Cleaning Rags Made From Old Clothes

It’s not like I came up with the idea to make clothes into rags: people have been using damaged clothing and other textiles as rags forever. This post is just a reminder. Have you been buying your cleaning rags? If so, why? I ask because cotton cloth rags work great and are easy to make.
I made nice cleaning cloths out of a pair of worn out flannel pajama pants. Old towels, worn flannel sheets, damaged blankets, cloth diapers ready to be passed on, stained or torn linens, old t-shirts and socks all make good cleaning rags!

Pick flannel or other cotton fiber clothing because it is soft and absorbent and usually lint free. Use it to wash your windows or clean your kitchen floor whatever…. It’s also great at polishing the chrome in the bathroom or dusting your bookshelf.

How to: Cut or tear the piece of clothing in manageable sized pieces (18 x 18 inches more or less). If you want to tear the fabric, sometimes it is easier to use a pair of scissors to cut the first half inch than tear. If you have never tried this before, the fabric will tear in a straight line following the weave. Quickly cut out any buttons, zippers, waistbands, hem, or anything else that might scratch whatever you are cleaning.

Save any buttons for future projects or give them to someone who can use them.

Made-made material like polyester, spandex, and nylon aren’t my favorite for cleaning because they are not as absorbent. I use worn out clothing made out of this stuff for rags that I don’t plan to wash and use again. They would be good for paint rags or auto maintenance.

Keep a pile(s) of rags on hand. I have a stack of cleaning rags with my cleaning supplies and another stack of “disposable” rags in the work shop.

7 thoughts on “Cleaning Rags Made From Old Clothes

  1. Cynthia L. Leet

    I have been making cleaning rags for years by serging the edges of the cloths. A serger cuts and finished the edge in one step. I use about 3 rolls of paper towels/year.

    Good idea about the less-absorbent fabric.

  2. Pingback: Savvy Housekeeping » What To Do With Old Clothes

  3. jenny bridgeport

    I never throw any of my old cotton panties out they go right to the rag basket. I have found I like panties undershirt cotton briefs and baby cloths cloth diapers etc for my cleaning rags. They are always so soft and the right size for rags

  4. Laura

    How cool is that! Yesterday, nostalgically and wistfully I cleaned out our closet that had been packed with old favorite frayed/faded shirts and blouses. I ended up with a pile of gingham, stripes and soft pastel “rags” I tore and cut up. I feel guilty using them as rags and am keeping them aside for a future idea.
    Any second life ideas for these old friends?

  5. elizabeth

    Black Opaque Tights are good , as they are Thick and attract Dust, my daughter wears 90 Denier Tights for school.

  6. Pingback: Eco-Tip #3: Reuse old clothes as cleaning rags «

  7. Pingback: 8 Ways to Go Green By Ditching DisposablesLow Impact Living | Low Impact Living

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