How to Get Smell Out of Socks

As a barrier between feet and shoes, it goes without saying that socks often bare the brunt of foot-related odors. As such, the sharp stink can become infused within synthetic, cotton or wool socks can present a challenge to clean and deodorize.


Fortunately, there are a range of household solutions that can work to cut through the foot related bacteria within the socks, and free them of this unwelcome aroma. The following solutions will help to ensure that any sock of any material can be freshened and smell like new.


Smell Removal Solutions for Socks


1 Baking Soda Addition

Using baking soda within the washing machine is a simple deodorizing solution that can be added into any normal detergent wash. Place the socks within the washing machine, and allow for the machine to become filled with water before adding in a half cup of baking soda. The odor absorbent capabilities of baking soda will work to absorb much of the unwanted footy funk to leave the your socks smelling fresh.


2 Cup of White Vinegar

As an alternative to baking soda, white vinegar can be added into a normal detergent wash of socks to remove any unpleasant foot-related odor. Measure a full cup of white vinegar and pour it into the washing machine along with a scoop of detergent and any sock that are in need of freshening. Upon the cycle’s completion, the the odor within the sock should be gone and replace with the subtle aroma of white vinegar. Fortunately, this vinegar smell will go away as soon as the sock have completely dried.


3 Cup of Bleach (white socks only)

The use of bleach can be an effective alternative to baking soda and white vinegar for eliminate odors within white socks. Similar to the other compounds, start the washing cycle with the detergent and smelly white sock and allow water to rise before adding in a full cup of bleach. During the cycle, the bleach will work to cut through the bacteria that is causing the sharp odor within the socks.


4 Soak in Hydrogen Peroxide (best for white socks)

If the smells are especially bad they can be soaked within a highly concentrated mixture of hydrogen peroxide. Mix a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts warm water within an appropriate sized bucket. Proceed to submerge the smelly socks within the mixture and allow for them to soak for 1-2 hours. After this time has passed, the socks can be removed and placed through a normal detergent wash. This solution works best with white socks as minor bleaching may occur with colored ones.


5 Soak in Enzyme Cleaner

As a final soaking solution for extremely smelly colored socks, active enzymes can be used to literally eat through the odorous foot residues within the sock fiber. Mix a solution of enzyme cleaning solution and water in equal parts within a bucket and submerge the smelly socks within the solution. Allow for the sock to soak for 2-3 hours before removing and placing them through a normal detergent wash.

Photo credit: fletcherjcm


Published by

Joe Fresh

Joe is an odor combatant, chemistry extraordinaire and all around good guy. He has an over-productive olfactory system with absolutely zero tolerance for unpleasant aromas.

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