Merino wool socks are some of the best, especially if you are going out for expeditions. They are unique since, unlike regular socks, you don’t need a fresh pair after wearing them. This means that you can get a few days of use without them stinking or requiring to be cleaned. They can do this because the bacteria that cause odors are absorbed by the fibers preventing reproduction. The socks are often soft, and if you don’t have any allergies, they make a great pair. However, they require special care so you should take care when washing merino wool socks. This guide will give you a few ways to clean your merino socks for the best outcome.

Best ways to wash merino wool

Merino wool socks are not your average pair since they are special and need to be cared for well. It would be best if you were keen on every product you use since it could affect the fibers, destroying them. The one thing you must remember is that they need gentle washing. If you suspect that they are pretty dirty, you can soak for a few minutes, but generally, they wash quite easily.  The following are the best ways for how to wash merino socks.

Hand washing

This is the best way to clean merino wool socks since it is gentle and you have better control of how it is done. Remember that this fabric is sensitive to most products, so washing it should be pretty straightforward. It is best to wash them separately from your other socks to avoid any issues, especially color. For this, you will need the following:

  • Cold or lukewarm water (less than 30 degrees Celsius)
  • Mild washing detergent
  • Large container

Put water in the container and dissolve the detergent in the water and shake it up so that the soap is entirely mixed. This is important to prevent it from getting stuck inside the sock fibers. Turn the socks inside out and dip them into the water. Allow them to sit for about 10 minutes, then use your hands to scrub them gently. It is best to do this one at a time to avoid too much disturbance to the fibers. Rinse thoroughly in cold water.

While you may want to dry them quickly, it is best to allow them to air dry. Squeeze as much water as you can from the socks and dry them by either hanging on a line or laying them flat on a dry surface.

Machine washing

It is best to hand wash, but you may also use your machine on gentle spin. You will require:

  • Cold or lukewarm water
  • Mild soap

Turn the socks inside out, then place them in a mesh bag. This ensures that the fibers aren’t agitated too much, which may lead to shrinking. Also, ensure that the water is less than 30 degrees Celsius since hot water will also cause it to shrink. Run a gentle cycle and do not use any fabric softener. This is because the conditioner will coat the fibers, which reduces their ability to absorb bacteria and moisture.

You can tumble dry if necessary, but it is best to air dry on a line or flat surface after squeezing out most of the water.

Washing smelly socks

If you wear your socks for a long time without washing, it may be challenging to get rid of the smell through the regular method. This method to wash merino wool socks without damaging them clears the odor effectively. You will need:

  • White vinegar
  • Cold water
  • A container

Put a cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water, turn the socks inside out then dip them in the mixture. Allow them to sit for about 15 minutes, then gently rub them clean. Rinse them thoroughly in cold water, squeeze the excess water and leave it out to dry. They should be clean at this point; however, you can use the hand wash method to ensure that they are perfect.

Can you put merino wool socks in the washing machine?

Yes, you can clean your merino socks in the washing machine but only in a gentle cycle. It is also best to put them in a mesh bag to protect them from shrinking. Also, make sure that the water is either cold or lukewarm since hot water will damage the fibers and cause shrinkage.

How often should you wash merino wool socks?

Since you can wear the same pair more than once, you should wash merino socks after three wears. Remember that washing merino wool socks often does more harm than good.

Do merino wool socks shrink?

Wool generally shrinks quite severely, and it is no different for merino socks. This is why you should be careful when cleaning them. The best way to wash wool socks is to clean them using a gentle soap and cold water. However, if you wish to use warm water, ensure that it is no more than 30 degrees Celsius. It is also best not to tumble dry; leaving them out is the better option.

Merino socks are an excellent investment, especially if you are out and about often. However, they are delicate and require special care not to shrink or lose their softness. You can buy merino wool detergent if you have quite a few pairs. However, don’t wash them too often, so you get good value for money.