2 Ways on How to Clean Football Socks

How to clean football socks

As part of the wardrobe items, football socks collect dust, making cleaning a hard process. There are several techniques on how to clean football socks. You can choose a simpler method or one that works best for you. If you decide to use a washing machine, turn your socks inside out or soak and swirl if you choose the hand wash method.

Our article will highlight several steps to follow when cleaning your pair of football socks.

How to clean football socks using a Washing Machine

  • Separate the socks by color

Before cleaning your socks, separate the colors and whites to avoid unnecessary bleeding and maintain their color, especially the whites. Provided you have to clean both your football and dress socks, separate them as well, depending on their color or material.

  • Use stain removing detergents to get rid of stains

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A product like Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid is a stain remover detergent that you can apply or soak your socks in to remove stains. You can also mix a small amount of Oxiclean Powder with warm water and soak the socks with stains overnight or a few hours.

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Also, there are several home remedies you can use to remove different types of stains. One of the alternatives is using hairspray on ink stains or sprinkling a pinch of salt on red wine stains before cleaning. You can also prepare a simple remover by adding a 1:2 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing liquid.

  • Turn your socks inside out.

Turning your pair of football socks inside out can clean every part and remove the bad smells causing bacteria that reside inside the sock.

  • Use a clothespin to pin each pair together.

Consider pinning pairs together before adding them in the washing machine if you mostly find yourself with one sock, and that will keep them paired all through. Add mild laundry detergent to avoid stretching, fading, or other forms of wear.

Learn more on how to clean football receiver gloves.

How to clean football socks manually (Hand-washing)

Separate the white socks from the colored ones and clean each pile separately to avoid coloring the white ones and keep the colored from fading.

Remove any stains using home remedies or removers and ensure you follow the instructions on the container. To remove grass stains, you can use hot vinegar.

Fill a bucket or sink with a cold, soapy solution because warm water might lead to shrinking or bleeding. Add a small amount of laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid, and if the pile is big, you can use a bathtub. Just like a washing machine, turn your socks inside out, and continue cleaning to get rid of odor-causing bacteria.

Swirl them around in the water for a thorough clean and loosen all dirt. Twisting or scrubbing the fabric may damage or cause the material to stretch. It is advisable to leave them in the solution for about 5 minutes, especially if they are excessively dirty. Let the dirty water drain, fill your bucket again with a soapy solution, and let your socks in for 10-30 minutes.

After a thorough cleaning, rinse them until the dirty water and soap are all gone. Carefully flip them back to their initial look.

How to Dry your Football Socks

  • Roll the socks in a towel

Pressing water out using a towel fastens the drying process. Lay them flat on the towel and roll it up tightly. Avoid wringing your football socks out because that might damage or stretch the material.

  • Hang your socks out

Hang them out on a clothesline or clothes rack and give them time to dry completely. Using a dryer can damage the fabric fibers or their elasticity. If you have no time to air dry your socks, you can use a dryer on gentle mode to prevent damage.

Once they are dry completely, fold each pair together and keep them in a specific drawer.

How to remove stains from white football socks

White socks have difficulties in removing stains that tend to dull their look and seem older. There are few steps highlighted in this article to help you get rid of such stains.

Soak the socks in a bucket containing 5 liters of warm water and a cup of lemon juice and leave it for about an hour. The lemon juice will remove the dirt stains without destroying the fabric.

Add a cup full of regular washing detergent along with 2 spoons of dishwasher detergent in powder form. Such a combination will improve the removal of stains and reclaim the white color.

Give the machine enough time to do the washing. In case of any remaining stains, you can repeat the procedure.

Another way is dissolving a dishwasher cube in a bucket and letting your socks stay there overnight. You can use two depending on the pile of dirty socks. Vinegar, baking soda, and borax are also helpful in maintaining your football socks’ white color. Some prefer Ammonia instead of bleach detergents because they argue that Ammonia lacks the lingering odor.   

How to soften your football socks during laundry

Your football socks deserve to come out of the washing machine soft no matter how dirty they are. They become hard when the hard water leads to a buildup in the fibers or when dirt and soil remains in the sock after cleaning. Proper cleaning of your football socks and keeping them from hard water residue ensures they are comfortable and soft after cleaning.

Safety tips

Once you are through with your match, do not staff your football socks in the dressing room. Take them out of your kit bag to attend to them, especially if the field was wet and muddy. Leaving wet socks in the bag will only make them smelly and stickier. Substances such as mud and grass tend to discolor the fabric, especially on white socks. Use a bleach detergent to pre-treat any spots of mud before you start the usual cleaning.

Do not overfill the cleaning machine because too many pairs of socks will re-deposit dirt due to less water. That is the reason behind grey stains on your football socks or other kits. Manufacturers recommend high temperatures only when dealing with hard stains. The right temperature will ensure the durability of your football kit.

Avoid mixing shorts and jerseys with socks because they have to benefit from fabric softener to prevent them from stretching. Football socks are also prone to destructions during the match or throughout the season. Try your best to ensure that they look new all through just like the start of the season. It is also wise to get an extra pair for the season.


Football is a sport with a high risk of injuries, especially on your joints. Twisting your ankle is most likely to happen while playing. It is not wise to participate in a match without football socks. They highly prevent injuries from happening especially, to your ankle. Also, you feel more comfortable, less sweat, and less friction in your cleats. If your socks cannot dry fast, get yourself extra pairs to ensure you do not miss any match.

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