MIA…Socks, That Is.

Striped Mis-Matched SocksNope, not talking about the British rapper who apparently gave us the finger during last night’s halftime show (did anyone actually see it happen? I haven’t talked to one person yet who picked up on it…), but rather we are talking about reader Meredith’s missing socks.  Curious to see how many people land here via Google searches for the bird-flipping “MIA” though, only to be sadly disappointed that this is actually a post about old, mismatched socks.  But hey, while you’re here, check out the excellent question and answer for this MIA sock dilemma!

Question:

Hi KIN –

I live in NY and get my laundry sent out and often find myself left with lone socks.  I end up keeping them, but then after a few months I have a pile of single socks.  Do you have a rule on how long you keep them?  Or any other uses for socks?

Answer:

The bizarre missing sock phenomenon is something both perplexing and vexing. For a good laugh, I think this blogger’s rant sums it up pretty well.

But I do have a few suggestions for you. First and foremost, I recommend purchasing a mesh sock laundry bag. I used to have one of these when I went to sleep away camp and our bunk’s laundry went out once a week to be “cleaned”. Really it came back duller and grayer, and usually containing several things that didn’t belong to our bunk, or gender, for that matter. But, if your socks were zipped away in their bag, they did usually come back in pairs. (Dull, grey pairs).

Hopefully investing in one of these will eliminate the need for using any of my sock repurposing ideas in the future, but for the loners you’re stuck with now, and the ones that may still end up stag in your laundry now and again, the following is a list of some new ways to use old socks.

Disclaimer: most of the ideas below are things I’ve heard or read at various points in my life, but truth be told I’ve yet to try any of them, I don’t really have that bad of a missing sock problem and when it does happen, I usually just rotate the loners in and wear mismatched pairs.  But if anyone has tried any of these, or has any additional ideas, feel free to share.  And for some ideas I needed to rely on the many smart and crafty people floating around on the internet for inspiration.  I picked the best of the bunch, and credit is given in these instances via links to the original content.

1. Sock Heating Pad:  fill a clean athletic sock (they are thicker and sturdier) with uncooked rice, tie it off with a string, and pop it in the microwave for one minute.  Be sure to shake it when you take it out so you can distribute the heated parts evenly.  Apply to areas in need of heat therapy.  A cheap, reusable heating pad.
2. Travel Containers: use clean tube socks to store small items like chargers, electronic adapters, etc.  Tie them off at the top to prevent everything from falling out.  This keeps these smaller items in one safe place so they won’t get lost or fly around your suitcase.  You could also store your hair straightener or curling iron in a tube sock when traveling.
3. Golf Club Covers: no explanation necessary, I hope.
4. Dusting Mitts: Place a sock on your hand and spray with your favorite dusting spray (I’m a Pledge fan), dust as you normally would, replacing your sock mitt as often as needed.  Wash the socks when you’re finished and store with your cleaning supplies.  No need to waste paper towels!
5. Beverage Koozie: cut the ribbing part of the sock off and scrunch it around a can or bottle at your next tailgate.  While it won’t insulate your drink, it will absorb the condensation and keep your hands from getting too cold.
6. Door Stopper/Draft Buster: using tube socks, cut from the ankle up and then sew together into one long tube shape. Stuff the tube (this tipster suggests dryer lint, but any stuffing would do and I also think uncooked rice would again work well), and use as a door-stopper or draft buster.
7. Sock Bun:  A fun DIY idea for giving yourself  a chic, full, ballerina bun, complete with a step by step tutorial.  Especially helpful if you have thin or fine hair, like yours truly.  This is the most interesting idea I came across, and I’d love to test it out as soon as I can nab a dark brown sock.  I think B might have some; I doubt he’ll miss them.

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