14 Practical Things You Can Do With Your Old Sheets

Written by
Purple Staff
Last Updated
March 3, 2023
min read

Like mattresses and pillows, bed sheets don’t last forever. However, tossing them out can be wasteful. So how should you responsibly dispose of your bed linens? In this guide, we’ll help you decide what to do with your old sheets. Whether you want to donate, replace, recycle, or repurpose, read on for everything you need to know.

Table of contents: 

  • Why It's Important To Replace Household Linens
  • How To Donate, Recycle, And Reuse Old Bed Sheets
  • What To Do With Old Sheets
  • Where To Donate Old Bed Sheets
  • How To Find Recycling Centers Near You
  • Related Content you may like:
  • What To Do With Old Sheets FAQs

Unlike normal sheets, purple sheets are designed to adjust to your mattress and body. allowing you to experience the full comfort of your mattress. 

Why It's Important To Replace Household Linens

Over time, bedding can acquire moisture, grime, bacteria, and stains. Even get holes and become uncomfortable. In addition, dirty sheets can trigger allergies and asthma. 

Depending on the type of bed sheets you use, some (such as cotton or linen) are longer-lasting than others.

14 Ways to To Donate, Recycle, And Reuse Old Bed Sheets

Thing you can do with old sheets

Knowing when you should donate, recycle, or reuse your old sheets can be tricky, especially if they don’t look very dirty. If you’re not sure what to do with your old sheets, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are these sheets clean enough to sleep on? (If yes, donate them.)
  • Are there ways to use these sheets for other purposes within the home? (If yes, reuse them.)
  • Are only some parts of these sheets salvageable? (If yes, recycle them.) 

Tossing your sheets in a landfill is highly unsustainable because they can take years to biodegrade. Instead, why not give these creative upcycling ideas a shot? Note, be sure to fold your sheets before donating.

Reusing Your Sheets

1. Make Reusable Cleaning Towels

Older sheet sets make an excellent alternative to paper towels. In particular, cotton sheets are ideal for dusting and can even help polish metal and steel appliances and equipment. Simply cut the sheets into strips of various sizes.

2. Craft A Collection Of Drawstring Bags

Unfortunately, bed sheet fabric isn’t tough enough for backpacks and purses, but it can make reliable drawstring bags, pouches, and tote bags. You can easily use these to carry your travel essentials, beach staples, or laundry. 

3. Use Thick Sheets As A Weed Barrier

If you have a garden, you’ll understand the pain of keeping weeds at bay. Fortunately, thick, old, worn-out sheets make excellent weed barriers.

To create makeshift weed barriers, avoid using white sheets and lay sections of darker sheets down to top off with mulch. Use lighter sheets for more delicate plants like perennials. 

4. Knot Up A Cloth Dog Toy

Do you want to keep your dogs entertained without breaking the bank? Turn old fabric into dog toys by cutting the sheet into strips, tying a knot at the end, and braiding the rest. If you have a bigger dog and want to make a durable toy, ensure that the strips are roughly two inches thick and three feet long.

5. Transform Old Bedding Into Pajamas

Some vintage sheets make cute pajama patterns, so why not whip out the sewing machine and try your hand at it? There are dozens of simple patterns online that even beginners can tackle.

6. Make a Charming Patchwork Quilt

If your vintage sheets come in a cute color and are still in suitable condition, you can use them as the backing material for an adorable handmade quilt.

7. Hit the Park or Beach

If your sheets are no longer fit for your mattress but suitable for use on sand or grass, why not go for an impromptu picnic? Use charmingly-patterned flannel sheets to place on top of a picnic table or to splay over the sand while you sunbathe.

8. Sew Shower Curtains

If you have beginner-level sewing skills, you can put them to the test by sewing together new shower curtains from old fabric scraps. 

Where To Donate Old Bed Sheets

Don’t have a knack for crafts or lack time to upcycle? You can donate extra sheets to the following organizations.

9. Nationwide Donation Centers

Nationwide donation centers like the Red Cross, GreenDrop, Salvation Army, and Goodwill take used bed sheets. You can drop sheets off at designated locations or schedule a pick-up at your address. 

10. Animal Shelters

If your sheets aren’t suitable for use with humans, some organizations may take them to turn into pet bedding. Visit your local Humane Society to drop off donations, but avoid sheets with stuffing that dogs can potentially ingest.

11. Churches And Homeless Shelters

If your sheets are too ragged for donation centers to accept, most homeless shelters and churches will take used sheets and bath towels to use as cleaning cloths. 

12. American Textile Recycling Service

The American Textile Recycling Service (ATRS) accepts all textiles to donate for disaster relief, use for upholstery, and turn into second-hand clothing. You can donate clothes in person or in ATRS bins. 

13. Terracycle

If you don’t have time to drive to a donation center or find a drop box near you, Terracycle offers a unique solution. Simply order a Zero Waste Box to fill with various textiles like sheets, bath mats, and kitchen towels, then send it back to your nearest Terracycle location.

14. Finding a Recycling Center Near You

Finding recycling centers near you is simple – just use Google! Search terms like “where to donate old sheets near me” or “where to recycle old bed sheets nearby” can provide dozens of convenient solutions.

Alternatively, you can call up local charities and pinpoint locations nearby.

Key Takeaways

Now that you know a variety of ways to recycle, reuse and donate sheets, it may be time to invest in new bed sheets.

Unlike normal sheets, purple sheets are designed to adapt to your mattress and body. allowing you to experience the full comfort of your mattress. 

Related Content you may like:

How to choose bed sheets

Bed sheet sizes

What is the best thread count for sheets

What To Do With Old Sheets FAQs

When should you throw away bed sheets?

You may want to throw away your bed sheets when they have unwanted stains, and holes and are no longer comfortable.  This time frame can vary from person to person. Consider replacing your sheets every 2-3 years.

You may enjoy reading our guide on how often to replace your sheets.

Where can I donate old bed sheets near me?

You can donate old bed sheets near you at your local Salvation Army or Goodwill. Alternatively, you can bring old bed and bath linens to your nearest Red Cross, church, or homeless shelter. It may be easiest to google places to donate sheets “near me”.

Can you give bed sheets to charity?

Yes, you can give bed sheets to charity in various conditions. Some charities only take full sheets, while others may take strips or scraps.