Socks need to be washed regularly – after every use, to be precise – and they also endure friction from shoes, so naturally, they go through considerable wear and tear. If you’re wondering how to wash your socks to help make them last longer, this article has some great tips. We also cover how to keep white socks clean and how to dry socks once they’ve been washed. Read on to find out all about sock laundering and easy care.
How to wash your socks in the washing machine
First things first, make sure you separate your socks before throwing them into the washing machine. If you don’t, detergent won’t be adequately rinsed and could get caught up inside the socks, leaving a sticky residue. You can also turn them inside-out as this then encourages any lint build-up to attach itself to the inside of the sock rather than the outside. Socks have a tendency to accumulate lint at the toes and heels, and it can make them look old and scruffy.
Group socks by colour and style and run different washes for each group. For example, dark dress socks together, white sports socks together, etc. Choose a gentle, cool cycle and a mild detergent. Enzyme-based detergents can help prevent colour fading and protect the fibres from going fuzzy.
How to wash your socks by hand
Although handwashing can seem like a tedious chore compared to switching on the washing machine, socks made from delicate fibres such as cashmere, silk, and Merino wool benefit from gentle handwashing as it’s less abrasive and can keep them looking new for longer.
Simply fill a washing-up bowl with cold water, add some mild detergent and turn your socks inside-out. Soak the socks for at least 5 minutes and then swish them around in the water. Rinse them thoroughly with cold running water to get rid of all the suds. Avoid scrubbing, twisting or wringing the sock as this can cause them to stretch and colours to run.
How to clean white socks or get white socks white again
If you’re wondering how to get your socks white again, here’s the secret ingredient: baking soda. Simply add some baking soda to the detergent drawer when machine washing or sprinkle some into the water when soaking before handwashing. Baking soda deodorises bad smells, whitens and brightens laundry and has natural antibacterial properties. Although it’s a powerful cleaner, it’s still gentle on delicate fibres.
How to dry socks properly
Once you’ve washed your socks, you might be wondering what the best way to dry them is? Can you tumble dry socks? The simple answer is yes, but there are ways to do it effectively. You must first consider the material and how it will react to high heat. It’s best to check the washing instructions on the sock packaging before tossing them into the dryer. For example, cotton socks can be tumble-dried without issues, but wool socks can end up losing their shape. However, some tumble-dryers do actually have a wool setting which is a lot cooler and less harsh. When putting your socks in the dryer, always separate them from other items by placing them in a fine mesh laundry bag. It’ll help keep them protected from snagging and collecting lint.
If your socks’ washing instructions advise against tumble-drying, you’ll have to dry your socks on a washing line. While air-drying socks may seem simple enough, did you know that there’s a secret to removing excess water from freshly washed socks? Simply lay your wet socks flat on a clean towel and roll it up tightly. Press down on the towel to remove the excess water, and then hang your socks up to dry naturally. Please don’t wring your socks as this can cause them to lose their shape and elasticity.
Make sure your socks are completely dry before folding them away. If you fold them whilst damp, they’ll end up smelling musty. For ideas on how to fold your socks, check out How to Fold Your Socks the Right Way.
Should you iron your socks?
Absolutely not. A hot iron will damage the fibres and cause the socks to lose their shape and springiness over time.
How to remove lint balls and fluff from socks
Invest in a fabric shaver or defuzzer powered by batteries and gently go over the areas that are prone to lint pilling. If you follow our washing instructions above, this should help to prevent new lint balls from forming on your favourite socks.
Make sure you’re wearing the correct size socks and shoes
It’s important that you wear socks that fit. Not only will you be more comfortable, but it’ll also help your socks to last longer. If your socks are too small, they can end up with holes in the toes from where your toenails rub against the fabric. If your socks are too big, they will bunch up and rub, causing friction. It’s also essential to wear correctly sized shoes. If you find that your socks tend to wear away on the tops or sides, it’s a sign that your shoes are too small. If your shoes are too big, they’ll end up slipping at your heels and rubbing away at your socks.
Take care of your feet to take care of your socks
Pedicures may seem like an occasional luxury, but they can also help to keep your socks looking new. Sharp toenails can wear holes in the toes of your socks, and rough, calloused soles can cause friction and lead to wear and tear.
Who knew there was so much information on sock care? We hope you enjoyed getting clued up on sock laundering and feel confident in keeping your socks looking and feeling great from now on. Why not check out our latest men’s or women’s business and casual socks to top up your collection? We stock many sought-after brands, including Falke, Pantherella and Marcoliani, with luxurious fabrics such as cashmere, silk, Merino wool and Egyptian cotton.