There are few things more tragic than the development of a hole in the toe of your favorite sock, or a visit by the laundry gnomes that leaves a healthy sock mateless after a round of washing. Some of us throw away socks that aren’t fit for wearing anymore, while others hoard them “just in case,” but there’s actually another solution…
In fact, there are a whole lot of solutions, because old socks are far from useless. You can give them a new lease on life, and you might be surprised by the myriad ways to employ an old sock around the house.
Socks make excellent cleaning tools—for basic cleaning, slip a sock over your hand and use it as a duster. You can also use cleaning fluid if you want a more thorough wipe-down. Socks are terrific for applying furniture polish, and they can be washed and reused. A bag of old socks can also be useful for cleaning around the shop or garage.
A sock attached to the end of a rod or ruler can make a useful cleaning stick to get behind hard-to-reach areas in the house, while socks also make a great rag for wiping down cars, bikes, and other equipment without scratching the finish. Fabric squares cut from old socks can also be used to shield hardwood floors from heavy wooden furniture; stick a chunk of sock under the leg so it won’t create gouges.
Leather items like shoes, socks, saddles, and purses can also be given a sock cleaning. A clean, dry sock with soap or polish can be worn over the hand or held between the hands for a nonabrasive rubdown and an even application. Socks can also be useful for applying waterproofing. When you’re done, buff with another clean sock, and throw the used socks in the laundry for another round of leather care in the future.