Can You Recycle Socks? (And 10 Ways to Reuse Them)

When you talk about dressing, sometimes, it is not complete without socks. For the school children and youths in college, wearing socks seems to be an important thing. If you consider this with the habit of wearing socks around the home, then you would consider how much love many people have got for socks.

Due to this popular usage, there have been a lot of concerns about these socks’ potential impacts on the environment. For instance, what happens to them after they are old and worn out? Do they, by any means, affect the environment?

These and many more questions are what this post examines and provides answers to. You don’t want to miss out on this. So, why not relax and enjoy the details? Let’s go.

Are Socks Recyclable?

You know what you feel inside of you when you wear those soft socks. The gentleness on your skin and the comfort they give you can hardly be compared to anything else. But then, you also know that these socks don’t last forever. There would come a time when they would get old or worn out, and you will need to dispose of them.

Perhaps, you already have a pile of these old socks in your home, and you are wondering if recycling is a viable means to dispose of them. Well, we have been there, and now we have the answer to your question. Let’s get to it.

Yes, you can recycle your socks. Many of the socks out there, including the ones you have stacked up in the corner of your room, are made of cotton and textile material. Since both cotton and textile are highly recyclable materials, it means you can also recycle your socks.

This sounds easy and straightforward until you discover that not all your socks can be recycled. This is not because they have been made with unrecyclable materials but because of the things, they might have come in contact with.

In the recycling industry, some things are commonly referred to as contaminants. These contaminants often prevent recyclable material from getting recycled because of the risk posed if the recycling is carried on.

Regarding your socks, some of the contaminants that might prevent them from being recycled include;

  • Blood
  • Paint
  • Grease or oil
  • Chemical
  • Ink

All these materials may render your socks from being accepted for recycling. However, this is not an absolute rule. Since we are dealing with cotton materials, it might be relatively possible to get these contaminants off before recycling them. But then, know that the recycling station may not do this for you; you would have to take the trouble of getting the stains off yourself.

Aside from all these, there is nothing to worry about with the recycling of your socks. All you have to do is package them neatly in a plastic or paper bag. You can label them for easy identification before sending them for recycling. Avoid putting your old socks directly in the general recycling bin to prevent other contaminants from coming in contact with them.

Are Socks Knitted Or Woven?

You probably have been enjoying your socks without any curiosity about how they are made all these years. But there’s something in you that keeps telling you to determine whether your socks were knitted or woven. Well, you don’t have to look elsewhere. Below, we will walk you through the right answer.

The thing about socks is that they can be knitted and woven. What you get depends on their availability or your preference. Let’s quickly explain how to know if your socks are knitted or woven.

Knitted Socks

When socks are knitted, it means the yarns have been interlocked using long needles to make them. Your socks are not the only thing that can be knitted. It is possible to knit bags and clothes too. So, how do you know your knitted socks?

  • Knitted socks are always flexible and stretchy
  • Knitted socks are soft
  • Knitted socks are wrinkle-resistant because they have good elasticity ability.
  • Knitted socks are easy for you to maintain because they don’t require much to get cleaned.
  • Knitted socks are easily damaged. Due to their elasticity ability, they can easily stretch out of your leg size.
  • Sewing knitted socks may be difficult.

If you have noticed all or most of the above with your socks, then the chances are that you have a knitted sock. Let’s take a look at woven socks.

Woven Socks

When socks are woven, it means that yarns have been weaved together using looms. Woven socks look like they have threads that have been interlaced to go under and above each other to form the socks. Aside from your socks, some other things are woven, like your clothes and bags. So, how do you recognize woven socks? Let’s take you through this.

  • Woven socks are very structured and not stretchy.
  • Woven socks are susceptible to creases and wrinkles
  • Woven socks are a bit coarse when you touch them
  • Woven socks are durable because they can maintain their shape for a long time.
  • Sewing woven socks are easy since they are not unnecessarily stretchy
  • Woven socks are more expensive

If you have noticed all of these with your socks, you might not be wrong to assume they are woven socks.

Are Socks Good To Sleep In?

There is no doubt that socks are part of our daily dressing. Depending on what we want to do or where we are going, we wear socks to match our dressing or comfort us. Some of us are so used to socks that we often wonder if they are good to sleep in.

Perhaps you have even been sleeping in your socks, wouldn’t it be good to know if this action has any implications for you? Well, that’s what we thought too. So, let’s consider the implications of sleeping in your socks.

There are no negative implications of sleeping in your socks. It is advised for many health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of sleeping in your socks.

1. Potential Increase In Your Orgasm

This looks strange, though, but, Researchers have discovered that you could increase your ability to experience orgasm for as much as thirty percent simply by sleeping in socks. So, if you have not been getting that satisfactory feeling in your sex life, this might be the time to change tactics.

2. Potential Improvement In Cracked Heels

Cracked heels are often connected to your legs drying out easily. You can reduce this by wearing socks after you moisturize your legs before sleeping.

3. Reduces The Possibility Of Raynaud’s Diseases

Raynaud’s diseases happen when some affected places on your toes or legs begin to lose blood circulation and swell. You can prevent this by sleeping in socks. Socks will help keep your feet warm and ensure blood circulation.

4. Increases Your Chances Of Falling Asleep

Sometimes, the reason you are finding it hard to fall asleep may be due to cold feet. If you wear your socks, they will keep your feet warm. To buttress this, the National Sleep Association has said that keeping your feet warm at night signals your brain that it is time for sleep.

In all, sleeping in your socks is a good way to enjoy your sleep. Lastly, you should look out for socks made with natural fibers. This allows you to achieve all that has been mentioned above.

Can You Donate Socks?

The simple answer is yes. But then, you have to ensure that they are still in usable conditions. This way, the charity homes will be glad to have them. Some of the places you can donate your old socks include;

  • TerraCycle; you can check out this
  • Goodwill; you can check out the nearest one to you
  • Simply Recycling; you can check out this center
  • H&M; you can check out this center

These places have a good policy that would see to receiving your socks donation without any issues.

Lastly, if your socks are worn out, you might still be able to donate them. The difference is just that it might not be for others using them. You can check your local Animals shelters.

10 Fabulous Ways To Recycle Old Socks

There has never been an end to creativity, and it doesn’t seem that there would be any time soon. From time to time, there have always been ways to creatively use what we have once possessed and valued. This way, we give that possession a new life and make them serve other purposes.

Regarding old socks, they can also be made into many creative things that would serve different purposes. In this segment, we will show you ten ways you can upcycle your old socks.

1. Make Dusting Pads

With your old socks, you can make dusting pads for cleaning surfaces in your home. The good thing is that you can also allow your kids to help out. What you have to do is wear the socks in their hands and allow them to swipe their palms on surfaces.

2. Make Rags

You can make rags to soak away spilled water or milk. This is quite easy and requires no extra effort other than having your old socks handy.

3. Hand Pads

If you have old socks, you can make yourself some hand pads for carrying things with high temperatures. This would be useful if you want to carry your hot coffee mugs.

4. Make A Pouch

You can make some cool pouch from your old socks. This can be useful for storing things like jewelry. You can make it fancier by sewing a zip over it.

5. Make A Protector

If you want to do some messy jobs but are also concerned about your hands getting messy, you can wear your old socks. This would be useful when doing your paint jobs.

6. Beddings For Pets

If you have many socks, you can make soft beddings for your pets. All you have to do is shred as many socks as would be enough and use them.

7. Make Toys For Kids

Socks are soft, so you can rest assured that they won’t injure your kids when playing with them. What you have to do is stuff as many socks as possible into one large sock, and your kids can have new throw toys.

8. Make Stuffing

You can use your old socks to stuff things around you. If you don’t feel enough comfort with your pillow, your old socks can be handy.

9. Use To Prevent Cracks

If you have breakable things that you are likely to stack together, you can put your socks below each to prevent easy cracking.

10. Use For Compost

It is possible to make compost from your socks if made with natural fibers. You can contact the manufacturer to find this out. Before using a sock for composts, ensure you shred them to ease their breaking down.


There’s no doubt that socks give us that euphoria feeling almost all the time we wear them. But then, it doesn’t mean we should ignore their possible impact on the environment. This is why we must handle them so that they won’t cause a problem for the environment.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.