Smartwool is an American clothing company that specializes in clothing made out of Merino wool. Their socks are well-known for holding up over time while remaining comfortable and easy to care for. You can wash your Smartwool socks by hand or machine. If you wash them by machine, turn them inside out before washing them and use the lowest temperature setting at the lowest available speed. To dry your socks, you can either air dry them or throw them in the dryer. If you use the machine to dry them, use the lowest temperature available.
Using a Washing Machine
Turn your socks inside out. Reach inside each of your socks and grab them from the inside of the fabric. Pull the edge of each sock away from you while holding the inside to turn them inside out. Since the fabric on the inside of your socks is more resilient than the stitching on the outside, turning your socks inside out when you wash them will preserve them for a longer period of time.
- Using a washing machine is the preferred method according to the manufacturer.
Tip: Smartwool socks are made out of Merino wool—a softer and thinner fabric than traditional wool. Merino wool is excellent at absorbing odor-causing bacteria, so you can wear your Smartwool socks several times before you need to need to wash them.
Throw your socks in with your standard laundry or wash them alone. Feel free to simply wash your Smartwool socks alongside your other laundry. There’s no need to separate them or wash them alone. However, you can wash your Smartwool socks separately if you don’t have any other laundry that you want to wash on the gentle cycle in cold water. Place your Smartwool socks in the washing machine.
- If you choose to wash your socks with your other laundry, consider putting them in a laundry bag to avoid getting the fabric caught on a zipper or button.
- You should still separate your laundry. Wash white socks with white clothing and darker socks with your colors.
Add mild laundry detergent to your machine. If you’re washing your socks with other clothes, use the measuring cap that comes with your laundry detergent to determine how much soap you need to add to the drum. If you’re washing the socks on their own, add 1⁄2–2 tablespoons (7.4–29.6 mL) of mild detergent to your washing machine depending on how many pairs of socks you’re washing.
- Do not use bleach or fabric softener. Bleach will permanently destroy your socks. Fabric softener will coat the Merino fibers with residue, which will make them less breathable in the future.
Set your washing machine to the gentle cycle and run with cold water. Turn the dial on your washer to the “gentle” setting. On some machines, this setting is labelled “delicates” or “low power.” Turn the dial until the indicator is pointing at the lowest-power setting available. Turn the knob to set your water temperature to cold. Run your washing machine to wash your socks.
- If you wash your Smartwool socks on high heat, you may shrink them.
- There are other Smartwool products, like some of their sweaters, that can be washed with warm water. Read the tag on each of their individual products to find care instructions.
Handwashing Your Socks
Wash your socks by hand if you’re worried about shrinking or unraveling. While machine-washing Smartwool socks is perfectly fine, there’s always some risk involved when it comes to using a washing machine or dryer. Handwashing your socks ensures that your socks maintain their shape and that no loose threads unravel in the machine.
- This is a good option if you have other small, wool products that require hand washing and you want to clean all of your wool at once.
Fill a sink with cold water and get a mild detergent. Clean your sink with soap and a sponge if it’s dirty. Rinse the soap away and plug your drain with the stopper. Turn the cold water on. Fill your sink with enough water to completely cover your socks. Get a mild laundry detergent to clean your socks.
- Depending on how many socks you’re washing, your bathroom sink may be too small for this and you may need to do this in the kitchen. If your kitchen sink isn’t big enough either, grab a clean bucket to do this.
- You can use a wool or cashmere shampoo if you want, but there’s nothing wrong with using a mild laundry soap.
Mix your soap into the water and submerge your socks. Once you sink is filled, pour 1 tsp (4.9 mL) of your mild detergent into your sink. Mix the soap into the water by hand or use a spoon to mix it. Take your socks and submerge them in the water.
- Push your socks down a little if they’re floating near the surface to ensure that every part of your socks gets wet.
Massage your socks gently for 30-45 seconds then let them soak. Softly rub your socks by hand, using both hands to squeeze and massage your socks. Rub them for 30-45 seconds to remove any dirt or grime that is embedded in the fabric. Let your socks soak in the soapy water for 4-5 minutes to completely clean them.
Warning: Do not pull, twist, or scrub your socks. If you’re too rough, you may thin out the wool or cause some threads to unravel.
Rinse the soap out of the socks using cold water. After your socks have soaked, pull the plug at the bottom of the sink to drain the excess water. Turn the cold water on and run your socks under the stream for 2-3 minutes. Turn your socks around in the water to rinse every section of the fabric. Squeeze the socks gently to remove the excess water.
- Do not wring the water out of your socks. Squeezing or pulling on your socks can cause them to lose their shape.
- If you’re handwashing your socks, air drying is the best option when it comes to drying them. The entire point of handwashing is to preserve the shape and fabric, and machine drying is more likely to damage your socks.
Drying Your Socks
Lay your socks flat on a drying rack to preserve their shape. Whether you used a machine or washed your socks by hand, air drying your socks is always the safest option. Take your Smartwool socks and set them out on a drying rack so that they’re laying entirely flat across the rack. Let your socks air dry for 3-4 hours or until they’re entirely dry.
- How long it takes to air dry your socks depends entirely on how wet they are when you set them out and what the air circulation in the room is like.
- Air drying your socks is better for the environment. You’ll also preserve energy by not using the drying machine!
Tumble-dry your socks on the lowest setting available, if in a rush. While air drying is safer for your Smartwool socks, they can easily be dried in the dryer. After handwashing or machine-washing your socks, place them inside of the dryer. Set the dryer to the lowest temperature setting and lowest tumble speed by turning the corresponding knobs. If you only have automatic settings on your particular machine, use the “delicates” or “low heat” setting to dry your socks.
- You can dry the socks on their own or with your other wet laundry.
- Don’t forget to clear out your lint trap before you turn your dryer on!
Tip: Leave your socks turned inside out if you machine-washed them. If you handwashed your socks, turn them inside out before you put them in the dryer.
Avoid hanging your socks vertically or letting them hang. If you’re air drying or storing your socks, always lay them flat. If you hang them over a shower rod or use clothespins to hang them on a clothing line, gravity will put strain on the fabric of your socks while they dry. This can cause them to lose their shape over time as you continue to hang them as they dry.
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