Spare socks and lotion
December 26, 2011 8:51 PM   Subscribe

What can I do with all my single socks or socks with holes in them. Also I seemed to have amassed an obnoxious amount of hand cream from hotels - is there any use for them (I can't possibly grease myself up with that much hand cream)?

I'm not all that skilled or patient at crafts but I'd like to do something that might be sort of easy/amusing with the thousands (slight exaggeration) of hole(y) socks and spare socks that I have. I have now kicked my dirty habit of taking hotel hand lotion (lie - I just came home with 9 from my recent trip to Las Vegas - but I swear it's the last time I do that). I probably have around 75 of those small bottles of lotion. Is there any other use for those little bottles of hand lotion?
posted by YukonQuirm to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You can give the lotion to homeless shelters or churches that do homeless overnights. They come in very handy for their overnight guests.
posted by superfille at 8:56 PM on December 26, 2011 [5 favorites]

Give lotions, soaps and shampoos to the homeless. And stop taking it if you don't need it.

Socks with holes can be darned.
posted by shoesietart at 8:58 PM on December 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I fill my spare socks with dog makes for a fun chewing challenge for my very active Aussies. Of course, this suggestion sucks if you don't have dogs.
posted by AlliKat75 at 9:03 PM on December 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I've never heard of putting dog treats in socks - I do have a dog - brilliant thought. Most of the socks are spare and the ones with holes are beyond darning as those ones are wearing thin as well.
posted by YukonQuirm at 9:06 PM on December 26, 2011

Socks that are missing their mates get paired with other mate-less socks of the same style, thickness, etc. Who ever sees your socks, anyway?
posted by Sara C. at 9:09 PM on December 26, 2011

Best answer: UC wildlife research team seeks single socks
posted by lamp at 9:11 PM on December 26, 2011 [6 favorites]

Old socks make great rags, specifically for shining shoes!

If you don't shine your shoes, they also are great rags for slipping your hand in and doing things like cleaning windows or buffing your car or dusting....think of them as free swiffers!
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 9:12 PM on December 26, 2011 [5 favorites]

Along the same lines as the UC wildlife research team or AlliKat75's suggestion, the animal shelter I volunteer at receives (non-holey) socks packed with stuffing and tied in a knot at the top from some local group. We use them as dog toys, and they last a lot longer than the fancy squeaky types. They're also completely machine-washable, which is nice.
posted by vegartanipla at 9:45 PM on December 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

If the lotions have been opened, and won't be accepted by shelters, another option is to give them away on Freecycle. I do that all the time, when my clients do a clean-out.
posted by jeri at 10:04 PM on December 26, 2011

Stupid Sock Creatures!
posted by moonmilk at 10:30 PM on December 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

holes in socks can be darned.
posted by runincircles at 3:25 AM on December 27, 2011

Be careful about putting pet treats in socks. I have a cat who will swallow an entire sock. Yes, I found this out the hard way. If a cat will do it, I can only imagine some dogs will do it faster.
posted by theplotchickens at 3:32 AM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Socks can cause intestinal blockage requiring surgery in dogs, please don't do that.
posted by tomswift at 4:11 AM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you're in the US:
- call local churches to see if they accept donations. Not all do, and it may take some time to find one that accepts things like soap and lotion
- call local shelters. These include homeless and women's shelters. Not all do, and there are fewer shelters than churches but acceptance rate is higher
- if you're around a medical school, call residency programs. I'd start with internal medicine and family medicine programs, as they're more likely to run indigent/homeless clinics more frequently.

It's wintertime and a new year soon, and it's colder and drier. Churches and shelters are more full than usual, and house the homeless on more days. In my experience, lotion is always appreciated. Socks are often layered.

And if you find a place that will accept your lotion and socks, and you've got time and are feeling nice, you can patch the holes (it doesn't have to be a fancy patch job), shake up the lotion so it doesn't look all cruddy (when it sits around in transparent containers, it tends to settle and separate out), and maybe even see if you can volunteer and meet the people you're giving your goods to. Then you can tell stories about where the lotion came from, because more than soap, or Gold Bond, or lotion, people who don't often get to talk apart from asking like to talk about anything and everything else.

I guarantee you'll feel like a million bucks. Any losses from your Vegas trips will be mitigated. Any wins will be very pleasantly trivialized.
posted by herrdoktor at 4:58 AM on December 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

This is probably only useful for a couple of single socks at a time, but you can stuff them with uncooked rice, tie a knot in the end, and microwave them. They make a great hot compress.
posted by asperity at 5:17 AM on December 27, 2011

Don't put dog treats in socks. This just trains them to think that socks (and other things that smell like feet, like expensive shoes for example) are food and/or toys.
posted by Blue_Villain at 6:06 AM on December 27, 2011

Homeless shelters, women's shelters, men's shelters, food pantries that also give out toiletries LOVE the lotion in the little bottles (any any single-serving type of toiletries). They are so great for people without homes--full bottles are logistically difficult for a shelter to share amongst its clients and a pain for one person to carry around if one is living on the streets. Hand lotion is a bit of a luxury for people who don't have a lot of money and especially useful for hands chapped from frequent exposure to the cold and elements.
posted by Anonymous at 8:38 AM on December 27, 2011

I use old holey socks to dust.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:02 AM on December 27, 2011

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