“Reusing Old Socks as Pot Holders”

“Reusing Old Socks as Pot Holders”

Having old socks with holes in them is a common occurrence. Rather than throwing them away, reusing old socks as pot holders is an eco-friendly and budget-friendly solution. This article will cover everything you need to know about repurposing old socks into pot holders.

Why Reuse Old Socks as Pot Holders?

There are several benefits to reusing old socks as pot holders instead of discarding them:

  • Sustainable: Giving old socks new life reduces waste and promotes sustainability. Reusing what you already have decreases your environmental impact.

  • Frugal: Buying new pot holders can be expensive. Transforming items you would normally throw out saves money. Old socks are free!

  • Customizable: You can cut socks into unique shapes and sizes to fit your needs. Get creative with different designs.

  • Effective: The texture of socks makes them excellent at gripping hot pans. Thick, layered socks provide insulation from heat.

  • Absorbs Moisture: The fabric of socks soaks up condensation from steamy pots and pans. This keeps your hands dry while handling hot cookware.

Overall, reusing old socks promotes green living and helps stretch your dollar. The versatility of socks makes them perfectly suited for pot holders.

What Kind of Socks Work Best?

You have plenty of options when selecting old socks for reuse as pot holders. Consider the following criteria:

  • Thickness: Thicker socks provide more insulation from heat. Look for heavyweight socks made from wool, cotton, or thermal fabrics.

  • Absorbency: Absorbent materials like cotton wick away moisture well. Avoid socks made solely from synthetic fabrics.

  • Holes/Worn Areas: Small holes are fine but avoid socks with large holes or very thin, threadbare sections. These won’t adequately protect your hands.

  • Dark Colors: Socks in dark shades won’t easily show stains or discoloration from use.

  • Plain Patterns: Solid color or simple patterns are best. Avoid socks with complicated designs or prints.

In most cases, thicker, cotton athletic socks or wool hiking socks make excellent pot holders.

How to Make Pot Holders from Old Socks

Transforming old socks into pot holders is fast and easy. Follow these steps:

Materials Needed

  • Old socks
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or measuring tape (optional)


  1. Select your sock(s). Pick socks that are thick, absorbent, and relatively intact.

  2. Decide on size. For versatility, cut socks into squares about 7″ x 7″. Or make round pot holders by tracing a bowl or pan.

  3. Cut shapes. Use scissors to cut the socks into your desired shapes and sizes.

  4. Layer for insulation. For more heat protection, layer 2-3 cut socks together. Stitch around the edges or knot them together.

  5. Add grip. For extra grip, glue ribbon, Velcro, gripping gel, etc. onto one side of the pot holders.

  6. Trim away worn spots. If your socks have thin areas, fraying, or big holes, trim those sections away.

It’s that easy! Now enjoy your handmade, eco-friendly pot holders.

Customizing Your Pot Holders

Get creative with different ways to upcycle old socks into unique pot holders:

  • Add visual interest by tying socks together in knots or braids.

  • Sew on decorative buttons, ribbons, lace, or other embellishments.

  • Cut socks into fun animal shapes like elephants or mice.

  • Dip part of the socks into liquid rubber for a grippy surface.

  • Stamp patterns onto socks using carved potatoes or sponges and fabric paint.

  • Attach socks to a potholder loop crafted from an old leather belt or rope.

  • Sew two socks together into a long tube to protect your forearms from steam.

Let your imagination run wild! Personalize your pot holders to match your kitchen’s style.

Care and Maintenance of Old Sock Pot Holders

Caring for your handmade pot holders helps them last longer. Follow these tips:

  • Spot clean stains immediately so they don’t set in. Use a small amount of gentle detergent and cold water.

  • Check for wear. Flipped often during use,inspect for holes or overly thin spots. Retire if they no longer adequately protect you from heat.

  • Don’t machine wash. Hand wash gently in cold water to preserve their shape and texture. Line dry.

  • Avoid bleach. Bleach can break down fabrics over time. Use non-chlorine oxygen bleach if disinfecting.

  • Store in a dry spot. Wetness can lead to mildew. Fold or roll up and keep in a basket or drawer.

With proper care, your sock pot holders should enjoy a long second life in your kitchen!

Other Uses for Old Socks

In addition to pot holders, here are creative ways to reuse old socks around your home:

  • Dusting: Socks work great for dusting blinds, ceiling fans, baseboards, and other hard-to-reach areas.

  • Polishing: Buff shoes, wood furniture, or stainless steel appliances to a shine. Socks make excellent polish rags.

  • Cleaning: Socks are soft enough for washing windows but also tough enough for scrubbing floors.

  • Pet toys: Cut the toes off socks and add squeakers to make toys for dogs, cats, parrots, etc.

  • Draft stoppers: Stuff an old sock with rice and sew the end. Place at the base of doors or windows to prevent drafts.

  • Dryer balls: Toss a few balled-up socks in the dryer to help separate clothes and speed drying time.

  • Gardening: Use cut-off sock toes to cover young tomato plants for frost protection. Also great for tying up plants!

With imagination, an old sock can find many new uses as you repurpose what you already own.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this actually safe? Couldn’t the socks catch on fire or melt?

Thick socks made from natural fabrics like cotton, wool, and bamboo rayon can safely withstand temperatures up to about 400°F. As long as you use an appropriate material and don’t expose the socks to direct flames or extremely high heat, they will protect your hands effectively. Take care when first using them to test their heat resistance.

How well do the homemade pot holders protect compared to commercial ones?

Sock pot holders provide comparable insulation and heat protection to commercial options. In fact, the thickness of doubled-up socks may exceed that of a typical store-bought holder. As long as you avoid thin or threadbare spots, socks function very effectively at holding hot pots and pans.

Can I put these pot holders in the microwave?

No, you should not microwave handmade pot holders. The metal fibers sometimes used in socks could spark or catch fire. Microwaving could also cause the fabric to release chemicals. Stick to traditional oven mitts for handling microwaved cookware.

How long will these last before I need to make new ones?

With periodic inspection and proper care, your handmade sock pot holders should last approximately 1-2 years with regular use. Factors like frequency of use and washing will impact their longevity. If properly maintained, they can enjoy a respectable second life keeping your hands safe in the kitchen!


Repurposing old socks into pot holders and mitts is an ingenious eco-friendly solution. This simple DIY project helps reduce waste while saving you money. Making your own allows for plenty of customization too. Follow the guidelines provided to select the best socks and care for them properly. Get creative in designing unique holders to add flair to your kitchen. With a little effort and imagination, old socks can take on a surprisingly functional new purpose.