How to Extend the Life of Your Socks

Buying a nice pair of socks is an investment in your comfort and appearance. They are also an investment worth taking care of.

Laundering your socks using the manufacturer’s care instructions is the best way to ensure longevity. However, if you’ve lost your care instructions, here are some suggestions for machine washing your socks:

  • Place them in a garment bag to keep them separate from the rest of the load
  • If you do not own a garment bag, wash them inside out to limit friction against other fabrics
  • Make sure socks are not bunched up when you place them in the washer; otherwise they won’t get fully cleaned
  • Use a mild soap and refrain from using bleach or fabric softener
  • Wash in cold water. Use the gentle cycle if possible
  • Line dry your socks. If that's not practical, turn socks inside out and dry on low heat
  • Do not iron socks—the heat can deteriorate and/or melt the synthetic fibers that give your socks their stretch

The nicer the socks, the more you should consider hand-washing them. The agitation of a washing machine can damage the fabric a bit with each wash. By the same token, socks should stay out of the dryer and be hung to air dry.

Besides laundering, there are other habits you can develop or avoid to extend the life of your socks:

Wear the right size. Socks that are too small for the feet will stretch out. Socks that are too big will bunch up, potentially creating undue wear and tear.

Take care of your feet. The foot is sometimes the most neglected parts of the body. Toenails get long and sharp, heels can become as rough as sandpaper, and toes can develop rock-like callouses. All of these conditions wear down the fabric of your socks every time you use them.

Watch where you walk. If you wear socks around the house avoid wearing them on dusty, concrete floors, such as the garage or unfinished basement.


About the author

Sachin Patel has been designing socks for retailers, businesses, and promotional products distributors since 2010. His background in engineering and textiles is integral in streamlining production processes and developing detailed product specifications at EVERSOX, a worldwide supplier of custom socks.