Do you tumble dry your socks in the dryer or on the clothesline?

Do you tumble dry your socks in the dryer or on the clothesline?

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the winner of this month’s sock of the month (SockSM) award goes to... ! Congratulations! And what makes these socks so special? Let’s find out!

Why tumble drying your socks will wear them out

Every time we wash a garment, whether it’s a pair of underpants or a hand-knitted jumper, there is some amount of wear and tear. For most items, that wear is negligible. But for things like socks – which are used daily and subjected to friction as they rub against our feet – regular washing and drying damages them far more than we might think. Socks made from synthetic fibres will start to pill (become covered with small balls of fiber) while cotton fibres can break down over time; both these things will lead to holes appearing where they are most likely to be noticed – around the toes and heels, where there’s more pressure from shoes rubbing against them.

Pros and cons of using an old fashioned clothes line

Back to basics doesn’t always work out. Don’t believe me? Just try doing laundry without a washing machine! First, there are no machines to do all of those repetitive chores like putting clothes into a washer, waiting for them to wash and then putting them through another rinse cycle. Second, you have to find someplace to store all that wet laundry. Depending on where you live and what time of year it is when you need to do your laundry, that can be easier said than done. For example, if winters in Seattle are anything like what they were when I lived there, you may end up hanging wet clothing out just so it can freeze dry!

How to care for washing machine-dried socks

If you like clean, fresh-smelling washing machine-dried clothing, don’t hang your socks up to air dry them. The tumbling action will cause holes to develop over time and make them wear out faster. Just let them sit as they are after drying and then put them into a drawer or box when they’re done. The wrinkles will fall out on their own and they’ll be ready for wear soon after being dried by a machine.

If a sock accidentally goes through the wash cycle...

If a sock accidentally goes through a wash cycle, don’t worry! There are two main ways to avoid shrinkage: Tumble drying your socks will reduce shrinkage, but it also speeds up wear. Instead of hitting high heat and drying for 30 minutes or more, aim for low heat and short times. You may have to repeat a few times but you’ll save yourself from potential damage to those cherished footwear items. Air drying is great if done correctly. Place them near a heater or in front of some warm air vents to remove moisture and prevent odor causing bacteria from setting up shop inside those foot-covered cushions.