“Losing” socks during the course of washing & drying them has got to be one of the most frustrating laundry problems in existence. It amazes me how something as simple as keeping pairs of socks together can mystify people around the world!
I came up with MY solution to the problem a few years back. I had reached the end of my proverbial rope with mismatched socks and decided to eliminate the problem altogether by buying all the same socks for all the “boys” in the house. Although this doesn’t address the socks I wear, I don’t have nearly as many pairs as the boys and I do all my laundry separately anyway.
After looking into the phenomena of “lost socks”, I’ve discovered there are really only a handful of ways that seem to be effective in handling the dilemma.
My top 3 favorite sock solutions:
#1. Buy socks that are all the same. Every sock now “matches” every other sock in the laundry! Of course I realize this limits your sock fashion options and is much easier to do with all “boys” in the house.
#2. Lingerie bags for all! Each person puts all of their socks in their own separate mesh lingerie bags. Then just toss the bag into the washer and then the dryer, allowing none to escape! This is even more helpful with tiny baby socks that are harder to keep track of. Just keep a small mesh bag in your hamper, and throw the socks directly into the bag as they come off. If you have a couple of bags, you can keep them in the bag through the entire process, including storage in the dresser!
#3. Make a preemptive strike! Clip together matching socks with a safety pin right after you take them off and let them go through the washer and dryer pinned together. When they come out of the dryer, fold them up and put them away like that. Now when pull out a clean pair, take the pin off, drop it in a small container in the drawer to reuse over and over and over. Now all your socks will ALWAYS travel together…whether they are on your feet or in the wash! (I have used a clothespin here because that’s all I had at the time, but I think a safety pin would hold up better.)
And finally, for the socks that STILL end up becoming orphaned due to mysterious laundry room shenanigans that I doubt we’ll ever figure out….create a “sock orphanage”. Those socks that seem to have lost their way and are temporarily without a home go to the orphanage. About once a month, check the orphanage and you’ll most likely be pleasantly surprised that most of the sock siblings have turned up and can be reunited…until they are inevitably parted again. *sigh*
The orphanage can be a humble sack or box, or a more sophisticated peg board or something like my orphaned sock clothesline hanging in my laundry room.
If all else fails and you never find your socks’ mate…look at the bright side! You can always repurpose them into dust rags, shoe polishers car polishers, rice warmer bags, door draft stopper, or even baby leg warmers! :-)