7 Surprising Uses For Pillowcases

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With all the talk of being green and reusing items, people are getting creative with what they have. You can recycle cans, paper and plastic products, and you can also take items that you have and find new uses for them. One item that you may not realize has many uses is a pillowcase. Your pillowcase can be used many different ways, from cleaning some hard to reach areas, to storage and protecting items in the washing machine.

Protect Items In The Washing Machine

You can toss your delicates in a pillowcase and make sure those pantyhose, bras and sweaters won’t lost their shape by getting caught in the machine. It’s an easy way to ensure that your items get washed but are protected. Sure you can buy specialty products that do this, but why not use your old pillowcase and save the money? Another item this works well for is a stuffed animal. Simply toss the toy inside, tie the pillowcase shut, and allow the stuffed animal to air dry when finished.


Many people like to travel in cars, trains and airplanes with their pillow. Unfortunately, pillows can easily get dirty when you have no access to laundry machines. Simply wrap your pillow in a few used pillowcases, and every time one gets dirty, just take it off to reveal a new, clean one underneath. Old pillowcases are likely to have a few stains on them to begin with, and you won’t mind exposing them to the harsh elements of travel.Another great travel use for pillowcases is as a laundry bag. It doesn’t take up much room in your luggage, and as you use your clothes, you will appreciate having your dirty items separate from your clean ones.


Pillowcases make cleaning one hard to reach area in the home much easier: ceiling fan blades. By placing an old pillowcase over a ceiling fan blade and slowly pulling it back off again, you can easily remove the dust off the blades. The dirt and debris is also trapped inside the pillowcase, preventing it from floating down to your floor or furniture below.You can also use pillowcases to dust hard to reach areas and cobwebs up high by placing one over a broom and wiping the area. You will clear the cobwebs and dust more efficiently than the bristles of a broom alone. (For more cleaning tips, see The Ultimate Weekly Cleaning Guide For Household Chores).

pillowcase crafts and uses pillowcase crafts and uses

Storage & Protection

If you have leather shoes or purses, you’ve likely noticed they can get dusty sitting on shelves or on the floor in your closet. By wrapping them in pillowcases, you protect the leather and keep them from gathering dust. After a while, simply throw the pillowcases in the wash and wrap them up again to continue protecting your favorite shoes and accessories.You can also place your sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, and other seasonal items in a pillowcase instead of plastic, metal or wood containers. The pillowcase allows the fabric to breath, while also protecting it from moths and dust. For more closet organizing tips, see 10 Tips On How To Organize Your Closet.

Shopping & Beach Bags

Martha Stewart has some very creative ways to turn old pillowcases into shopping or beach bags. Since everyone is recycling old bags, you can do one better by taking your old pillowcase and using at the grocery store or farmers market, and as your beach bag. It’s perfect for both since it can get wet from produce or flowers and is fine in the sand. For extra portability, simply hot glue straps to the open end, creating a usable tote bag.

Packing & Gifts

You can easily wrap your breakable china, statues, collectibles and other fragile items in pillowcases to protect them from breaking during a move. Pillowcases also work well when wrapped around furniture edges and lamps. Protect furniture from being damaged and damaging other items, and protect breakable lamps.If you have an unstained pillowcase you no longer want, use it to wrap fragile gifts when sending them in the mail. Tie the pillowcase shut with a decorative ribbon for an added, stylish touch.

Basket Liners

If you have wicker baskets for beauty products or other small baskets in your bathroom or bedrooms, pillowcases are great liners for these. They look better than plastic bags and you save by not having to spend money to continually buy them.

Pillowcases hold vast potential for reuse around the home. If it’s time to give your current pillowcase a new life, try one or all of these easy tips. If you’ve tried all these ideas and still have some pillowcases left, you can always give them to homeless shelters and second hand stores that are in need of bedding. Just remember to always wash them first. (For more tips on how to repurpose items around your home, see How To Repurpose Items To Decorate The Living Room).

Last Updated: January 31, 2012
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About Leah Gillis Leah Gillis has worked for several major news outlets, as well as a television series on home buying and decor. Having grown up in New England, she has lived in New York City, Los Angeles and Milan. When not trying to get a great deal, she is often found reading something, writing something or talking to someone.

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