How to Wash Wool Socks

Published In: Washing Guides

The washing process of wool is certainly an elaborate one. Not all wool can be machine washed. Wool socks keep sweat out more efficiently than cotton socks and remain odour-free much longer. But it is better to know how to wash wool socks. They need to be washed with much care otherwise the socks lose their shape or shrink a lot too quickly. Unlike cotton socks, they don’t have to be washed too frequently. Soft spot-cleaning and air drying can keep woollens in a wearable state for long.

Let’s check the methods of washing different kinds of woollen socks.

How To Wash Woollen Socks

Merino Wool Socks

Merino wool is among the best quality wools. It is luxurious, delicate and soft. It is quite warm and resistant to odours.

Hand-wash Method

1. Fill a basin with warm water just enough to cover the socks. As the wool is delicate, use a very mild detergent. Submerge the socks in the water and allow them to soak for 5 minutes. Rinse with warm water until the detergent is washed away.

2. Squeeze the socks to remove out water to the maximum extent. But do not twist or wring the socks. Put the socks on a towel and roll it in. Let the towel soak in the water. Spread the socks on a dry surface, towel or a rack for drying.

Machine-wash Method

1. The washing machine must have the option of the gentle cycle. Or, choose the cycle suitable for knits. Do not use the regular cycle. Use warm water and a gentle detergent.

2. Squeeze the socks to remove out as much water as possible. Never twist or wring them. Spread them on a flat surface to dry.

Acrylic Socks

Acrylic socks are of man-made fibres. They shift sweat from the foot to the shoe, keeping feet dry. They have a good cushioning effect. They dissipate moisture and prevent blisters.

Hand-wash Method

1. Fill a basin with warm water. Add a mild detergent. Swish the water to form suds. Put the socks in it and allow them soak for five minutes. Rinse with warm water until the detergent is washed away.​

2. Squeeze the socks to drive out water. Put on a towel and roll it to soak in as much water as possible. Put on a towel to air dry.

Machine-wash Method

1. Place the socks in a bag for protection. Fill the washing machine with warm water. Use a gentle detergent. Wash on the gentle cycle.

2. Take out the socks, bring them to normal shape and place them on a towel to air dry.

Blended Wool Socks

Blended wool is a mixture of wool and another material, or other materials. It usually is 80 percent wool and 20 percent synthetic fibre. It has the resilience of synthetic fibre and the feel of wool.

Hand-wash Method

1. Use tepid water and mild detergent. Treat the spots before the washing. When cleaning spots, use up and down blotting action, do not scrub. Rinse out all the detergent.

2. Roll the socks in a towel and let it soak the excess water. Air-dry the socks on a flat surface.

Machine-wash Method

1. Use cold water and wool cycle in the washing machine. The wool cycle has less agitation. Use a mild detergent. Use a very short spin cycle.

2. Do not twist or wring the socks. Smoothen them to their normal shape with hands and place them on a towel to air dry.

Angora Wool Socks

Angora wool is produced from the Angora rabbit. It is a soft and thin fibre and has a silky touch. It is lighter but warmer than wool and is available in a variety of colours.

Hand-wash Method

1. Fill a basin with lukewarm water. Add a bit of mild detergent. If the socks have perspiration odours, add 3 or 4 cups of white vinegar. Submerge the angora socks in the water. Allow them to soak for 20 minutes. Turn the socks around every five minutes. This will loosen the dirt.

2. Drain the soapy water. Rinse the socks until the detergent is removed. Do not wring the socks. Squeeze them gently to remove some of the excess water. Place the socks on a clean, dry towel and roll them up. Let the towel soak the excess water. Spread the socks on a clean, dry towel to air dry.

Machine-wash Method

Not Recommended: The agitation in the washing machine causes angora wool socks to shrink or sustain other damage.

Cashmere Wool Socks

Cashmere fibre comes from cashmere goats. Cashmere has a fine texture, is soft but strong and light. It provides excellent insulation.

Hand-wash Method

1. Fill the basin with lukewarm water. Add a small quantity of a mild detergent. Swish the socks around and let them soak for five minutes. Drain the tub completely. Rinse with fresh water long enough to remove all detergent.

2. Do not wring or twist the socks. Fold them and press them to force out much of the water. Place the socks on a dry towel. Re-shape them. Roll up the socks in the towel and allow the towel soak much of the remaining water. Reshape the socks and air dry on a rack.

Machine-wash Method

1. Turn the socks inside out. Put them in a white, cotton pillowcase. Put it in the washing machine. Use only cold water and a soft detergent and wash on the "Delicate/Hand Wash" cycle.

2. Take the socks out of the pillowcase, squeeze out excess water and let air dry flat. Turn the socks tight side out after a few hours. Reshape them and let the drying be complete.

Australian Wool Socks

Australian wools are considered to be a high quality. A luxury item, they are much in demand and have a soft fleece.

Hand-wash Method

1. Hand-wash the socks in lukewarm water and a mild and gentle detergent. Allow the socks to soak for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly first in lukewarm water and then in cold water. To prevent shrinkage or distortion, avoid excessive agitation.

Machine-wash Method

1. Use cold water and the wool wash setting. If the washing machine has no wool cycle, use the cold water wash or wash cycle for delicates. Wash the socks this way after turning the inside out.

2. Spread the socks on a flat surface for air drying. Some specially manufactured wool socks carry a Total Easy Care label. These socks can be machine washed and dried in a tumble dryer on a low heat setting.

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