11 Practical Ways To Put Old Socks To Good Use

uses for socks

Is there anything more disheartening than pulling a single sock out of the dryer and realizing its mate is nowhere to be found? While we may never solve the mystery of where all our lost socks actually end up, we can make sure their lonely mates get put to better use.

In fact, there are plenty of reasons to never throw out a single sock again! From dusting to keeping your holiday wrapping tools organized, there are endless opportunities to utilize those lonely socks.

And if you don’t have any lonely, single socks, no problem! You can also use socks that have holes, socks you wore once and decided you didn’t like, socks that don’t seem to belong to anyone in your household, and so on. Any old sock will do—just make sure to wash them before you put them to work!

11 Practical Uses For Old Socks

uses for socks

1. Keep Wrapping Paper In Place

To keep wrapping paper securely rolled on its cardboard tube, try cutting off the cuff part of a crew sock and sliding it over the roll. The elastic in the sock will hold the roll together, making them easier to organize and reducing the risk of folding and tearing.

uses for socks

2. Cover Your Swiffer

Recruit a sock as a reusable (and thus more eco-friendly) cover for your Swiffer Sweeper, or any other type of dry mop. Just stretch it over the base and get sweeting, and if you happen to have a fuzzy sock, even better—those fuzzy fibers are excellent at trapping dust and hair.

uses for socks

3. Protect Shoes While Painting

Tired of ruining perfectly good shoes with accidental paint splatters while working on craft or home improvement projects? The next time you need to paint something, slide a pair of large or stretchy socks over your shoes keep any potential paint splatters from falling on them.

uses for socks

4. Prevent Foggy Windshields

Chilly weather outside and a warm body inside is a recipe for a fogged-up car windshield. To help keep your windshield fog-free, fill a couple of socks with silica kitty litter (which absorbs moisture very efficiently), tie them off, and set them at the front of your car’s dashboard.

For more ways to use these absorbent cat litter socks, check out this list.

uses for socks

5. Make An Ice Pack

Whether you’re healing from an injury, suffering from inflammation, or are just plain accident-prone, the cooling effect of an ice pack can work wonders. Instead of rushing to the pharmacy to buy a cold pack, just fill a ziplock bag with ice and tuck it into a sock for cooling relief that isn’t painfully cold.

uses for socks

6. Relieve Dry Skin

Colder weather already drying out your feet? Give them an overnight moisturizing treatment by slathering them in lotion (or my super-moisturizing homemade “Naked Salve”) and covering them with socks before climbing into bed. You’ll wake up with softer, smoother, more hydrated skin every time!

uses for socks

7. Make Fragrant Sachets

You can use a sock as a simple sachet to help keep your closets and dresser drawers smelling fresh and keep that stale aroma at bay. Add a scoop of dried flowers and herbs to a sock (lavender flowers are always a good choice), knot it, and stash it wherever you keep clothes and linens around the house.

uses for socks

8. Deodorize Shoes

Fill a couple of spare socks with baking soda and leave them in a pair of smelly shoes overnight to deodorize them. Baking soda is highly absorbent, and can help remove moisture and unpleasant odors at the same time.

uses for socks

9. Clean Nooks And Crannies

Your hands are often your most useful tools, including when cleaning up around the house. Pull a sock over your hand and use it (with a cleaner or dampened with water) to wipe the slats of your window blinds, along baseboards and molding, in tight corners, and to get grime out of your car’s cup holders. You can also keep a sock in your car or near a whiteboard to use as a cleaning cloth.

uses for socks

10. Corral Game Pieces

If your family is anything like mine, then you know there’s plenty enough drama during family game night without adding a never-ending hunt for crucial pieces to the equation. If it seems like you’re always searching for the same pieces, tuck them into a clean sock and tie it off. That way, they’ll be easy to find the next time you go to play.

uses for socks

11. Protect Fragile Items In Storage

From Christmas ornaments to delicate trinkets, fragile items can be damaged when you pack them away if they aren’t properly protected. Avoid the heartache of a broken item by placing small, breakable items inside a sock before packing them away.

Do you have any clever uses for socks you would add to this list?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • In my house old socks (with holes in the feet) or singletons get turned into water bottle cozies (by cutting off the tube part of the sock) or wristies to help eliminate the gap between the end of your coat sleeve and the wrist of your glove or mitten. Just cut the tube part of the sock off. Make a small slit about an inch from on end parallel to where you cut off the sock. Pull the sock over your hand. Your fingers should go through the cut off part and your thumb goes in the little slit you made (this keeps the sock where it belongs so it doesn’t climb up your arm). Put your regular gloves or mittens on over top. Voila! No more cold wrists!

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