While at the thrift store picking out some "new to me" jeans, I remembered that the bath mat towels were getting frayed around the edges and I wanted to pick up a few more. I found three new looking white ones for 99¢ each and grabbed them up. When I got home I took out the old bath mat towels and had to decide what to do with the frayed ones.

Of course the first idea was using them as rags, but I had quite a few of those and decided it I had to do something different with them. With a little bit of research here are my choices:

  • Old towels are good for insulation around hot pots for the potluck
  • Cut off the fraying of threadbare areas and make smaller hand towels or washcloths
  • Cut them up into a manageable size and use in the diaper bag for messes
  • Make a kid’s washcloth mitt by drawing around their hand, cutting out and sewing up
  • Use old towels to line a pet bed or to dry your pet
  • Toss in the car for cleanup or to hang on the window to block the sun coming in
  • Give them away to the humane society
  • Donate them to a women’s shelter
  • Keep them in the garage for checking oil, drying the car, etc
  • Roll it up, rubber-band it and through in front of a leaky door or window sill
  • Rip it up (or not) and use as stuffing for a pillow
  • Cut them into strips and braid a towel rug
  • Hang them in front of a window to provide shade
  • Make your own terry cloth can cozy to keep your soda/beer/water cool
  • Use them to mop the floor, cut into strips or not
  • Cut them to size and use as a baby bib or adult bib
  • Wrap around the head of a broom and clean the cobwebs out of the ceiling corners
  • Layer a couple of them, tape or sew them and use for muddy shoes/boots
  • Use them as shelf and drawer liners. This also cuts down on the noise from banging around cups and plates as well
  • Cut them into strips and tie up your hair
  • Place under plants when you don’t have a bottom to the pot
  • Cut them up into hand size pieces and use to wrap around and clean your glasses
  • Stuff them into boxes as packaging material
  • A smaller drop cloth for painting/staining
  • Make a bag with a couple old towels
  • Smaller sizes can be used as handkerchiefs, panty liners, diaper liners
  • Use it to patch up something else that is tearing
  • Tack onto recliners in areas that are going threadbare- foot rest, head rest
  • Make a child’s apron
  • Tie up plants and trees
  • Wrap around your neck and tuck into your shirt to keep warm in the winter
  • Smaller sizes can be placed in a first aid kit
  • Sew together for curtains in the kitchen/bathroom
  • Emergency toilet paper
  • A child’s cape or a fort flag
Essentially, only your creativity stops you.

Any other suggestions I may have missed.... I'm open to more ideas


  1. Anonymous // Thursday, April 29, 2010 4:53:00 PM  

    When my bath towels get frayed around the edges, I cut them in either 4 pieces for hand towels or 6 pieces for washcloths. Then I make bias-strip binding out of fabric scraps and sew around the edges. They are still plushy and look like designer towels/washcloths. All it costs is my time, and I've cut up old dresses as well as used left-over fabric scraps.

    I watch for coupons and sales at my local Bed, Bath & Beyond to replace the bath towels.

  2. Anonymous // Friday, April 30, 2010 8:11:00 AM  

    Some of the ideas I knew about, others were new to me. What a great list of uses for them. I'd always just made them into rags.

  3. Anonymous // Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:07:00 AM  

    My job was unsecure a year ago and wondered what I could do that would stretch a dollar. you said use them as emergency toilet paper. I cut one towel into 40 pieces 6X6 inches , used my serger sewing machine to serge the edges and have never run out of these for urine use only. Also I have not bought wash clothes for many years doing the same thing and do the hand towel with bias tape also.

  4. Anonymous // Saturday, August 21, 2010 6:01:00 PM  

    make your own reusable cloth pads. use old towel as the inside, absorbent layers.