I keep a glass jar by the sink for my 8 year old daughter's really grimy socks. I quickly rinse the socks out in water and then put them in the jar with dish washing detergent like Dawn and really hot tap water. I am trying the bleach alternative dawn right now. I shake it up and and let it sit all day or for a few hours depending on how dirty they are.
I empty the jar leaving the socks in and fill it with hot water and rinse twice. Then I pull them out and rinse in cold water. I might have to scrub a very little bit and the grime comes out. I squeeze excess water out and dry on a peg by the window. They come out so clean.
I will not use regular laundry detergent because it is so harsh on my hands. The socks have never been whiter, and it is so easy to get them done in a hurry this way. Also when they are strewn around the house I just put one in at a time and wash it this way and then hang it up, before long I will have another one and walla! There is a match. I have heard vinegar in the soap helps, haven't tried that yet.
Source: My obsession to get socks cleaner.
By Robyn Fed from Hampton TN
I wash socks separately. I select the longest wash cycle, use warm or hot water depending how dirty - I add a little dish soap to the machine as well! But my trick is I use two rinse cycles: the first, I put about a half cup of vinegar into it then the second rinse, I use my fabric softener. While the second rinse is not totally necessary I like it. The vinegar sanitizes and removes odors; it also softens but I like using a little fabric softener - therefore, the second rinse which will also ensure the germies are gone that make the socks sticky. ;P
Not an obsession for me anyway. I found that using the white vinegar in the rinse cycle will remove odors from clothing. My husband works in a restaurant and this helps me remove odors from his shirts. Even mine, sometimes perfume can linger, so this really works and is so cheap to use.
What size JAR do you use? That's a great tip ! It seems a large peanutbutter jar would be excellent for the size socks I usually wear (in winter IF I wear them at all!) But the only PB jars I have been getting here of late are always plastic. (I wonder if that is OK to add such cleaners to & be safe)
I hesitate using hot water for anything with elasticity such as socks,undergarments ect.The hot water will damage the elastic or the elastic threads or even the stretchy cloth. If you want your clothes to outlive their usage wash in cold (possibly warm) water settings.
An old diaper pail with a lid is ideal at my house for soaking embroidered tea Towels & undergarments in a TBSP of each: 40 Mule Team Borax & dishwashing powder.My mom read that little recipe years ago in a FRUGAL newspaper she got in the snail mail (I forgot the name of it now but the woman & her husband had 6 kids I think & they made a fortune with their frugality sharing!)
Or you can recycle bleach water 3 times :
1) Laundry soak to
2) floor mopping to
Just take the clothes from the diaper pail & wring them out & toss in the washer then grab your mop & do the floor real quick then tump it into the toilet & either allow it to sit a little while & swish or swish it right then (depending how busy your bathrooms are at your house- mine aren't really busy since there's just me right now)
Yes. By the time the bleach water ends up in the toddy it is dirty but still bleachy & the floor dirt that's in it will be flushed down instead of poured down a sink to not serve any real purpose.
I am one of the thriftiest women I know & I love me! Thanks!
I am going to try all the above things. I use a jar that is more tall than wide, I stuff one sock in at a time. It seems to work well, I am going to get borax and try that. It is good for flea control too. Thanks and I didn't know that about hot water and elastic. Robyn :)
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I hope someone can tell me what I can soak my sons cotton socks in. He is a lifeguard and his socks always get wet. I have been getting him to put them in a bucket with water and laundry soaker overnight but when I go to do the washing they still smell awful (like swamp water!) so I still have to wash them separately. I have also tried bleach in the water but it bleaches the color out of the black/blue soles of the white socks. Would something like vinegar help? He alternates between three pairs of shoes so they get to dry out fully between wearing.
Kat from Australia
Just try vinegar in the laundry, about 1 cup. Also, instead of soaking, try spraying with vinegar and let dry then was. You will not get the funny smell when they come out of the dryer. Works for urine smells too. (05/07/2007)
Soaking in baking soda and water might help. Also sprinkle baking soda in his shoes after they are dry might help too. Good Luck! (05/08/2007)
Try soaking the socks in very hot water and borax overnight. Launder in a very hot wash, with regular detergent and a cup of baking soda. You could try a cup of vinegar in the rinse water, that may help. Beyond that, I can only think of a very, very old fashioned method of cleaning stinky clothing, and that is to boil the socks in a large stock pot, containing water (obviously!), baking soda and a smidge of detergent. Bring the pot to a rolling boil and let boil for 20 min. Let pot cool off before emptying, then launder as usual. I believe boiling will seriously rid those socks of the smelly's! (05/08/2007)
Thank you so much to the lovely people who responded with cures for the smelly socks. I will be trying them out for sure ! It is so heartening to see how caring and helpful people are :) (05/08/2007)
I don't know about soaking or boiling, but have you ever tried adding simple borax to the load when washing them? I use this with my towels to eliminate any wet sour smell, and it works fantastic. (05/10/2007)
I would recommend washing them in warm water but even if there is not a lot of socks use the 'large load' water setting so the water and detergent can really work. Then I would put vinegar in the rinse cycle instead of fabric softener. This works with my hubby's socks. (12/04/2008)
Try sudsy ammonia. I washed a great looking shirt from a yard sale and to my dismay it reeked when I ironed it (even after I washed it). Use about one cup of ammonia (or more) to a half load of laundry (do not add any other cleaning additives at this time). I also used this trick when my husband was a heavy equipment mechanic. (12/04/2008)
Have you tried using Bio Zet laundry detergent? It gets out cat pee smells. I have recently changed back to Radiant though as I have a smelly young man in the house and everyone's laundry sure smells better and fresher now than it has in ages. Maybe a few drops of Nil Odor in the soaking bucket with the socks before they are washed in the machine will help. With my shoe insoles I found that washing them after each wear has helped to reduce the odour to almost nothing now. It is just trial and error. (01/08/2009)
By Julie, Melbourne, Australia