Bath towels are long-lasting, but at some point they need to be replaced. Maybe they're no longer as absorbent as they should be, or are tattered or frayed. Rather than throw them away, give them a second life.
Here are a few ideas:
Cleaning: Most people hang onto old towels and use them as rags. You can cut them into 8-inch squares and sew flannel or micro fleece onto the back. Use them for cleaning or as homemade baby wipes. You can also make your own Swiffer cloth covers and dusters.
Bath mat: Cut the towel into pieces that are 3/4-inch wide and 5-inch long, then tie them onto gridded matting to make a bath mat.
Pets: Call local animal shelters and see if they would like your old towels. Or use them for your own pets to line carriers and kennels, clean muddy paws, or dry their fur after a bath. You can make a pull-and-throw toy for dogs, too. Cut three strips and braid them, then knot the ends. Old dishtowels work best for this.
Bath pouf: Make a bath pouf that looks like a rose, either to keep for yourself or to give as a gift. You can easily fold and stitch the sides of small washcloths to slip soap slivers into and use in the bath or shower, or wrap the cloth around the slivers, join at the top and use a rubber-band to close it up.
Hand towels: Cut full-sized towels into smaller hand towels hem or use fabric glue and add lace or fabric. "I decided to put lace on some of my towels, and what a difference it made," writes Carol from
Towel origami: Search online for directions to make cute towel animals or go to your local library and find the book "The Lost Art of Towel Origami" by Alison Jenkins.
In the car: Keep old towels in the car for sudden spills, to cover hot seats or to wipe muddy shoes. They also come in handy when you go to the park with kids and a swing or slide is still wet from rain, or if you want to sit on the grass.
Under a pillowcase: If your pillows don't have protective cases, slip a towel underneath the regular pillowcase when kids are sick.
Draft stoppers: Keep a few to roll up and use as draft stoppers for doors or window sills. For an easy tutorial, visit craftydame.blogspot.com/2011/01/easiest-peasiest-draft-stopper-ever.html.