How to Wash Socks by Hand | Top 10 Ways!

Washing machines have protected our hands from getting dirty doing the laundry. And yet, sometimes we have to go back to the old ways and clean things with bare hands.

Especially with some certain garments which we can't throw in our washers as they're too delicate. Like the pair of socks. Those things need the gentle care of hand-washing. Plus, depending on the machine to get the stains scrubbed off them still sounds like fantasy.

So, we need to know how to wash socks by hand.

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Ten ways to clean dirty socks

Let's be realistic, socks get dirty, especially the white ones. Those things soak all the sweat of the feet and carry the stain marks as the battle scar. And don't get me started on the stink? 

Now, you can just throw them in the washing machine. But to be honest, it won't do the trick. The socks might come out clean but the gleam won't be there.To retrieve the clean socks, you need to wash them with hands. 

But there is a method to the madness, in this case, 10 great ways to get the tidiest socks after each wash.

How to wash socks by hand

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1. Vinegar:

Run to your kitchen to get the vinegar. It turns out to be a great whitener for the dirty old socks. Simply add a spoonful of it to water with the regular detergent of your choice. Yes, you still be needing detergents. The vinegar doesn't work as a substitute. It's more like an agent. It mixes with the detergent to make sure it melts. 

Most of the times, detergent get stuck with the sock material causing the dull texture. Even after the wash, it doesn't rinse off properly causing the problem. But add vinegar to the equation and problem solved. Next, rinse with some water to witness the white socks reborn. 

clean dirty socks by vinegar

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 2. Lemon juice:

Lemon juice is a natural bleach that works wonders to clean your dirty laundry. For white socks losing its gleam, it's just perfect. Take hot water and add some juice to it. Then soak the garment there for half an hour. Let it soak the mix before getting it out. Now, all you need to brush the socks gently with a brush before washing with water. And after getting it dry, you'll see the difference as there will be no stains. Also, the white will struck your eyes.

clean dirty socks by Lemon juice

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3. Spray cleaner:

This one might come as a big surprise, but the countertop cleaner sprays provide great results. And it makes sense in some way. Countertop cleaners get rid of the toughest of greases and stains. So, surely they can clean the sweat and mud stains. Simply spray your socks with it. Let the splash soak for 10-20 minutes. After that, dip the thing in hot water before wringing them with your hands. You can add detergent to your water. Even if you don't, it's okay.

clean your dirty socks by Spray cleaner

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4. Bleach:

The lemon juice works great as a mild natural bleach. So, you can imagine how effective the actual thing can be. Soak the dirty socks overnight with water and bleach mix to find out the results. Then take them out the next morning and brush it using your hands with some pinch of detergent over it. And like always, rinse it off with some hot water. Wait for them to dry under the sun. The fresh crisp dried socks will look brighter and sharper than ever.

5. Baking soda:

How to wash socks by hand? The answer is to make a nice mix of baking soda and regular detergent powder. Then add it to water. Let that mix sit for some time. Next, after a couple of minutes later, dip the socks in it. Start scrubbing them gently into the mix with your hands. Don't get carried away, be gentle with the scrubbing. After all that just rinse the pair and let it dry. The result, nicely cleansed socks with no stains or smell.

clean your dirty socks By Baking soda

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6. Mild soap:

If you have wool socks then this is for you. Don't bother about the above tricks. To be honest, avoid them as using bleach or fabric softener to wool socks is nothing but self-destruction. All you need is to get some normal or cold water, soak the socks in it for a couple of minutes. Then take them out. Turn them inside-out before using the mild soap. Then again put it in the water to rinse the soap. With wool, it's always better to go with hands then the washer.

7. Boiling:

People give hand washing bad rap because they are clueless. It doesn't need to be a laborious work. Instead, it can be really simple. Just put a pan on the stove with some water and boil it with obviously your socks being in. Add some detergent, bleach or any other liquid cleanser to the mix. Give it about 15-20 minutes. 

Then drain the water in the sink. Be careful, don't drop the socks. Now, open the water tap and fill the pan with water. Now give 5-10 minutes of soak time before taking it out to dry.

8. Dishwasher liquid:

It might not make any sense at first, but dishwasher liquid cleans dirty socks real good. Put the liquid on the stains and rub with hands smoothly. Keep doing this for 2-3 minutes, give or take. Once you're done, flush with water. After it gets dry, you'll amaze to see how vibrant the socks look.

9. Chemicals:

Most of the above methods use regular stuff that you find in most homes. But for some reason, if they don't work out then we can take things up a notch. How? Get some chemicals into the mix to clean the dirty stockings. Now, there are many chemicals that can help with the process. However, some are more toxic and risky to work with than others. 

That's why I prefer methylated spirit. Not that it isn't dangerous. This thing is highly flammable, but also it takes stains out without leaving no footprint. Just take cotton, dab a bit in it and start applying on stains. Then wash it down. Make sure, no sign of meth remains after the wash.

10. Bath soap:

Yes, the bath soaps can do the dirty work. Fill your kitchen sink with water and drench the socks in it. Then rub them with the bath soap and clean with a brush. Then give the socks a whirl in water before draining the water. Then again fill it with water so the rinse the soap.

clean dirty socks by Bath soap

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Final verdict:

I'm pretty sure, you didn't expect some of the things to be up there. Some of them might seem unorthodox, but they are there because they work. So, if you have no problem trying them, then you will have the pleasure wearing clean socks from today. 

And by the way, don't forget to share the how to wash socks by hand techniques with those in need. Just do them a favor.


I am a marketing manager and i have spent a plenty of time in the product quality analyst sector. I have determined to share my experience and knowledge with my friends and followers through my site. I hope you'll like it!

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