Many parents have a number of athletes within their family. Perhaps their daughter’s on the soccer team, while their son plays basketball. Regardless, parents are often left with the task of doing laundry. When it comes to athletic equipment, conventional washing rules don’t necessarily apply. You can’t wash a pair of sports socks like you would a pair of men’s knee high argyle socks, to give you an example. You may be used to putting dryer sheets in the dryer to give your family’s clothes a refreshing smell. It turns out that this can be very detrimental to athletic apparel. The drying sheets can interfere with the clothing’s ability to “breathe,” thus essentially rendering it useless. Socks are probably one of the most abused pieces of athletic apparel in the world. They are arguably the most odor-enriched items that you will find in a laundry basket, so people feel the need to be overzealous when it comes to cleaning them. This usually results in damaged pairs of socks. Fortunately, if you can follow some simple rules while washing athletic socks, you can avoid causing any mishaps.
The first and probably most important suggestion to take to heart is to treat these types of clothes delicately. That means set the washing machine so that it runs a gentle cycle. These clothes are expensive for a reason – a lot of engineering goes behind them. If you let a washing machine have its way with them, they will get damaged. Also, be sure not to overdo it with detergent. Only use as much as is suggested for a particular load size. Sure, more means better in terms of combating nasty odors that can accumulate from sweat, but you also run the risk of ruining clothing.
There has long been debate as to whether or not socks should be turned inside out for maximum cleaning results. There is no indication that you will see any benefit from doing so as the detergent will penetrate the sock to reach the other side. If you choose to experiment with either configuration, feel free to do so as there shouldn’t by any detrimental affect.
We all know that clothes dryers are very convenient. Again, they can be a bit too aggressive for some types of clothes, athletic apparel included. Instead of throwing socks inside the dryer like you would with a pair of pink argyle socks, for instance, hang them outside to be air dried. You will have to launder the socks at least a day before they require use to ensure they are given ample time to dry. Remember to keep those drying sheets far away from the socks!