Homemade/Recycled/Free Dishcloths

Homemade dishrags

Ever since I can remember, my mom has used homemade ("recycled", if you will) dishcloths for washing dishes. Well, except when we had company over. ;)

When I got married, I quickly wore out all my flimsy store-bought dishcloths, and decided it was time to switch to something a little more durable... and cheap... homemade dishrags!

Here is how to make them.

1. First, take a clean old sock, preferably one with a hole in the heel or some other irrepairable place. The higher quality of sock you use, the longer your dishcloth will last!

2. Cut the sock down the back, through the heel, and out to the toe, so that it lays flat or nearly-flat when opened.

A sock cut into a dish rag

And that's it! You now have a brand new dishrag, which should last at least as long as any store-bought dishcloth!

Never heard of using socks as dishrags before? Don't worry, you're not alone. My dad was once talking about frugality to someone, and said, "We use old socks for dishrags." The lady laughed, until she realised he was serious! Then she was embarrassed! :D

However, even if the idea sounds a little crazy to you, I urge you to try it next time you have an old sock you're going to throw out. I find that the terrycloth inside part washes dishes just wonderfully!

Homemade Dishrags
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And I thought our family was the only one who did this...

We use old socks for everything...dishrags, polishing cloths for furniture, big socks used on the clorox mopper (with ammonia and water in the liquid holder!), for packing dishes up, and my dad even uses them in his business (he builds model cars...).

Good to know those socks just don't end up in Neverland! ;)

I was a little worried that someone would comment and say, "You wash dishes with socks? Gross!" Laughing

I remember helping out at my MIL's once -- she uses my FIL's old underwear for cleaning rags!!! NOT dishrags, of course, but that was just too weird to grab a pair of tighty whities to do the dusting. I promised my husband then and there to NEVER do that to him!

As for socks, my mom likes to use them on her hands like mittens to dust, then turns them inside out for a few more swipes. My problem with that is if I don't cut them up they end up back in circulation!

I'll use socks, my husband's old boxer briefs, pitted out t-shirts, whatever. First, I wash them in hot water with detergent to make sure that they are up to my cleaning inspection. Then I mark them with a black X with a laundry marker so I know not to put them back in circulation. They get used for dusting, cleaning, rags, polishing silver, you name it. I use a sponge/dishwasher for dishes though and usually a skoy cloth for little messes.

I just bleach them like crazy, as I have the tendency to run around outside with just socks on...(and yet, I yell at Aaron if he does the same thing. Guess its cause his socks are so much bigger and better to use... hehe)

And anyway, its not like regular dish cloths have been through any less dirt. If anything, I'd be more grossed out over used a stained dishrag.

...They make great dusters! We have hard wood floors, and old socks are a great way to do a quick dust - just put them on your feet and you are off!

Also, wear them like mitts and you are set to dust blinds and shutters!

I had never heard of using them for dish rags though - that is great! I usually buy the bar rags in dish towel form for dish rags and larger form for major heavy duty cleaning, but my family business when I was growing up was a hotel, so I am a little biased! :-)


Phil 2:9-11

I use used dryer sheets for dusting...I only polish about once a month (any more than that, and our furniture gets weird feeling and coated looking), so 3 weeks out of the month, I use the dryer sheets. Yes Cling brand dryer sheets get nice and soft after being used...they're my favorite, and they still smell nice!

And there's always a buy 2 get $1 off coupon...and if you double it, well, that is $2 off of two sets of dryer sheets that retail for 1.79 each... :)

I will have to try dusting my mini-blinds with old socks :D Those pesky blinds are difficult to keep clean! Thanks for the suggestion! :)

use old pj's etc... for rags, but never thought of using socks. :) Good idea!


I just came across this one as I was getting ready to throw out some of my hubby and son's socks. I really like this idea. The sock is so much thicker than the cheap throw away dishrags. Thanks so much for this idea and the other ones for old socks. They are great.

Janice, thanks for sharing! I'm glad the ideas came in handy for you! :)

Dryer sheets have more harmful chemicals in them than ANYTHING else in your house. If there is one thing you should consider eliminating, it is dryer sheets.

I also use socks for dusting blinds and furniture. Dab a bit of olive oil and lemon juice on them, and it traps ALL DUST! And your furniture looks brand new as well.

My mom taught us to use underwear - 100% cotton. We would cut off the elastic and leg trim, cutting away enough that you have a flat piece of fabric. We also used t-shirts - if they had high cotton content. Again, cutting away the neck trim and cutting off the sleeves.
Old flannel is also good. Never throw away old flannel sheets, or receiving blankets or flannel diapers. They can all be trimmed to a convenient size and used for washing the floor, rags for dusting. We also did the same with towels. First we used them until there were holes in them. Then we would cut a towel into quarters, rip off the hems and you have a nice flat terry cloth - perfect for house cleaning.

We always tied old t- Shirts over the broom end to get those cob webs off the walls...

I always when I do the laundry find worn out cotton briefs from the kids and the girls cotton briefs and undershirts always are my favorite for dusting. I used all my old maternity panties for around my swiffer they worked really nice and they were washable. Also ladies don't forget to use cloth diapers and don't over look your own cotton panties. I know all mine are well used and soft for polishing the cars and dusting also.

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