A Handy Guide on How to Wash Socks: Sock Washing Guide and Laundry Tips

A Handy Guide on How to Wash Socks: Sock Washing Guide and Laundry Tips

Socks are an essential part of our daily attire, providing comfort and protection to our feet. However, they often endure a lot of wear and tear, which is why it's crucial to know how to properly care for them. In this socks washing guide, we'll share valuable laundry tips for socks, sock care instructions, and how to wash sock materials like cotton, wool, and synthetic fabrics.

Sock Care Basics

Before diving into the specifics of washing different sock materials, let's go over some essential sock care instructions that apply to all types of socks:

Sort Socks by Color:

To prevent color bleeding, sort your socks into light and dark piles before washing.

Check for Stains:

Inspect your socks for stains or spots before tossing them into the washing machine. Treating stains before washing can help prevent them from setting.

Use a Mesh Bag:

Consider placing your socks in a mesh laundry bag to keep them from getting tangled with other clothes and to prevent stretching or snagging.

Fasten Hook and Loop Fasteners:

If you have socks with hook and loop fasteners, such as sports socks, make sure to fasten them to avoid snagging other items.

Avoid Overloading the Washing Machine:

Overloading the washing machine can lead to inadequate cleaning. Leave enough space for water and detergent to circulate.

Now, let's delve into how to wash sock materials like cotton, wool, and synthetic fabrics.

Washing Cotton Socks

Cotton socks are the most common type and are known for their comfort and breathability. Follow these steps to wash cotton socks:

Pre-Treat Stains:

Apply a stain remover or a mixture of water and liquid detergent to any stains on your cotton socks. Gently rub the fabric together to work in the treatment.

Turn Socks Inside Out:

To maintain the color and prevent pilling, turn your cotton socks inside out before washing.

Select a Gentle Cycle:

Use a gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine with cold or warm water. Avoid hot water as it can cause cotton socks to shrink.

Use Mild Detergent:

Opt for a mild, color-safe detergent to preserve the vibrant colors of your socks.

Skip Fabric Softeners:

Cotton socks don't need fabric softeners, as they can reduce the sock's absorbency.

Air Dry:

After washing, let your cotton socks air dry. Avoid using a dryer as it can lead to shrinkage and damage to the elastic.

Washing Wool Socks

Wool socks are prized for their warmth and moisture-wicking properties. However, they require special care to prevent shrinkage and damage. Follow these sock care instructions for wool socks:

Hand Wash or Use a Wool Cycle:

Hand washing is the safest method for wool socks. Use cold water and a wool-specific detergent. If using a machine, select a wool or delicate cycle with cold water.

Gently Agitate:

When washing wool socks, avoid excessive agitation or rubbing, as it can cause felting or stretching. Instead, gently squeeze and press the socks.

Rinse Thoroughly:

Rinse the socks in cold water until all detergent is removed. Wool can retain soap residue, which can lead to stiffness.

Press Out Excess Water:

After rinsing, gently press the socks between clean towels to remove excess water. Do not wring them out, as it can damage the fibers.

Dry Flat:

Lay the wool socks flat on a clean towel to air dry. Avoid hanging them, as this can lead to stretching. Reshape them to their original size while they're still damp.

Washing Synthetic Socks

Synthetic socks, often made of materials like nylon, polyester, or spandex, are durable and moisture-wicking. Caring for them is relatively straightforward:

Machine Wash:

Synthetic socks can be safely machine-washed. Use a cold or warm water cycle and a mild detergent.

Turn Inside Out:

Just like with cotton socks, turn synthetic socks inside out to preserve color and reduce pilling.

Avoid Bleach:

Do not use bleach on synthetic socks, as it can weaken the fibers and cause them to break down over time.

Dry on Low Heat:

Synthetic socks can be tumble-dried on low heat. However, it's best to air dry them to extend their lifespan.


By following these sock care instructions and laundry tips for socks, you can ensure that your favorite socks stay in great condition, providing your feet with the comfort and protection they deserve. Whether you're washing cotton, wool, or synthetic socks, the right care will help them last longer and stay in tip-top shape. So, the next time you're sorting your laundry, give your socks the attention they deserve to keep your feet happy and stylish.

Back to blog