9 practical things you can do with an orphan sock



There are few phenomena as vexing, confusing and widespread as the disappearance of a single sock. Everyone has at least one sock that mysteriously loses its mate. Whatever the cause — spontaneous black holes could be responsible, according to the late Stephen Hawking – it’s especially frustrating because a single sock seems pointless…or so we thought. Some of the most resourceful and creative members of Reddit on r/Frugal lately proposed dozens of ideas for orphan socks, and we’ve compiled the top 9.

Related: 7 Clever Uses of Cheap Vodka (Besides Drinking It)

A pile of old socks without matches.


Use them for cleaning

Since they’re fabric and the perfect size for your hand, you can easily convert orphan socks into portable cleaning rags. Redditors recommend using them to dust your house and clean whiteboards.

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Close up of Pied French Bulldog puppy chewing on a piece of sock


Give them to your dog

Dogs love to chew on socks, especially when they’re not supposed to. To distract them from your good pairs, tie a few orphans together to create an inexpensive dog toy.

Related: 20 ways people waste money on pets

View of man's feet wearing mismatched colored socks.


Wear mismatched socks

Orphan socks shouldn’t be a problem for mavericks, rebels and free thinkers who will gladly wear mismatched socks. And even if wearing two different pairs makes your eyes twitch, Redditors have a solution: stock your closet with identical socks. Even if one is missing, you will automatically have a matching pair.

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home sweet home scene


Create a doorstop

For those with a growing pile of sock orphans, you might be able to craft a makeshift draft cap. Put a few mismatched pairs in a long sock, tuck it under your door frame, and you could save money on your next heating bill.

High angle view Chilling day asian chinese beautiful woman relaxing in bathtub in summer staycation


Enjoy an oatmeal bath

Oatmeal baths have long been known to soothe skin conditions such as acne, dry skin, eczema and chickenpox. All it takes is a cup of powdered oats (put it in a blender) and an old sock to hold the powdered grain. According to the Verywell familyyou need to soak in an oatmeal bath for 15-20 minutes to experience its effects.

Boy using cherry stone heating pad.  Cherry stone thermal pillows, pillow filled with cherry stone.  Alternative medicine and therapy, spa massage pit bag, chiropractic care.  Selective focus

Iryna Mylinska/istockphoto

Turn them into heating pads

Fill your lost socks with rice for a quick, microwaveable heating pad. You can even add herbs like lavender to make it even more comforting.

happy snowboarder is standing in red suit on snow powder hill and smiling


Make a winter “snot rag”

Equal parts niche and gross, this Reddit “snot rag” hack might appeal to skiers and snowboarders who need a quick nose-wipe on the slopes. Clip your toes, writes the commentator, and wear the sock on the outside of your jacket like an armband. When your nose starts to run, you can just wipe it on the sock and throw it away when you’re done for the day.

Wardrobe full of clothes


Create “fragrance enhancers”

Make the rest of your socks smell great by filling your orphans with scent beads. “Seems to be more effective than using the scent boosters in the wash,” writes a Redditor.

Many shoes in the shoe box

Toru Kimura/istockphoto

Deodorize your shoes

With a handful of (clean) kitty litter and a stray sock, you can quickly make a shoe deodorizer. Fill the sock just over halfway with the moisture-wicking scented clay, tie the ends, and stuff them into your stinkiest pair of sneakers.

Close up of wooden spoons and spatulas in the holder on the kitchen worktop.


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