The Great Sock Debate: Dryer vs. Clothesline


A big part of the Sock Club experience comes with the quality of the socks themselves. For us, that starts with how we dry them. That’s right, it’s time to settle the great sock debate once and for all! To make your decision easier, we’ve decided to test both methods - tumble dry our new socks in the dryer and hang dry them on the clothesline outside our house. The results may surprise you...


Don’t tumble dry wool

Some people will tell you to tumble dry your socks, but this is not a good idea for wool socks. When you tumble dry your wool socks it can cause them to shrink and get worn down faster than if they were dried on a clothesline or a rack. Tumble drying can also cause the fabric to bunch up, which makes it difficult for the socks to hold their shape and means they are more likely to wear out quicker in some areas where they are stretched more often by other garments in the dryer. You should avoid tumble drying your wool socks at all costs!


Don’t tumble dry polyester

Tumble dry your socks in the dryer or on the clothesline? The answer is in the info article! When you tumble-dry polyester, it will shrink and eventually start to wear out. Hanging your socks on a clothes line allows them to air-dry instead of shrinking and will keep them fresher longer!


How long should you tumble dry cotton socks

Do you tumble dry your socks? If you do, how long should you dry them for? We consulted the experts at Laundry Helper and they advised that socks should be tumbled for 10 minutes in a standard drying cycle. Given that the average load size is 2-3 pairs of socks, this means around 15-20 minutes total for the full load.


Hang them outside overnight

If you're looking for a quick way to dry your socks without the risk of shrinking them, try hanging them outside overnight. The gentle breeze will help them dry quickly and the sun will bleach out any stains, so you'll have fresh socks in the morning! Bonus points if you are drying a pair of colorful ankle socks!


Treat stains quickly

If you are the owner of the sock with a stain, don't worry, there are steps you can take to get it out!
If you have a lighter colored sock, try soaking the spot in white vinegar to set the stain and then rinse it out. You could also use hydrogen peroxide or bleach if vinegar doesn't work.
If you have a dark colored sock that has a stain on it, try using soap and water before using bleach or hydrogen peroxide. The color might bleed into your other socks if you use these harsh chemicals on them! If that doesn't work, try soaking your socks in salt water for about an hour before washing them with soap and water again.


Line-dry damp items, then fluff them in the drier

It is best to line-dry wet or damp items, like your socks, then fluff them in the drier for the perfect fluffiness and wearability. Line drying your socks will also help them last longer than if you only dry them on the clothesline, but if you're low on space, it's a good idea to hang your socks out to dry instead of putting them in the dryer with other cotton clothing items (see below).
Line drying damp or wet mens ankle socks reduces shrinkage and helps maintain their elasticity over time because they are stretched while drying.