Wondering How to get that pile of dirty white socks white again? Well this article can help you get all the answers to “ How to clean dirty white socks” 

White socks are a great way to complement any outfit. But there is no lie that nothing seems more quickly noticeable than wearing anything in white. Let it be socks, sneakers, a white co-ord set, or a T-shirt. People are always sharp to notice the change in its color. 

However, the disappointment is that as much as they work to enhance your fashion statement, they are as quick to catch stains and prone to color fading. The staining and color fading effects might be easy to erase when socks are new. But, after frequent wearing, it gets challenging. 

We all feel sad seeing our once pristine white socks getting grey over time. And being left with no option but to discard them. But Fear not, because there are multiple ways to clean dirty white socks and return them to their former glory. 

Best Quality White Sock

Adidas Cushioned Crew Socks

  • 97% Polyester, 3% Spandex
  • Imported
  • Pull On closure
  • Machine Wash
  • Cushioned in the foot for comfort and durability.
  • Moisture-wicking yarns keep feet dry from sweat.
  • Arch compression for a secure fit

How to Clean Dirty White Socks? Tips that work wonders: 

Here’s what we would be diving into 

  1. Exploring Pre-treatment methods for wiping off tough stains on white socks
  2. Getting to know about the effects of Scrubbing socks 
  3. Knowing the perfect handwashing methods to achieve optimal cleaning
  4. Finding the pros and cons of using bleach on white socks
  5. Using some great natural cleaning methods for socks whitening 
  6. Diving into some important frequently asked questions about How to clean dirty white socks and answering them. 

Cleaning Dirty White Socks- Pretreatment Methods: 

White socks tend to accumulate dirt, sweat, and stains quicker. which can make them look dull and dingy. However, the right pre-treatment methods can be a real treat in this regard. You will be able to effectively clean your white socks and restore their brightness and freshness within a matter of a few minutes. 

Here we have compiled some pre-treatment methods for cleaning white dirty socks.

1: Soak Socks in a Water-detergent Solution: 

Water and detergent solution is a simple and effective way to clean white dirty socks. The solution works by breaking down and removing dirt, sweat, and stains from the socks. Water acts as a solvent, which helps to dissolve the dirt and stains, while the detergent contains surfactants that help to lift the dirt and stains off the fabric. Soaking the socks in this solution will loosen the dirt and stains so they are easy to wash.

The detergent solution is also effective at removing odor-causing bacteria from the socks. Sweat and other bodily fluids can cause bacteria to grow on the socks, leading to unpleasant odors. Detergent contains ingredients that can kill bacteria and other microorganisms, helping to eliminate odors and leave the socks smelling fresh and clean. 

Additionally, Use a detergent that is specifically formulated for white clothing. It will help to brighten and whiten the socks, making them look new again.

Best Detergent for White Socks

How to clean dirty white socks

Shout Color Catcher Sheets for Laundry

  • Locks up loose dyes found in the wash water
  • Helps prevent dye transfer to maintain the original colors of clothes
  • Saves time by reducing the need for sorting
  • Safe for all colorfast washables and works in all water temperature

Here’s the best way to do it: 

Start by filling a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of laundry detergent. Mix the solution well and then add the dirty white socks. Allow the socks to soak for at least 30 minutes to loosen dirt and stains.

2: Use a stain remover: 

If the socks have stubborn stains, you can pre-treat them with a stain remover. Apply the stain remover directly onto the affected area of the sock and allow it to sit for several minutes. Then, wash the socks in the washing machine as usual.

Best White Socks Stain Remover


OxiClean White Revive Laundry Stain Remover

  • Contains 40% more whitening power per load than chlorine bleach
  • No measuring is required, simply add one Power Pak along with your regular detergent to gently lift away stains
  • Add this whitener for clothes to every load of laundry or you can even dissolve a pak in water to pre-soak
  • Contains no chlorine bleach and is color safe; no chlorine smell or worry about spills or splatters on colored clothing

3: Try a natural pre-treatment method: 

Natural Pre-treatment is a great way of cleaning since it does not entail the use of harsh chemicals that can potentially destroy the fabrics. Additionally, natural ingredients are typically more affordable than commercial cleaning products, making them an economical choice. 

The best method is to make a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar and soak the socks in it for 30 minutes. Vinegar is a natural cleaner and can help remove stains and odors from socks. Alternatively, you can make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the dirty areas of the socks. Allow the paste to sit for several minutes before washing the socks.

4: Scrub the socks: 

Scrubbing socks is a great way to clean dirty white socks. It helps to remove dirt, grime, and stains stuck on the fabric. White socks are notorious for showing dirt and stains easily, so it’s important to clean them thoroughly to keep them looking bright and fresh.

During Scrubbing, you are essentially applying physical force to the fabric to loosen it. Remove any dirt or stains that may be embedded in the fibers. Use a stiff-bristled brush or a scrubbing pad that is designed to agitate the fabric and lift any dirt or stains.

Additionally, scrubbing socks can help to remove any odors that may be trapped in the fabric. This is particularly important if the socks have been worn for an extended period of time or if they have been exposed to sweat or other sources of odor.

For tough stains, you can scrub the socks with a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush. This can help loosen the dirt and stains and make them easier to remove.

Using Bleach for Cleaning Dirty White Socks – Pros and Cons: 

Using bleach for cleaning dirty white socks has both pros and cons. Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of using bleach:


  • Bleach is able to whiten fabrics and remove tough stains. This is particularly important for white socks, which can become dingy and discolored over time.
  • Bleach has strong disinfectant properties, which can help to kill germs and bacteria that may be lurking in your socks. This is especially important if you have foot odor or are prone to fungal infections.
  • Bleach is a relatively inexpensive cleaning agent, making it an affordable option for those on a tight budget.


  • Bleach contains harsh chemicals that can be harmful to the skin and lungs if inhaled or exposed for prolonged periods of time. This is particularly important for people with sensitive skin or respiratory issues.
  • It can damage certain types of fabrics, particularly if used in excessive amounts or on delicate materials. This can cause your socks to become thin or develop holes, reducing their overall lifespan.
  • It is a strong chemical that can have a negative impact on the environment if not used and disposed of properly. It can also contribute to the pollution of waterways if it enters the sewer system.

In conclusion, using bleach to clean dirty white socks has its benefits and drawbacks. While it can effectively whiten and disinfect your socks, it can also damage fabrics and pose a health risk if not used safely. 

Frequently Asked Questions | How to Clean Dirty White Socks: 

1: How to make white socks white again without bleach? 

There are still several effective methods you can try. One option is to soak your socks in a solution of baking soda and warm water for several hours, which can help to lift dirt and stains from the fabric.

Another option is to use white vinegar, which can help to brighten and deodorize your socks. Simply add a cup of white vinegar to your washing machine during the rinse cycle. You can also try using a laundry detergent specifically designed for white fabrics, which contains brighteners and enzymes that can help to restore the original color of your socks. 

Regardless of which method you choose, it’s important to wash your socks in hot water. Ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned.

2: What temperature to wash white socks? 

Hot water is great to wash white socks and is generally recommended. The temperature should be around 140°F (60°C) or higher. This is because hot water is effective in killing bacteria, removing dirt and grime, and whitening fabrics. 

However, it’s important to check the care label on your socks before washing, as some fabrics may require a lower temperature to prevent damage or shrinkage. Overall, washing white socks in hot water is a good way to keep them looking their best, but it’s important to take care to avoid damaging the fabric or causing shrinkage.

3: How to wash white socks in the washing machine? 

Washing white socks in a washing machine is a relatively simple process. Begin by separating your white socks from any other colored or dark clothing to prevent bleeding. Then, pre-treat any stubborn stains with a laundry stain remover or bleach if necessary. 

Next, place your white socks in the washing machine. Add a detergent specifically formulated for white fabrics. Use the appropriate water temperature and cycle setting for your socks, typically a warm or hot wash cycle, and add bleach or whitening agents if desired.

Once the wash cycle is complete, remove your white socks from the washing machine and allow them to air dry or tumble dry on low heat. This process will help to keep your white socks looking bright, fresh, and clean.


We hope this article helped in clearing your queries about “ How to clean dirty white socks”. keeping your white socks clean is important not only for their appearance but also for maintaining good hygiene. Did you know white socks are good for your feet? Well, if you didn’t, our next article might help you know. 

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