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  1. #1
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    Cleaning Dingy Socks?

    Seems like I have more than a few pair of socks that are still in very wearable condition but they have turned a dingy gray...no longer white. Could this be because I wash them by hand in the sink with liquid dish soap rather than detergent?

    Is there a way to get them whiter w/o using bleach? I'm afraid the bleach with also bleach out some of the color trim that most of them have.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Deliciously Ironic
    Reputation: Rollo Tommassi's Avatar
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    yes

    well, it's sort of too late for your current crop of grey socks, but you need a detergent with more grease-cutting stuff in it. Dawn dish soap is great/cheap, if you still want to do by hand.

    Really though, i just wash everything in the washer - jerseys shorts etc. with Tide.

    Especially if riding in the rain, don't let the socks dry out before you wash them - soak them in Dawn first then put in wash.

    Sounds like you need new socks!
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  3. #3
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    Just get black socks. Even when they are dirty they are still black. One time getting caught in the rain will ruin white socks.

  4. #4
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    Have the wife wash them, she'll do it right. Or your mom.

    Last year I had an apprentice on the job who was showing up in progressively dingier high visibility yellow shirts that are mandatory on some construction sites. One day I asked him if he was washing the shirts. He claimed he was but he wasn't sure what he was doing differently than his mom. He'd moved out of the house a month earlier so he was doing his own laundry. Later that week he showed up and the shirt was significantly cleaner. I asked him what he'd done differently. He hung his head and replied "I used soap." When he moved out and did his shopping he mistakenly bought dry fabric softener instead of soap. Kids.
    Last edited by TWB8s; 12-11-2011 at 05:57 PM.

  5. #5
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    Soak in Oxi-clean before washing?

    OxiClean - Home Page

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB8s View Post
    Have the wife wash them, she'll do it right. Or your mom.

    Last year I had an apprentice on the job who was showing up in progressively dingier high visibility yellow shirts that are mandatory on some construction sites. One day I asked him if he was washing the shirts. He claimed he was but he wasn't sure what he was doing differently than his mom. He'd moved out of the house a month earlier so he was doing his own laundry. Later that week he showed up and the shirt was significantly cleaner. I asked him what he'd done differently. He hung his head and replied "I used soap." When he moved out and did his shopping he mistakenly bought dry fabric softener instead of soap. Kids.
    You don't think I've tried that? Mom is no longer here and my wife has given it her best and can only suggest bleach. Oh well.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawker12 View Post
    You don't think I've tried that? Mom is no longer here and my wife has given it her best and can only suggest bleach. Oh well.

    Ask her "did you wash my socks yet? and git me a cold beer while you're up"

    It occurred to me that you might have water hardness issues. Drop a little blue pill in the rinse cycle.

    But seriously, if you have hard water your soap might not work as well as intended. We replaced our water softener system a few years ago and clothes got cleaner and in the shower soap got sudsier.
    Last edited by TWB8s; 12-11-2011 at 07:01 PM.

  8. #8
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    +1 on Oxyclean

    Oxyclean or one of the cheaper grocery store housebrand knockoffs is your best bet. I've soaked dingy gray socks that used to be white completely clean in this stuff. To save $$ (it's relatively expensive) just use a small bowl or pan of hot water, dissolve the correct amount of Oxyclean in, and let 'em soak for several hours or even overnight. You can just dump the whole thing into the washing machine and run through a complete cycle after soaking.

  9. #9
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    Apparently you have no wife. They know about these things. Since you don't have a wife, why care if your white socks are a bit grey? They still work good, don't they? But if the color bothers you, buy new ones. A dozen at Costco is a deal. And, pick up some bleach while you're there.
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  10. #10
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    I'd prefer gray over white socks. but all my socks are black, so no problems.
    eff all y'all...

  11. #11
    Resident Curmudgeon
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    If your socks are gray & dingy now nothing can help them. You have to do them right the 1st time you wash them-no 2nd chances. I always wear white cycling socks (like God intended) ans when I ride in the rain they get particularly nasty. Like Rollo Tommassi I wash everything in the washer & dry them in the dryer. Oh, stop gasping you guys. I've been doing it that way for almost 50 years & it hasn't harmed anything yet.

    When the socks are gray from dirt & slip one over my hand & spray it heavily with Spray n Wash or Shout. Soak them with the spray where it's dirty. I'm careless enough to walk around in mine once in a while, so the bottoms get dirty. After you've sprayed them & they've sat for about 5 min., toss them in the washer with whatever laundry you have, use your regular detergent, & they'll come out darn near pristine.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Special Eyes View Post
    Apparently you have no wife. They know about these things. Since you don't have a wife, why care if your white socks are a bit grey? They still work good, don't they? But if the color bothers you, buy new ones. A dozen at Costco is a deal. And, pick up some bleach while you're there.
    You buy cycling socks at Costco? I think not. Yes I do have a wife, but I don't relegate the washing and the cooking just to her. Time to come into the 70s SpecialEyes.

    I think I'll try the Oxy-Clean...thanks guys.

  13. #13
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    Reputation: piano,piano's Avatar
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    old school

    Like Mr. Versatile, I'll only wear white socks. I'm old school, a bit of a fashion victim, and personally think that black socks, especially when paired with white road shoes, look quite nerdish and a little like grandpa on vacation.

    I'll definitely second the OxyClean route. A good, long soak before machine washing helps tremendously. As does using a little Pedros citrus degreaser applied to the greasy stains, which are usually found on the chainside sock only. I've also had great luck spraying my new white socks with Scotchguard. Highly toxic, yes, but they seem to stay whiter far longer than the non Scotch Guarded ones.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.knight View Post
    Just get black socks. Even when they are dirty they are still black. One time getting caught in the rain will ruin white socks.
    This. That is why I initially started using black socks. The carbon black from the road that gets embedded in socks during rain riding does not come out. It's naturally black, and nothing like bleach will ever change that.

  15. #15
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    +6.28 on soaking in Oxiclean overnight. I resurrected a few pair of old white cycling socks a couple of months ago. Of course nowadays I will only ride with white socks for the irony.

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