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How to Wash Compression Socks: Step-By-Step

Last Updated May 11, 2021

sizes of compression socks images

Looking to Buy a Pair of properly-sized Compression Socks?

Click the button below to see the lineup of ComproGear Compression Socks.

NOTE: The page includes a sizing chart and free returns, so you’re always sure to get the perfect size!



You probably already know how good compressions socks can be for your health and comfort if you’ve used them. However, you’ll also need to spend a little time giving some attention to these garments.

This will keep your socks in tiptop condition for as long as possible – and save you money in the long run. This is why we came up with a few tips and tricks to keep them feeling like new.

Unlike regular clothes, don’t just throw them in the wash without much thought. There ARE some things you can do to keep them in great shape! Read on to learn how to wash compression socks like a pro!

Keeping them looking like new

Caring for your compression socks entails a little commitment because not all brands can be thrown into the washing machine

samples of different-colored compression socks

You may need to wash them by hand or at least remember to put them in the delicate wash or gentle cycle to maintain their quality.

washing socks immediately after use is more hygienic

Here are some best practices to follow if you do decide to throw them into the machine:

a cartoon of a laundry area
  • Before starting the wash cycle, hand-blot visible stains or patches of dirt.
  • Use cool or lukewarm water only. Never use hot water to clean them. When in doubt, follow the care instructions.
  • Always use a mesh garment bag or lingerie bag to prevent snags in the washer.
  • Set to the lowest (or gentlest) wash cycle or setting.

Hand washing your socks in a tub, sink, or basin is a great option, too.

washing your socks by hand is a great way to extend their lifespan

Here are some best practices to follow if you have to wash them by hand:

image of socks laid flat to dry in a towel
  • Soak your socks beforehand in a tub, sink, or basin filled with cool or lukewarm water.
  • Rub gently on any visible patches of dirt or oil.
  • Submerge and lather your socks with soap, but don’t do this too vigorously.
  • When done, rinse the compression socks until the water becomes clear.
  • Squeeze the excess water from your socks.
  • Once your socks are rid of the water, lay the socks on top of a fluffy towel. 
  • Roll the towel with your compression socks inside. 
  • Once the towel is completely rolled up, squeeze the towel. (This transfers the water retained in your garments to the towel! This trick works especially well for your travel socks during trips!)
  • Hang or lay flat to dry completely.
  • Expert tips:
    • Resist the temptation to wring your socks dry!
    • Avoid stretching or pulling on your socks too much during the process; this might destroy your garments.

Your secret weapon in washing your compression socks

No surprise – you will need detergent when washing compression socks. This is to remove oils and bacteria during the process. However, here’s something new — your ordinary laundry detergent may not be ideal.

use mild detergents only
Remember that it is never necessary to use fabric softener with compression socks.

Skip detergents that add or use fragrances, fabric softeners, or additives like chlorine bleach. These ingredients can weaken or degrade the fabric of your compression garments.

You’re really going to want to use the mildest detergent or even bath soap for this task. No chlorine bleach!

The benefit of using a high-quality detergent to wash compression socks goes beyond just preserving them. You also avoid coming into contact with residual chemicals when you put them back on.

Keeping them ready for the next use

avoid drying them by hanging them on clothespins
Don’t hang compression socks like this to avoid stretching.

The way that you choose to dry your compression socks can be just as important as how you wash them.

After washing, don’t get tempted to dry them as quickly as possible. Hasty drying techniques such as using heat can ultimately shorten the lifespan of your socks.

Don’t just hang them up using a clothespin either, as this may cause them to stretch out of shape.

Preferably, dry them by air drying. An ideal setup would be to turn them inside out before placing them on a towel over a drying rack.

It is crucial to your compression socks’ function that they retain their shape, and it’s worth making the extra effort.

Avoid placing your compression socks in the dryer and never place them near direct heat sources such as radiators. Even direct sunlight can damage your compression socks’ fibers. Just dry them indoors with minimal heat and sun exposure.

image of socks drying outdoors on a clothesline

Some best practices in washing your compression socks

You may be wondering how to care for your compression socks if you’ll be using them daily.

The top thing to remember is to wash newly-purchased compression socks before wearing them for the first time.

Here are some more smart practices to ensure that your compression socks are always ready to use when you need them:

Why is frequent washing important for compression socks?

You may wonder how often you should wash your compression socks if you intend to wear them regularly.

It may seem counterintuitive or even impractical, but you need to clean them as a way to preserve them. This, of course, is also good hygiene and gets rid of potentially harmful bacteria.

Just as you would with regular socks, you’ll want to change them daily and wash them between uses.

frequent washing is necessary for compression socks

Strange as it sounds, compression socks are actually able to keep their shape and function properly when they are cleaned regularly.

Have you ever noticed that your socks seem looser and less elastic after several hours of use?

Even high-quality compression socks can begin to stretch and lose shape after being worn continuously for many hours, such as during a work shift. This is not unusual!

Washing your socks can essentially help restore their elasticity!

To avoid having to wash your socks out every night, you’ll want to have more than one pair of socks so you can use them alternately.

sizes of compression socks images

Looking to Buy a Pair of properly-sized Compression Socks?

Click the button below to see the lineup of ComproGear Compression Socks.

NOTE: The page includes a sizing chart and free returns, so you’re always sure to get the perfect size!



Is daily washing bad?

The opposite is actually true!

image of woman using a front-loading washer and dryer

Washing compression socks that have been worn for a few hours restores their elasticity. Maintaining the optimal elastic quality is important because it will ensure that you’re actually experiencing adequate and proper compression levels.

Additionally, oils and sweat can build up on the interior side of your socks. If you’ve used compression socks for running or for long shifts at work, you know just how filthy it gets after just one wear.

if left unwashed, they can be a breeding ground for bacteria and cause bad odors

These trapped oils and sweat can also cause the garment’s fabric to deteriorate, which results in tearing and ripping, and become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Bacteria can also put you at risk for rashes, breakouts, and skin ulcers if you’re not careful!

a very stylish pair of socks

To a novice user especially, the thought of washing one’s compression socks frequently may be inconvenient (and, as mentioned, counterintuitive). However, washing these seemingly delicate items after each use actually extends the fibers’ lifespan!

When you purchase high-quality brands, washing them should certainly not cause them to fall apart quickly.

Compression socks that offer a compression level of 20-30 mmHg and made of a high-quality mix of spandex and nylon fibers should give you the best bang for your buck.

Here’s the bottom line — when you launder high-quality compression socks regularly, this should not harm them if it’s done right. Or, simply follow your compression socks’ proper care instructions.

An excellent way to make compression socks last longer

socks hanging on a tree branch

When you’ve invested in the price of compression socks, you certainly want to make sure they last as long as possible!

The best advice is to buy more than one pair so you can alternate their use, wash and dry them after each use, and make them last longer.

Plus, with many brands, adorable styles, and colors available today, you’ll want several pairs anyway.

Your takeaway — be gentle and consistent. Washing your compression socks properly after each use will make them go a long way — and save you money in the long run!

sizes of compression socks images

Looking to Buy a Pair of properly-sized Compression Socks?

Click the button below to see the lineup of ComproGear Compression Socks.

NOTE: The page includes a sizing chart and free returns, so you’re always sure to get the perfect size!



Resources Used:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27106555

https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/actionset/compression-stockings-how-to-use-them/tn8048.html

https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-care-for-compression-garments-2145792

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1864/09f31997a16ab62f11fa4b5c64701f758911.pdf