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How to Wash Hunting Socks Without Damaging the Fabric

By hunting socks, we don’t mean just any pair of good socks but those made of Merino wool. No doubt it’s an expensive fabric, yet hunters around the world sought after it because of its benefits. Merino wool is known to offer warmth, durability, and breathability among many others.

You probably know that Merino wool differs from regular wool. Unlike regular wool, Merino wool is very thin, measuring about 24 microns or less. And because of this, the fabric requires special care when washing.

So, the first thing you need to know is how to wash hunting socks without damaging the fabric. In this guide, we have shared step-by-step instructions for you to follow.

How Often To Wash Your Socks?

Merino wool doesn’t require to be washed frequently as it has anti-odor properties. But still, how often to wash your socks depends on how long you wear them, what you do while wearing them, and the climate. It’s possible to wear Merino wool socks for full 3 days to a month before washing.

Steps To Wash Merino Wool Socks

Washing Merino wool requires a few simple steps. But before you proceed, it is a good idea to check the manufacturer’s care instructions.

At Home

Step 1:  Turn Your Socks Inside Out

The first thing you should do is turn your socks inside out. It is important that you do this to get rid of any dead skin cells, sweat, dirt, and debris.

Step 2: Wash The Socks

Wash the socks in cold or warm water (30°C ) on the gentle cycle setting. Make sure the water temperature isn’t higher than the stated temperature or otherwise the wool might lose its color and weaken the fibers. If your washing machine has a separate setting for wool or knitwear, you can use it.

Step 3:  Use The Right Soap Or Detergent

Use a mild soap or detergent with a neutral pH. Don’t use bleach or fabric softener as they can damage the fabric. While bleach weakens the fibers, fabric softener affects the moisture-wicking ability and elasticity of Merino wool.

When washing socks in the backcountry, you can use a biodegradable soap. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Add the small amount of soap to the soaking socks.
  2. Shake the bag gently.
  3. Leave it for 15 minutes and then shake again.
  4. Drain the soapy water far away from any water source.
  5. Rinse the bag with fresh water.
  6. Drain the water.

Repeat steps 5 and 6 until there’s no soap left in the socks.

Step 4: Dry The Socks

If there’s a clothesline outside, you can use it to line up your socks there. You can also use a drying rack, but make sure the environment is well-ventilated. If you prefer a clothes dryer, you can throw the socks in it and set the machine to tumble dry on a low setting.

In The Backcountry

  1. Turn your socks inside out.
  2. Take a watertight bag and fill it with cold water. Soak the socks in cold water for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add a small amount of soap to the soaking socks and shake the bag gently.
  4. Leave the socks for 15 minutes and then shake them again.
  5. Drain the soapy water far away from any water source.
  6. Rinse the bag with fresh water and then drain it. Repeat this step until there’s no soap left in the socks.
  7. Remove excess moisture from the socks by pressing them gently. Lay the socks on the tent line to dry. If there’s not enough time, you can hang them on your backpack to dry as you hike.

Things To Avoid While Washing Merino Wool Socks

  • Do not use high heat
  • Do not use bleach, fabric softener, color detergents, and harsh chemicals
  • Do not iron
  • Do not dry clean
  • Do not towel dry
  • Do not wring out
  • Do not wash frequently

Tips For Storing Merino Wool Socks

Once your socks are all clean and dry, it’s time to store them. Here are some tips you can follow to ensure your woolen socks last a long time.

  • Fold your socks instead of rolling them. Keeping the socks rolled can distort the shape.
  • Use a ziplock bag or a storage box for storing your freshly washed woolen socks. If you’ve been storing your socks for months, make sure to expose them to the air once in a while.
  • Put cedar inside the storage box to prevent moths and insects from dwelling in your socks.

Final Word

You now know how to wash hunting socks without damaging the fabric. As long as you wash them with special care, you can wear them outdoors as many times as you want!

Apart from that, you should also keep the above tips in mind. But, if you find that your socks are showing signs of wear, it is a good idea to replace them with new ones.

Avatar of Shakil Ahmed

Shakil Ahmed

Shakil Ahmed is a contributing writer and editor on outdoorenjoy.com. he specializes in writing articles in various fields. His work has spanned topics that include home product reviews, and social media research, and has appeared in publications such as The Spruce, Wirecutter, and very well, among others. he has also been involved in the financial industry, and he has many creative and unique insights when it comes to articles.

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