20 great uses for a lonely sock

Everyone knows the bizarre phenomenon of losing socks in the wash. (Or is it in the laundry basket, or somewhere else in the house between taking them off and getting them fresh and clean from the dryer... Where the heck are the socks disappearing to? )

Usually after awhile you just don't know what to do with that one solitary sock. For most of us, that's it for that pair. There's not much we can do with just half a set of socks. But single socks aren't as useless as you think. There are actually a lot of ways to put them to use, giving them new purpose and meaning. (They'll thank you, poor things.) Here are 20:


1. As a deodorizer for shoes
Fill two old lonely socks with baking soda or ground coffee and leave them overnight in stinky shoes. The next morning they will have absorbed all the unpleasant smells and you'll have a lovely, fresh feeling right to your toes. 

2. As a safeguard against burns
On very hot days, the metal in cars gets very, very hot, so much so that you can get burned — by your seat belt buckle, for instance. But you can easily avoid it by pulling a sock over it. Perfect fit!


3. As a cold pack

When you get banged up or bitten by a particularly nasty insect, it's important to cool the swelling area with an ice pack or cold pack. But you shouldn't place it directly on the skin. If you tuck the pack into an old sock, you have the perfect layer to protect your skin from freezing while still allowing the beneficial cooling effect.

4. As insulation for your drink
Pack your cold (or warm) drink into a sock and it will hold its temperature for longer!

5. As a unique mobile phone case
Since socks come in every color and texture, not to mention size, you can often find one that works as a fun, individual case for your phone. It doesn't cost anything and protects your device from bumps and scratches.

6. As gift wrapping
The next time your give someone a bottle of wine you can add an extra personal touch: pack it in a pretty sock (or if you dislike the person, in an old gym sock). It'll make it that much more interesting.

Monkey wine sock appears at the @awesomenyc trustee meeting

7. As a screw-cap opener
If you place a sock over a particularly stubborn lid, you'll be able to get a better grip. You'll be amazed how quickly the lid or cap will ease off too.

8. As floor protector pads 
When you're moving furniture across nice floors, you can slip old socks onto the legs of the chairs, tables, cupboards, and couches. That way you'll avoid scratching the floor and it'll be easier to slide the pieces of furniture around.

9. As a jewelry case
Not just for travelling: you can use lone socks to sort your jewelry and pack it away when you're not wearing it. It keeps it organized and protected at the same time. Plus a little bonus: if someone happened to break in, inside socks is probably the last place they'll look. 

10. As a sleeping mask
The average sock happens to be the perfect size for a sleeping mask. Just sew an elastic band or a simple ribbon onto the toes, with the other end attaching to the sock's opening, and there you have it. You can also fill the sock with rice or flaxseed — adding lavender, camomile or another relaxing herb — and stitch up the opening.


11. As an improvised pet hairbrush
When pets shift from winter to summer coats they do a lot of shedding. If you don't brush them, they'll leave their lovely coats scattered all over the house. But if you don't have a brush on hand, you can simply use an old sock, slipping it over your hand, dampening it, and rubbing it over your pet's coat until you've gotten most of the excess hair off.

12. As a cat toy
Speaking of pets, cats love chasing and catching things. Attach a string to a stick, and other end of the string to your lonesome sock. To take it up a notch, you can fill the sock with catnip. Or you can cut the sock into strips to make it even more lively.

Gray kitten playing with lure toy 11

13. As a shoebrush 
An old sock is perfect for polishing shoes. Slide your hand in, smear the polish on, and go to it. This allows you to be careful and accurate as well, and to get into all the nooks and crannies.

14. To stop a squeaky bed
If your bed frame squeaks, you can try putting a sock in it — go right to the source of the irritating noise and finally get some quality rest.

another: headboard as mantle

15. As a blackboard eraser
Socks are great as chalk erasers, and you can rinse them off and use them again and again. 

16. As a children's toy
Colorful socks transform beautifully into toys: sew on a couple of buttons, stuff in some soft wool and put on a puppet show!

17. As a baby's rattle
If you put a couple of bells, or even simply some large clackety beans, into a colorful old sock and sew together the opening, you've got a cute baby's rattle! 

18. As a Hacky Sack
Remember Hacky Sacks? They were little stuffed cloth balls you could spend hours playing with, kicking around, learning tricks with, and generally whiling away the summer hours. If you fill a sock with rice, shape it into a ball, and sew up the opening you'll have your own personal Hacky Sack for you and your friends. 

19. As a flowerpot and vase cover
Occasionally you might want more variety among your vases and flower pots. The sock is once again the solution: slip it on from underneath and you have a brand new design for your desk cactus or any other plant life around the house! 

20. As a patch
Kids are amazing at getting holes in their clothes, especially the knees. But if they're good pants and they'll still fit awhile, it can be worth it to cover the hole with a patch. Your sad old lonely sock will be perfect! Just cut out the necessary amount of cloth and stitch it on. You can even have some fun and turn the little trousers into colorful one-of-a-kind outfits.

So don't ever throw that one sock away again. Who'd have thought it could be so useful! Go down the list and try out these tricks! Maybe you'll even come up with some new ones of your own...


Also hefty