Even well-treated bath towels, if used enough times, will start to fray and show wear. When it's time to cycle in some luxurious new shower companions, you don't have to throw away the original ones. Giving old towels new life is pretty easy to do around the house, especially if you have children or pets who either make a mess or would simply appreciate having some extra cloth to work with. Use some of these ideas to reuse a few retired towels.
Towels make perfect pet blankets, especially for animals that love to claw and tear and nest with them. Dogs will appreciate the bedding, and while cats may disdain them for a while, they may also love to claw at the hanging strings. Small animals, such as ferrets and rats, can shred old towels for nesting material, and birds may be happy to do the same; such disposable bedding can just be tossed out the next time you change the cage and replaced with another piece of old towel.
Need some last-minute fabric for your child's costume? Cut up an old blanket and use it as a patch! Towels can also be fastened as a cape, or draped around your youngster like a toga. With the right amount of imagination, the possibilities of what a towel can be are practically limitless! Even if you don't have specific plans for costumes, you can toss retired towels in the dress-up box and see for yourself what a young imagination can come up with!
Some older houses may leak out warm air, especially under poorly-sealed doors. If you attach a towel to the door such that it blocks the opening, this "outsulation" can be a great solution to your skyrocketing heating bill. Of course, a towel blocking the heat from escaping is just a temporary fix, but it will definitely help until you can figure out something more permanent.
When the towels have finally seen their last days as anything useful in one piece, you can cut them up to use as cleaning rags. Towels pick up a surprising amount of dust when sprayed with Pledge and used as dusting rags, and they're also great for scrubbing at your car if you do that job by hand -- they take off the dirt without leaving any scratches. Towel scraps can even be used as sponge replacements, for cleaning the bathroom or kitchen floor, for example.
Inspired to give old towels new life? Buy up some at garage sales this summer!