Ways To Upcycle Old Towels

Some posts here on ARoseTintedWorld may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and buy a product or register, then I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. I may also use products from the companies mentioned in these posts. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Are you looking for what to do with old towels once they get too shabby, grubby or full of holes? We use a lot of towels in our house. And with constant use, they get dirty and wear out very quickly. I hate throwing any cloth away if there is a way to reuse it. So here are some ideas for what to do with old towels, uses for old towels or ways to upcycle old towels that prevent or delay this useful cloth going to landfill.

Ways To Upcycle Old Towels

Upcycled towels can serve so many purposes around the home. Why should you go about recycling old towels? Well, most of them are made from cotton, which takes a lot of water and energy to produce, and so is very costly to the planet to produce. Plus, because it is cotton, it will compost and decompose fully once it is worn out.

So to save all this useful cloth going to landfill I have compiled a list of things to make with towels, and how to recycle old towels into fabulous, sustainable and practical items for you to use every day.

What to do with old towels. Uses for old towels. How To Upcycle old towels. How to repurpose old towels into useful items. Upcycle towels with these simple repurposed towel crafts and old towel DIY ideas. Sewing tutorials for things to make with an old towel. How to recycle old towels into practical home items. What can you do with old towels. Upcycling towels into useful things. Old towel reuse. What Can I do with old towels? How to reuse old towels. Upcycled towels. Use for old towels.

Unsponges

First on my ways to upcycle towels is to make kitchen dish scrubbers. Plastic scrubbing sponges are so bad for the environment. But you can reuse your old towels by making unsponges and make something that does the job just as well, doesn’t cost a penny, and can even be composted once it has worn out. I call that a triple win!

What to do with old towels. Uses for old towels. How To Upcycle old towels. How to repurpose old towels into useful items. Upcycle towels with these simple repurposed towel crafts and old towel DIY ideas. Sewing tutorials for things to make with an old towel. How to recycle old towels into practical home items. What can you do with old towels. Upcycling towels into useful things. Old towel reuse. What Can I do with old towels? How to reuse old towels. Upcycled towels. Use for old towels.

Unpaper Towels

This is one of my favourite towel crafts, and how to use old towels.

We throw away so much paper in the form of kitchen towels, so why not make these useful and reusable kitchen cloths whilst upcycling old towels? 

What to do with old towels. Uses for old towels. How To Upcycle old towels. How to repurpose old towels into useful items. Upcycle towels with these simple repurposed towel crafts and old towel DIY ideas. Sewing tutorials for things to make with an old towel. How to recycle old towels into practical home items. What can you do with old towels. Upcycling towels into useful things. Old towel reuse. What Can I do with old towels? How to reuse old towels. Upcycled towels. Use for old towels.

Make Up Remover Pads

Even the smallest pieces of old towelling can be used by making these. Whilst you can make them as just a square shape to be as zero waste as possible, I love this hexagonal tile shape, that also minimises wastage yet looks oh so pretty.

What to do with old towels. Uses for old towels. How To Upcycle old towels. How to repurpose old towels into useful items. Upcycle towels with these simple repurposed towel crafts and old towel DIY ideas. Sewing tutorials for things to make with an old towel. How to recycle old towels into practical home items. What can you do with old towels. Upcycling towels into useful things. Old towel reuse. What Can I do with old towels? How to reuse old towels. Upcycled towels. Use for old towels.

Towelling Bath Mitt

This is a great way to use up all your bath towels. Just follow my tutorial and pattern to make this cute bath mitt with a soap pouch.

Bath mitt made from Upcycled Towels

DIY Travel Toothbrush Holder

Why not repurpose old towels to make this ingenious family travel toothbrush holder? Swoodson Says has this great beginner sewing tutorial on how to make your own.

DIY Toothbrush travel holder from SwoodsonSays
Picture courtesy of SwoodsonSays.com

Make A Towelling Beach Bag

This is a brilliant way of reusing bath towels or old beach towels. Just sew up the sides and add handles to make a practical and thrifty bag to carry all you need to the beach. Also perfect for carrying a picnic blanket! See how to make one in this towelling beach bag tutorial.

DIY Washcloths – Or Family Cloth

Toilet paper has occasionally been a rare and valuable commodity in recent years. One way of ensuring you never run out or reducing your use of loo paper is to use fabric toilet cloths instead of paper and wash after using.

This is a super easy way of upcycling towels that are really stained. Most people use them after a bidet/lota or just for pee. And this saves paper.

You can also recycle the good parts of old towels into DIY wash cloths by doing this.

Family cloth - reusable loo roll upcycled from old towels. What to do with old towels. Upcycling old towels.

Wash Cloth Soap Holders

I love using shower bars instead of shower gel in plastic bottles. But hate the way the bars go mushy straight away.

These wash cloth soap holders keep your soap or bar secure and create a great lather in use. Plus they are a great way  of reusing old towels. Find my tutorial on how to make washcloths from old towels in the link above.

Wash cloth soap holders - made from upcycled towels.

Reusable Wet Wipes

This is one of my favourite ways how to reuse old towels. It is very simple to make reusable wet wipes that save you money and stop you from using plastic wet wipes.

Just take a small piece of old towel, serge around the edge. Make a few and pop into an old tupperware or takeaway box with a small spray water bottle. See how I made them in this video.

Reusable wet wipes - which can be made by upcycling old flannel or upcycled towels

DIY Bath Mat From Old Towels

Wondering what to do with old bath towels? You can use an old towel as the base for a rag rug, in fact old bath towels are the best towels to try this with. You can recycle old towels and sew your jersey strips onto a repurposed towel to make a brilliant absorbent bath mat with this tutorial.

Swiffer Mop Covers

Still wondering ‘what can I do with old towels’? I love my Flash speed mop (or Swiffer mop), but hate using the disposable cloths that you are supposed to use and throw away to landfill.

So I have made a Swiffer Mop cover using old towelling. These can be washed and reused again and again. Thus saving so much money and stopping so much plastic wastage going to landfill.

Reusable Swiffer Mop Pad - made from upcycled towels

Garden Kneeler Pad

Need an outdoor idea for what to do with used towels? Use old towels as the padding for your knees and keep gardening gentle on your joints with this lovely homemade garden kneeler pad from Homespun Seasonal Living. 

DIY Garden Kneeler Pad
Photo courtesy of Homespun Seasonal Living

Shower Pouf

Those plastic shower scrubbers that come with so many toiletry gift sets make me cringe with horror. Not only do they end up being mouldy and stinky, but they cannot be reused, and so end up going to the rubbish heap.

These shower poufs are made from old towelling, can be washed, and are compostable at the end of their life… Plus they look pretty!

Upcycled shower pouf made from upcycling old towels. What to do with old towels. Reuse old towels

Reusable Sanitary Towels

So much plastic wastage is produced by disposable sanitary products. But by making some reusable sanitary towels, using old towelling as a core, you can save so much money, and save the planet too!

This is one of my favourite old towel DIY sewing projects, and I have saved so much money by making my own pads. Find my free template and full tutorial by clicking on the link.

Reusable sanitary pads - these cloth period pads are a great way of upcoming old towels

Baby Bibs

A lovely cheap way of making a baby shower present is to make some baby bibs up cycling some pretty fabric remnants with a towelling backing. Burp cloths are always an essential for a new baby, so any new mum will be happy to have these! 

If you are making them as a gift you will probably prefer to use new towelling fabric, but if they are for your own use they are a great way to use up old towels.

Find my tutorial and free template to make your own baby bibs.

Baby bibs made with a towelling backing - a great way to upcycle old towels

Reusable Breast Pads

And whilst we are talking about perfect presents for new mums, you can also upcycle old towels to make reusable breast pads. These are so useful and can be washed and reused again and again, so they save money too. See my video tutorial..

Reusable breast pads made with upcycled old towels

Love This Post About What You Can Do With Old Towels? Why Not Read Some Of My Other Sewing And Craft Posts?

I hope that you have enjoyed finding out some brilliant ways to upcycle old towels. There really are some great easy diy new ways for old towel reuse. Do you think that will be following any of these ideas? Which is your favourite use for old towels? I would love to know what you think. 

I love to show you free easy sewing projects ideas that you can make. Some of these also include free sewing patterns. So why not read these other posts I have written?

I hope that this has given you some good eco friendly sewing sewing projects ideas. I would love to hear how you get on! Let me know in the comments, or find me on social media

Instagram: @ARoseTinted

Facebook: A Rose Tinted World

Twitter: @ARoseTintdWorld

TikTok: @arosetintedworld

And please do pin this post for later.

Ways To Upcycle Old Towels - looking for zero waste, sustainable ideas of how to reuse your old towel? Find here some great ways of recycling this versatile fabric and making some brilliantly useful items. Uses for old towels, recycled towelling from the bathroom or kitchen can make a host of brilliant items.

 

Ways To Upcycle Old Towels -looking for zero waste, sustainable ideas of how to reuse your old towel? Find here some great ways of recycling this versatile fabric and making some brilliantly useful items. Uses for old towels, recycled towelling from the bathroom or kitchen.
Ways To Upcycle Old Towels -looking for zero waste, sustainable ideas of how to reuse your old towel? Find here some great ways of recycling this versatile fabric and making some brilliantly useful items. Uses for old towels, recycled towelling from the bathroom or kitchen can make a host of brilliant items.

31 Replies to “Ways To Upcycle Old Towels”

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you Michelle. I really do hate throwing cloth away!

      Reply
      1. Monica Graham says:

        Love the ideas here… I am old and suffer from occasional incontinence…. why didnt I think of recycling towels?
        I also recycle old bed sheets: our vegetable oil comes in a 3 gallon plastic tank. I cut a square hole in the empty, leaving the cutout piece intact on one side to make a flap, and fill it with 8×8 or so squares ripped from cotton sheets. They are great for every kind of cleanup and can be laundered.

        Reply
        1. Jo Boyne says:

          Thank you! And I too recycle old bedding. Theres a separate post here on the blog on some ideas of what else you can make, but love your wipes idea!

          Reply
  1. Sarah Stockley says:

    What fantastic ideas! I would never have thought of any of these. I tend to use old towels as rags for cleaning but I much prefer these super ideas.

    Reply
    1. Laraine Clarke says:

      Great excuse to buy new towels and not waste the old faded or stained ones. Must make the shower buff. Who knew it would be so simple.

      Reply
  2. Marie says:

    These are great tips I am going to try. I have started cleaning with old (clean socks) they do shine up well!

    Reply
  3. Fran says:

    So many great ideas I never thought of! Will definitely need to try some

    Reply
  4. Melanie Varey says:

    What a lot of great ideas. I have never thought of using my old towels etc in this way so thank you for the ideas.

    Reply
  5. Claire Simpson-Graves says:

    Brilliant, i especially like the kitchen towel replacement, I’ll give that a go! Thanks for the tips.

    Reply
    1. Margaret Pool says:

      In Zimbabwe we also make reusable baby napkins much better than disposable diapers. Both my children had cloth napkins. They do use quite a bit of water to wash but I really hate the sight of piles of disposables lying on the side of the roads. We do not have reliable refuse collections.

      Reply
  6. Emma Reed says:

    Oh my goodness you are just so clever! I wish I knew how to sew so I could make all you wonderful things. Loving the reusable ideas.

    Reply
    1. Elisabeth McKay says:

      I’m always horrified at the number of young people who have never been taught to sew or knit, they are such useful skills. Honestly, it’s not difficult – although I was taught to hand-sew (I still sew at 10 stitches to the inch, my teacher went over hand-sewn seams with a magnifying glass!) at school, I didn’t get my first sewing machine until I was an adult, and basically taught myself. Try it! And some of these ideas are not only useful, they are simple enough that they would make great apprentice-pieces for the complete beginner

      Reply
      1. Jo Boyne says:

        I totally agree. Sewing and embroidery are cheap and easy skills to learn. So many people do not know how to sew a button back on, or how to mend a rip in some clothing. Is it any wonder we are such a throw-away society?

        Reply
  7. steph says:

    What a fantastic post! I’m off to pin loads off those as I will give them a go. I’ve been using so much more reasonable stuff and I love it, I can’t imagine going back to throw away items after one use

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you so much. A lot of these items are really so easy to make. And once you start up cycling your old towels and cloth, you won’t ever want to buy anything again!

      Reply
  8. Michaele says:

    Love these ideas. I consider myself a creative and frugal person, but these ideas top any of mine!!! Kudos to you!

    Reply
  9. Marc says:

    Awesome ideas! I am a big fan of upcycling too. Can’t wait to try some of these.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  10. Emma Johnson says:

    I make dish cloths out of old towels to wash my dishes. Love your ideas. Thank you.

    Reply
  11. Carole Fearon says:

    We use our old tatty towels for our two dogs. Also for mopping up water spilt when I clean out our two fish tanks. Have also used a wet hand towel in our worm farm on hot days to prevent the worm overheating and dying. Left it in there long term and they ate it or at least it disintegrated being cotton. So many uses for old towels. Can cut them up and use them to polish your shoes with too.

    Reply
  12. Anesta Wright says:

    Great ideas…..but the reusable toilet paper, not for me. You could also use them as wash rags depending on how worn the towel is.

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Certainly reusable toilet paper is a divisive subject. I don’t, but a lot of people who use it with a bidet tell me it is a really great thing. Thank you for reading!

      Reply
  13. Ruth says:

    Thank for this post ! Can you tell me how to cut old towels without them fraying ? I have a sewing machine, but no serger. Thanx.

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Sadly that is the eternal question. A serger really is the only way to stop your towels from fraying like mad. A normal machine does usually have a fake overlocker stitch, but it can only go so far in edging the towels and stop it fraying. you could also try a close zigzag stitch right on the edges, but you may still find the towels fray a little.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.