Creative Reuse 2008: T-Shirts as Dish Scrubbers

What do you reuse? And how do you do it? Let us know, because we're looking for readers' photos and creative reuse projects. The first 15 ideas we post will get a free AT T-shirt (get all the details here). So send your projects our way!101308_tshirts1.JPG

If you're anything like reader Caroline, or like us for that matter, you find yourself always searching for a better dish scrubber. And you likely have plenty of old T-shirts that have lived a nice, long life as clothing and are ready to be reincarnated as something new. Well, jump below for instructions on turning your tees into scrubbies!

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Object(s): Old, torn, stained, or out-of-fashion T-shirts (must be 100% cotton)

Project: Knitted dish scrubber

Instructions: These are rough instructions because I figure you can find basic knitting instructions anywhere...
1. Cut strips into aproximately 1/4-3/4 inch wide strips (very rough aproximate.), and tie them together at the ends.
2. Cast onto your needles (you want to use large knitting needles, I use about USA size 11) until its about the length of a sponge, I usually use about 12 stiches.
3. Knit in stockinette stich (all basic knit stiches) about 15 rows, or until it is about as wide as a sponge or a bit smaller.
4. Bind off, leaving a long "tail."
5. Knot the tail in some creative way to itself and/or the "sponge" in a way that forms a nice loop for hanging it if you want. You will end up with all the tails hanging out of the sponge from when you tied the peices together, but I don't find this a problem, cut them out if you want.

Voila! Brand new dish scrubbies that don't leave creepy blue particles on your dishes. Be sure to wash them regularly to keep them nice and clean and sanitary. You might start begging friends for their old t-shirts or hitting Goodwill to make more of these for yourself and friends.

Inspiration: I came up with the idea because I started making knit dishcloths from cotton yarn after seeing them on Etsy.com, but those only work for really light duty; they have no scrubbing power at all, because they have too many wholes and aren't thick enough. I can't remember how, but the idea popped into my head of using t-shirt strips, so I tried it. Turns out, they are thick and stiff enough that they have great scrubbing power. They won't scrape your dishes clean but if all they need is a good scrubbing, this is the perfect tool, far better than a sponge. If food gets caught in the spaces in the knit stiches, you rinse, and when they get real dirty, you toss them in the wash.

Thanks, Caroline! We'll be knitting up a few of these next weekend.

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