How to Clean White Socks

How to Clean White Socks? 6 Clever Hacks

White socks are a staple in many people's wardrobes, but they are particularly prone to getting dirty. If you're tired of your white socks looking dull and stained, don't worry - we've got you covered.

In this article, we'll share four clever tips to help you restore your white socks to their original pristine condition.

Why White Socks Turn Black?

White socks look extremely aesthetic but they get dirty very quickly for several reasons:

  1. Dirt and Dust: Walking around, especially in less-than-pristine environments, expose your socks to dirt and dust. This is particularly evident if you're wearing shoes that don't fully protect against these elements.
  2. Sweat and Body Oils: Feet naturally sweat, and the oils and moisture from your skin can lead to discoloration. Over time, these substances accumulate, causing the white fabric to turn gray or black.
  3. Shoe Insoles: The insoles of your shoes can transfer dirt and dyes to your socks. This is especially common with older shoes where the insole material starts to break down.
  4. Environmental Factors: Everyday activities, whether it's walking outdoors, playing sports, or just moving around your home, contribute to the grime that accumulates on your socks. Grass stains, mud, and even the occasional spill can all leave marks.

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White Socks

How to Clean White Socks?

Cleaning white socks can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with stubborn stains. This guide provides step-by-step instructions on various methods to restore your socks to their original brightness.

How To Clean White Socks With Bleach?

Bleach is a powerful agent that can restore the brightness of your white socks. Here's how to use it effectively:

What Do You Need?

  1. Bleach
  2. A large bucket
  3. Water
  4. Glove
  5. A well-ventilated area

Step 1: Prepare the Solution. Fill a bucket with a gallon of water. Add 1/4 cup of bleach to the water. Stir well.

Step 2: Soak your Socks. Wear gloves to protect your hands. Soak the socks in the bleach solution. Soak for 5-10 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse and Wash. Remove the socks from the solution and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Perform a regular wash in the washing machine using your favorite detergent.

How To Clean White Socks With Bleach?

How To Clean White Socks With Lemon Juice And Soap?

White socks can also be effectively cleaned using simple laundry soap and lemon juice.

What Do You Need?

  1. Laundry soap
  2. Lemon juice
  3. Plastic bag

Step 1: Prepare the Materials. Soak the socks in warm water. Apply lemon juice and rub in laundry soap.

Step 2: Soak Overnight. Soak socks in a plastic bag overnight.

Step 3: Rinse. Remove socks from the bag and wash as usual.

How To Clean White Socks With Baking Soda?

Baking soda is an excellent natural cleaner that can effectively clean and deodorize your socks.

What Do You Need?

  1. Baking soda
  2. A large bowl or basin
  3. Water

Step 1: Prepare the Solution. Add 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water to the bowl.

Step 2: Soak Socks. Place socks in baking soda solution. Soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 3: Wash and Dry. Wash socks in the washing machine on the regular wash cycle—dry socks as usual, either by air drying or in the tumble dryer.

How To Clean White Socks With Baking Soda?

How To Clean White Socks With Vinegar?

Vinegar is a versatile cleaner that can help remove stains and odors from white socks.

What Do You Need?

  1. White vinegar
  2. A large bowl or basin
  3. Water

Step 1: Prepare the Solution. Mix one part vinegar and two parts water in a bowl.

Step 2: Soak the Socks. Soak the socks in the vinegar solution. Soak for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse Well. Remove socks from the solution and rinse in cold water. Wash in the washing machine on a regular detergent cycle.

How To Bleach White Socks With Boiling?

Boiling is another effective method to whiten socks, particularly useful for heavily stained socks.

What Do You Need?

  1. A large pot
  2. Water
  3. 1/2 cup lemon juice
  4. Laundry detergent

Step 1: Prepare the Solution. Fill a pot with water, then add 1/2 cup lemon juice and a small amount of laundry detergent. Bring the water to a boil.

Step 2: Boil the Socks. Place socks in boiling water. Boil for 15-20 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse. Remove the socks, wring out the excess water, and then wash them in the washing machine.

How To Bleach White Socks With Boiling?

How To Bleach White Socks With Sunlight?

Sunlight is a natural and eco-friendly bleaching method that can restore the brightness of your white socks.

  • Step 1: Wash the Socks. Wash the socks in the washing machine as you normally would.
  • Step 2: Air Dry. Lay the damp socks out flat on a clean surface outside, preferably on a white towel or drying rack.
  • Step 3: Sun Exposure. Make sure the socks are in direct sunlight for several hours. UV rays will naturally bleach and brighten the fabric.
  • Step 4: Regular Inspection. Check your socks every hour to make sure they are not becoming too dry and stiff. Allow the socks to dry completely before removing them.

How To Keep White Socks White?

  • Regular Washing: Wash your white socks after each use to prevent stains and buildup.
  • Separate Whites from Colors: Always wash white socks separately from colored clothing to avoid color transfer.
  • Use the Right Detergent: Choose a detergent designed for whites to maintain their brightness.
  • Add Baking Soda or Vinegar: Add baking soda or vinegar to your wash cycle to boost cleaning power and whiteness.
  • Pre-Treat Stains: Pre-treat stains before washing to prevent them from setting in.
  • Avoid Overloading the Washer: Do not overload the washer to ensure proper cleaning of your socks.
  • Use Hot Water: Wash white socks in hot water to effectively remove dirt and bacteria.
  • Air Dry in Sunlight: Air dry your socks in direct sunlight to naturally bleach and disinfect them.

Related read:

What are Slipper Socks?


By washing your white socks regularly, washing them separately, using specialized detergents, adding baking soda or vinegar, pre-treating stains, avoiding overloading the washing machine, washing them in hot water, and drying them in the sun, you can ensure that your white socks stay as white as new for a longer lifespan and a good appearance. By following these steps, you can easily keep your white socks clean and shiny.

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