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Reusing... Socks!

I'm sure if you're reading the Keen for Green website you are very familiar with the mantra, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." In my experience, recycling is the only part of that trifecta that gets any significant attention in terms of our daily habits. So, today I'm paying tribute to the concept of "Reusing." And my tribute involves the most mundane of objects... socks. But don't worry, this gets more interesting, so read on...

We all know that the main goal of a sock's life is to be separated from its match so that it can live happily abandoned in the sock drawer while its human owner scratches its head in consternation as to how two socks can go into a washing machine and only one is left by the time the load comes out of the dryer.  So, what do we hapless humans do with these extra socks (other than wear them mismatched, which is what my four-year-old daughter loves to do)?  We can't donate them, which is my default solution for unwanted clothes- no Goodwill or Salvation Army is going to appreciate used socks, mismatched no less.  But, we can repurpose them as... cleaning rags! I'm sure this solution is a bit anti-climactic, but I offer it nonetheless because it's a frugal person's delight.  Any time you've given up finding a match for a sock, or a pair of socks gets worn out, put them (clean, please!) in a decorative, lidded jar on your kitchen or bathroom counter.  Next time you need to wipe down counters, scrub the stove, clean mirrors, or clean the outside of the toilet, just grab a sock, put it on your hand, and voila! You'll be the laughing stock of civilized people everywhere. 

No, really, you'll feel great that you've saved money by not using paper towels and you've gotten some extra use out of something otherwise destined for the landfill.  And they actually work better than paper towels, too. Now, if you really want to be a frugal ninja, wash the socks after using them for cleaning, instead of throwing them out.  The only tricky part to this is they shouldn't be cleaned with the rest of your laundry because then they'll end up back in your sock drawer.  We have a hamper in the garage where we throw "extra dirty" stuff like salty beach towels, used sock-rags, etc, and we wash those items separately from our clothes.

The Daily Citron is a blog containing tips for frugal living, money management practices, ideas for living "green," thoughts on parenting, and recipes that tie it all together.