New Uses for Stained Clothing and Towels
Ack, This Shirt Is Ruined by a Bleach Spot
Finding Ways to Use Old Clothing and Towels
We try to be environmentally aware and avoid adding to the overflowing landfills. What do you do with clothing, socks, and towels that are stained or for some reason not suitable to donate? We hate to just throw them away, but what are the other options?
When a friend posed this question to a minimalist group they had some great ideas for repurposing old clothing that couldn't be worn any longer. Sheets and towels with stains or rips can be reused too. Check out all the ideas below.
I read that the average American tosses about 70 lbs of clothing a year.
Why Is Old Clothing a Problem for the Environment?
Brandi in the minimalist group had a good explanation for why it's worthwhile to recycle or reuse fabrics. "It's a complicated question. Materials that break down cause gasses to be produced in our landfills that are damaging to the environment. Some larger cities are turning this into energy, but smaller cities can't afford to do it and it just puts out an overabundance of gasses. Also, most textiles can be recycled, which means that the resources (water, for instance) being used to grow cotton could be used for food. Just something to consider, especially since many charities sell textiles for recycling."
Don't Add to the Landfills
Tips for Making Use of Old Clothing and Towels
Take Towels to an Animal Shelter or Animal Hospital
Find an Animal Shelter Near You - Donate Towels and Bedding
- Animal Shelters in Your Area; Search for Dogs and Cats.
Animal Shelters by location, find the animal shelter nearest you. We show thousands of pets everyday from animal adoption centers across the country.
Call the Shelter Near You to be Sure They Need the Donation
Make Dog Beds from an Old Sweater for Your Dog or the Shelter
Cotton clothing torn into strips will decompose if you put it into the compost heap with garden trimmings
Cutting up a Sock for Other Uses
What to Do with Old Socks or Ones without a Match?
- "Those really fuzzy socks that never stay up and are awful colors and way too hot and bulky make great furniture dusters/oilers. ( lemon oil)." I personally like to toss out a saturated oily cloth after one use to avoid any risk of spontaneous combustion. When I apply teak oil, I really soak the cloth. If it's an old sock, then I don't feel guilty. If I'm just applying a furniture spray and spreading it around with the old sock, then I wash and reuse those a number of times.
- "They also make good spot wipers ... the cotton sports socks make decent sink cleaners ... for a quick wipe ... I kept a few oddball socks for these reasons."
Moms can cut up cotton clothing into squares to serve as washable, reusable baby wipes
Search for a Textile Recycling Site Near You
- Because You Asked: What Should I Do with Worn-Out Clothing? - Live Green - Recyclebank
Even if your old clothing can't be resold at a secondhand store, you can still recycle or reuse it. Learn more about how to make your Home & Garden sustainable with Recyclebank. Earn Recyclebank points by recycling and taking green actions and us
I Use Old Sheets to Protect My Patio Plants from Frost
Questions & Answers
What can I do about a stain on a piece of clothing that I can't get out in the wash but the shirt is fine otherwise?
Look for an applique that you can sew on or iron on to cover the spot on your shirt. Maybe a little bumblebee or a heart would conceal the spot and add some pizzaz to the shirt.