Stack of Bath Towels

10 Ways to Utilize Old Bath Towels for Preppers

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For those of us that prep, it’s no doubt that we rely on resourcefulness and life lessons in preparedness to help us deal with emergencies. When repurposing items, old bath towels can be a valuable asset in your preparedness arsenal. I want to talk about old bath towels for prepping purposes. From emergency insulation to makeshift bandages, these ideas will help you make the most of your old towels and ensure you’re ready for any situation. It’s amazing to discover how these everyday items like old bath towels can be turned into useful tools for survival.

Many of these approaches to repurposing old towels require some sewing skills, some of which might be new to you. Some people call what we’re trying to do an effort to upcycle old towels. Either way, it makes sense to get as much use of them as you can, especially in a survival situation.

Color of Bath Towels

1. Emergency Insulation

In a crisis situation, staying warm is crucial. Old bath towels can be used as emergency insulation to retain body heat. Wrap yourself in multiple layers of towels or create a makeshift blanket by sewing them together. This simple solution can provide much-needed warmth during power outages or outdoor emergencies. 13 Tips for Saving Money on Your Electric Bill

2. Fire Starter

Fire is vital for cooking, purifying water, and providing warmth. Turn your old bath towels into fire starters by cutting them into thin strips. Roll up the strips tightly and dip them in wax for waterproofing and to make them burn longer. These homemade fire starters will ignite easily, helping you start a fire quickly and efficiently. Types of Fire Starters to Stock

3. Absorbent Bandages

Injuries can happen at any time, and having sterile bandages on hand is crucial. Cut your old bath towels into small squares or strips and sterilize them. These absorbent bandages can dress wounds, control bleeding, or create makeshift slings. Remember to clean and disinfect the towels thoroughly before use.

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4. DIY Sandbags

During floods or natural disasters, sandbags are commonly used to redirect water or create barriers. Old bath towels can serve as an alternative to sandbags. Fill them with dirt or sand and tie the ends securely. These DIY sandbags can be stacked strategically to protect your property or divert water away from vulnerable areas like window wells and outside basement stairs. Is Your Neighborhood Prepared?

5. Improvised Dust Masks

Protecting your respiratory system is essential when air quality is compromised. Fold an old bath towel several times to create multiple layers, then place them loosely over your nose and mouth. While it may not provide the same level of protection as commercial masks, it can help filter out larger particles and debris. The Pros and Cons of Wearing a Mask Long Term

In a pinch, they can also be used as masks to stem the spread of bacteria and viruses. Not as good as the N95 masks we’re suggested to use, but better than nothing.

6. Absorbent Floor Mat

During emergencies or natural disasters, tracking in mud, water, or other substances is inevitable. Place old bath towels near entrances to serve as absorbent floor mats. They will help prevent slips and falls by absorbing excess moisture and keeping the area clean and dry. This would also apply to using them as a bath rug in the bathroom or sown into spa slippers to wear if the floor is wet.

7. Portable Shower

In situations where access to clean water is limited, a portable shower can be a lifesaver. Fill a bucket or large container with water, place an old bath towel at the bottom, and let the water seep (drill some holes ahead of time) overhead or however, so you can properly rinse your areas to clean. This creates a makeshift showerhead, allowing you to rinse off and maintain hygiene even in challenging circumstances. What You Need For Your Emergency Bathroom

8. Emergency Signaling Device

Finding yourself lost or in need of rescue requires a way to attract attention. Convert your old bath towels into emergency signaling devices by using them as flags. Attach the towels to sticks or poles and wave them vigorously to catch the attention of search parties or passing aircraft. If it’s nighttime you could light them on fire first so they are more easily seen. Communication Options for Your Family During a Disaster

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9. Multi-Purpose Bag

Old bath towels can be transformed into versatile bags for carrying supplies or organizing belongings. Cut a large towel into sections and sew the sides together to create bags. These durable bags can hold emergency kits, and tools, or even serve as laundry bags during extended periods without access to utilities.

10. Insulate Water Containers

When storing water for emergencies, maintaining its temperature is important. Wrap your water containers with old bath towels to insulate them and help keep the water cool or prevent freezing in colder climates. This will ensure that your stored water remains accessible and safe to consume. Water Storage: How Much Do You Really Need?

More Uses for Old Bath Towels

  • Bath mat and mop head
  • Turn into hand towels, dish towels, and washcloths
  • Repurpose them as a beach blanket or picnic blanket
  • Paper towels replacements to clean up small spills
  • Use as a pot holder, divider between dishes, sew together for area rugs, pet padding, dog toy, diapers, an ironing board cover, and baby wipes
  • Use your sewing machine to make something new like a pillow cover, adult bib, or baby bib
  • Use them in your room for crafts to protect floors and tabletops
  • Use them as donations to your local animal shelter or homeless shelters

More Tips

Can old bath towels be composted?

While natural fiber towels, such as cotton or bamboo, can be composted, it’s best to cut them into smaller pieces to aid in the decomposition process. However, if your towels have synthetic materials or are heavily soiled with chemicals or detergents, they should be disposed of in the regular trash instead.

How can I make old bath towels soft again?

Over time, bath towels may lose their softness. To make them soft again, try soaking them in a mixture of warm water and white vinegar before washing them. You can also add a cup of baking soda to the wash cycle to help soften the fibers.

Can I repurpose old bath towels?

Yes, you can repurpose old bath towels in various ways. Instead of throwing them away, consider using them as cleaning rags, pet bedding, or even cutting them into smaller pieces for household tasks.

Final Word 

As a prepper, making the most of every resource is essential, and old bath towels can be incredibly versatile in emergency situations. By repurposing your old towels, you can enhance your preparedness efforts and be ready for any challenges. Don’t let those old bath towels go to waste, put them to use in new ways to help ensure your readiness for any situation! May God Bless this World, Linda

Copyright Images: Stack of Bath Towels Depositphotos_95076692_S, Color of Bath Towels Depositphotos_133842444_S

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    1. Hi Harry, well, I guess Mark and I are in the same club, we use our old bath towels to dry ourselves off after showering! You know I have the giggles, now! You made my day! Linda

  1. Great list Linda! As usual! LOL you can also use old towels for personal cloths if/when you run out of toilet tissue. Just cut in 4-5 inch squares. Hem with a decorative stitch or just a straight stitch. Use a bucket with bleach water to put them in when used. Then was as usual. Yes, I have made some. I’ve also made make up remover cloths out of old towels. I never throw away what can be reused for something.

    1. Hi Deborah, I made a box of family cloth, I like the 4-5 inch size I think I made mine bigger. They are still in the storage unit. LOL! Oh, makeup remover for those that wear makeup, love it! Linda

  2. Glad you mentioned about converting them into hand towels. I cut my old ones and cut out four large squares, zig zag around the raw edges and they will last a long time. Good ideas above for all to use.

  3. I cut mine into squares–just the right size for my small hands when wringing out for cabinets and dishes.
    I do NOT like big, thick dish cloths.
    Have a great weekend, preppers.

  4. Hi, Linda. Love the old towel uses. How would you sterilize strips of towels (or sheets) for bandages? And how would you store them so they stay sterile? Also, I read somewhere you should only use white fabrics for bandages, something about colors causing infection? Do you know if that’s true? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kay, I’m glad you asked about how to sterilize. I added this link to my post,
      I would use 91% isopropyl alcohol if you can find it. Stock it up. Cut the squares so they are ready, white may be better but if we have no other choice we will have to use what we have. I was thinking, I would cut the squares when I need them, I have a huge stash of medical supplies because we lived in an area about 15 years ago that really believed in being prepared. We were able to buy monthly medical supplies according to our budget at cost. I mainly purchased things without adhesive so they would last longer. We all stock isopropyl alcohol, that’s the only thing I can think of that would sterilize the cloth. I’m not a nurse or doctor, but if we let them dry before applying they should fine in an emergency. Linda

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