Odd Socks & 18 Wonderful Ways To Use Them

Odd Socks & 18 Wonderful Ways To Use Them

One with spots, one with stripes - if you're anything like me, you'll be forever finding lone socks at the bottom of your laundry basket.

Where they all go remains a mystery, and what you're meant to do with them even more so.  Well, no longer - give your mismatched socks a new lease of life with one of these inventive ideas.  It's friendly for the environment, too!

Before you continue, don't forget to follow us on:


1. Craft a wearable cleaning cloth

Odd Socks
Extremely odd socks! Photo credit: Terra Heather

All out of cleaning cloths?  No problem.  Grab a sock - be it holey, lacey or any other kind - pop it over your hand like a glove, and there you have it.  Now you're free to go about your cleaning as usual, without having to search for your misplaced dustcloths every five seconds.

Use your fingers to get into small nooks and crannies, and your palm for large, flat, areas.  Its soft surface is great for shining up wood so don't be afraid to apply polish liberally.  With all those odd socks lying around, you'll never need to buy cleaning clothes again!

2. Style your hair in a fashionable up-do

As you know, we here at Expert Home Tips love a DIY beauty trick, and this is one of our favourites!  Taking something ugly like an old sock, and turning it into a beautiful, beauty-blogger worthy bun is so satisfying and surprisingly easy, too.

Olivia at Hopeful Honey has a great tutorial to guide you step-by-step through this simple process, and her results are flawless.  Whether it's date night dinner,  your bestie's Wedding or Interview day, this hairdo is sure to turn heads - just make sure to wash your sock, first.

3. Protect your floors and footwear

Children walking in wellingtons
Oops - looks like they forgot their sock covers! Photo Credit: Brittany Miller Martin

Cream tiles and muddy boots don't mix well, and don't we know it! The perfect solution?  Slip a pair of old rugby/football socks over your shoes before venturing outside, making sure they're completely covered.  Go out, get muddy, and once you get back, slip off your socks to reveal spotless shoes.

You'll never need to spend time scrubbing over the sink in an effort to remove stubborn stains from laces and mud from between sole treads again.  Not only that but if you've got a spot of painting to do, the same trick will ensure no shoes get ruined in the process.  How handy is that?

4. Make a perfumed potpourri pouch

Now if this isn't ironic, I don't know what is!  Your 'smelly old socks' can be made into something that will actually enhance the scent of your home.  This is a great one to do with kids, as it's incredibly simple and will mean they need to do a round up of any single socks they've left lying around in order to get started - win, win.

We recommend craftbits.com for a tutorial which explains how to make one yourself in six quick steps.  If you're a fan of this one, why not check out Colleen's article which has even more ways to get your home smelling better than ever.

5. Cool down with a covered ice pack

Odd socks hanging out to dry
That odd sock would make a perfect ice pack! Photo credit: Natalie Bowers

We've all experienced muscle pain.  We've also all experienced the unwelcome chill of an ice pack placed directly on our skin - not a nice feeling.  Well, we have the answer: just slide one into a fluffy sock and you'll get all the benefits of the reduced swelling, without the nasty ice burn.  In fact, you'll now enjoy your ice packs so much, you'll be bumping into things on purpose!

6. Chill out with a sock stress ball

Long day at work?  Don't take it out on the hubby - make a sock stress ball, instead!  Those odd socks provide the perfect material for these pocket-sized stress busters, as they're durable and comfortingly soft.  Creative Playhouse used Playdough as a filler, and the results look great.

You can play around with patterns to find a sock print that's pretty and practical.  With such an easy solution, there's no excuse for you to be stressed ever again.

7. Act it out with a sock puppet

Odd socks made in to bat puppets
What a fantastic family of sock puppets by Holly Broadland!

Err...why didn't I think of this before?!  A kid-friendly version of the 'Wearable Cleaning Cloth', now the little ones can get crafty too and make a cast of wearable puppets.  Mismatching socks need no longer be a problem - in fact, the crazier the combo the better.

Handmade Charlotte has an article devoted entirely to this incredibly cute craft, so go get inspired.  Whether you opt for a guitar playing monkey or a nut grabbing elephant, get creative and bring your socks to life.

8. Sew up a fancy pin cushion

On the floor and in the bottom of boxes - pins are so tiny, they're hard to keep in one place.  Make sure you avoid the nasty surprise of a pin prick by sewing up your very own pin cushion with one of your unloved, odd socks.

We LOVE this tutorial from I Love Doing All Things Crafty who chose to make hers into a plant pot.  It's so pretty, it could also be used as a decoration - innovative indeed!

9. Keep your ipod safe in a cosy sock holder

Remember iPod Socks?  We certainly do - talk about a #throwback.  Why pay the 'Apple' price tag, when you can make one of your own?  Have a good old root around in your odd sock collection to find just what you need.  Opt for a kids sock for an iPod, a women's will do nicely to cover your phone, and you can even protect your ipad with a large men's football sock.

10. Reach up high with a long-handled duster

For those hard to reach places, an old odd sock can be the perfect solution.  Just pop one over the end of a broom handle, and voilà - a long handled duster to reach all those hidden, high-up spaces.  With your sock cleaning cloth, potpourri parcel and fabulous duster, you'll have the best-kept house in town!

11. Gift your pet with a homemade sock toy

Odd Sock cuddly toy
What a great odd sock creation by Gus & Ollie's.  We love it!

Now one for you pet owners.  If you've got a pup, you'll know hat they are so easily pleased, they'd probably be happy with your smelly socks just as they are - but why not treat them?  Make your pawed pals day by crafting them a new toy from one of your socks - I can promise you, they'll love it!

We heart these vibrant Caterpillar toys from Art Bar Blog which would be just perfect for a game of tug of war with your furry friend.

12. Free up your fingers in fingerless gloves

So you've treated yourself to a lovely, plush pair of leather gloves for the chillier months and rightly want to keep them in good nick.

In a few simple steps, you can make yourself a second pair using some scruffy old socks - perfect for odd jobs and those occasions that just don't warrant the best of the best.  Being fingerless, they're also highly practical, so whatever you need to do - be that jump on a bike or walk the dog - your fingers will be free to do what needs be.

13. Get squeaky clean with a garden soap holder

Muddy hands
Looks like they need a garden soap holder to me! Photo credit: Dean Terry

Leave muddy fingerprints where they belong - outside.  By slipping a bar of soap into the bottom of a sock and leaving it to swing from a branch or hook close to a tap out in the garden, you've got the equivalent of an outdoor hand shower.  Just add water and use the sock as a cloth to scrub away dirt - your fingers will be spotless in no time.

14. Prevent breakages with sock stuffing

These days, parcels tend to be fuller of bubble wrap than actual goodies themselves, much to the kids' delight - it's great to jump up and down on!  No need to ruin their fun - you can finally work your way through that mountain of old odd socks stored in the laundry room, which will provide the perfect material to wrap, cushion and cover valuables when moving day finally arrives.

Now you can box up your stuff without the worry of broken glass or smashed plates, whilst your treasures sit cosily inside.

15. Keep your umbrella drip-free

Pink wellies & umbrella
A matching pink odd sock cover would look great with this!

Umbrellas are great...until it's time to go inside.  Storing them in handbags, cars and indoors only ever ends badly - big puddles of water on the floor as the raindrops slowly drip off the sides.  Even if you've managed not to lose your umbrella cover, storing it there will mean it's likely to stay damp until it's reopened.

We have the perfect solution - you guessed it, socks!  Stick a stretchy sock over your soggy brolly and it'll keep everything nice and dry until next time.

16. Make your own personalised mug cozy

Ouch!  Love coffee in the morning, but hate the burns that can come with it?  Keep your mitts protected with a nifty coffee cozy, crafted from an odd sock.

That Fairisle patterned sock would look so cute wrapped around your favourite hot chocolate mug, and why not sew on a few buttons for extra measure?  Add sequins, a handle hole and a co-ordinated border to make a personal gift - the options are endless!  Mommypotamus' own take on this nifty trick is gorgeous and a great starting point for your own.

Snug as a mug in a rug! Photo credits: ohsohappytogether
Snug as a mug in a rug! Photo credit: ohsohappytogether

17. Do a good deed & donate

Do you really need all those socks?  If you come across some matching pairs whilst scouting through all those odds, why not do something selfless and send them off to Socks and Chocs?

This quirky Charity organisation is responsible for the donation of more than 5140 pairs of socks this year alone, and with your help, they can help even more people in need. Such a simple gesture can prove.

If your sock draw is well due an update, The London Sock Exchange allows you to donate and recycle any of your old socks - holes and all.  They'll send you a free postage stamp whilst you receive some brand, spanking new pairs as part of a quarterly/annual subscription.  Don't neglect your tootsies, 'Out with the old, in with the new' should be true for your feet, too, and this ethical business allows you to do that responsibly.

18. Replace them with a new, charitable pair

Stripy socks
Happy, charitable socks! Photo Credit: Janice Marie Foote

If you find yourself left with odds alone, we have the perfect place to pick yourself up a plush new pair - give your feet a treat and pop on a pair of Original Jollie Goods' socks.  Manufactured in the U.K, not only are they great quality, but your purchase will also help to fund this company's charitable mission of handing out hardy hiking socks to homeless charities.

If it's specifically sport socks you're after, Bombas have a cracking range of scientifically engineered pairs to suit every need.  What's more, this amazing business donate a specially designed, long-lasting pair of socks for every pair purchased.  Now your feet can be cosy, and your conscience clear.

Which is your favourite odd sock innovation?  We’d love to know in the comments below!  Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and Twitter for even more fabulous Expert Home Tips!

Stephanie C


Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

Follow me on X
  1. Author Josie Rowell on August 27, 2016 at 8:40 am

    I wear odd socks. It doesn't matter if they don't match ☺

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 31, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      So do I, Josie! But shhh, don't tell anyone ??

  2. Author Gillian Williams on August 27, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    I love receiving these tips. Some very unusual ideas

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 31, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      We're glad you like them, Gillian! We love writing about them, too! ?

  3. Author Sandy on August 27, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I use old, odd socks for buffing up leather shoes when I clean them.

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 31, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      I normally use old t-shirts for the exact same thing! Great tip, Sandy. Thankyou! ?

  4. Author DAVID McGUIRE on August 27, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Great for cleaning behind radiators,a garden cane is better than a walking stick,unless you have a very large gap,attach with insulation or parcel tape.

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 31, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      What a brilliant idea, David. I have loads of garden canes lying around so will definitely be trying this out! Thanks for the tip. ?

  5. Author Hilary Anne Windridge on June 30, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Great funky ideas I love recycling ill have a go Thanks for the info Hilary

    1. Author Joanne A on July 1, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      You're welcome, Hilary!

  6. Author Steve T on October 11, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Where do all the odd socks go? We believe Its A mischevious poltergeist called Sockratese who comes in the night and hides them!!!! sometimes we find them neatly folded in the most bizzarre places, like in a book, or the fridge or similar.... We also reckon he has a girlfreind called Virginia, after all we all lose it, but I have never heard of her putting it back!!!

  7. Author She on October 19, 2020 at 8:46 am

    FYI Socks and Chocs are asking for NEW socks so no point sending used.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 3, 2020 at 11:50 am

      Thanks for letting us know!


Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *