Skip to content
Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

White Socks

By Dr. Laundry December 28, 2010

Q. I am raising my grandson and cannot keep the bottom of his white socks clean. I use Clorox bleach, but it still doesn’t get them clean. Any ideas what else I can do?

A. Your grandson is very lucky to have you! On a personal note, my mom also helped raise my nephews, who would stay with her every summer when school was out. And they always showed up with armfuls of dirty laundry! 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® 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.