Along with being affordable and easy to find, they keep you warm, dry, comfortable and blister-free, and they keep you looking cool. Socks are the true superhero of your ensemble!
As such an underrated and overlooked article of clothing, though, it’s no surprise socks are likely to get tossed in the wash with reckless disregard, frequently getting separated between loads, reassigned a new partner and getting lost again, never to return. What about your special pair of holiday socks, though? You may be thinking about how you always keep them together and clean — but do you wash them like your favorite blouse, or like an old rag? Chances are that even if you appreciate your socks and love them, you might not be treating them right. Luckily, the trick to washing your socks can be as simple as taking small steps like flipping them inside out before throwing them into the washer or as significant as washing them by hand and with cold water.
what's the difference?
Whether or not washing your bright new novelty socks inside out makes a difference, and what that difference is, have been common questions for some time. We can tell you that it absolutely does make a difference — especially when done in conjunction with some other simple techniques! Along with cleaning your socks more thoroughly, the majority of odor-causing bacteria will build up inside of the sock, and turning them inside out will help to eliminate this, as well as help keep their colors vibrant and avoid accumulating lint!
what other tactics can you use?
While washing socks inside out is a commonly discussed consideration, it’s not the only important factor when it comes to how to wash socks like a pro. There are simple tactics to consider when it comes to getting socks clean and removing stains (and keeping colors vibrant), but these will depend on how you’re washing them.
when hand washing your socks
If you indulge in luxury socks made from more delicate materials, like cashmeres and silks, you should almost always hand wash them. Even if they’re not luxury and not your favorite pair, hand washing loads of socks is a fool-proof way to avoid damaging, separating or even straight up losing socks. Along with turning them inside out while you wash them by hand, consider:
- Using a mild detergent.
- Washing them in cold, not hot, water.
- Allowing socks to soak for a couple of minutes (or more, if they’re particularly dirty!)
- Avoiding overworking them with aggressive twisting or wringing — be as gentle on them as they are on you!
when machine washing
Consider shoving all of your socks into a mesh bag or pair of pantyhose before throwing them into the wash to keep them all together and away from sock limbo (found somewhere in the washing machine).
Along with turning them inside out before they hit the wash, consider:
- Using a mild detergent.
- Washing in cold water.
- Washing on a gentle setting.
Quality socks will catch and hold lint if they’re put into the dryer with your clothes and towels. Along with this, even these quality socks run the risk of having their elasticity broken down and ending up misshapen or shrinking from the prolonged heat. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure you always hang or lay your socks flat to dry by:
- Laying your freshly washed socks out on a flat towel and rolling them up firmly.
- Pressing down on the towel roll to squish out and absorb any excess water.
- Hanging your damp socks, or laying them out flat on your towel once again, to finish air drying them the rest of the way.
if your socks have a stain that you’re scared won’t come out
The likeness of getting a stain out after it’s set is far less, so try to put the following tips to use on your stained socks as soon as possible after a spill!
- Blot the stain to remove or absorb as much of it as possible.
- Soak your socks in cold water to prevent the stain from setting in.
- Use a pre-treatment or stain remover before washing, which can be store bought, or a simple homemade recipe from common household ingredients like dishwasher detergent, lemon juice and white vinegar depending on the type of stain.
- Get a new pair! One of the best things about socks is how affordable and easy it is to get a cute pair, whether you're finding a replacement for your favorite geeky socks or want some funny gifts that showcase your interests and hobbies.
putting your best foot forward
Socks get thrown out left and right thanks to missing partners, major lint, fading and stretching — so keeping your lefts and rights together, and inside out, is key if you want to put your best foot forward!