Dear Green Mama,
My sister has three children and lots of old children's clothing that isn’t fit for the Salvation Army. What can be done with old clothes that are too stained or tattered for reuse? --A stained and tattered uncle
Dear Stained and Tattered:
This question hits close to home for the Green Mama! We get almost everything handed down to us and though it comes looking practically like new (despite having usually had at least three owners prior to us), it often ends its life with us stained, torn, and generally beyond reuse. So what can one do?
The answer isn’t that easy. Reuse should be the first answer when possible. When clothes are beyond being donated to a thrift store, we try to give them new life through dying or sewing or handing them down to a friend that cuts up the pieces to make them into other clothing. Often reuse in this way isn’t possible or practical.
Then what? The next steps of reuse are turning the clothes into rags. We use the rags around our house. You can also donate old clothes to dog kennels and pounds; car washes or garages; or just about anywhere they use rags. You should clean the clothes first and certain fabrics are more easily reusable (like cotton).