Wondering what you should do with your old bath towels? Before you toss any old towels into the garbage pile, you may want to think twice.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2018, the amount of textiles produced and tossed into landfills was roughly around 17 million tons. What exactly counts as a textile? Think of items like carpeting, clothing, footwear, furniture, sheets, and towels.
If you have a handful of old bath towels that are past their prime, there are plenty of ways to give them a new life without throwing them away.
Want to learn how to recycle old towels? This article will offer creative, helpful, and insightful ideas for repurposing old bath towels.
What to do with old bath towels
Here are 10 creative, easy, and fun ways to find uses for old towels.
1. Create new kitchen supplies
Instead of purchasing new kitchen supplies, like kitchen towels and potholders, create new kitchen things with your old towels. That’s right: You can use basic supplies you already have lying around the house, like old towels, to do this.
2. Donate them
Donating old towels is one of the easiest things to do with them. You can donate them to Goodwill, a local church, or a thrift store if they’re in good condition. If old towels are really worn out, then consider giving them to an animal shelter. Speaking of furry friends…
3. Give them to the dog
If you’re wondering what to do with old bath towels, give them to the dog. Old towels can easily be assigned to the dogs and other pets in your household—that way no one ever has to ask which towel is theirs and which is the dog’s after bath time.
You can also find uses for old towels by transforming them into pet cushions and pet toys, like a tug-of-war towel rope. Simply gather old towels and cut them into three long pieces of fabric, then braid them together for a homemade DIY dog toy.
4. Make cleaning rags
Instead of going through rolls and rolls of single-use paper towels, find uses for old towels by making them your cleaning rags. That way, when it’s time to clean up, you’ll never have to question which cleaning towel pairs perfectly with your caddy of cleaning products.
5. Repurpose them into a beach bag
One of the main staples to any beach or pool day is a beach towel tossed in a big oversized beach bag. But why not get creative and combine the two by repurposing old towels into a DIY upcycled beach bag? All you need are old towels, scissors, scrap fabric (for the beach bag handles), and a sewing machine. Viola! Take those old towels from drab to fab in no time.
6. Sew them into a cloth caddy
If you need more bathroom space for supplies and toiletries, stop wondering what to do with old bath towels and sew them into a cloth caddy. (Genius!) Hang it up behind your bathroom door, from a handle, or on the wall and all of your bath and shower supplies will be accessible.
7. Stitch them into spa accessories
If you want to have a spa day at home, then stitch those old bath towels into a spa towel wrap. If you’re really feeling fancy and have a ton of old towels lying around, then turn them into a bath pouf or a fluffy and soft pair of DIY spa slippers.
8. Stock up on bathroom supplies
9. Throw them in the car
Another super simple way to recycle old towels is to toss them in your car. You never know when you’re going to need an old towel. Whether you’re washing your car or caught in a rainstorm on the side of the road, uses for old towels are numerous and plentiful if you own a vehicle.
10. Transform them into a headband
Need a new headband for when you wash your face? Look no further than that stack of old towels. Grab a few fun colors and patterns and you have yourself a DIY handcrafted spa terry cloth headband for your nightly face washes.
How to recycle old towels
There are numerous ways to answer the question of what to do with old bath towels—but if you’re curious specifically about how to recycle old towels, then check out Earth911’s directory. Here, you can search by location to find a drop-off center for recycling items like old towels and linens.
Other services include Retold Recycling and TerraCycle. These programs collect old clothing and other textiles, including towels, in bags and boxes to help keep the items out of landfills. Whether you prefer a bag or box or both, grab some and do your part in reducing the number of fabrics that are sent to landfills every year.
Time for new towels? Check out what Saatva offers
How can I dispose of old towels?
Instead of disposing of old towels, give them a second life by donating them to churches, organizations, or other community programs. You can also get your DIY on by transforming old towels into items like dog beds, kitchen towels, and spa accessories.
When should you throw away old towels?
When a towel’s threads begin to pull, or you notice a lingering odor, despite a careful wash, it’s time to toss old towels or consider more mindful ways to give them a second life.
Can old cotton towels be recycled?
Yes! Bath towels are recyclable. Old towels, including bath towels, are largely made with textile materials that are recyclable. If you’re wondering how to recycle old towels, look into programs like Earth911’s directory, Retold Recycling, and TerraCycle.
Find the best bath towels at Saatva
Besides the best in bedding and mattresses, Saatva also offers the best bath towels—so if you’re looking to replace old towels, look no further. After a long day, take a warm bath, then wrap up in our collection of
Our reinvented take on the classic luxury hotel bath towel
Our light & airy towel inspired by the world’s finest spas