How To Avoid Losing Your Socks In The Laundry

How To Avoid Losing Your Socks In The Laundry

It seems that no matter what you do, socks go into the laundry but never come out. Despite appearances, your drier isn’t snacking on your footwear and there are a handful of things you can do to make sure you never lose another sock again.

Keep Your Socks Together When Washing and Drying

If you don’t want to lose socks in the wash, keep them together. Give them a safety buddy like you used to have when you’d go swimming at camp. The best way to ensure they stay in pairs is to pin them together. Safety pins and binder clips both work well, but if you haven’t any to work with you can just roll the sleeve of one sock over the other like you would when folding. On the plus side this takes less time and requires no materials, but it doesn’t hold the socks together as well and creates a thicker layer of fabric up top that will take longer to dry.

Organise Your Socks Better

Sometimes socks get lost before and after they go into the laundry, but it just seems like the drier ate them for a snack. To avoid this problem, there are a couple of things you can do. First, keep a separate (smaller) basket for socks. This way they will not get lost in the tumble when you’re bringing them to the wash, and you can combine them (using one of the methods described above) so they’re in pairs throughout the entire process. If you have any pets, make sure this hamper is somewhere that they can’t access.

To solve two problems, use a small mesh laundry bag as your sock-specific basket and just toss the laundry bag into the wash when it’s full. Soapy water will get through the bag and the socks will get clean, but they won’t get thrown off into another universe during the washing or drying phase. If you don’t feel like buying a mesh bag (even though they cost next to nothing), just use a pillowcase you were going to wash anyway.

Track Orphaned Socks

Sometimes you are going to lose a few socks no matter how hard you try to avoid the problem. The best thing you can do when this happens is create an orphanage for lost socks. When you find one solo, just store it in a separate place and eventually — or at least hopefully — it will be reunited with its lost brother or sister by the next laundry cycle.

Sources: wikiHow, eHow, Helium, and our own ingenuity

This story has been updated from its original publication date.


  • Ok, that’s not the way to do it…
    What you have to do:
    – You put a bag in your sock drawer.
    -Every time you have a orphaned sock, you put it in the bag.
    It will come one day where you will have no matching socks to wear, then, and only then, you look in the bag of orphaned socks.
    You WILL find a pair of matching socks in the bag.
    Will NOT work in the first few months or so, and no checking the bag before you REALLY need a pair of socks.
    It worked for me twice, thanks mum!

  • I got sick of this orphaned sock crap, so I gave up. I went and bought new socks. All the same.Yep… All my work socks are identical. doesn’t matter now which ones end up where.

    • Yeah, but then they stretch, or later you buy a ” similar but not quite the same” pair. Then it’s REALLY hard to match socks back up.
      I don’t really mind if the colours don’t match, what gets me is when the FIT doesn’t match.
      (PS who remembers the Sock Gnomes in South Park?)

  • I live in a house with me and five children. I’ve given up on matching socks. We have a box of socks, all socks go into the box of socks. when you need socks you just grab two socks…..I no longer care if they match…….My mornings are so less stressful now.

  • Alternatively, you could spend less time worrying about your socks and spend and extra 5 minutes and few dollars once or twice a year stocking up on new socks and ditch all the odd socks. Mine generally go from my feet to the washing basket, and any that don’t make it out of the machine show up in the next load and generally get reunited without too much effort anyway.

  • I just buy 6-10 pairs of identical socks, you can buy them in bunches of 3-5 pairs.
    When one develops a hole in the toe I just throw it out.
    Or turn it inside out and it will develop another hole around the middle toe

  • Ok first of all, folding socks together for washing is stupid, they won’t get clean like that and they will take longer to dry, much longer if they’re cotton or similar. Secondly and this solves all problems, buy a couple of stocking washing bags. You can get them cheap at any shopping centre, Bunnings has nice big ones that you can fit a lot in. This keeps them all together and they will dry in the bag solving the pain in the arse hanging issue. Problem solved.

  • I use Wizzpeg sock pegs. Aussie product. Come in different colours so I can differentiate between my socks and my sons’ socks (they have similar shoe size to mine). Much more convenient than safety pins. But like any system, if it is not implemented it doesn’t work. Hence, I have lots of socks, in pairs. Other family members including my wife have piles of unpaired socks.

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