I’ve been searching for ways to live more sustainably and reduce my environmental impact. One area I wanted to improve was my toilet paper usage. Typical toilet paper is made from virgin trees and chemicals, and massive amounts end up in landfills each year. I wondered if there was a reusable, eco-friendly alternative I could make at home. That’s when I discovered that you can actually turn old socks into toilet paper!
Why Turn Socks into Toilet Paper?
There are several benefits to repurposing old socks as toilet paper:
Sustainable: Socks are something most people have plenty of. Reusing old socks that would otherwise be thrown out reduces waste. It also eliminates the need to create new toilet paper from trees.
Customizable: You can choose the exact type of sock material you want against your skin. I prefer smooth, soft socks made from natural fibers like cotton.
Cost-effective: Once you sew the socks into rolls, the toilet paper is free. There’s no need to repeatedly buy toilet paper from the store.
Eco-friendly: No bleach or dyes are used in the sock production process. And you aren’t creating demand for more virgin trees to be pulped for paper.
Fun DIY project: Turning something you’d normally toss into a functional product is rewarding. The final sock rolls also make unique decorative elements for the bathroom.
How to Turn Socks into Toilet Paper Rolls
Turning old socks into toilet paper rolls is a surprisingly easy DIY project. Here are the basic steps:
- Old socks made from natural materials like cotton
- Sewing needle
- Sewing machine (or do it by hand)
- Cardboard toilet paper rolls
Step 1: Cut Socks
Carefully cut the socks so they lay flat. Remove the elastic ankle band and toe seams so you have a rectangle of fabric.
Step 2: Stack and Sew Layers
Stack 3-5 sock rectangles on top of each other. I recommend using similar length socks. Sew the layers together to create a durable, layered fabric.
Step 3: Roll and Secure Layers
Roll the sock fabric around an empty cardboard toilet paper tube. Secure the roll using stitches, glue, or small clothespins.
Step 4: Trim Excess
Use scissors to trim any excess sock fabric so the roll is even. The outer sock layer can also be decorated.
And that’s it! The sock rolls are ready to use as a toilet paper substitute.
Tips for Successfully Using Sock Toilet Paper
After turning old socks into toilet paper, here are some handy tips:
Add a dab of lotion for an extra smooth wipe. Coconut oil also helps lubricate the sock fibers.
Install a bidet to help rinse and reduce staining. It makes cleaning the rolls much easier too.
Use a unique container like a cute basket or repurposed coffee can to store the rolls. This adds a fun, decorative touch to your bathroom.
Have plenty on hand. Make sure you’ve created enough sock rolls so you never run out mid-use.
Don’t flush larger pieces. To prevent plumbing issues, throw any larger pieces in a small bathroom trash can instead.
Wash regularly. I like to wash my rolls weekly to keep them fresh and bacteria-free.
Is Reusable Toilet Paper Right for You?
Converting old socks into toilet paper definitely takes some getting used to. The texture and durability is different than traditional paper. Here are a few key things to consider:
This works best if you frequently have old, unwanted socks around. Don’t go out and buy socks just for this purpose.
Be prepared to adjust to the different feeling against your skin. Try a test roll first before making lots.
Install a bidet if possible for easier cleaning and maintenance.
Make sure everyone in your household is on board with the switch.
Keep normal toilet paper handy for guests unfamiliar with the sock rolls.
The sock toilet paper concept may not be for everyone. But for the eco-conscious looking to reduce waste, it’s a creative way to transform something you’d normally throw away into a functional tool. With a little practice, old socks can successfully be upcycled into reusable, sustainable toilet paper.