Best Way to Wash Darn Tough Socks

Best Way to Wash Darn Tough Socks

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If you are wondering how to  wash darn tough socks , you’ve come to the right place. We wash a lot of socks at Darn Tough – over 330 laundry loads per day – so it’s safe to say we have sock care down to a science.
Before I get into detailed sock washing instructions from our sock care experts, let’s talk about why it matters how you wash your socks and when you should use this knowledge.

Best Way to Wash Darn Tough Socks

#1 Turn your socks inside out.


Before washing your socks, turn them inside out. This is especially important for socks with cushioning created by terry loops. A lot of debris and dirt can get caught in those loops. Before washing merino wool socks, turn them inside out.

#2 Wash in Warm or Cold Water

Hot water can weaken fabric fibres and fade colours, so never use it. Use a gentle cycle on a warm or cold water wash. You can use the knit or wool cycle on your machine.

Our warranty does not cover lost socks. To reduce the likelihood of missing socks, consider using a laundry bag. The bag also keeps your socks from catching on or rubbing against other potentially abrasive items in the laundry.

In the backcountry, fill a watertight bag with cold water and soak the socks in it for about 10 minutes.

#3 Use the Proper Detergent or Soap

When cleaning your socks, use a detergent with a neutral pH and no acids or alkalis, as these can weaken the fibres. Woolite and Nikwax Wool Wash are two good options. Make sure not to use bleach or fabric softener.


In the backcountry, use a biodegradable soap like Dr. Bronner’s. Follow Leave No Trace principles and any local regulations.

  • Add a small amount of soap and gently shake the bag.
  • After 15 minutes, shake the bag again.
  • Drain the water at least 200 yards away from any water source.
  • Refill the bag with fresh water and shake it again to rinse out the soap.
  • Drain the water. Repeat as needed until the soap is removed from the socks.
#4 Tumble Dry or Air Dry? Low \sLine Drying your socks is good for the environment, and you can take some fun pictures of your socks all lined up to dry.

You can expedite the process by putting your socks in the dryer. To avoid excessive heat wearing down your socks, set the dryer to low heat.

In the backcountry, gently press out excess moisture with your palms. Place them on a rock or a tent line to dry. If you wash your socks in the morning, you can hang them to dry while hiking.

Read Also: How to Wash Fiberglass Out of Clothing

Fold Your Socks (Do Not Roll)

If you really want to go the extra mile with your sock care, fold your socks. When you store socks by rolling the top of one over the other, you stretch them unnecessarily, which can cause them to be misshapen or lose their stretch faster. Storing them flat or folded allows the fibres to naturally relax.

To get you started, we tested and rated 5 different sock folds.

Darn tough mill worker folding our merino wool socks

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