How to Keep Your Socks White

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Keep your white socks looking their best.
Keep your white socks looking their best. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

White socks are used for everyday wear and match a variety of colors, patterns and fabrics. Since they do see a lot of wear on your feet, white socks can get dingy or stained quickly. Keeping your white socks looking their brightest requires a few extra steps with regards to care.

Things You'll Need

  • Lemon juice
  • Washer
  • White vinegar

Wash your white socks between every wear. Don’t wear a pair of white socks more than once, as this will lead to perspiration and grime buildup in the fibers.

Wash your white socks with only other whites. Avoid washing with colors even if the garment claims to be bleed-free or has been washed with whites before.

Pretreat any stained white socks by soaking them in a solution of two parts lemon juice to one part water for five minutes to help lift and bleach out the stain. For a quicker application, pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray the stained areas liberally.

Wash the white socks with cold water and laundry detergent. Pour in a cup of white vinegar when the rinse cycle begins on your washer. Vinegar will help freshen and whiten socks, but can also keep chemicals that might be present in your water from dulling socks. Avoid hot washes as heat can set stains in the fibers of socks. Dry socks in the dryer or let them air dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you've got extremely dirty white socks that have set-in stains, soak them in a solution of one part bleach to two parts water for 10 minutes, then wash them alone with detergent. If they are still dingy, toss them and invest in a new pair.

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