Socks are often considered an accessory to an outfit, but they have several important functions. They soak up sweat and keep your feet warm when it’s cold. They also protect your feet from rubbing against the insides of your shoes and make your footwear fit you better.
However, few people give much thought to the socks they’re wearing because they’re often hidden inside shoes or under pants.
If you only pay attention to your socks when one of a pair goes missing or your big toe sticks out of a hole, then maybe it’s time to reconsider your habits. Apart from investing in high-quality socks for women, you’ll want to make sure that your socks remain in good condition.
Having holey and threadbare pairs means that your socks won’t be able to perform as you need them to. Without proper care, you may find yourself constantly having to buy new ones instead of being able to save your money.
If you want to make sure your socks stay soft and comfortable to wear, here are some tips on how to keep your socks in top condition.
Wash Socks Separately
One of the main reasons socks wear out quickly is how you wash them. Putting your socks in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry can damage the fabric and increase the accumulation of lint. Instead, wash socks in a separate load or by hand. Turn the socks inside out to preserve the quality of the outer weave and effectively remove sweat and oil that may be trapped inside the socks.
If you must wash them in the washing machine with your other dirty clothes, place them inside a mesh laundry bag. It will protect the socks from getting damaged by your other clothes and also prevent them from slipping in the washer’s cracks and getting lost.
Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals When Laundering
Whether you’re washing socks in the machine or by hand, use only small amounts of mild detergent to clean them. Don’t use bleach or other harsh chemicals because they can ruin the sock fabric. Using fabric softener can also hamper the moisture-wicking properties of the garment.
If you want to soften your socks and restore their fluffy texture, add half a cup of distilled white vinegar into the final rinse. This household staple will also help remove odor-causing bacteria and leave you with fresh and clean-smelling socks.
Don’t Use Heat to Wash or Dry Socks
When washing your socks, use cold water because too much heat can damage the fabric’s elasticity. In some types of fabrics, it can even lead to shrinkage. For the same reason, don’t put them in the dryer after washing. Instead, gently squeeze out excess water and hang the socks to completely dry before putting them away.
Refrain from Ironing Socks
Even if your socks look shriveled, don’t iron them. Even the lowest iron setting may be enough to damage the elastic yarn that gives your socks their snug and secure fit when worn. Ironing your socks can cause them to lose their shape and become stretched out.
Besides being delicate, the yarns used in socks can be highly flammable, so ironing them can be a fire hazard.
Store Them Properly
How you store your socks can also affect the quality of their condition. For instance, rolling the socks into a ball stretches the fabric and the cuffs. It can also cause the elastic in the cuffs to become overstretched, so that your socks sag or roll down your legs when you wear them.
Instead of rolling them together, place one on top of the other and fold the socks flat into halves, or thirds if the socks are too long. This method helps preserve the socks’ shape while allowing you to keep them paired and organized.
Carefully Remove Pilling
Pilling is when tiny knots of threads form on a fabric. Pills are the result of wear and tear and often happen in areas that receive the most abrasion, like the heel of your socks. Although you may not mind the small messes of pilling, they can lead to snags and unravel some threads in the garment. As such, it’s best to remove the pills as soon as you spot them.
The best way to do this is with a fabric shaver or defuzzer, which works similarly to electric razors. This battery-operated tool has fine blades that shave off lint and pilling on the surface of the garment. Using a fabric shaver gently pulls the knotted fabrics without tugging or damaging threads that are still intact.
If you don’t have a defuzzer, you can also use conventional razors or scissors to remove pilling. This method can be quite tedious, but it’s just as effective. Begin by laying the fabric over a curved surface and gently stretching the area with the pilling. Then, cut off the pilling using a pair of sharp scissors or shave the fabric surface with a safety razor. Remember to be careful with this process as you might end up pulling or cutting the garment.
Reduce Pilling on Socks
Although you can’t predict if your socks will pill, certain types of fabrics and fibers are more likely to pill than others. For example, knitted socks can pill more than those made of longer fibers like cotton and wool because the threads are looser.
Since pilling occurs due to excessive rubbing against other surfaces, slow it down by using a gentle cycle when washing your socks in the washing machine, and don’t allow them to come in contact with highly abrasive materials like jeans or garments with zippers and buttons. As much as possible, it’s best to hand wash socks.
Trim Your Toenails
The condition of your feet can also affect the quality of your socks. If you have long and sharp toenails, they will likely puncture the toes of your socks. So, make sure to regularly trim and file your toenails.
Additionally, having rough and callused feet can cause more friction in your socks, which can wear out the garment faster. Smoothen the skin of your soles by using a pumice stone when you shower. Frequently moisturizing the skin on your feet can also help prevent calluses from developing.
Wearing soft and fluffy socks is a piece of comfort many people often take for granted. It’s only when they notice thinning fabric and holes in the garment that they realize socks require proper care as well.
If you don’t want to keep shopping for new socks all the time, it’s a good idea to keep your socks in the best condition. By following the tips mentioned above, you should be able to preserve the quality and extend the lifespan of your socks.