Sunday, March 26, 2023


15 ways to repurpose old beach and bath towels around your RV

I’ll bet, like me, you have them, too. I’m talking about old towels. You know the ones. They were soft and thick and fluffy long ago. They dutifully dried skin after a shower or bath. And they accompanied your family to the beach, too. But now? Now those old terrycloth towels are worn and faded. The binding is frayed and there might even be a hole or two. That’s why you need these tips for recycling old bath and beach towels!

Hints: For any recycling project, use the best parts of the old towel. You may need to combine two or more towels to complete a project. Also, to prevent the terrycloth from fraying, use a zigzag or overlock stitch on the fabric edges.

Using old bath towels around the RV

You’ll find many ways to recycle your old terrycloth towels, both inside and outside your RV. Take a look!



  • Dish drying mats. Terrycloth is very absorbent. That makes it perfect for this kitchen project. Follow the instructions given here and you’ll have a drying mat in no time.
  • Hanging kitchen towel. I love this recycling idea because the towel is always right at hand while I’m working in the kitchen. Check it out here.
  • Pot holders. This project is so quick and easy! Turn your old towels into pot holders. The terrycloth “insulation” keeps fingers safe from burns.
  • Towel apron. I made this apron and love it! Instead of purchasing a new towel, as suggested in the video, I used the best parts of a colorful old beach towel. It worked just fine! Here’s the DIY video.

Living room

  • Cat hammock. We no longer have a cat, but if we did, I’d refashion an old towel to make this cat hammock!
  • TV remote pocket. Watch this video to see how you can recycle towels to make a special “home” for your TV remote, your tablet, and more!
  • Swiffer pads. Our RV’s floors are vinyl, so I use my Swiffer a lot! Did you know that you can make your own Swiffer pads? Yep, old towels to the rescue! These are great and easy on the budget because they’re washable and therefore reusable.


  • Soap pouch. What do you do when only a sliver of your bar soap remains? Put it into a soap pouch, that’s what! Here’s how to make one (or two, or three) to use in your RV shower. (Of course, you can use the pouch with a brand-new bar of soap, too.)
  • Bathmat. I don’t know about you, but our RV bathroom is small. Trying to find a bathmat that fits the small floor area is almost impossible. That’s where your old towels can help. This will show you how to DIY the perfectly sized mat for your space.
  • Washcloths. I remember my grandmother making washcloths from old towels. All you do is cut the towel to your preferred “washcloth” size. Then sew bias tape around all the edges and you’re done!


Note: Many of these ideas are “no-brainers,” as my husband likes to say. But if an obvious idea can keep an old towel out of a landfill somewhere, the ideas are worth mentioning.

  • Rags. For painting projects, messy RV maintenance jobs, and more, your old towels will step up to the challenge as rags. We use old towels to dry the dew off our motorcycle and bicycle seats, for wiping down freshly washed vehicles to prevent watermarks and streaks, and to clean debris from RV hoses as we put them away in preparation to leave the campground.
  • Protectors. Old towels work great to protect your bottom. Place the towel on top of rough, wooden picnic table benches for no more splinters! And if you have to kneel to check RV tires, a rolled-up towel can help protect your knees.
  • Sand duster. When visiting the beach, an old terrycloth towel will quickly brush sand off your skin. We keep an old towel in the beach bag, specifically for that use.
  • Crazy quilt beach towel. Cut the best sections from several old bath towels. Then sew the pieces together to make a crazy and colorful beach towel. Finish the outer edges with bias tape.

Donate old bath towels

Animal shelters love donations of old towels. They use the towels to mop up messes, make softer bedding, dry off wet animals, and more. Call your local shelter to find out how and where you can donate.

Add your own tips for recycling old towels in the comments below, please.



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Neal Davis
24 days ago

Very good ideas! Thanks, Gail!

24 days ago

Re bathmats: for my tiny bathroom: golf towel! Got them at an outlet for $2 each.

24 days ago

As I drive around the country I donate my gently used towels to rural animal shelters and they are always so grateful.

24 days ago
Reply to  Debby

Love that.

Andrea Schmidlin
24 days ago

Thanks for another fun and informative article!

Seann Fox
24 days ago

Table cloth, it will protect the wood surface.

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