FOCUS: What do you do with your old socks?


I love to go through old magazines and find answers to some of my questions. I have been getting rid of many of my magazines and found some interesting articles that answer some of my questions. I collect all kinds of stuff that I can find useful. I need to downsize. I am trying to find ways to get rid of many items I no longer use. Recently I went to the basement and opened a couple of garbage bags to see what was in them. I found lots and lots of socks. Of course, there were many socks that did not have a mate. Have you ever had so many socks that you just did not want to spend hours looking for two socks to match? I used to tell my husband that the washer ate at least one sock and that is why we had too many socks that did not match. I never did like to take all the socks that seemed to need a mate and try to match as many as possible. I collected too many socks.

One day I had to go out for a few hours and I asked my husband and daughter if they would fold laundry and match up some of the socks I had collected. They agreed to help. When I got home and walked into the living room, there were socks hanging on the window curtains, the lights, the ceiling fan, the furniture, just about any place one could put a sock. The socks hanging and laying around were without a mate. Of course, there were a few socks mated and put in a basket. I never asked my husband to match up socks again.

When I get too many socks, I try to wrap the odd socks up in the different colors and make sure the tops of the socks are the same. I have a hard time with black and navy blue socks. I have been known to wear a black and blue sock at the same time. I can’t tell the difference if the sock is black or blue. I do know how to match the lengths of the socks. In recent years, I have only purchased white, black and grey socks that are made with the same size top. It is easier to match socks that do not have designs or several colors which always seem to loose a mate.

I was looking through an old 2012 “This Old House” Magazine and found one page giving me 10 uses for old socks. I then added two more sock ideas. Just in case you have some old socks bagged up and you wondered how you might use them, Allie Cutler has shared her ideas.

1. Ease first aid. Slip an ice pack into a sock to temper the chill while soothing sore muscles or bruises.

2. Secure mobile devices. Create an armband pocket for your MP3 player. Cut off the leg of a tube sock, slide it onto your arm, then double the material up around your biceps. Tuck the player between the elastic layers.

3. Rescue lost hardware. Slide a sock over the end of a vacuum’s hose, secure with a rubber band, and use the vac’s suction to pick up dropped screws, nuts or nails.

4. Stop drafts. Line doorjambs and windowsills with rice filled socks to keep the cold from entering your home and the house’s heat from escaping.

5. Polish surfaces. A sock becomes a reusable or disposable mitt for waxing furniture or shining silver, brass or pewter.

6. Cushion your knees. For DIY jobs that require kneeling, cut off the legs of a pair of tube socks and slide them over your pant legs. Fold the fabric over your knees once or twice for extra padding.

7. Ice-proof windshield wipers. When frost is in the forecast, slide kneesocks over wipers to prevent crystals from clinging. Just pull off the socks and you’re on your way, no scraping necessary.

8. Protect footwear. Before tackling a dirty or messy job, pull oversize or stretched-out socks over your shoes to keep them clean.

9. Entertain Fido. Tie a knot at each end of a tube sock and get ready for a round of tug-of-war.

10. Clean up. Wear a sock as a glove so that you can easily swab the dust away from every nook and cranny in mantels, venetian blinds and ceiling fan blades.

11. Dry off your pet. When you let your pet outside and it comes back in wet, use a sock to dry your pet.

12. Sock puppet. Take a sock and use buttons and other items to make a face on the sock. You have an inexpensive sock puppet for your child to make and play with. 

Now I know what I can do with some of my unmatched socks. If you have unmatched socks, maybe these ideas can help you too.

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