14 Ways to Re-Use Carpet Scraps

July 31, 2012 Nine comments View all articles in Re-Use-It

 In our recent article “Choosing Eco-Friendly Carpet For Your Home,” we pointed out some of the potential hazards of your home's carpeting. These hazards are due largely to off-gassed chemical substances like formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene, but the health hazards that can affect your family are also due to dust mites, dirt, and allergens, which can accumulate even in the best and highest quality carpets. It's possible our article might've encouraged you to rip up your old carpets and replace them with any one of the alternative, eco-friendly and recycled carpet brands we recommended. If that's the case, you probably have a lot of carpet scraps sitting around your house at the moment.

The best way to get rid of old carpet is to contact a local carpet manufacturer who, if they practice zero waste in their recycling process, will burn carpet waste as a way to generate electricity and downcycle carpet into a degraded state from the original fiber into backing. More and more carpet manufacturers are focusing on the environmental impact of their product and are developing new products and materials that will one day make carpet recycling possible. But until then, repurposing is always an option.

REPURPOSE OPTIONS FOR CARPET PIECES

  • Muffle floor noise: Place a piece of scrap carpet underneath a washer or dryer that's prone to shaking, rattling, and rolling when it's doing a load of laundry.
  • Catch fallen laundry: Make small laundry items like socks and underwear easier to retrieve when they fall behind the washer and dryer by placing a narrow piece of carpet on the floor between the two appliances. The next time something falls, just pull out the strip and the clothing item will come with it.
  • Weatherproof the doghouse: Make a rain flap for your dog's home by nailing a carpet remnant over the entrance. In colder areas you can also use small pieces of carpet to line the interior walls and the floor to add insulation.
  • Make a scratching post: Make a scratching post by stapling carpet scraps to a post or even a board and placing it near your cat's favorite scratching spot: say, next to your brand new couch or chair. You can make the post freestanding by nailing a board to the bottom of the post to serve as a base.
  • Keep garden paths weed-free: Place a series of carpet scraps upside down, then cover them with mulch or straw for a weed-free garden path. You can do the same thing for your vegetable garden; just use smaller scraps as mulch.
  • Make an exercise mat: Exercise in comfort after cutting a length of old carpet to about 3 feet wide and as long as your height. Roll the carpet up when you aren't using it and store it under your bed.
  • Make car mats: Cut carpet remnants to fit the floorboards of your car and drive in cheap comfort.
  • Protect your knees: To protect your knees when washing the floor, weeding, or doing other work on all fours, make your own knee pads out of carpet remnants. You'll want to cut the carpet into two 10-inch squares, and then cut two parallel slits or holes in each. Then, run two old neckties or scarves through the slits, and use them to tie the pads to your knees.
  • Keep floors dry: Place 12-inch round carpet scraps under house plants to absorb any overwatering excess.
  • Prevent scratched floors: Glue small circles of carpet scraps to the bottoms of chair and table legs to stop them from scratching or making black marks on your wood or vinyl floors.
  • Cushion kitchen shelves: Reduce the noisy clatter that happens every time you put away pots and pans by placing pieces of carpet in your kitchen shelves and cabinets.
  • Add traction: Keep a good-sized carpet scrap in the trunk of your car to add traction when you're stuck in the snow or ice.
  • Keep your knees clean: If you store a carpet scrap in the trunk of your car, you'll also be able to use it to protect your knees when you have to kneel on the side of the road to change a flat tire.
  • Protect workshop tools: If you put down a few carpet remnants around your workbench, tools or containers that accidentally fall to the concrete floor will be less likely to break.

 

Comments:

Eveline Cote on Aug. 1, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.

Although I like most of the ideas, I would not use carpeting around dogs as it would be difficult to clean especially if your dog is active- gets wet, rolls in mud and might get exposure to fleas or other parasites.

Georgina on Aug. 13, 2012 at 7:09 a.m.

Also old carpet is great for using in new ponds, under the liner, to smooth off all those sharp bits and make sure the liner is not punctured.

Cee Ma on Feb. 4, 2013 at 2:07 p.m.

One of the best area rugs we ever had was made by using carpet tape to stick together carpet samples we got from retailers who would have thrown away the outdated samples in the trash otherwise. It was colorful and a real conversation piece.
Carpet tape is double-sided so we were able to make it non-slip too.
The same could be done with remnants from a flooring company. All you'd need is a good box cutter or similar tool to cut the pieces to size.

Maggie on Jan. 8, 2014 at 7:16 p.m.

"Necessity is the mother of invention"! This might only appeal to those least attached to "what will the neighbors think" but at same time, in some instances, might reassure the neighbors!

I've a small semi-rural, residential community, lot. I had to have significant work done that destroyed lawn and brought on astonishing, 'size of small Christmas trees', weed growth. I refuse to use herbicides, and money is tight. I can't afford time or cost of 'new lawn'.

Solution? A friend tears used carpet out of houses to make room for new carpet. I requested he bring large 'room size' sections of old carpet to me - IF short or no-nap, preferred 'earth' colors, preferred indoor/outdoor. (No high nap weird colors).

Sections of my lot are now 'carpeted' with brown-tones, and a few reds (looks like 'brick').

My thought and experience - carpet can 'rot' at my place, prevent weed growth, and reduce land-fill requirements. Carpet as weed-control gives me time to re-establish preferred vegetation in sections each year.

I suspect neighbors are somewhat relieved that I don't have giant weeds all over my lot, and I am relieved that I don't have the unaffordable cost in water, and possibly hiring labor, of re-establishing preferred vegetation 'all at once'. I lost sidewalks too - carpet 'in lieu of' takes care of mud issues during rainy times close to house and doors. (I live in a semi-arid climate so soggy carpet is rare.)

My garden areas host lizards and garter snakes, both welcome 'earth-partners'. I'm careful to leave 'vegetation/natural' uncarpeted regions and pathways from each region, on their behalf.

Sharon on Jan. 20, 2014 at 9:05 p.m.

If these carpets are so toxic why are you suggesting we subject our cats, dogs, and gardens to them?

Betsy on July 18, 2015 at 10:43 a.m.

Place in uncarpeted closets or unfinished part of basement,

Izzy on Aug. 3, 2015 at 9:54 a.m.

Use as a soft flooring in a treehouse

Virginia on June 19, 2016 at 6:08 a.m.

I like the idea of garden paths. I'm also going to use the section of carpeting that was under the bed as a pad under the bed again as I stained the concrete floor and its a little "echoey" in the room. As far as toxicity, I think by the time you're pulling out that old carpet most of the stuff has off-gassed. And if used outside, I think it would be OK. At least I'm not going to worry too much.

Heather on Aug. 4, 2016 at 1:42 p.m.

These all work well cats and dogs are not harm a carpet curtain nailed or on cup hooks over your dog kennel is fine warm and old carpet so change as frequently as you wish.

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