What To Do With Worn Out Linen

The EPA estimates that in 2015, 16 million tons of textiles were disposed of. That’s 6.1% of all municipal solid waste generated that year. Only 15.3% of that was recycled. 

If you have linen lying around that’s too worn out for its once daily uses, don’t let it just sit there waiting for an ecologically detrimental end. You can repurpose your old linen many ways.


Consider some of the following:

Donate To Animal Rescues

Dogs, cats, and every other kind of rescue animal are far less discerning about what towels and blankets they use and sleep with than your average client. Let your old linens comfort an animal that needs it. 

Supply Goodwill Wiping Cloths

Goodwill, a leader in donation repurposing, can take your worn out linens and find new life for them in Wiping Cloths, which are sold in bulk to anybody wanting a cheap and effective source of wipes. 

Divide Old Towels for Cleaning Rags

Though it might take some extra processing, as you’ll need to sew the edges that were cut, turning an old towel into a very usable cleaning rag saves on costs of purchasing new cleaning rags and lowers disposal costs. 

Compost Cotton

As a natural fiber, cotton is highly compostable. Instead of sitting in a landfill  where it could take hundreds of years to decompose, your towels could be an essential part of an eco-friendly soil production network. An industrial composting facility could be closer than you think, eagerly waiting to accept your donations. 

Recycle Synthetic Fibers

Because synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester do not decompose and can introduce toxic elements to landfills or places they’re disposed of, finding the right way to recycle them is in the best interest of the environment. 

Saying, however, is easier than doing in the case of synthetic fibers. Recycling these materials is difficult because, unlike natural fibers, which can be processed back into their raw states relatively cheaply, synthetic fibers must undergo very precise breakdown and refinement process before they can be used again. 

As a result, not many synthetic fiber recycling plants exist, but that is changing thanks to greater understandings of waste impacts on the environment, scientific and technological development, and the efforts of companies like Patagonia–who have put more than 15 years into perfecting the Nylon recycling process, integrating that recycled Nylon into more than 50 of their products. 

Until these processes become mainstream, though, limiting the use of synthetic fibers as much as possible is the most prudent way to contribute to lessening their impact.

Find Ways to Recycle Your Worn Out Linens Today

When a linen product is recycled or repurposed, it removes the need for harvesting, processing, and production of new materials. 

What that equates to is a decrease in:

  • landfill space consumption 
  • land clearing for fiber growth
  • harvesting of natural virgin fibers 
  • the consumption of water and energy 
  • pollution resulting from harvesting and production

Worn-out linen might look tired and ready for its end, but an “end” is only final when creativity and ingenuity accept defeat. When you look at that pile of ratty towels, blankets, or clothes, don’t see a burden waiting for unloading. Look for the opportunity those materials present. Look for what else they can do. 

Need an Upgrade? Count on Linen Finder Today!

Recycling and reusing old, worn out linens is great. However, you also need new linens that will stand the test of time. That’s where Linen Finder comes in. Linen Finder is your complete resource for all your commercial linen and uniform needs.

Our experts are ready to answer your questions today. Contact us for more information at 888-770-2489, or send us your queries via email.