Can You Wash Underwear And Socks In A Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Underwear And Socks In A Washing Machine

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The topic of washing underwear and socks together in a washing machine sparks various opinions. While some advise against it due to hygiene considerations, others deem it acceptable given you use warm water and mild detergent. Delicate materials such as lace or mesh should, however, be hand washed separately.

Washing habits differ from one person to another, often due to personal preferences or specific concerns about hygiene or garment longevity. One common query is whether one can wash underwear and socks together in a washing machine. This practice is viewed differently by different people; however, consensus holds that it is possible, albeit with certain guidelines to be followed for maintaining cleanliness and fabric integrity.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Underwear And Socks In The Washing Machine


  • Always separate colored items from whites to prevent color bleeding.
  • Wash items in warm water to ensure optimal cleanliness.
  • Use a mild detergent to prevent possible skin irritations.
  • Wash heavily soiled items separately to avoid contamination of other garments.
  • Use a laundry bag for delicate items like lace or mesh underwear.


  • Don’t mix heavily soiled underwear or socks with lightly soiled items.
  • Avoid washing delicate fabrics with tough, heavy items.
  • Don’t use strong, chemical-laden detergents that may harm delicate fabrics.
  • Avoid washing underwear and socks together if anyone in the household is sick.
  • Do not use bleach on colored fabrics, as it can lead to fading.

Steps to Wash Underwear And Socks Together in the Washing Machine

Step 1

Sort Your Laundry: Sort your laundry by color and fabric type.

Step 2

Check Pockets: Make sure to check the pockets of your clothes for loose items.

Step 3

Pre-Treat Stains: If any of your garments have stains, pre-treat them with a gentle stain remover.

Step 4

Load Your Laundry: Load your laundry into the washing machine, ensuring it is not overloaded.

Step 5

Add Detergent: Add a suitable amount of mild, hypoallergenic detergent.

Step 6

Set the Temperature: Set the machine to wash at a warm temperature.

Step 7

Start the Wash Cycle: Start the wash cycle and allow it to run its course.

Step 8

Dry Your Laundry: Once the wash cycle is finished, air-dry your garments or use a low-heat setting if using a dryer.

Alternative Washing Methods for Underwear And Socks Together

  • Hand Washing: Hand washing is recommended for delicate fabrics. Fill a sink or basin with lukewarm water, add a bit of mild detergent, then immerse your garments. Gently agitate them, rinse well, and air-dry.
  • Soaking and Rinsing: If hand washing isn’t an option, you can soak your underwear and socks in soapy water for a few hours or overnight, then rinse thoroughly and air-dry.
  • Spot Cleaning: This method is suitable when you have little time or during travel. Use a little detergent to spot clean your underwear and socks, rinse and air-dry.


Does washing underwear and socks together affect the hygiene of the garments?

Answer: With a good washing routine, the hygiene of the garments can be maintained.

Can I mix other clothing items with underwear and socks in the washing machine?

Answer: It’s recommended to separate heavy items from light ones. Delicate fabrics should be washed separately.

Should I use fabric softeners when washing underwear and socks together?

Answer: Fabric softeners may leave residues that could irritate skin, so it’s best to avoid them.

Can I dry my underwear and socks in the dryer after washing?

Answer: While air drying is the gentlest, a dryer can be used on a low-heat setting.

What type of detergent is best for washing underwear and socks together?

Answer: A mild, hypoallergenic detergent is recommended to prevent skin irritation.

Final Words

The matter of washing underwear and socks together in a washing machine isn’t a black and white issue. Depending on specific circumstances such as garment material and household health, this practice can be both time-saving and effective. If executed with attention to detail and adherence to guidelines such as using warm water and mild detergent, this method can serve you well. Remember, hand washing remains a safe alternative for delicate items that may not withstand machine washing.

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