My DH and I have boys. Not saying that girls are the neatest or cleanest things on the planet, but boys’ socks and feet just STINK. I think it’s hormonal when they are teenagers. Add in sports and their hobbies (in our case, working on cars and welding) and the torture to their socks is immeasurable. Keeping white socks clean and not “crunchy” takes just a little extra time to do, and your nose will thank you immensely.
How Do I Know This Method of Keeping White Socks Clean Works?
The toughest critic in the world is a teenager. When I did this little trick on his socks the first time, I figured he wouldn’t even notice. They do tend to be a little oblivious to the little things that we do for them. But he honestly came downstairs the morning after I washed his socks and gave me a funny look.
Kid: “What kind of laundry soap do you use”
Me: “What? Why?”
Kid: “Because I don’t think my socks have EVER been this white.”
I was a little floored that he even noticed, let alone to ask me what I did to get them that way.
Keeping White Socks Clean
White clothes are the only laundry, besides sheets and towels, that I only wash once a week. So whatever day I choose during the week to do white clothes, I start a little earlier on that load so I can do the extra step with the socks in the hamper.
I really hate touching the boy’s socks. They stink, they are “crunchy” because of all the sweat in them, and just eeww. Feet. Bluh.
First Things First
Gather up all the socks that need to be laundered. Sometimes this involves invading their rooms to find those little nasty gems hiding all over the place.
For some reason, socks and sweatshirts litter my house on a daily basis. And it’s not just the teenager. My husband is also infamous for leaving his shirts lay where ever he decides he’s hot and takes them off. It’s a scavenger hunt to find everything dirty in this house!
Onto the Bucket
Yes, I said bucket. I use my floor cleaning bucket for this task, but you could also do it in the washer drum. I don’t like to use that as I typically need to do a load of something else while I’m dealing with this process.
Never. Ending. Laundry.
Gather up the supplies you will need for keeping white socks clean.
- 1/4 cup Borax powder
- 1/4 cup Baking Soda
- 2 tbsp. Laundry Soap
- 1/2 cup OxiClean or Bleach (do not use both)
- HOT water (to cover)
Put all of the above into the bucket. Now, run the faucet on the HOTTEST you can get the water. The hotter the better in this case. If your water doesn’t get really hot, you may want to boil some to make sure it’s seriously, not going to stick my hand in there hot.
Soak Those Socks!
Now, once all of your supplies are dissolved in the HOT water, start dropping in the socks. You will want to press them down to completely submerge them into the solution. I have an old wooden spoon I keep in the laundry room to do this with.
Once the spoon touches that nastiness, I don’t want it anywhere near my food.
I typically let these soak until the water completely cools, or 4 hours if you like to set timers.
Once your water is cool, dump the entire bucket into the washing machine. Add in your laundry soap, fabric softener, scent boosters, and whatnot just like you do with every other load you wash.
Wash and Dry
Now, it’s just like any other load of laundry you do. Wash, dry, fold and put away. All to do all over again in about a week (or less).
You will notice that the “crunch” of the socks is either gone or lessened. I will be honest that sometimes it takes a couple more soaks to get it all out. It depends on how bad their feet are and how long they have abused these poor socks.
Keeping White Socks Clean FAQ’s
Can I do this with colored socks too?
Absolutely! Just make sure to use Oxiclean and NOT BLEACH. The color in the socks may fade, but it’s worth it to get rid of that yucky foot smell and crust.
What about socks with logos? Will those be ok?
Sure. If you don’t want a red logo to turn pink, I would recommend the OxiClean vs. bleach. But them losing that logo isn’t going to be the end of the world.
I have hard water. Will this work for me?
If you have either a water softener or a whole-house water filtration system, you are fine. If not and you are worried about the iron (or other issues) in your water, I recommend boiling the water and adding 1/4 cup of Epsom salts to your water to help soften it for this method.