What to Do with Old Underwear? (Can You Donate Underwear?)

What to Do with Old Underwear?

If you are like most people, you probably have a drawer full of underwear that has been in use for years. Maybe you have noticed that the elastic waistband has lost its stretch and the fabric is starting to wear thin in several areas. Maybe this has never happened to you or maybe your underwear is so old that they are no longer wearable. The question is what do you do with old underwear?

Toss them in the trash, of course! What else would you do with old underwear? Do not put on new underwear with holes in them. You should throw away old underwear because it may have become a haven for bacteria, molds, and mildew. If your old underwear is dirty, stained, and worn out then it is time to throw them in the trash.

Is there a place where you can donate old underwear? Yes! Goodwill will take your old underwear as a donation, but this is only if they are not stained or damaged beyond repair. You can also donate old underwear to homeless shelters or the Salvation Army.

Can you recycle your old undies? No! Recycling facilities do not accept used clothes and garments because they are considered to be an unsanitary waste. And while some recycling centers will accept clothes there is no guarantee that they will take underwear.

So let’s see where you can dispose of old underwear?


Can You Donate Underwear?

Yes! As long as your used underwear is in good condition (and not all smelly and gross), the donation is a great way to rid yourself of all those unused pairs.

Old underwear is never a waste of resources, but there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind. First and foremost, only donate underwear that’s in good condition. It’s a bad idea to stuff a load of stained or stretched-out underpants into your car on the way to the donation center.

 

Does Goodwill Take Underwear?

Goodwill will accept clean and dry men’s briefs, boxers, and socks. Women’s clean panties may also be donated. Although they don’t turn down used undergarments, Goodwill prefers that people donate new ones instead.

The reason for this is that certain items such as used underwear can be difficult to wash clean or even contain body fluids that could trigger health hazards in the laundry facility where they are cleaned.

 

Can You Donate Underwear to Salvation Army?

Donation centers like Goodwill and Salvation Army are always looking for donations of clean, usable clothing items. These large donation centers have the clout to get rid of items that don’t meet their standards in a responsible way.

They might throw out anything that’s not saleable, but they’re also likely to send it off to another organization that can use it. In fact, your donation center might even be able to tell you about other places in your area that accept used clothing donations.

Just so you know, though, most organizations won’t take dirty underwear or items with holes in them. Your best bet is to take unusable clothing items (and especially underwear) directly to a textile recycling program. Many cities offer these programs for free or for a small fee.

 

Will Homeless Shelters Take Used Underwear?

The answer is yes! Homeless shelters will take donated underwear. They do not only accept men’s underwear and socks, they accept all types of used underwear and new as well.

There are a lot of things that homeless shelters need, but underwear is on the top of the list. Many people just assume that they don’t need used clothes or toiletries and they throw them away.

The truth is that homeless shelters are always looking for donations from people who want to help the homeless get back on their feet.

Proper hygiene is very important for those who do not have a home and this includes having clean underwear and socks! Your old clothing can make a big difference in someone else’s life, especially if you’re trying to give back or volunteer at a local homeless shelter or church in your area.

 

Do Thrift Stores Take Underwear?

Goodwill, Salvation Army, and St. Vincent De Paul all accept gently-used undergarments. They welcome women’s panties, camisoles, bras, and other items in wearable condition from any size or brand.

Don’t donate stained or ripped undergarments, though; instead, package them in plastic bags for safe-keeping. If possible, please wash your underwear before donating to help keep germs at bay.

Usually, the best way to donate your used undergarments is by dropping them off at a thrift store location near you.


How Can I Recycle Old Underwear?

Clothing recycling programs exist in some municipalities across North America, including New York City and Toronto. Check to see if your city participates in such a program before you pay for shipping or drop-off fees at a textile recycling center.

One of the easiest ways to clean up old underwear is to compost them if you have a garden. 100 percent cotton underwear can become one with your garden via compost.

Rags. If your undies have holes in them, cut them up and use them as rags around the house. No one needs to know what they were originally used for!


What Can You Use Old Underwear For?

There are ways to reuse underwear that you would never have thought of!

  1. Old cotton bras, panties, and socks make great dusting rags. They pick up dust, lint, and pet hair like a magnet and leave your furniture looking new!
  2. Cut old cotton underwear into squares. Use them to polish your shoes or leather items such as handbags, belts, and jackets.
  3. Scrunch together some old underwear with a few dryer sheets and place it in the bottom of a drawer to keep your undergarments smelling fresh.
  4. Cut old cotton underwear into 1 inch wide strips. Use them to clean windows, mirrors, or other glass surfaces… no more paper towels!
  5. Make an all-purpose cleaner out of 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap in a spray bottle and top off with water. Add some old underwear strips for extra scrubbing power!
  6. Fill your rubber gloves with old underwear to keep them from getting stinky while you are working in the yard or doing chores around the house!
  7. Add old underpants to the bottom of your potted plants – they will absorb excess moisture while keeping the soil warm & cozy!

Should You Throw Away Underwear?

THROW THEM AWAY – Old underwear can be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus that may cause rashes and other irritations, especially in the areas of your body where they are in constant contact with the skin.

Tossing your old underwear out is the best option. Be careful with what you throw them into. A trash bag or garbage container isn’t a good idea as it won’t protect against odors or pests. You might want to consider burning them in a fire pit or throwing them in the garbage after spraying them down with some bug spray.

If you don’t want to burn them, put them in a sealed container with mothballs. This will also help to keep mice out of your house and away from food sources.


In summary, old underwear is not ideal for donating or even reusing, but there are a lot of options for disposing of old underwear. Manufacturers and recyclers have begun to step in to do the work for you, or you can dispose of your old underwear simply by throwing them out.

You may also be interested in… What Underwear Should I Wear? and Can Tight Underwear Cause Pain?