A question we often hear is, “Are PIG Mats and Socks reusable?”
Yes and no. Some of our products are designed for use and toss applications, while others are built for reusability. It also depends on the types of liquids that are being absorbed. Let’s take a closer look at three PIG absorbents that were specifically designed to be reusable.
For water-only cleanups, PIG Water Absorbent Mats and Socks are the best for the job, and some can be reused — with certain limitations.
The PIG Dryer-Safe Reusable Water Absorbent Sock is our best sock for reusability because you can machine wash and dry it up 50 times! This is our only sock that can be laundered, and it contains a UV additive so it can be left in direct light without damage for up to 12 months. Use this sock for soaking up condensation and small leaks and drips of water.
The PIG Mildew-Resistant Water Absorbent Sock has polypropylene skin and filler to resist the growth of mildew, making it perfect for situations such as absorbing condensation or spills around freezers or coolers. Once it’s saturated, you can hang it up to dry, then redeploy it up to three times whenever it’s thirsty again. (Pro tip: speed up the drying time with a floor fan!)
Our PIG Water Absorbent Mats contain a spunbond top layer which provide plenty of strength for wringing out and reusing. We recommend only reusing our Water Mat during a single spill cleanup and then disposing of it. Because the inner layer has recycled cellulose content, this mat can be susceptible to mold growth in certain conditions.
Our Re-Uz-It Wringable Mat can be reused up to 100 times. It’s engineered to be run through our PIG Absorbent Wringer so you can reclaim and recycle oil and other liquids. Thanks to a durable needle-punched top layer and polyester filler, it springs back to shape after it’s wrung out.
However, Re-Uz-It Mat is a special case. You can mechanically wring out most mats and socks to reclaim liquid and minimize waste, but that doesn’t automatically make them suitable for reuse. The wringing process condenses air spaces in the mat layers and sock filler, reducing their ability to draw in additional liquids.
Things to Consider Before Reusing Any Absorbent
What liquid has the mat or sock absorbed? Absorbents assume the characteristics of the liquids they absorb. If the mat or sock has only been used to absorb clean water, it might be a good candidate for reuse. But if it has absorbed something hazardous, it’s best to recycle or dispose of it properly. This includes absorbents that have absorbed floodwaters after hurricanes, tornadoes and flash flooding.
How to Dry a Reusable Sock
Our PIG Dryer-Safe Reusable Water Absorbent Sock is the only absorbent designed to be machine-washed and dried. Dryers will melt any other sock or mat, and the filler in socks can cause dryers to overheat or otherwise fail. It can take several hours to several days for mats and socks to completely air dry, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity. Socks and mats that are not completely dry before storage will mold or mildew, unless it is our PIG Mildew-Resistant Water Absorbent Sock. This sock can be reused up to three times after it is hung to air dry.
How Many Times Can I Reuse My Mat or Sock?
The only two socks designed specifically for reusability are the PIG Dryer-Safe Reusable Water Absorbent Sock and the PIG Mildew-Resistant Water Absorbent Sock. Machine wash and dry the Dryer-Safe sock and reuse up to 50 times, and air-dry the Mildew-Resistant sock and reuse up to three times. One other notable exception is the PIG Water Absorbent Mats, which can be wrung and reused during a single water spill clean-up. Each time a mat or sock is reused, the absorbency is reduced. So, if it originally absorbed a quart (32 ounces), it might absorb only 20 or 24 ounces when reused.