My mother grew up on a farm. They often reused material for chores around the house. I still have beautiful cloth towels decorated with pink flowers that used to be feed sacks. All of these years later, they have held up to hundreds of washings and dry better than any kitchen towel you can buy in a store today. Mom also used cloth diapers to dust. What horrified me as a young child was that she used old underwear for cleaning rags.
Once a month or so, we would go on a massive cleaning spree around the house. The worst part was having to go behind the couch where the organ and piano were. My parents were the King and Queen of Knick Knacks. It would take all day to pick up all of those stupid little trinkets, wash them and the cabinet on which they sat, and then return them to their proper places. I loved the smell of the Murphy's Oil soap, but was completely grossed out that I had to use the old underwear as a rag.
Even worse was when I had to use my father's Jockeys.
I know that they had been washed numerous times and were actually clean. I know that they had holes in them and were therefore no longer fit for wearing. But seriously, UNDERWEAR?? It just seemed dirty to me.
To this day, whenever I clean with Murphy's Oil soap, I have to look down at my hand to make sure it isn't an old pair of tighty-whities that I am using.