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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Keeping white socks clean

By Dr. Laundry September 17, 2012

I can’t seem to keep my son’s socks clean. I use Clorox bleach, but it still doesn’t get them clean. Any ideas what else I can do?

Socks can be quite a problem (my son’s socks are pretty challenging, too), and I do have some suggestions for you to try.

1. Be sure you are washing in hot water and using ¾ of a cup of Clorox® Regular-Bleach in each load.

2. Pre-soak the socks for 5 minutes in a solution of ¼ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach diluted in 1 gallon cool water. Then wash in hot water with detergent and ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach.

3. Pre-treat the socks using Clorox® Ultimate Care Bleach: This product is a thickened bleach product with a lower hypochlorite active level so it is safe to apply directly to bleachable fabric (something you should NEVER do with undiluted bleach!) It works exceptionally well on socks. I like to work with it in a dish pan—I lay the socks out, apply a small amount to saturate the stains, and then I transfer the treated items right into the washer from the dish pan. Then wash immediately in hot water and detergent and ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach.

I like using the dish pan because I don’t accidentally leave any spilled product around, and I can just stack the socks on top of each other as I treat them. Be sure to rinse out the dish pan when you are finished. Hopefully this will do the trick!