How to Wash Grip Socks: A Comprehensive Care Guide

washing grip socks

If you practice yoga, Pilates, barre, or any activity that requires you to keep your feet in place, you probably have a pair of grip socks. Grip socks are designed to provide a non-slip grip and keep your feet secure while you move through different poses. However, over time, they can become dirty and smelly due to sweating and constant usage. That's why it's important to know how to wash grip socks properly.

The benefits of knowing how to clean grip socks properly will not only help you maintain their quality but also prolong their lifespan (which means buying less replacements). The good news is that washing them is relatively easy and can be done by hand or in a washing machine. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind to avoid damaging the socks that we explain in this article.

Key Takeaways

  • Read the care label on the non-slip socks.
  • Always sort your grip socks before washing them.
  • Use a gentle detergent and cold water to wash your grip socks.
  • Avoid using bleach or fabric softener and never put your grip socks in the dryer.

How To Wash Grip Socks?

Grip socks are an essential piece of equipment for many athletes and fitness enthusiasts. They provide extra traction and prevent slipping during workouts. However, like any other piece of clothing, grip socks need to be washed regularly to maintain their performance and longevity. Here are the general steps on how to wash grip socks effectively.

  1. Sort the socks: Separate the grip socks from other laundry to prevent any damage to the silicon or PVC material grips.
  2. Pre-treat stains: If there are any stains on the socks, pre-treat them with a stain remover such as Vanish Spray and Wipe before washing.
  3. Use cold water: Wash the grip socks in cold water to prevent any shrinkage or damage to the elastic fibers.
  4. Use a gentle detergent: Use a mild detergent to clean the socks. Avoid using hard bleaches or fabric softeners as they can damage the grips.
  5. Air-dry: After washing, hang the grip socks to air-dry on the line. Avoid using a dryer as the heat can damage the elastic fibers and the grips. Dryers can also shrink the fabric.

    How Often To Wash Non Slip socks?

    When it comes to the frequency of washing grip socks, it depends on how often you use them for exercise and also how much you sweat. If you wear them daily, you should wash them at least once a week. If you wear them less frequently, you can wash them every two weeks. However, if you notice any odor or dirt buildup, you should wash them immediately. White grip socks look great but do show dirt a lot easier.

    Tips to Keep Your Grip Socks Clean and Fresh

    Here are some additional tips to help keep your grip socks clean and fresh for your next Pilates session:

    • Always remove your grip socks after your workout to prevent any sweat or dirt buildup.
    • Store your grip socks in a clean, dry place to prevent any mold or mildew growth. This includes not leaving them in your workout bag as it will accelerate the build up of bacteria.
    • Avoid wearing your grip socks outside as they can pick up dirt and bacteria. Only use them in the studio or at home.
    • If you have multiple pairs of grip socks, rotate them to prevent wear and tear on a single pair.

      Preparing Your Grip Socks For Washing

      Before you start washing your grip socks, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that they come out clean and undamaged.

      • Check the care label. First and foremost, check the washing care instructions on the sock label. There will be specific washing instructions to abide by as every grip sock is made with different materials and specifications. For example, ALVY crew grip socks wash instructions are "Warm machine wash less than 40 degree Celsius".
      • Sort the colours. Sort your socks by colour to avoid colour bleeding. Check for any holes or tears in the fabric and repair them before washing. This will prevent further damage during the wash cycle.
      • Choosing the detergent. When washing your grip socks, it's important to choose the right detergent. Avoid using harsh detergents that could damage the fabric. Instead, opt for a mild detergent that won't strip away the grip material. You can also use a detergent specifically designed for activewear. As mentioned above, avoid using fabric softeners or bleach as they can damage the elastic fibers of the socks. Instead, you can use white vinegar or baking soda to deodorize and soften the fabric which works quite effectively.

      Manual Handwashing

      When it comes to washing your grip socks, hand washing is the most delicate method as its much gentler than using a spin-cycle washing machine. This is more important if you've made your own grip socks. It will help to ensure that your socks maintain their shape, grip, and elasticity. Here are the steps you should follow for hand washing your grip socks:

      • Set the right temperature for soaking. First, fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water. Add a small amount of mild detergent to the water and mix it well. Then, turn your grip socks inside out and submerge them in the water. Allow them to soak for 5-10 minutes to loosen any dirt or sweat.
      • Gently scrub and rinse out. Gently scrub the socks with your hands to remove any remaining dirt or stains. Pay extra attention to the areas that are most exposed to sweat and friction, such as the soles and toes. Rinse the socks thoroughly with lukewarm water until all the soap suds are gone. Be careful not to wring or twist the socks too hard, as this can damage the grip material. Instead, gently squeeze out the excess water and pat the socks dry with a clean towel.

      Machine Washing

      If you prefer to use a washing machine to wash your grip socks with the rest of your active wear, here's a few guidelines to follow to maximize their longevity.

      • Setting the correct wash cycle. Every washing machine will have different settings and modes, but choose a gentle cycle with cold or lukewarm water. Hot water can damage the elastic fibers of the socks that help give them a comfortable fit. You can also add a small amount of gentle detergent to the wash cycle, but avoid using fabric softeners or bleach as mentioned.
      • Use mesh laundry bags. To protect your grip socks from tangling with other clothes or getting damaged during the wash cycle, use a mesh laundry bag. This will also ensure that your socks are thoroughly cleaned without getting stretched or damaged (or lost within other clothing!)

      What To Know About Drying Grip Socks

      After washing your grip socks, the next step is to dry them properly. Improper drying can damage the elastic fibers of the socks, reduce their grip performance, or fade the colours (if left in direct sunlight). Here are some tips for drying grip socks.

      • Natural air drying is the best method. Simply hang them on a clothesline or drying rack and let them dry naturally. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight as it can cause fading and damage to the grip.
      • Avoid heat excessive sources. Do not use a dryer or any other heat source to dry grip socks. The heat can damage the elastic fibers and reduce the grip performance. If you are in a hurry and need to dry your socks quickly, use a fan or a hairdryer on the cool setting to speed up the drying process.
      • Keep the iron away. Do not iron the grip socks but you can use a low-heat setting on your iron or a pressing cloth to protect the grip.

      Can You Prolong The Grip Sock Elasticity?

      Grip socks are designed to stay snug on your feet and provide the necessary traction during exercise. However, over time, the elasticity of the socks can wear out, causing them to slip or become loose. To keep your grip socks in top condition, here are some tips to help you do that:

      • Store them properly. When not in use, make sure to store them in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or heat, as this can cause the elastic fibers to break down. As a suggestion, you can roll them up and place them in a drawer or on a shelf. This will help prevent the elastic from stretching out over time. Alternatively, you can even use a clothes hanger or a drying rack but these take up more space and can look cluttered.
      • Rotate often. Instead of wearing the same pair of socks every day, rotate between several pairs. This will give each pair of socks time to rest and recover between uses. In short, overusing the same pair of grip socks daily can accelerate the deterioration of the material.

      Tips For Washing Your Grip Socks

      Grip socks are an essential accessory for any yoga or pilates practitioner, providing a non-slip grip to keep your feet secure while you move through different poses. But, like any other piece of clothing, they need to be washed regularly to maintain their quality and efficacy. Here are some tips for washing your grip socks to ensure they last as long as possible:

      1. Check the care label. Check the care label to see if there are any specific instructions. Some grip socks may require a specific temperature or type of detergent. Always follow the care label instructions to avoid damaging your grip socks.
      2. Wash in cool or cold water. To maintain the quality of your grip socks, wash them in cold water. Hot water can cause shrinkage and damage the non-slip grip material.
      3. Hand wash or machine wash. You can wash your grip socks by hand or in a washing machine. If you have the time, hand washing ensures a more delicate wash that will prolong the grip socks life. But using the washing machine is a lot faster and can get a better clean. Just use a laundry bag to avoid tangling and damage to the grip material.
      4. Don't tumble dry. Don't take any drying shortcuts but using a tumble dryer as the heat can damage the non-slip grip material. Instead, hang them up to air dry naturally but not in the direct sunlight.
      5. Store properly. Avoid folding them as this can cause creases that may damage the non-slip grip material. Instead, roll them up and store them in a drawer or on a shelf.

      Common Mistakes to Avoid When Maintaining Your Grip Socks

      Now that we've outlined a few tips when it comes to maintaining your grip socks, here's some common mistakes to avoid:

      1. Don't use hot water. As mentioned, hot water can damage the silicone or PVC material that makes up the grip on the bottom of the socks. Instead, use cold or lukewarm water to wash them.
      2. Avoid fabric softeners. They can break down the grip material and compromise its effectiveness.
      3. Put the dryer away. Instead, hang them to air dry or lay them flat on a clean, dry surface. Avoid hanging them in direct sunlight, as this can cause the fabric to fade or become brittle.
      4. Don't stretch the socks. This might seem obvious, but when you're washing or drying your grip socks, avoid stretching or pulling on them. This can damage the elastic and cause the socks to lose their shape. Instead, handle them gently and avoid any unnecessary tugging or pulling.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Can grip socks be safely dried in a tumble dryer?

      No, it is not recommended to tumble dry grip socks as the heat can damage the rubber grips and cause them to lose their effectiveness. Natural air-drying (not in direct sunlight) is the best option for drying out your grip socks.

      Is it possible to machine wash grip socks without damaging them?

      Yes, it is possible to machine wash grip socks without damaging them. However, it is important to use a gentle detergent and wash them in cold water to prevent shrinkage and damage to the rubber grips. It is also recommended to place them in a laundry bag to prevent them from getting tangled or stretched. If in doubt, read the washing care label on the sock.

      Are warm water washes suitable for grip socks?

      No, warm water washes are not suitable for grip socks as they can damage the rubber grips and cause them to lose their effectiveness. It is best practice to wash grip socks in cold water.

      Related: What are grip socks and do they work?

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