How can I reuse or recycle swimming caps?

swimming-capWe’ve had an email from Jennie:

Can you recycle swim caps?

It’ll depend on what the caps are made from but the answer to actual recycling is probably no. According to Wikipedia, they can be made from latex, silicone or lycra: silicone is recyclable, but not collected widely for recycling while latex and lycra (spandex) aren’t recyclable on a large scale yet.

If they’re still in good, usable condition, the best thing to do would be able pass them on to someone else who can use them for their original purpose – through a charity/thrift shop maybe, or through your local pool.

And what about reuses?

(Photo by coudron)

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6 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle swimming caps?”

  1. Lizzy says:

    I’m thinking that the water-carrying abilities/waterproofness may be useful for something. It could turn out to be a good waterproof purse-thingy for stuff you don’t want to get wet when hiking/camping etc. If it’s one of the flimsier/more stretchy ones, you could cut it into large elastic bands perhaps?

  2. Kim says:

    I bet they work nicely as a jar opening grip.

  3. jing says:

    Recently someone suggested to me I should bleach my hair in horizontal stripes. After some thought we figured it might work if we got one of those caps the hairdresser uses to pull your hair through to bleach streaks and cut slots in it, pulling sections of hair out through one slot and then under again in the next one, exposing horizontal strips of hair. We wondered where we might get a cap, and this is a possible answer!

    I’m not sure if it would work, and I’m especially not sure about how the chemicals in the hair dye/bleach might react with the cap (depending on what it’s made from) so it warrants further investigation.

  4. Jenn says:

    If you cut them in circular strips, they can be used like a rubber band

  5. Leigh says:

    I own the uk’s only gunge tank hire company and we DESPERATELY need old swim caps!



  6. Anonymous says:

    The first recycle potential came to me when my kitchen sink would not consistently hold water long enough to soak casserole pans, etc. Slow leak because the seal between stopper and drain was not tight. I’d bought two replacement sink stoppers, and results were Lame. So I cut an old silicone swim cap in a circle, using a jar lid as a pattern, and that disc it placed between drain and stopper, providing a tighter seal. When possible, I include a ‘tab’ so I can grab it when I want to let the water out. The amusing thing is: the same cap that Ripped early on at the pool has survived Adventures with Garbage Disposals unscathed. Go Figure…

    The remainder of the cap has potential for tying tomato stems, bundling electrical cords, winding around any sort of Handle that has a grip that could be made softer or less slippery. Glue to the bottom of figurines or other objects that could scratch a table surface.

    A swim cap that’s not torn too badly might be useful for lining a Basket for houseplants.

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