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14 Brilliant Uses for Orphan Socks — From Dusting Floors to Stopping Umbrella Drips

Don't toss those mismatched socks — here's how you can put them to good use!

We bet you know the feeling: You finish a load of laundry only to notice there’s a single sock remaining that doesn’t match with any of the others. While we can’t help you solve the mystery of where that other sock went, we can help you figure out what to do with the extra sock! Below you’ll find 14 clever uses for old socks that save you time and money:

1. Move heavy furniture safely and easily

uses for old socks: socks on furniture legs to prevent scraping the floor

You want to rearrange the living room furniture, but you can’t lift the heavier pieces, and you’re home alone. The fix: Slip a sock over each foot of the couch or chair. The sock will cut down on friction between the floor and the furniture leg, allowing you to push and pull with ease. Bonus: The fabric covering will protect your floors from scratches or scrapes!

2. Protect glass jars in transit

You promised to bring your popular cupcakes-in-a-jar to your friend’s bash, but you worry about the glass getting damaged in transit. To the rescue: Orphan socks! “While we lived on our sailboat, I used to slide our glass jars of jams and sauces into socks,” shares Mina Coleman of travel blog No Texting and Tracking. “This kept them from breaking during sailing trips. The same trick can easily be used while traveling by car, to transport anything in glass jar.” The soft sock will serve as a makeshift pouch to ensure the jars stay safe.

3. Orphan socks ward off umbrella puddles

uses for old socks: sock over a closed umbrella to prevent messes

An umbrella is a lifesaver in a rainstorm, but when you get inside, your wet umbrella makes a soggy mess on your floor. The solution: Keep a long tube sock in a basket insde the front door. Then when you get inside, close the umbrella and slip the sock over it. The sock will soak up any excess water. Problem solved! 

4. They help you lather up in no time

Rather than letting small slivers of bar soap in your shower go to waste, try this: Put the soap bits in a clean sock, then tie the sock closed and use like a loofah. Not only will you get an all-in-one washcloth, the soft fabric will be perfect for gentle exfoliation.  Another beauty benefit of old socks: You can use them to curl your hair! Click through to learn how to do sock curls.

5. Orphan socks ensure shoes keep their shape

You love your fancy suede pumps, but since you don’t wear them regularly and you don’t have a shoe tree, they tend to lose their shape. The solution: Roll a socks into a ball and place one inside each shoe. The sock balls will prevent the sides of the shoes from caving in between uses.

6. They replace mop sheets for pennies

Uses for old socks: sock as a mop cover

The next time you run out of sheets for your wet/dry mop, skip the pricey replacements and try this simple solution instead: Mist an old (clean) sock with your favorite cleaning solution. Then stretch it around the head of the mop and clean as you normally would. The damp sock will pick up dust and grime, leaving your floors spotless. Then you can just toss the sock in the laundry to wash and reuse as needed. So easy! 

7. Orphan socks ensure laundry smells fresh

Instead of buying pricey chemical-laden dryer sheets, try this: Saturate a clean sock with 20 drops of your favorite essential oil, then slip the sock into another sock (to prevent the oil from staining garments) and toss into the dryer with the rest of your clothes. The oil will add a pleasant natural scent to each load. Just add more oil when the sock loses its aroma. (Click through for a genius pro tip on keeping white clothes white)

8. They create a chew toy for Buster

uses for old socks: sock over a plastic water bottle= dog toy

On dreary days when your energetic pup is cooped up inside, keep him out of trouble with a simple toy. To do: Slip an empty 20-oz. plastic drink bottle inside an old, clean tube sock and tie the sock closed. When chewed, the bottle will make a crunching sound that dogs love, but the sock will keep the plastic contained so Buster won’t accidentally swallow any broken pieces.

9. Orphan socks prevent computer wrist pain

If hours of typing leave you in pain, skip the expensive wrist rests and make your own! Simply fill a clean tube sock with a few handfuls of dried beans, tie closed and place in front of your keyboard. The sock will allow you to keep your hands elevated while you type, warding off aches. (Click through for more ways to relieve carpal tunnel pain)

10. They’re perfect for dusting window blinds

uses for old socks: sock over arms of tongs to use them to dust window blinds

The simple way to remove dirt and dust from your window blinds: Slide a clean sock over each end of a pair of kitchen tongs and secure each with a rubber band. Then spritz your favorite cleaner on the socks, grab each slat with the tongs and slide them across the blinds. The tongs make reaching between each blind a cinch so the sock can grab and remove any dust!

An orphan sock can also help bust dust hiding under large appliances. To do: “Untwist a wire clothes hanger, slip on a sock dampened with multipurpose cleaner and swipe under appliances,” says professional cleaner Joni Gonzales, founder of Life Unflaked.

11. They make it a cinch to locate missing objects

Oops! You dropped an earring on the carpet and you can’t find it. The save: Slip a sock over your vacuum’s hose attachment and run it over the carpet. The vacuum’s suction will retrieve the item, but the sock will trap it before it gets sucked into the machine.

Check out YouTuber SmartFox putting this tip to the test!

12. They shield hands from hot drinks

uses for old socks: cut socks over paper coffee cups to keep hands warm

In cooler months, a cup of hot cocoa or coffee is a must for you! But holding the hot cups for long periods of time can be uncomfortable for your hands. The save: Cut the heel off an orphan sock and slip the remaining piece over your cup. It will act as a cup cozy to shield your hands from the heat while you enjoy your beverage. (Need a new recipe? Try these vanilla coffee drinks!)

13. Orphan socks draft-proof doors and windows

Keep heating costs down throughout the winter with a quick DIY draft stopper. To make, fill a long, clean tube sock with dried beans or uncooked rice and tie at the ankle, then place in front of chilly windows or doors. The sock will help you mold the dense grains to the space, where they’ll prevent cold air from seeping in

14. They put an end to pesky water rings

uses for old socks: socks over beer bottles to prevent water rings and prevent drink mixups

To ensure your coffee table isn’t spotted with water rings after a gathering, slip bottles and cans into clean socks. They’ll absorb ring-causing moisture, plus help guests identify their drink so no one sips from the wrong bottle. And if you’re too late and you do find a water ring on your table, click through for the kitchen staple trick to remove water stains from wood furniture.

For more brilliant life hacks, keep reading!

15 Brilliant Uses for Paper Clips — They’re More Handy Than You Know

What to Do With Used Tea Bags: 14 Brilliant Uses That Save You Time and Money

11 Brilliant Uses for Bundt Pans

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