10 Ways to Repurpose Old Bath Towels

Old bath towels contribute to the 17 million tons of textiles dumped in landfills annually in the US. To address this issue, there are a few creative and eco-friendly ways you can repurpose old towels, such as transforming them into kitchen supplies, pet cushions, cleaning rags, beach bags, and spa accessories. Additionally, you can recycle old towels through services like Earth911, Retold Recycling, and TerraCycle. By donating, repurposing, or recycling old towels, you can reduce textile waste and make more sustainable choices for the environment.

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.

​You already know how you can get crafty and more mindful by giving other goods, such as your old mattressespillows, and sheets, a second life. But what about uses for old 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

From DIY bath mats to homemade washcloths for the shower, uses for old towels can be found just by looking at your bathroom needs.

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

Plush Towel Collection

When only the finest towel will do, these impossibly plush and soft towels are the final touch to a spa-like bath experience. Exclusively woven in durable long-staple cotton that gets softer with every wash.

Waffle Towel Collection

Enjoy spa-worthy softness after every bath or shower with our light & breathable waffle towels. Exclusively woven in durable long-staple cotton that gets softer with every wash.

FAQs

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. (Here’s how to clean bath towels to help maintain their quality for as long as possible.)

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

plush towels
saatva plush towel collection
Plush Towel Collection

Our reinvented take on the classic luxury hotel bath towel

 and
waffle towels.
saatva waffle towel collection
Waffle Towel Collection

Our light & airy towel inspired by the world’s finest spas

  After all, a warm bath before bed is conducive to good sleep—so the right towels are important! 

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