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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thrifty Ways To Deal With Odd Socks

Missing socks are a fact of life. I'm guessing there isn't a family in America that hasn't experienced the exasperation of putting a pair of socks in the wash and winding up with only one of the pair by the end of the wash cycle. It's like money down the drain.

What to do with all those odd socks?
I've trolled the web for ideas, found some good ones, and added them to my own:

  1. Use them as dust rags. This is what I mainly use them for...not that I'm big on dusting. But a sock fitted over your hand is very effective for dusting just about any surface. When the sock gets really dirty, I toss it in the pile of other dirty rags and wait until I have enough for a full laundry load.
  2. Substitute a small sneaker sock for a bath scrubby.
  3. Fill a sock with pot pourri, lavender, pine needles, bath salts, cedar shavings, or even baking soda; close off the top with a rubber band (topped with a ribbon if you want) and use it as a sachet in a drawer or closet. Make sure there are no holes in the sock. Simply Sweet Home has directions for several variations on sock sachets.
  4. Institute a "mismatched socks" day at your children's school or camp.
  5. Wear them. This is the super frugal solution. As long as the socks have the same thickness, does it really matter if they don't match when you're running, hiking, working in the garden or wearing boots?
  6. Use a little baby sock as a coin purse; close it with a safety pin, a rubber band or a stationery clip, or get fancy and make slits through the top for a draw string.
  7. Make sock puppets. I've seen some really cute ones in craft shops and Etsy.
  8. Make a sock bunny.
  9. Use thick socks for polishing shoes; thinner ones for polishing silver, copper or brass.
  10. Fill a small sock with catnip; tie or sew it closed and give it to Kitty.
  11. Tie two heavy-duty socks together and use it as a dog toy.
Such a long list for uses of odd socks begs the question: how does one avoid having mismatched socks in the first place. Here are a couple of ways to avoid the odd sock problem:

  1. Always buy multiples in the same style, size and color so when one goes missing there are more that match.
  2. Pin pairs together with safety pins before you put them in the washer.
  3. Pair them as they come out of the washer and line dry them together (this prevents socks from sticking to or inside other articles of clothing).
  4. Have a designated place - a drawer, basket, bin or shelf - where odd socks are placed by everyone in the family. This is an answer to the many times one sock is in child A's drawer and the other is in B's dresser, where they may linger as odd socks for eternity.
What do you do about the odd sock problem? Please share.


    1. Great post and ive already passed it along to my readers.

    2. Hi Surviving...
      thanks for visiting. I'm glad you liked the sock post. I'll stop by your blog soon.

    3. We have an orphaned sock bin. Some of the socks in there have gone years without a mate yet I can't get rid of them, just in case. In the meantime my kids actually get a kick out of wearing mismatched socks, so I don't stress too much anymore about having perfect matches all the time!

    4. Leah, your family has a great attitude! And I'm like you. I'll probably never throw any of the odd socks away. thanks for visiting.