Missing Socks In Your Laundry: 3 Ways To Prevent Losing Them
Missing socks are the bane of almost anyone who does laundry regularly.
Where do these little pieces of cloth go? It is amazing actually, a mystery for the ages!
But there are some tried and true methods to prevent losing socks, and keeping them together both after you or the kids take them off, and while they're being washed.
These methods may be a little more effort up front, but trust me, no more effort than digging through the lost sock basket every morning hoping you'll be able to find a pair to wear!
Method 1: Use A Sock Bag To Collect, Wash & Dry All Socks
This method is actually my favorite, and thus why I've made it number one.
A sock bag allows you to keep the socks your family already owns, and is easy for even small children to follow through on, with a bit of training.
The idea is very simple. Use a bag to collect each person's dirty socks separately from the rest of the laundry. Most commonly people use a zippered lingerie bag, but you could also use an old pillow case that you tie up.
Each person in the family has their own bag (actually two), and you hang the one in use on the bedroom door to collect the socks after they're worn.
Then, when you're ready to do wash all you have to do is hang the second bag up on the closet door to begin the process of collection over again while you throw the full and closed bag into the washer, with all the socks in it.
The bag not only contains the socks while they're dirty, but keeps them contained in both the washer and the dryer as well. Just pull out the bag at the end of the whole laundry cycle and boom, you've got clean socks, all without a missing pair.
Just keep rotating bags and rinse and repeat as you do your family's laundry (or each family member does their own).
A reader, Laura (who provided the photo above) explained, "Just saw your post regarding missing socks. This is how I solved this problem in my home. Everyone has their own mesh lingerie bag. When they dirty their socks they put them in the bag. Once it's full they toss them in laundry hamper. I wash them in the bag and dry them and return them. Everyone is responsible for taking the clean socks out and putting in their drawers. No more matching or missing socks! You can use fabric paint or dye to mark the individual bags. Problem solved!"
Here's another picture from a reader, Brandi, who did something similar.
Brandi explained, "This was invented by my 9 and 12 year old kids. When the "dirty" side is full of socks they zip it closed and throw it in with their other laundry in the machine. They rehang the bag on the "clean" side.
They each have one in their bathrooms, above their laundry baskets. We've been using it since December, and it's been fantastic! (They named it a Patitumpeter, pronounced /petite/um/peter/, because, well... they are 9 and 12)."
Scroll down to see two more methods for keeping your socks from getting lost in the wash below.
Method 2: Pin Or Clip Your Socks Together Before Washing
The second method for preventing missing socks is to pin or clip each pair of socks together before washing.
While many people swear by this method I don't actually like this method quite as much.
It works really well, actually, so that's why I'm throwing it out there. I just think it takes a lot more effort than the sock bag method mentioned above, and I like to keep my laundry routine as simple as possible, personally.
However, if this is a method you'd like to try, here's how a couple of different readers explained it:
Rachelle says, "I have my family pin their socks together before putting in dirty laundry hamper."
Michelle says: "Use a safety pin to keep the pairs together, works great for the hubby's socks too."
Finally, one reader, Sarah, even sent in a photo showing how she did it, explaining, "I use baby diaper pins. No need to find either."
Some people have argued that pinning the socks, such as with a safety pin, can cause excessive wear and tear on the socks, or cause holes in them.
If you're worried about that they have similar products, called either "sock locks" or "sock clips" which basically do the same thing.
Method 3: Use Only One Type Of Sock Per Person So They All Match Each Other!
If you have no desire to try to keep your socks mated once they are dirty and while they go both through the washer and the dryer, or your children scatter socks throughout the house seemingly on a whim, the methods above may feel like too much work for you.
However, if missing socks are driving you mad you have another third solution.
This solution means you've got to get rid of all those socks that only have one particular mate though, and you can't have quite the variety that your family or you may enjoy.
But . . . it one hundred percent works, and can make your laundry life much sweeter.
This method is to have each person in your family only wear one type of sock most of the time, with perhaps just an exception or two such as for dress clothes. Then, when pairing socks when folding laundry you don't have to hunt for one particular lone sock. Instead, all the socks match each other, so it's easy to find two that go together.
Here's how this works in real life, as explained by a reader, Staci: "We had this problem until a few years back. I threw them all away and started new. All white socks with colored toes/heel.
We have 3 kids, 2 girls and a boy. Me and the girls all wear the same size since socks fit a range of sizes, ours have pink toes. And the boy's are gray and of course daddy has his own. It has really helped because they all match.
It was really really hard to throw all the old socks away but it's definitely been worth it."
Here's another example of this method in action, from a reader, Lynette who explained, "I had 6 kids. Only bought white socks, so each sock had many potential partners. Had one sock basket that all took from, not separate socks for each kid. There were some "special" socks-- but not many!"
So there you have it. Three ways to prevent missing socks from driving you crazy anymore.
How do you deal with this problem in your home? Tell me below in the comments.
I know I haven't even dipped my toe in the water of sock baskets, and trying to re-mate up lost socks after they've come out of the dryer and you can only find one. That's because the methods above are meant to prevent you from having to deal with this problem.
However, if you've already got a bunch of unmatched socks sitting around in a bag or basket, check out my article on managing your sock basket over on Home Storage Solutions 101 (a sister site) to get ideas for that related issue as well.
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Comments for Method 3: Use Only One Type Of Sock Per Person So They All Match Each Other!
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.