Theresa Shingler Knits > slow fashion

How I wash hand knit socks

How I wash my hand knit socks

It’s ‘that’ time of year, the leaves are turning brown, the nights are drawing in, it’s getting flipping cold in the mornings and evenings, the woolly socks box has been pulled out and the socks are back in rotation. That means one thing, sock washing. Funnily enough washing the socks was one of the things that put me off hand knit socks for so long. Now I’ve got a good selection, as have the family, I have an easy routine that I’d like to share.

I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of sock washing methods; just between bung them in with the jeans at one end and gently hand wash at the other. Some disclaimers, all my socks are knit from yarn that is designed for socks, all can withstand the ‘wool cycle’ or my machine and I always wash a new pair separately at first to ensure that the colours won’t run onto it’s sock mates.

Here goes

  • I roughly sort the socks into lights, brights and darks. I usually do the darks and brights together as I know from initially washing them by themselves that they don’t run. (But I don’t want to tempt fate with the light delicate colours!)
  • Any really grubby patches are rubbed with a very wet block of Savon de Marseille that I use to treat stains in wool.
  • I put them in the washing machine set on the wool wash setting with the temperature set at 30 degrees Celsius. Into the detergent drawer I put about half a tablespoon of eucalan. If I’ve used the soap on any stains I wait ten minutes or so before setting the machine off. (If you have a machine that has a separate temperature control, do take care to ensure that it’s on the appropriate setting)
  • I take the socks out of the machine as soon as it’s finished as I don’t like them sitting damply around together.
  • I give the socks a flap and a gentle pull to make sure that they’re the shape and size I want them to be when dry, then if it’s a bright breezy day, I’ll peg them on the line. If it’s a damp grey day, I put them on a radiator to dry and by the end of the day I have a soft pile or clean warm socks, ready to go on feet again.

I never tumble dry my socks,and my routine does take a little time going back and to, emptying the machine and hanging up socks up to dry. I need to be home when the machine is finished, I can’t bring myself to just bung them in and forget about them, because given the many hours I’ve spent knitting the socks a little extra care seems worthwhile. However routine is much quicker than hand washing a families worth of socks on a regular basis, and thus far – fingers cross none have been ruined in the wash.

Disclaimer, the producers and/or sellers of any products that I mention have no idea that I either exist or are talking about their products. I’m just happy using these products and haven’t been compensated in any way.

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