks in this way prevent the legs from damaging the floor, but they will make it easier for you to move the furniture by cutting down on friction.

Paint Protector

Socks make for a cheap way to protect your skin when you are painting. Cut a separate hole for your thumb to stick through from the larger hole for your other finger fingers to stick through and this mitten will protect your hand and wrist from paint falling onto it while still giving you the full flexibility of your fingers that a glove won’t. The additional benefit being, of course, that you won’t have spent money on a glove that you will probably throw away because it gets so stained with paint droppings.

Paint Protector, Part II

You can use old socks as protection from paint stains in another way. Find a pair of socks that are big enough to pull over your shoe and they become a very cheap but effective means of keeping your shoes safe from flying paint.


The static clinging properties of socks makes them ideal for putting to use as dusters. A quick spritz of dusting spray on a sock that you have pulled down over your hand will add to their value as static magnets. Running your sock-clad hand over dusty surfaces will result in far more efficient cleaning than trying the same thing with a feather duster or piece of cloth held in your hand. Given a long enough sock your entire hand and a good part of your forearm can be used to remove dust from a hard surface.

Scented Bath

Fill up a sock with your favorite potpourri and close the hole either by tying it into knot or fastening a rubber band around it and toss it into the tub as you let the hot water run for your bath. By the time the tub fills up, the aroma of the potpourri will fill the bathroom. Remove the sock and allow it to dry for reuse the next time you take a bath.

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