Things to Do With Old Underwear
"This morning when I put on my underwear I could hear the fruit-of-the-loom guys laughing at me."
- Rodney Dangerfield
In the process of losing what amounts to about 150 pounds, I had a lot of clothes that were too big. I sent a big box of them to someone who I knew could use them, but that left me with a little bit of a dilemma. What to do with my old underwear?
Most of it was in excellent condition because, as my roommate likes to joke, I have about a dozen dozen pairs of them. But the thought of giving them to someone, even though they are in great shape, kind of grossed me out - even if someone were to really need them. I obviously can't wear them any more - finding them down around my knees while walking is not an ideal situation!
So I had to brainstorm. What, exactly, can I do with a "dozen dozen" pairs of old underwear? If you're wondering the same thing, no worries. Like the guys who announce the NASCAR races say, "I looked it up, so you won't have to." Note: Most of these tips can be done with any clothing item, or even old towels, blankets and sheets.
What do you do with your old underwear?
Used for Old Underwear (or Any Old Clothing)
Try a few of these on for size!
- Make hair-tie scrunchies. This can be awesome and easy to make, especially if your underwear has a pattern or is lacy. Tip: Silky material does not make for good scrunchies, they won't stay in your hair very long. An Instructables video for making scrunchies is located here.
- Recycle them into a duster. Cut your old underwear into strips and either tie them to a piece of wood or plastic as a handle, or rubber band them on for easy removal. If they get dirty, just take them off and toss them in the washer.
- Make a braided rug. Sometimes called "rag rugs," these things can be as big or small as you want them to be. Again, you'll have to cut your old clothing into strips. An Instructables rag rug tutorial can be found here.
- Make pot holders. By sewing several layers together, you can make a quick and easy potholder. I've read where someone made a "cover" that they just stuffed with old clothing, also.
- Make a scrubbing sponge. Put several layers of fabric inside an old plastic onion bag, and you've got a recycled, easy scrubber that's eco-friendly, too. Just toss it in the washer when it needs to be cleaned.
- Use the elastic to make stylish carrying straps. This one is a borrowed idea. Using the elastic from the waist or legs of your old underwear is easier than you think. Just carefully cut it out, and you've got a carrying strap for just about anything. Double the elastic for heavier items.
- Use them for patches. Though many people just toss their old clothing when it gets holey, using high quality cotton or even nylon to patch things that you just don't want to throw away is a great idea. Also, sewing several layers into the knees of your kid's clothing make excellent padding, especially if your children like to roughhouse.
- Stuff toys or pillows with it. Most underwear is made of cotton or other soft materials which make it ideal to use for stuffing. It's also a lot better than using those plastic "beans" and washes well and holds its shape, unlike some types of poly stuffing.
- Tie up your plants! Cutting underwear into strips can make lots of handy ties for securing your tomato plants or, as I've often threatened to do, making trail markers by tying them to branches.
- Quilt! If the fabric is still in good condition cut out squares of the same size and make a quilt pattern. This is especially awesome if you are the kind of person who likes really eclectic things - bright pinks and oranges would definitely make an eyecatching quilt!
- Donate them! Anything in good condition and not "soiled" will probably be accepted by your local Goodwill or Salvation Army store. Call ahead or stop by to find out exactly what their policy is before you bring them in. Also check to see if your local area has clothing swaps. Some people would dearly love to have new "draws."
- This may sound gross, but making your own, reusable menstrual pads is a great idea. Because companies put bleach and other chemicals into their feminine products, using your own material gives you control over what chemicals come in contact with your body. It also keeps these unsanitary items out of our landfills.
- Make a sachet! Cut scraps of cloth into squares, fill with potpourri and tie them shut with a ribbon and stash in your closet or chest of drawers. Then your old underwear will keep your new ones fresh!
- You can use your old underwear for a myriad of crafting projects. Cut out the shapes of letters and use them to personalize a bag or other piece of clothing. Piece them together and make pillow covers. The list of things that you can make with old clothing is practically endless.
- If all else fails, you can compost fabrics made out of cotton or other natural materials. Just cut or shred the material and dump it right onto your compost pile. Make sure to cut out all of the elastic.
© 2013 Georgianna Lowery
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