Dealing with Stubborn Sock Stains
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated September 6, 2010)
Perhaps one of the most stubborn types of stains that you can find yourself faced with on a weekly basis are sock stains. It is surprising how dirty these pieces of clothing can get, particularly when they are very rarely ever in direct contact with the ground. However, there are some methods that you can use to deal with the problem. Dealing with stubborn sock stains really only means that you need to take a few extra steps, or think outside of the box. Here are a few ideas that you can use to make sure that you have once again have some stain free socks.
- Concentrated Cleaners. Soak your laundry load for at least eight hours (i.e. overnight) in a strong, concentrated cleaner such as Oxyclean. Be sure that you use the proper amount as per you're the manufacturers instructions. The key to removing the stains is the amount of soaking time that is used for the stained item. In the event that the stain is cause by gum, ink, markers, and other items that are not caused by human sweat or residual shoe fabric, then you want to do a little prewash scrubbing as well. Use a toothbrush on the article, as well as a cleaner such as Motsenbacher's Specially Formulated Solutions, which can be purchased at most home improvement stores.
- Soap bar. Do a little prewash scrubbing with a simple bar of handsoap. Rub the socks with the soap by hand prior to putting them in the washer. This method works particularly well with lighter stains, but can also loosen up much of the debris or dirt on tougher stains as well.
- Strong cleaners. Another great way for dealing with stubborn sock stains is to use a little more bleach. Since bleach has the potential to harm your fabrics if too much is used, you wan to make sure that you only use a little bit more than you normally would. Usually all you will need to use is about 1/4 cup, and add it to the wash using your bleach dispenser. For those who are hesitant about using bleach, then add a mixture of 3 cups cool water, and 1 cup cool water directly to the wash. Another method is to use some hydrogen peroxide. Actually dilute the peroxide by making a one to one mixture (50/50 water and hydrogen peroxide) and add it directly to the wash. Your final option is to use some bluing., though you want to be particularly careful when using this method. Follow the directions that are on the back of the packaging, but decrease the amount of bluing to about 1/2 of what the directions say, and dilute it first to a mixture of 1 part bluing and 4 parts water. If it doesn't work right away, you can always try a little more the next time. Add the bluing mixture directly to the wash, instead of using the bleach dispenser.
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