Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Recycled Cleaning Rags

I had a stack of dingy old socks that my husband didn't wear anymore and I was about to threw them out but I stopped myself. They had to be good for something right? After some thought I decided to make them into cute cleaning rags. We really needed cleaning rags at home and I am always shocked with how expensive they are so I never end up buying them.

I am so happy with how they turned out, much cuter than I expected. I had everything I needed already at home so I didn't have to go out and buy anything to make these rags. I got these scraps from ZozoBug Baby.

Before I go into the details on how I made these rags I want to show you what I started with. Can you believe how dingy these socks were? As you can see from this picture I had a bunch of different sock types to work with.

The first thing I did was to dye my socks per manufacturers instructions. I used the Tulip Cutom Dye Color Kit. Can you believe I got the kit for $2.97? I found it in the clearance aisle at Joann. My color didn't come out as dark as I wanted to, I think it is because I didn't cut the socks open beforehand.

After you dye the sock you need to cut the tip off and then cut the sock in half length wise (see pic above). If your elastic top isn't in good condition or soft enough for cleaning you can cut it off.

Once you have cut everything you will fold your remaining fabric in half. Some ends might be longer than the others. You can just trim the edges that aren't straight off.

I then sewed around all four edges using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. The edges of the rag will stretch when you sew them. Since these rags were for cleaning I didn't bother to match the thread, I used the white one I already had on the machine.

I decided to give the rags a girlie touch by adding the fabric top. Measure your piece of scrap fabric, I cut mine a little bit bigger than the rag, and cut it. I used pinking shears to prevent any fraying but you can use a zigzag stitch or serger to finish the edges.

I then placed my scrap on top of my rag and sewed around all four edges using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I was able to do all eight socks in thirty minutes.


  1. Way to go! These are very cute! Love the green touch. I'm all for saving money and the environment. Thanks for sharing at Money Saving Mom!

  2. Fantastic!!!! I want to do this now! I totally know what you mean about buying new cleaning rags. They are so exspensive! Thanks!

  3. Why did you dye them? You're just going to clean with them.

  4. Wendy I did it for two reasons. I needed to practice using the dye kit I had purchased and I wouldn't mind if the socks color was ruined. Also they were so ugly before that I wanted to make them look nice and not like dirty old socks.

  5. Wondering ... did you just use regular cotton fabric for the fabric on top?

  6. @Tara, yes I used some regular cotton scraps that I had on hand.

  7. I ended up making some of these as part of a bride-to-be's present this past Saturday ... they turned out great and everyone loved them!


  8. Seems like a lot of work to me! I usually cut into the cuff a bit to remind me it is a rag if I end up running it through the laundry, and then toss is under the kitchen sink. Although yours are pretty and cute!

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