Let’s assume you have so many pairs of socks that, come laundry day, you could do an entire load, or even two, of just socks. You absolutely can’t just dump them all into the washing machine because not all your socks are made of the same fiber content. If you want your socks to be in tip top condition for a while, you need to do a little extra prep yourself before the washing machine does its work. Here we are to give you the step-by-step instructions you need to get your footwear looking its best.
Step 1 – Separate ‘Em
Socks are like the rest of your clothes. If you want them to look their best (and also you) you should go through the laundry pile and separate the socks from everything else. But you won’t be done. Next, the socks from other socks: white socks go in one pile, dress socks in another and so on. No Cold Feet says that just as you would never dream of washing whites with purples in your regular laundry, give your socks the same treatment.
Step 2 – Organize/Turn Inside-Out
Once you have created separate piles of socks, go through each sock pile and organize the socks in each pile by pair. This accomplishes two things. First, it helps identify if you are missing any socks before you head to the washing machine. Second, it helps you to determine how many loads you will have to prepare. Turning socks inside-out will not only help protect the color of colored socks but it will also prevent unsightly lint from attaching itself to the outer surface.
Step 3 – The Washing Part
Always wash dress socks first. Wash them in cold water on the gentle cycle with a light detergent. Light detergent is important because it prevents colors from fading and will not cause microscopic damage to the cotton fibers in your socks. If your socks are particularly dirty it is wise to put them in a pre-soak for 30-minutes before starting the washing cycle.
Step 4 – Turn Right-Side Out
Once the laundry cycle is complete, gently pull the socks back to the way they were before the trip to the washing machine. In other words, be careful when turning them right side out to prevent stretching. This will result in prematurely saggy socks. While doing this task, you can put them back into pairs. If a sock is missing you will know that the dreaded Sock Monster in the washing machine took one as a trophy.
Step 5 – Drying
Dress socks do best if you hang them to dry. This is the most important step of the entire washing process for socks. You could fling them into a dryer but the intense heat of a dryer will eat away at the elastic in the top band of the sock. This quickly results in dress socks that don’t hold their shape and keep sliding down to your ankles, a situation that ruins your ability to be a well-dressed man from head to toe. The dryer heat will also quickly weaken the cotton fibers, so you end up significantly shortening the life of your socks. A drying rack is a simple, affordable solution.
Step 6 – Fold And Store
Once completely dry, fold your socks in pairs and store them in their very own drawer. It is alright to roll pairs together and store them like in little cylinders, if you prefer. Just don’t bunch them together in a messy tangle because that also speeds up the damage process. Bunched up socks will stretch when you go digging around to find the mate to one, also bringing on the dread slouchy dress sock syndrome. Even if all your dress socks are black, it is unlikely they are of the same save weave or fabric. So, save your socks and your time by making sure you pair them up before storing them.
Step 7 – Clean Lint Traps
Lint attached to your socks is just unsightly and time consuming to remove. If you turn your socks inside-out, you shouldn’t have to worry about lint. However, if you want your washing machine to perform at its best whenever you clean clothes or a few loads of socks, cleaning the lint trap will help. Lint is a collection of fabric particles that come off of your clothing during the washing process. No matter how carefully you try to care for your clothes, the washer will cause at least some break down of the fabric. If you want to truly clean your clothes, especially your socks, and extend the life of your washing machine, be sure to regularly clean the lint trap.
Step 8 – Replenish Supplies
Before sock wash day arrives, it is a good idea to ensure that you have enough laundry items on hand for another couple of loads. Should you discover you are running low on detergent, for instance, be sure to pick up more mild detergent so that you don’t run out just when you need to wash another load of dress socks for an important event.
Socks are a very important part of any wardrobe. They keep our feet warm and comfortable throughout the day. But without proper care, socks can develop all kinds of issues. This is why it is important to have a regular laundry schedule for just socks and that you care for them differently than the rest of your clothing. The step-by-step guidelines listed above will assist you in adopting an efficient system for extending the life of your dress socks and keep them properly clean and ready for wearing.