reduce, reuse, recyle - t-shirts

26 May 2011
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matt (my mr.) has a plethora of old, kind-of nasty, yellow pit stained undershirts. i've recently been replacing them with new ones, and so i'm left with this massive pile of the old. this picture is just what i took out of his drawer a few days ago. i have another huge bag stuffed in my closet.

it hurt my heart a little to think of just throwing out such a large stash, and since i have no idea how fast cotton material decomposes, i just couldn't do it. giving them away is not an option since they are slightly disgusting, so my search began. 
i found some ridiculous ideas, like making a dress out of them (just dumb - who wants a dress that looks like your man's undershirt?), and some overtly obvious ideas, like using them for cleaning or waxing your car - i already have a stash of rags for those purposes. anyway, i did come across clever ideas, so if you have this same problem, here's what you can do:

-save a few for coloring your hair, or painting, or anything else messy you or your kids do
-use them for packing christmas ornaments away, or as packing material for shipping
-cut up small squares to keep for cleaning eyeglasses or polishing jewelry

and if you have a baby, these ideas are fantastic, and will probably be how i will end up using my t-shirt stash:

-cut up squares and use as reusable baby wipes for diapering or clean-up wipes at meal times. if you're already using cloth diapers (which we did for noah and will for baby girl), then you can just throw them in the wash together. i read a tip to double the material when making, so serious messes don't leak through so easily.
-t-shirt trash liners (aka, trash bags). those of us who use cloth diapers are probably trying to save money and the environment, so natalie from old made new, came up with this brilliant idea to line your cloth diaper pail with a t-shirt-created liner, rather than buying and wasting plastic liners. and again, just like the wipes, you can throw it in the wash with your diapers. so smart!
-and finally, along similar lines, natural violet gives a great tutorial on how to make your own cloth diapers from t-shirts.  if you dare to be so ambitious, they are super cute!

comments: 2 Post a Comment

I have another idea for you, kind of along the lines of baby wipes (which is an excellent idea). I cut them up into small squares and use as cotton pads, for removing makeup, nail polish, etc. I have a little bag to wash them in (it's for lingerie I think), so I don't have to pick them out of the rest of the wash. I haven't bought cotton balls in years!