How to Wash Compression Socks

Washing compression socks is an important step in properly caring for them and ensuring their longevity. Compression socks are a vital tool in preventing swelling of the legs and encouraging steady blood flow to the heart. By providing gentle pressure to your legs, they are perfect for anyone suffering from pain or swelling caused by vein inflammation or muscle overworking. Because your compression socks look after you, it is crucial that you also take all the necessary steps to look after them, starting with washing them properly.

Why Should You Wash Compression Socks Regularly?

Washing your compression socks after every wear is not just about cleanliness—it's about longevity. With daily use, they can lose their elasticity and gather unwanted oils and dirt. Consistent cleaning keeps the fabric in peak condition, ensuring you get the maximum benefit for a longer period.

How to Wash Compression Socks in a Washing Machine

There is the debate of whether or not you should wash your compression socks in a washing machine. Now, a lot of people warn against machine washing, but it is understandable that some people simply may not have the time to hand wash their compression socks after every use.

Luckily, washing compression socks in a washing machine is very easy. However, you do have to take more care than if you were to wash your socks by hand. Here’s how to do it safely:

  • Inspect the Elastic Bands: Compression socks contain elastic bands that tend to attract more dirt and oils. It's best to hand wash these sections as they might be overlooked in the machine.
  • Use a Fabric Bag: Before machine washing, put the socks in a fabric bag (similar to ones used for bras) to protect them.
  • Choose the Right Settings: Opt for a cool to warm water setting. A cool water gentle cycle is ideal. The compression fabric is sensitive, so avoid hot settings.
  • Select Mild Detergents: Steer clear of harsh chemicals like bleach and heavy fabric softeners. They might damage the compression fabric.
  • Avoid the Dryer: Never dry your compression socks in a dryer. It can shrink them, rendering them ineffective.

How to Hand Wash Compression Socks

For those who prefer the traditional method, here's how to wash compression socks by hand:

  • Use Cold Water: As with machine washing, cold water is best. Hot water might damage the compression material.
  • Pick the Right Detergent: Plenty of products are tailored for compression socks. But in their absence, a mild detergent will suffice. Mix it in water rather than applying it directly to the socks.
  • Massage the Socks: Submerge the socks in the water-detergent mix and gently massage them. Focus especially on the elastic parts that attract more dirt.
  • Rinse and Air Dry: Thoroughly rinse the socks and let them air dry to maintain their elasticity.

Understanding how to wash compression socks appropriately ensures they remain effective and durable. Once you sense they're losing their snugness, it might be time for a new pair.