5 Tips When Washing Socks: We’ll Show You How to Efficiently Wash Dirty Socks!

Many people are careful about washing delicate materials and expensive clothes, but no one really pays much attention to their socks.

But, let’s see the correct washing method that can make your socks last longer.

Points to Know When Washing Socks

First of all, here are some points to keep in mind when washing socks. Be sure to check and prepare before you start washing.

Check For the “Laundry” Symbol

The first thing to check when washing fabric products is the "laundry symbol". 

T-shirts and skirts often have a laundry sign on the tag, but socks do not.

It is often written on the packaging when you purchase it, so you need to first confirm what kind of washing method you can use at the time of purchase. 

Few socks are marked as non-washable, but the detergents and washing methods that can be used vary depending on the material.

Turn Socks Inside Out

Turning the socks inside out when washing can reduce dirt and odours

It is time-consuming, but the washing effect is much better. I promise.

Sock stains are usually from sweat or sebum stains from the feet.

Germs are generated there, which is also a source of odour. 

For efficient removal of germs, it is better to turn the socks inside out when washing.

Put Socks in the Laundry Net

It's normal to put delicate clothes in the laundry net, but try using the laundry net for socks as well. 

You can wash without damaging the fibres by reducing the friction caused by the centrifugal force of the washing machine.

Furthermore, if you put the socks in the washing machine as they are, they tend to fall apart and go missing.

But if you put them in the washing net, you can pair them immediately and it will be much easier to dry. 

Please note that the size of the laundry net you use should match the size of your socks.

If it is not the right size, it will eventually rub in the laundry layer, reducing the benefits of putting it in the laundry net.

Do Not Use Chlorine Bleach

The rubber in the sock's mouth is sensitive to chlorine.

Therefore, using chlorine bleach can make the rubber easier to stretch or even break in the worst case. 

Also, the bleach itself can damage the fibres, so avoid using it if you can. 

And if it's really dirty, try using oxygen bleach.

Be Careful of Detergents that Contain Fluorescent Agents

It is okay to use fluorescent agents for pure white socks.

But for patterned or synthetic socks, the colour and texture of the socks may be impaired. 

The fluorescent agent is to make the white colour stand out, and is a component that dyes the fabric white. 

Therefore, when it is used for coloured patterns, it becomes whitish and the pattern might get lost.

The Correct Washing Method 

Basic Washing Method

First, let's take a look at the basic washing methods that are suitable for many socks. It's very easy because there are only 3 steps to do.

STEP 1: Turn over the socks

STEP 2: Put in a properly sized laundry net

STEP 3: Put it in the washing machine and wash it

The point is to turn the socks over and put them in the laundry net.

In addition, be careful of chlorine-based detergents and fluorescent agents.

If the sock is crafted from a delicate material, it is recommended to use a neutral detergent for fashionable clothes washing.

Apply Detergent Directly to Persistent Stains

Persistent sock stains from children playing in the mud? Try this method:

STEP 1: Apply detergent directly to socks

STEP 2: Wash by hand

STEP 3: Put it in the laundry net with the heavily soiled part facing up.

STEP 4: Put it in the washing machine and wash it

Before putting it in the washing machine, apply detergent to the socks and wash them once by hand. 

If you can remove some dirt here, you can leave the rest to the washing machine. 

At this time, it is recommended to have a solid detergent because it is easy to rub against the socks.

Citric Acid is Recommended as a Measure against Odours

What I worry about when washing socks is whether they can remove odours as well as dirt. 

Even if you can add a scent with a fabric softener, it may not be possible to remove the original odour.

So if you want to properly remove the odour, use citric acid or baking soda.

STEP 1: Prepare hot water in a washbasin, and dissolve about 1 tablespoon of citric acid and baking soda.

STEP 2: Put the socks in the washbasin and let it soak for about 20 minutes.

STEP 3: Rinse well with clean water and machine wash as usual

By using hot water, citric acid dissolves quickly and the effect is enhanced. 

Citric acid and baking soda are highly safe and inexpensive, so please try them on socks that are odorous.

How to Dry Socks

After washing, let's also pay attention to how to dry it next. Perhaps the usual way of drying may have damaged the socks.

Hang with the Mouth-Side Up

Do you usually hang your socks with the topside facing up?

Actually, this is a mistake, and the correct answer is to clip it with the mouth-side facing up.

Since rubber is vulnerable to water, it is necessary to shorten the time it is wet with water, and for that purpose it is less damaging to hang the elastic side up. 

Also, as a basic method of drying clothes, it is better to dry them in the same shape as when you wear them so you do not have to worry about losing their shape.

Please dry your socks in the same direction as when you wear them.

When you Dry it in the Sun, Dry it in the Shade

It is easy to think that it is better to dry in a sunny place in order to dry quickly, but rubber is not deteriorated by ultraviolet rays.

However direct sunlight can cause fading and yellowing, so it is recommended to dry in the shade.

Can I Use the Dryer?

There are many times when you want to dry using a dryer.

Basically, socks are often made of durable materials, and it is highly possible that they can be used in a dryer. 

The way to determine is whether there is a tumble dry OK mark on the washing label.

It is safe to avoid the dryer for knits, silk, and expensive socks. 

It is said that the cotton material is OK, but it is recommended to dry it naturally or with a gentle wind such as an electric fan.

A dryer that keeps applying hot air to a high temperature will damage any material to a considerable extent.

Facing Trouble with Washing Socks?


Socks that have been used for a long time may start pilling due to rubbing from walking or washing. 

The soles of your feet aren't very noticeable, but they still look bad and make your socks look so old.

The only way to prevent pilling is to avoid friction.

However, if pilling still occurs, try removing it with a razor.


If you fail to wash it, it may shrink depending on the type of fabric. 

In such cases, prepare conditioner.

Yes, hair conditioner.

This conditioner should contain a component called "dimethicone" instead of the non-silicone type that is now popular.

Then, pour lukewarm water into the washbasin and dissolve an appropriate amount of conditioner. 

Put the shrunk socks here and let it soak for about 30 minutes. 

At this time, do not rub it, and leave it without moving it around. 

Rinse after 30 minutes and dry it in the shade until it is completely dry.

The shrinkage will heal to some extent.

Conclusion: How to Elongate the Life of Your Socks

Socks are clothes that easily deteriorate depending on how you walk and how often you use them. 

However, it is possible to make it last longer than expected just by taking care when washing it.

Another characteristic of socks is that they are easy to get dirty, so if you wash them properly, you can remove dirt, germs, and even odours.

Try washing it as outlined in this article and you’ll see that your socks will last much longer.

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