15 Creative Ways to Use Single Socks

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    15 Creative Ways to Use Single Socks

    Mismatched Socks
    Kelly Sillaste/Getty Images

    For some reason, only one sock disappears in the laundry. Never a pair. Always one sock. This is such a common occurrence that May 9th is Lost Sock Memorial Day. (Who comes up with these days?)

    You can set your own style statement and wear mismatched socks. Or, try out one of these 15 creative ways to recycle those single socks.

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  • 02 of 16

    Donate to Fisher Weasel Research

    Fisher Weasel
    John Jacobson/Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

    If you're looking for a unique way to put those mismatched socks to good use, this is for you. Wildlife researchers at the University of California need socks for their studies on a rare weasel in the Sierra Nevada.

    Led by UC Berkeley wildlife biologists, the team is examining the effects of forest thinning on the health of wildlife, forests, and water resources. They have determined that socks are the ideal receptacle for hanging weasel bait in trees. The researchers go through about 250...MORE socks a month. Donated socks can be delivered or mailed to:

    SNAMP Wildlife Research Team, 40799 Elliott Drive, Oakhurst, CA 93644.

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  • 03 of 16

    Protect Shoes When Traveling

    Sock Shoe Covers
    Photo by MML

    Mismatched socks are perfect shoe protectors when traveling. Just slip your shoes into the socks to keep the rest of your luggage contents neat and clean.

    You can even pack your matched pairs of socks inside the shoes.


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  • 04 of 16

    Use for Dust Mitts and Cleaning

    Sock dust mitts
    Photo by MML

    Lonely cotton socks are particularly useful for dusting, polishing, and cleaning. Slip odd socks over each of your hands and you can double your dusting energies. They are especially great for cleaning window blinds and ceiling fan blades.

    Add a sock to the end of a yardstick (secure by a rubberband) for a great way to reach ceiling cobwebs and dust. This is also perfect for cleaning narrow spaces like under the refrigerator or behind laundry appliances.

    You can get the kids involved in cleaning...MORE by having them slip on mismatched cotton socks and slide over a newly waxed floor to buff the finish.

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  • 05 of 16

    Use for Golf Club Covers

    Golf Clubs
    Noel Hendrickson/Creative RF/Getty Images

    You don't have to buy those fancy golf club covers, just use socks. If you are concerned about being stylish, use all black socks or the traditional argyle golf socks.

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  • 06 of 16

    Sock Puppet and Other Sock Crafts

    sock puppet
    Andy Crawford/Creative RF/Getty Images

    Just add a few craft supplies like buttons and yarn and you can turn a sock into a puppet.

    But don't stop with a puppet, you can make dolls, bean bags, and even turn the sock into material for knitting.

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  • 07 of 16

    Hot or Cold Drink Holder

    Sock Drink Cozy
    Photo by MML

    Make a reusable holder for hot or cold drinks from an odd sock. For that cup of coffee, it will protect your hands from the heat and provide a bit of insulation. On cold drinks and bottles, it can help protect your furniture from drips and condensation.

    And, the holders are washable and reusable. No more trash to the landfill. 

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  • 08 of 16

    Protect Christmas Ornaments and Delicate Items in Storage

    Christmas background, Holiday decoration
    Ekaterina Morozova / Getty Images

    Why pay for special protective wrapers for storage? Just slip delicate ornaments, jewelry, or silver-anything you don't want to get scratched-into a mismatched sock. It provides some cushioning and your treasures will come out free of bumps and dings.

    A sock is also great for protecting jewelry when traveling or storing in a dresser drawer.

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  • 09 of 16

    Make Pet Toys

    Sock Dog Toy
    Chris Jackson/Getty Images

    Add a tennis ball and you will have the perfect dog toy. They love to play a tug-of-war with an old sock.

    For our feline friends, fill the sock with stuffing and a bit of catnip and you've got one happy cat.


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  • 10 of 16

    Use as Knee and Elbow Protectors

    Crawling Baby
    LWA/Getty Images

    When babies are learning to crawl, a little extra padding can be great for their knees. Cut the foot off the odd sock and slide it on to protect their knees.

    For adults, if your elbows need a bit of pampering, rub in plenty of moisturizer before bed and cover your elbows with "sock sleeves" (cut off the toe of the sock) to protect your bed linens. Your elbows will be baby soft in the morning. Those same "sleeves" work well if you have poison ivy or a rash and need to prevent...MORE scratching. Even with medication on your skin, your clothes will be protected.


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  • 11 of 16

    Soothe Sore Muscles

    Sock Heating Pad
    Tetra Images/Getty Images

    No need for a fancy heating pad. Just fill a clean sock with uncooked rice and knot the open end. Microwave the sock for about 60 seconds (do it in 20-second increments) or until it is warm to the touch. Apply to your aching muscle. The rice-filled sock will conform to the shape of your leg, arm, or neck.

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  • 12 of 16

    Create Potpourri Sachets

    Close up of baby booties
    Tetra Images / Getty Images

    Keep your closet or dresser drawers smelling sweet by filling an odd sock with potpourri. Lacy little girl's socks are so pretty no one will know you are recycling.

    You can hang the sachet from the closet rod or tuck it in a drawer. Filling the sock with lavender or cedar shavings will also keep away some clothes-eating insects

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  • 13 of 16

    Homemade Seed Starter or Chia Pet

    Sock Planter
    68 Beats/Getty Images

    Fill a sock (preferably cotton) with dirt and grass seeds, tie a rubber band at the end. Sew or glue on button eyes and nose and draw a smiley face on the sock. Place it in a clear glass or plastic cup and water every few days. Watch as your sock person grows "hair".

    You can also use the sock to start seeds for the garden. Fill the sock with potting soil, tie shut and poke few holes in the sock so the seedlings will have easy access for growth.


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  • 14 of 16

    Protect Floors When Moving Furniture

    socks to protect floor when moving furniture
    Martin Barraud/Getty Images

    Protect your floors from scratches by slipping mismatched socks over table and sofa legs. (They won't complain about the look!)

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  • 15 of 16

    Create Game Flags and Balls

    Sock Flag Football
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    No need to rip up fabric to play flag football, just tuck an odd sock in your back pocket and you're ready to play.

    Balled up odd socks are perfect basketballs for indoor hoops or corn hole games and don't smell as bad as dirty ones!


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  • 16 of 16

    Avoid Drips and Protect Your Car

    Socks to protect wet umbrella
    Zero Creatives/Getty Images

    Protect your car upholstery from a drippy umbrella by slipping a thick, heavy sock (tube sock) over the wet mess. Just remember to remove the sock later and allow both it and the umbrella to dry.