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    How to Wash Wool Socks - The Ultimate Guide

    More than 153 million people in the USA enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and snow sports. All those thrill seekers need good gear, like merino wool socks, to keep them warm and safe. However, many don't know how to wash wool socks so that they stay in peak condition. 

    Taking care of your outdoor clothing is important. There are just a few simple steps to follow to maintain the quality of your wool socks. This means they're always ready to keep your feet warm, dry, and safe on your next outdoor adventure. 

    Follow the wool sock cleaning tips below whenever your socks need a little TLC. 

    How Often Should I Be Washing Wool Socks? 

    This is less of a matter of "when" and more of a matter of "if." Wool socks need significantly less time in your washing machine than regular everyday socks. Washing too often could lead to damaged fabric and a premature wear. 

    As a general rule, your merino wool socksshould be washed after three wears. However, you can use your discretion to decide if your socks need a wash. As your feet will sweat, especially during intense outdoor activities, it is important to keep your wool socks hygienic. 

    Thankfully, Merino wool is specially designed to prevent odor from locking into your socks. However, this doesn't mean they don't need to be cleaned! To get rid of bacteria and debris that could be harmful to your feet, it is important to wash them after two or three wears. 

    Merino Wool Is Great For Protecting Against Foot Odor

    Merino wool is highly Anti-microbial which makes it odor-proof. Even when you're outside or hiking up a storm, you won't have to concern yourself wondering if your socks smell unpleasant. After all, no one wants to be thinking about their socks when they're traversing a cliff or shielding themselves from a harsh snowstorm!

    The special qualities of wool fibers help absorb sweat and promote evaporation. Even after a rigorous workout, merino Wool retains its freshness. They also shouldn't rip or tear easily thanks to the high quality of the wool fibers that are used to make them. 

    Washing Merino Wool Socks; The Ultimate Guide

    Cleaning wool socks is less hassle than you might imagine. Follow the below steps carefully to ensure your socks aren't damaged. 

    If you need to wash your socks while camping and can't get to a washing machine, there are alternate ways to do this. Remember that you don't need to wash merino wool socks that often. If you're only wearing them for a few days while away from a washing machine, you don't need to worry about cleaning them. 

    Washing Wool Socks Instructions in Brief

    • Turn socks inside out before washing
    • Don't use high temps
    • Use the right soap or detergent
    • Either tumble dry or allow to air dry

    Always Make Sure to Wash Your Socks Inside Out

    Bacteria and dirt can easily be hidden on the inside of your socks. Plus, the sweat from your feet will affect the interior or your sock more than the exterior. That's why it's important to turn your socks inside out when you wash the. 

    The outside of your socks will still be cleaned even when you wash your socks inside out. This is the best way to keep your socks hygienic so that your feet stay healthy and clean. 

    Only Use Cool or Lukewarm Water

    Lukewarm or cold water is the best choice for washing your socks, even in a washing machine. High temperatures will damage cause colors to fade or run and can also damage the fabric. 

    Using a gentle cycle on a washing machine is recommended. Alternatively, feel free to use a wool setting if your machine has one. 

    There's one universal experience almost all people understand; socks disappearing in the washing machine. No one is quite sure where they go, but odd socks are certainly annoying. This is especially true for high-quality merino wool socks.

    To avoid this, a mesh laundry bag is a great idea. You can put your wool socks inside, knowing they'll both still be there when the washing cycle has finished.

    Make Sure You Choose the Correct Detergent

    Use biodegradable soap or neutral PH detergent when you wash your wool socks. High or low PH can damage the wool fibers in your socks, making them weaker and more prone to tearing.  

    Specific detergents and soaps for wool socks are widely available in stores and online. Always make sure to read the washing instructions before purchasing to make sure they are suitable for your socks. 

    What if I Don't Have Access to a Washing Machine? 

    If you choose not to use a washing machine or are camping out with no access to one, there are other ways to wash your socks.

    First, add appropriate soap and cool water to a plastic bag. Put your socks inside and seal them closed. Then give the bag a gentle shake to disperse the soap. 

    Let your socks soak in the soap for around 15 minutes. Then gently shake it again to make sure every part of the sock gets nice and sudsy. 

    Next, drain the water and soap from the bag. If you're in the wilderness, always make sure you empty the bag at least 200 yards away from any other water source. This prevents contamination.

    Now add clean water to the bag. Shake your socks in it to wash away any of the soap. You can drain the water again and repeat the process until your socks are completely clean. 

    Then simply allow it to air dry. 

    Finally, Either Air Dry Your Socks or Use a Tumble Dryer on a Low Heat

    Tumble-drying your socks at a low temperature is safe. It shouldn't damage the wool and will leave them as clean as they can be. However, air drying is also a perfect way to dry your merino wool socks. 

    Always make sure that your socks are completely dry before storing or wearing them. Wet socks will cause your feet to be cold and could damage the fabric of the sock itself. Accidentally storing wet socks could cause odor and will mean they aren't dry for your next outing.

    It's also better to fold merino wool than roll it. If you ball them up, the shape of the sock could be warped and you may find them uncomfortable to wear the next time you do. 

    Storage Guidelines to Stave Against Moths

    Always make sure you clean all wool clothing before putting it away or storing it. This is because body odor, sweat, and food stains might attract moths.

    In the spring and summer, moth activity is at its peak, therefore it is especially important to seal your socks to keep them away. You can use vacuum bags or zip lock bags, or containers with airtight closures to keep those moths at bay.

    It's also a good idea to line your sock storage area with moth-proof paper or mothballs. This is just for some extra protection when it comes to avoiding moths chowing down on your socks. However, don't apply moth repellent to your socks directly. 

    Merino Wool Socks; What Not to Do

    Avoid very hot temperatures and harsh washing machine settings to really make your merino wool socks last a lifetime. Here are some extra tips for how to keep them looking and feeling their best;

    • Avoid dry cleaning
    • Make sure to store them correctly
    • Never Iron
    • Never wash with bleach
    • Only wash after 2/3 wears
    • Avoid fabric softener

    Why Do Wool Socks Need Specific Washing Instructions?

    Because Merino Wool fibers are unique, Merino Wool socks are unlike other socks. The socks' ability to resist odor, maintain a comfortable temperature year-round (a characteristic known as thermo-regulation), and feel soft and cuddly next to your skin are all attributes of their fibers. Wool socks should be carefully washed to preserve the Merino fibers and maintain them in peak condition.

    The good news is that, regardless of the correct washing procedure, Point 6 socks last for a very long time. Always adhere to the washing guidelines to reduce waste and extend the life of your favorite socks.

    By washing correctly, you'll avoid damaging the fibers that make up your merino wool socks. Not only does this mean they work better for your feet, but they will also last much longer. 

    Why Is merino Wool Good for Outdoor Activities?

    If you're outdoorsy, then you want to enjoy nature year-round. Merino wool provides your feet with the insulation they need regardless of the weather. Plus, they'll keep them cool in warmer seasons. 

    You always want to ensure your feet have the best protection when outdoors. Point 6 merino wool socks are thick enough to prevent foot blisters and other damage caused by friction. This keeps your feet healthy and secure no matter what you're doing.

    Of course, you don't just have to wear your merino wool socks outside! They are also great for cold days when you're stuck at home. They'll keep your feet toasty warm, which is healthier for your whole body

    Do I Need to be Worried About Wool Shrinking?

    Wool shrinking is an annoying issue that many people experience after washing wool clothing. It's specially frustrating if you've spent good money on high quality wool garments. 

    Luckily, wool shrinkingshouldn't be an issue with your merino wool socks. As long as you stick to the washing guidance and avoid high temperatures, your socks shouldn't shrink. 

    After a wash, you may notice that they feel slightly tighter. However, this is normal and they should loosen out again after one wear. 

    Follow This Guide to Make the Most of Your Wool Socks

    By sticking to these simple wool sock-washing rules, you'll save yourself from damaging your socks in the washing machine. You'll also expand the life of your wool socks by washing them correctly. 

    How to Wash Wool Socks Q&A

    Still unsure about how to wash wool socks? Check out the Q&A below. 

    How frequently can you wash wool socks?

    Wool socks don't need to be washed as regularly as regular socks. A good rule of thumb is to wash them after 2 or 3 wears. 

    Should you use hot or cold water? 

    Hot water might damage the fabric used to make your socks. It's always best to wash them in lukewarm or cold water.

    What's the best way to wash wool socks? 

    Always start by turning your socks inside out as this prevents any possible damage on the outside. Only use lukewarm or cold water when you wash them, and make sure the cycle setting is set to gentle. Don't use bleach, as this could ruin your socks!

    Are wool socks tumble dryer safe? 

    Merino wool socks are tumble dryer safe. However, air drying is better to preserve the wool fabric of your socks and make them last longer.

    Why should I wash my socks inside out? 

    Washing your socks inside out means you will remove any bacteria and dead skin cells from the inside of your socks. This keeps them hygienic. 

    Do I need to wash my socks separately from my clothes? 

    As long as it is possible to wash the clothes you're washing in low temperatures on a gentle cycle, it is safe to wash your socks with them. However, other temperatures and settings will damage your merino wool socks. 

    Find the Best Merino Wool Socks Today

    Now you know how to wash wool socks, there's nothing stopping you from getting the most out of them on your next outdoor activity. Merino wool will keep your feet super dry and comfy regardless of the sport you do or the kind of wilderness you explore.

    By washing merino wool socks correctly, you are protecting them from getting damaged and preserving their lifespan. Many people have had the same pair of merino wool socks for years, and that's because they take good care of them. 

    For all the best in outdoor clothing, check us out here. If you have any questions about what gear you need for your next adventure, get in touch with one of the friendly team.