02 January 2023

Cut Up Old Clothes for Rags

Don't throw out old clothes that can no longer be worn. Repurpose them into rags that can be used a variety of ways.

I try to wear things as long as I can. I mend tears and remove or cover stains. I make alterations or turn them into something else. But the day will come when they are just too far gone to be wearable, even for dirty chores.

You may be tempted to throw them out, but don't! There is one more thing you can do with them - cut them up and use them as rags. Use them to wipe up messy spills, to wipe dirty hands, and to clean with.

Here is how I cut up an old sleeveless t-shirt and an old pair of shorts.

*Bonus - be sure and save any trim and fastenings you can. If there are buttons or metal zippers, cut them out and save with your sewing supplies.

Cut Up an Old T Shirt

Before cutting, decide how large you want your pieces to be. Maybe you want a really large piece and cut down one side to open it up. Maybe, like me, you like smaller pieces, so you cut more. 

Watch the video to see how I cut up one shirt (and see how I can repurpose the banding around the neckline and sleeves).

Cup Up Old Shorts

This also works for jeans or trousers, as well as shorts. Decide how large you want your rags to be before you begin cutting.

Remove any fastenings or trim you want to keep. Buttons and metal zippers can be reused on another sewing project.

This video shows you how I did mine.

Using The Rags

Anytime you think of reaching for a paper towel, consider if one of your rags would work. I keep a large stack in the kitchen for wiping up spills, and I find them a great way to clean grease and oil from cast iron pans. When the rags get dirty, they are easy to wash and reuse until they completely fall apart.

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