Sock Care 101

Sock Care 101

Admit it, you don’t really spend too much time thinking about socks, right? But at IDENTITY Apparel, we think about them all the time!

And we’re here to let you know that the often overlooked piece of clothing can go a long way in taking care of you, if you take care of them.

The dark and damp environment inside your shoes are the perfect breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria, which, if left unchecked, could also lead to skin issues. That’s why properly caring for your socks will keep you dry, comfortable, and looking and feeling good.

It’s time to get real nerdy about how to care for your socks. Let’s go!

But first...

How Many Socks Should I Even Own?

The truth is there’s no one right answer. You can have as many as you want or as little as you need. Whether you’re a minimalist optimizing your closet space, or a collector showcasing your personality, these tips and tricks will always come in handy. 

A good way to prolong the life of your socks is to have enough pairs to cycle through over the course of a week. About six or seven pairs should do it. You should also invest in two or three pairs of good athletic socks for your favorite physical activity like hitting the gym, riding your bike, or going on a hike. And don’t forget to have a couple of extra nice pairs handy for those special occasions like important meetings or weddings.

Remember, socks are meant to be worn, not stashed away and forgotten in a dark drawer. If you have a collection you’re proud of, put them in your rotation and take them out for a spin. As for the old socks lying around unused, maybe it’s time to let go and swap them out for a new pair you know you’ll wear. 

Now let’s get dirty…

Hand Washing

If you really love your socks and want to preserve them for as long as you can, then hand washing is the way to go. If you own a pair of wool, silk, or cashmere socks, then this is the only way to go.

You can use your kitchen or bathroom sink, or just a small plastic basin or tub. Whichever you choose, make sure you remove any food, scum, dirt, etc…

  1. Make sure to wash the whites and the colors separately.
  1. Turn your socks inside out. You want to clean the side that’s been touching your skin. This will also keep the outside soft and smooth.
  1. Fill the basin with enough warm water to submerge each pair completely.
  1. Add just a little bit of detergent to make a few suds. You can add bleach if you’re just washing whites, but we advise wearing gloves to protect your skin.
  1. Dump the socks in and separate them in the water. Gently scrub off any dirt or stains, but for the most part, you can just let them soak for at least fifteen minutes depending how heavy or dirty the load.
  1. Drain the sink or basin and refill with clean water. Move the socks around to get rid of any excess detergent.
  1. Once they’re rinsed, wring out each pair well so they’re no longer dripping.
  1. Hang them up to dry or lay them out flat on a towel.

Machine Wash

It’s scientifically proven that washers and dryers can “eat” your socks. They can find their way into areas like the lint trap of your dryer, the rubber gasket lining of your front loader, or worse, inside the drain pump.

Static electricity can also cause your socks to stick to other pieces of clothing.

A single sock without its partner is possibly one of the saddest things in the world, second only to wearing mismatched socks because you lost the other one. And that’s just a no.

Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to prevent this.

It helps to separate your used socks from the rest of your laundry so you don’t have to go digging into the pile to find them. You’re also less likely to lose them.

Here’s the proper way to wash your socks in a machine.

  1. Again, make sure you’ve separated the whites from the colors and that your socks are inside out.
  1. Clip pairs together with a clothes pin or use a safety pin so they don’t get separated.
  1. Place them in a mesh bag so they don’t mix in with all of your other clothes. This also minimizes the beating they get in the machine. All this might seem like a lot of extra effort, but it’ll probably save you more time in the long run looking for your missing socks.
  1. Use the cold wash and gentle cycle. Remember, only use bleach if you’re washing your whites.
  1. When you’re done washing, it’s best to just squeeze the water out and let them air dry. But if you absolutely must, tumble dry on low heat.
  1. DO NOT iron your socks. Kinda obvious, but still worth mentioning.
  1. Fold them instead of balling them up. Rolling them wears out the elastic much quicker and makes them droop down your ankle. Nobody wants to see sad, droopy socks. It also makes it harder to show off your socks’ awesome prints and see what the design is when choosing a pair.

Love your socks, and they’re sure to love you back! There’s nothing like putting on a clean fresh pair that looks and feels as new as the day you bought them.

Do you have any tips or hacks that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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