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Socks hanging from a bright green drying rack.

How to wash tights and socks

Socks are perfect for keeping our toes snug in the winter and tights are great for warming our feet and legs, too. However, both items can be notorious for causing laundry chaos – whether it’s a red sock accidentally dying a white wash pink, tights getting tangled around everything in the washing machine, or the mysterious odd sock that never finds its pair. With these handy laundry hacks there’s no need to worry about laundry chaos when washing tights and socks.

Here we give you some incredibly useful tips on keeping socks together in the wash as well as instructions on how to sort your clothes and how to wash tights in the washing machine.  


Laundry hacks for sorting and washing tights & socks

1. How to sort your clothes

One of the golden rules of laundry that shouldn’t be forgotten is: always sort your dirty clothes by colour. This helps to prevent colour run and preserves your clothes lovely colours. First, divide your laundry into three piles: whites, lights, and darks. Next, wash each pile separately – it is more likely that the dye in brightly coloured clothes, including socks and tights, will bleed in the wash so you may want to handwash them separately a couple of times before putting them in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry.

Before popping a pile of light or white laundry into the washing machine, always have a good look in between all of the clothes to make sure no stray red or brightly coloured socks or tights have got caught up in something like a shirt sleeve or hooded top.

Why not make a game of it and get your kids to hunt through your light laundry piles to find any unwanted red socks? Unfortunately, sometimes we’re left with colour run even despite our best efforts to prevent it, but don’t worry we’ve got some helpful tips on how to get colour run out of clothes here.


2. The best way to wash tights

Knowing how to wash tights is simple: just follow these four easy tips to find out how to freshen up your tights and keep them protected in the washing machine.

  • Before washing tights (with clothes of a similar colour), turn them inside out. This will prevent any build-up of lint while they’re in the wash
  • Then, place them in a mesh laundry bag before popping them in the washer. This will prevent them from getting stretched, torn, or tangled in the washing machine
  • Set the washing machine to a gentle cycle and use a mild detergent like Persil Silk & Wool. You should never use hot water when washing tights – a warm or cool wash is best
  • Always air dry tights as the heat and constant spinning of the tumble dryer could damage them


3. How to keep socks together in the wash

After making sure you pop your socks in the appropriate coloured wash, the next incredibly useful thing to know is how to keep socks together in the wash. Below are a few quick laundry hacks that can help you make sure a sock is never lonely again!

Hair bands or rubber bands can be used to bunch pairs of socks together. You could use different colour bands for different family member’s socks or get the kids to bunch together their dirty socks before they put them in the laundry basket

Mesh laundry bags are great for washing tights, socks and other delicate items and also prevent small items like socks from getting lost or causing blockages in the washing machine. Why not assign a laundry bag to each member of your family and write their name on it with a permanent marker to make sorting socks easier?

Food bag clips are another quick and easy solution. Available online or from homeware shops, these little plastic clips that you use to seal sandwich bags can be pretty handy for clipping together pairs of socks before popping them in the machine – and makes it easier to hang matching pairs out on the line too! 

Now, next time you put a wash on, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re not going to have to deal with tangled tights or lost sock monsters once the cycle is done!

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