Save and use mismatched socks for unconventional uses including cleaning, making toys for kids and pets and many other useful things around the house.

Make a rule in your house to never throw a sock away.  Even if the sock has holes or is torn it can come in handy for many different useful things.  Keep a bag near the dryer and save and use mismatched socks for unconventional uses. The washer and dryer is usually where the other sock drops off the face of the earth, so it is easy to identify those single socks and pop them in the bag.  Keep them there until you need them. The following are just some of the things that mismatched socks can be made into. 

Make Toys for Kids and Pets


  1. Everyone knows about sock puppets and they are great fun to make and use.  The sock fits over the hand and the toe and foot make for a perfect head and mouth of the puppet.  Sew on buttons for eyes and yarn for hair. Decorate the puppet with rick-rack, ribbon, raffia, markers and other things around the house.  Have a puppet show when you are done making the puppets.  
  2. A bunch of mismatched knee high socks tied together from end to end makes a good jump rope. The rope is heavy and falls faster making it easier to twirl the rope.
  3. A toy called a fox tail is a weighted ball-like object that is thrown to see how far you can throw it. Fill the toe of the sock with dry beans or corn and tie the sock in a knot close to the filling.  Throw the foxtail by the knot and it will fly further than a regular ball.  It also will not bounce making it easy to measure how far it was thrown.  


  1. Pet toys made from old socks will swiftly become one of the favorite toys for your cat or dog. Put a chew bone inside a sock and give it to the dog. It will take the dog some time to figure out how to get the bone out, but he will have great fun doing it.
  2. Pour some dry catnip into the toe of a sock and tie it off with a knot.  The cat will instantly start to play with it.
  3. Dogs love to play tug of war and old tube socks make it even better. Tie an old tennis ball into the toe and they will grab on to the ball and give them extra pulling power. 


  1. Old socks make great dust rags.  Just put your hand in the sock,spray the furniture with polish and open your hand and wipe. dust off tables, other furniture, blinds, computer and TV screens and window sills.
  2. Spray window cleaner on mirrors and windows and wipe down with your hand inside a sock.
  3. Use an old sock to polish shoes.  Just put your hand in the sock, scoop out some polish and apply with the sock. When you are done, use another sock to buff. The best part about using old socks to clean is that you can just pop them in the washer and dry them to get them clean and ready to use again. 

Make Socks Into Something Else

  1. Use ankle socks to make a coin purse. Either sew a zipper across the opening or apply Velcro strips all the way across the opening.  Before you do that, either glue or sew decorative items on the outside. Use buttons, ribbon, sequins or beads.
  2. Cut the toe off at the seam of a knee high sock then cut a small hole in the heel. Put the socks over your hands with the fingers dangling out of the toe hole and the thumb in the heel toe. You now have fingerless gloves. 
  3. Cut the top of a knee high horizontally in 4-inch strips. they should look like rings.  Use them as pony tail scrunchies. 
  4. Cut the foot off the sock and slip it over a cold bottle of water.  Your hand won’t get wet or cold from holding the bottle and it is less likely to slip from your hand.  It won’t let condensation drip onto the table and it looks very cute. It also keeps the water cold longer because it insulates it. 
  5. Fill a sock with rice or dry beans and tie it in a knot. The rice and beans should not be packed too full and they should be able to move around a little.  Place the whole thing in the microwave on high for 1 minute and coil it around your neck or other body part that is experiencing pain.  It serves as a heating pad. 
  6. Stuff a long tube sock or knee high loosely with other old, mismatched socks and sew it shut.  Use it as a neck pillow when you travel. 
  7. Fill a re-closeable sandwich bag with ice and slip it into an old sock.  Place the cold pack against an injury or bee sting to keep it from swelling. 

Other Uses for Socks

  1. Socks are great protection for glassware when moving or packing them up to store. Just slip teacups, vases and other glassware into a sock and fold it over to keep it shut securing it with a safety pin. It will prevent breakage. 
  2. Cover the outside water spigot with a heavy plastic bag and then slip a heavy sock over and tie it all on with a twisty tie.  Those that have cold winters will find this insulates the spigot and pipe so it won’t freeze.
  3. Put a tennis ball in the toe of a long tube sock or knee high and make a knot to keep it in the toe.  Hold the sock by the upper end, throw it over your shoulder and swing so the ball bounces off your back. This gives you a rather pleasant massage.  
  4. Make a foot massage sock by putting a golf ball in the sock, tying it off and rolling your foot and toes over it. 
  5. Fill a sock with potpourri, knot it and hang it in a closet or put it in drawers to keeps moths away and make everything smell wonderful. 
  6. Pack delicate Christmas ornaments in the toe of a sock and fold it over. You can pin the sock shut just as you did to protect glassware from moving. 
  7. Put your folded up umbrella in a large tube sock to prevent it from dripping all over. 

It is very beneficial to save and use mismatched socks for unconventional uses. Of course, you could just start a fashion fad by wearing mismatched socks too.  Old socks come in handy, are washable and you are recycling to make less waist going to landfills. All around it is a win, win situation.