by Texas Homesteader~
*contains affiliate link
I’m constantly trying to repurpose things that are no longer suited to their original purpose. By doing so I’m lowering my eco footprint, and usually even saving some money too.
But I’ve found repurposing is super simple to do and often requires no sacrifice. All you have to do is keep your eyes open for opportunities.
Take that old, clean sock for instance. Once socks get a hole in them, are they really any good for anything but the trash?
Well, as it turns out, surprisingly, YES!
Come see the 5 different ways I’m able to repurpose that old sock to actually fill helpful needs at the Homestead. And in some cases replacing things I used to have to buy!
(Note: Some links in this post are for further information from earlier posts I’ve written. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click them and buy something (almost anything, not just the item noted) I could receive a small purchase. But the price you pay will NOT change. It’s an easy way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket. So click often! Thank you!)
Cutting Apart An Old Cotton Sock
First I lay the sock out flat. There are a few cuts I’ll make to be able to easily repurpose that old sock to various different uses.
First I cut off the toe section. Then I cut off the heel section. And the elastic band at the top is also cut away.
The pieces I’ve cut are the main sock portion that includes ribbing, a thin elastic band, and a small section of both toe & heel.
Repurposed Sock To Kitchen Scrubbing Rag
First I’ll tackle that main sock portion. I need to open it up so the cloth is a single-layer square. So I’ll cut it along the back, along where the heel used to be and all the way to the toe section. Now I’ll open it up flat. The main sock portion is now a square of absorbent terrycloth fabric.
I don’t usually fuss too much, but I do try to trim it into a square-ish shape. The tiny trimmings that result from this trimming are added to my compost bucket since they’re made of cotton.
This small absorbent square of cotton is used as a cleaning cloth for scrubbing in my kitchen. Whether washing dishes or cleaning surfaces, it’s a good size since it’s not overly bulky like I’ve always felt full-sized purchased dish rags were. No more buying special kitchen cleaning dishcloths for me!
And the texture of that elastic ribbing at the top really helps me to scrub countertops, the stove and the kitchen sink.
Repurpose Sock For Grimy Jobs In The Shop
When it’s done hard duty in the kitchen and is stained beyond my comfort level, I’ll send that repurposed-sock cleaning rag to RancherMan’s shop.
There he’ll use it for the most grimy of homesteading jobs, whether wiping away grease or cleaning tractor grime.
He used to buy disposable shop rags for these purposes, but no more. I always have a steady supply of these repurposed sock rags for his use. So here’s yet another thing we don’t have to buy.
When it’s covered in grease & grime, he’ll finally throw it away. I don’t mind, it’s served many purposes already!
From sock, to kitchen cleaning, to shop rag. That’s quite a bit of use for just a sock, yes?
Elastic Ponytail Holder From Repurposed Sock
But we’re not done yet. What about those other pieces I cut away? Well that elastic band is turned into a Homemade Ponytail Holder. Yep, yet again something I no longer have to buy. (I’m seeing a trend here…)
I have several elastics in different colors that I’ll tuck away in various places so I always have one handy.
I leave them in the glove box of both our car and work truck. I’ll tuck one into our suitcases in the event I find myself away from home with nothing to tie back my hair.
They actually fit quite neatly into my Repurposed Pill Minder that I use when I pack my suitcase.
I suppose you could also tuck one in your gym bag or in your desk drawer at the office. They take up very little space.
I use these hair elastics all the time. And they’re FREE! Who knew this one tiny section of an old sock could so easily replace something I used to buy??
Securing Packages In The Freezer
And that’s not all. Some of these handy elastic bands are used to hold packages of dry goods closed while they’re stored in the freezer.
I used to try to use clips and such to keep packages closed. But oftentimes those clips would come loose while I was rummaging around in the freezer. Ugh, what a mess.
But using these small elastic bands? Problem solved!
I strap one of these elastics around a small opened package of cornmeal, yeast or other dry goods. These bad boys won’t slip off and it helps keep things much more compact in the freezer.
No more unexpected spills. And no more digging at the bottom of the freezer for a clip that’s once again popped loose from a package. SCORE!
Seasoning Cast Iron Skillets
What about those toe and heel sections we cut away from that sock? Well believe it or not, they’re not wasted either.
They’re just small sections of clean cotton terrycloth. So I tuck them away in a small drawer in my kitchen for their final use.
When I’m coating my clean cast-iron skillet with oil, these pieces come to the rescue.
Many people use paper towels for this step, but I haven’t purchased paper towels in decades. LOL.
When I clean my cast iron skillet I’ll place it on a hot burner to evaporate any moisture that may remain on the surface.
When it’s dry (and while it’s still warm) I use this piece of cloth to rub oil over the inside surface of my skillet.
Any time you’re dealing with hot pans you need to use caution. But I’ve found if I’m mindful, the thick layers of the typically double-reinforced toe & heal section keeps me from burning my fingers.
While it’s true that oil’s not a beneficial thing to have in your composter, mine is a *Tumbling Composter so I don’t worry too much about it attracting pests.
And since it’s such a tiny amount of oil anyway, I typically toss this small cotton cloth into my compost after I’m done oiling my skillet.
Done & done!
So there ya have it. That old sock has filled many a need for our homestead.
And that’s AFTER it had lived its useful life as a sock.
Y’all know what I always say:
Use whatcha got, y’all!
Links In This Post:
- Homemade Ponytail Holder
- Repurposed Pill Minder
- How To Easily Clean Cast Iron
- Paper Napkins In A Paperless Kitchen
- Proper Care For Cast Iron Cookware
- *Tumbling Composter
Other ‘Use Whatcha Got’ Ideas
- Make A Cute Porch Lantern
- Assuring Safety Around An Underground Cistern
- Repurposing An Empty Parmesan Cheese Container – BRILLIANT!
- MYO Simple Craft Paintbrush In A Pinch
- Replacing Our Bedside Clock/Radio
- Predator Guard For Our Martin House
- Trick Birds Away From Garden Strawberries
- Protecting Tender Seedlings
- Safer Straight-Pin Storage
- Tame Electrical Cords
- Save Your Fingernails When Cleaning
- MYO Chalkboard Labels
- Keeping Boots Stored Neatly
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