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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Smelly Socks

My husband does this mean thing to both Gray and me – he’ll take a pair of already worn socks, stick them under our noses, and will ask ‘are these dirty?’  By the stench that fills our noses, we can confidently say yes.  Or we think the answer is yes, but I’ve been known to properly wash, completely dry, and then go to put away his socks only to find that they still don’t smell clean.  Why is that? The answer is one word – bacteria.  A couple years ago, we discussed how often you should wash your towels, and in it, we talked about how dead skin cells collect in the fibers of your towel and serve as food for bacteria.  Bacteria tends to flourish in moist, tightly woven fabrics.  When your socks get wet from things like either feet sweat or wet shoes, the bacteria starts to feed and multiply, ultimately making your socks their home.

Because you can’t always keep your feet from sweating, let’s talk about a few things you can do to help reduce the stink factor in your socks:
  • If your shoes get wet, allow them to dry completely before wearing them again.
  • Keep your shoes as clean as possible.
  • Use odor eating insoles.
  • Stuff dryer fabric sheets inside your shoes when they are not in use.
  • Wear moisture wicking socks.    
  • Make sure your feet are clean and fungus free.
  • Use odor eating powder on your feet.
Once that smell filtrates your socks, a simple washing won’t take away the odor.  Here are some options we recommend trying:
  1. Add two cups of white vinegar at the beginning of the wash along with your detergent and wash and dry your socks as normal.
  2. Place socks in the washing machine, fill with water, add a half a cup of baking soda along with the detergent, and wash as normal.  Baking soda’s odor absorbent abilities will soak up that funky sock smell.
  3. If the socks are completely white, bleach is an option.  Place the socks in the washer, fill with water and detergent, allow the wash cycle to start and then add a cup of bleach.  The bleach will penetrate the fabric and kill the bacteria living in the socks. 

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