Old socks

20 clever ways to reuse odd socks and laddered tights

All those missing socks, where on earth do they go? And why do tights only ladder on the days when you’re running late and have a day stacked with important events? We can’t answer these burning questions, sadly, yet we can offer some canny suggestions to reuse odd socks and leftover laddered tights…

1. Polish your shoes

Slip your hand into an odd sock, pick up a dab of shoe polish on the toe and give it a little elbow grease. Use another clean odd sock to buff and shine.

2. Make a garden soap holder

Keen gardeners know how easy it is to get covered in all kinds of undesirable muck when working. Clean off the worst before you come back in the house by adding a handy soap holder to your garden tap. Pop a bar of soap into the toe of a pair of thickish tights and tie a knot above the soap. Chop the leg off at about the knee and you’ll have a free end to tie onto or near your outdoor water supply.

3. Recover lost earring backs and other tiny items

Stretch an unladdered section of your tights over the end of a vacuum cleaner hose and make secure with a rubber band or two. Switch the hoover on and you’ll have the perfect tool for recovering lost glasses frame screws, jewellery items and similar from within carpet and upholstery. The missing item will be sucked to the surface of the tights!

4. Swipe up that dust

Reuse odd socks by placing them on your hand, dampen the toe with some water or furniture polish and dust as usual. Perfect for all kinds of nooks and crannies!

5. Clean those unreachable places

Grab a metre rule or broom handle. Place your sock over one end and secure in place with an elastic band. Use to swat hard-to-reach cobwebs or clear out fluff from around fitted cabinets, radiators and appliances.

6. Make fingerless glove liners

Cut off the toe of the sock and snip a hole in the heel. Put your fingers in the main hole and your thumb through the heel hole. Excellent for extra warmth underneath gardening or work gloves!

7. Protect breakables on moving day

Place knick-knacks and drinking glasses inside socks and wrap the ankle section around the bundle for extra protection. Pack securely into strong boxes, filling any gaps with bubble wrap, scrunched newspaper or other padding.

8. Chop tights into ponytail bands

Cut the non-laddered parts into wide hoops across the legs. Scrunch or roll into hair-friendly bands. No one will know they were once tights!

9. Work out knots in your shoulders and back

Toss a tennis ball into the toe of a long sock and, keeping hold of the top hem, throw the ball over your shoulder. Find a nice solid wall to lean against and sandwich the sock and ball between the knotty parts of your back and the wall. Move up and down for a mini massage and tension reliever. 

10. Tie up plants in the garden

Chop socks into soft tie strips for delicate climbing plants and tender shoots.

11. Soften cracked heels and rough feet

Smear your feet with Vaseline and put on some clean old socks. Leave on for your night’s rest and far softer hooves in the morning.

12. Prevent board game pieces going walkabout

Fiddly bits from toys and board games are easily mislaid, so keep them together in a knotted sock!

13. Store cables when travelling

If you get annoyed by dangling, tangling chargers, wrap them up inside a sock or two when packing.

14. Keep storage dry and sweet smelling

To see off damp and bad smells, place a sockful of children’s chalk sticks and dried pot pourri into drawers and cupboards.  

15. Donate old, decent pairs of socks to homeless shelters

Did you know that socks are the most needed but least donated article of clothing to homeless charities and hostels? Any pairs that are in decent condition will be gratefully received.

Do you have any more ideas on how to reuse odd socks? Let us know in the comments below!

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