13 things to do with orphan socks

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My laundromat is the Bermuda Triangle of socks. No matter how hard I try, I always end laundry day with at least one sock that has lost its mate to the swirling morass of machine washing.

I may lament over the loss of socks past, but orphaned socks can be repurposed in many handy ways. Here are 13 ways to get over the grief of a lost sock and give new purpose to the unlucky partner it left behind.

Dust large houseplants

If you have a philodendron, monstera or palm in your house, you may notice dust gathering on the enormous fronds. You can easily and gently clean these broad leaves with a spare sock. Dampen a spare sock, slip it on your hands and gently wipe down dusty leaves without damaging the plant. Best of all, you can simply toss the sock back in the wash after you are done (hopefully, it will make it out alive — if not, take solace in the fact that it is back with its lost mate).

Dust your blinds

Blinds are notoriously hard to clean, especially between the slats. Spritz a damp sock with vinegar or another natural cleaner and slide your socked hand along the slats for a deep clean of all the nooks and crannies. Simply wash the socks when you are done and reuse them anytime you are in the mood for a little spring cleaning.

Trap odors

Socks are just sachets waiting to happen. Fill lonely socks with dried herbs, potpourri, dried lavender, baking soda or dry coffee grounds and tie the end. You can put the fragrant sack in a linen closet, dresser drawer or anywhere you need it.

Catch cobwebs

Spiders often abandon their webs in hard-to-reach corners. Put a sock on a yardstick or the end of a broom to catch the wispy silks that you would not be able to reach otherwise.

Save Swiffer pads

No need to buy new refills for your Swiffer-style cleaning devices if you have a drawerful of orphan socks. Just slip a dry or wet old sock onto the mop pad and use it to clean any hardwood floors or tiles around your house.

Keep your suitcase clean and organized

Ease some of the stress of traveling by using socks to keep your suitcase in tiptop shape. Slip dirty shoes inside a large sock before you pack them for vacation. The layer will not only protect your shoes from nicks and scuffs from the bumps in transit, but it will also block dirty soles from rubbing against your clean clothes. You can also keep individual pieces of jewelry in their own socks to prevent them from tangling or getting lost in your suitcase.

Make a reusable coffee sleeve

You can reduce the waste impact of your morning coffee run by bringing your own coffee sleeve. Follow this DIY from Oh, the Things We’ll Make! to turn the tubes of your lone socks into a fuzzy, heat-blocking band for your morning cup of joe.

Keep drinks cold

Socks can not only keep you from burning your hand, but they can also keep you drink cold. If you are tailgating with friends or hiking in a hot climate, slide a sock over your beer can or water bottle for a makeshift koozie to keep it cold for longer.

Keep your umbrella dry

If you have lost the protective cover on your umbrella, you can use a sock to keep your bag dry after using it.

Clear foggy windows

Toss some kitty litter in a sock, tie it closed and keep it next to your front or rear window. The litter will absorb the moisture before it even accumulates on your windows and prevent them from fogging up in cold weather.

Cover your windshield wipers

If the weather forecast predicts snow, ice and sleet, slip a sock over each of your wiper blades to protect the rubber and prevent your wipers from sticking to the windshield.

Make a mini-heating pad

If you need a heat pack in a pinch, fill a cotton or wool sock with some uncooked, dry white rice, tie it closed, and microwave the bundle for 60 seconds. Use the warm comfort to ease sore muscles or an aching migraine.

Protect your skin from ice packs

A cold compress is essential to easing many injuries you would get around the homestead. Cover your ice pack with a sock to keep it from slipping and freezing your skin.

Do you have any handy ways to reuse lone socks? Share them in the comments below.

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