Question: Are PIG mats and socks reusable?
Answer: Some PIG absorbents definitely are—two products that were designed expressly for reusability. And there are others that you might be able to reuse.
The PIG® Mildew-Resistant Sock is made for soaking up water. After use, you can hang it up to dry. It’s perfect for situations such as absorbing condensation or spills around freezers or coolers.
Re-Uz-It® Wringable Mat can be re-used up to 100 times. It’s made specifically to run through our PIG Absorbent Wringer and reclaim and recycle oil and other liquids.
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 liquid. Nevertheless, we have seen moderate success in reusing some traditional PIG Mats and Socks.
Two things to consider before reusing any absorbent are:
1. 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.
2. Do you have the time and space to allow the mat or sock to dry between uses? Absorbent mats and socks must be air-dried. Dryers will melt mats, 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 dry, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity. Socks and mats that are not completely dry before storage will mold or mildew.
It’s also important to note that absorbents are not designed to last forever, and most absorbents would provide only a few reuses. 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. After each use, mats will appear flatter and socks will appear less full.