How to Wash Darn Tough Socks?

One of the best things about Darn Tough socks is how darn tough they are. These Vermont-made socks can survive anything from rock climbing to cross-country hiking and last for years. However, no matter how much you love these socks, you will eventually come to a day when it’s time to wash them.

So, take notes as I reveal how to wash Darn Tough socks correctly because you never know when that day will arrive.

Before washing Darn Tough socks, turn them inside out. Wash them by hand or in the gentle cycle of your washing machine, using a mild detergent with a natural pH balance to preserve the wool fibers in the socks. Air-dry them or tumble-dry them on a low setting.

Socks are vulnerable to the dangers of improper washing. If they’re not washed correctly, they’re liable to come unraveled, which will cause them to lose their shape and ability to absorb moisture.

To ensure that your Darn Tough socks last as long as possible, consider following this step-by-step guide to washing them:

How to wash darn Tough socks step by step

Step 1 Turn Your Darn Tough Socks Inside Out

Before washing your socks, turn them inside out. This method works best, especially for those socks with cushioned soles. Dirt loves to hide in the seams and loops of socks, so by turning them inside out, you will be able to see if there is any dirt hiding in those hard-to-reach places.

Step 2 Use Warm or Cold Water

It’s best to wash socks in warm or cold water. Hot water causes fibers to shrink, deforming the shape of your socks and potentially making them too small. It can also weaken the fabric and cause color loss. If you machine-wash your socks, choose a gentle wash cycle or select the knit/wool cycle if available.

If you are concerned about losing socks in the laundry, place them in a plastic bag before putting them in the washing machine. The bag will protect the socks from other items, such as buttons or zippers, that can snag them. And, if you’re not machine-washing the socks, that bag will save you the stress of handwashing. In the meantime, fill the bag with cold or warm water and allow the socks to sit in it for 10 minutes.

Step 3 Use Mild Detergent or Soap

When washing your socks, consider using a mild detergent or soap. Woolite and Nikwax are two brands that make wool-friendly detergents. To avoid the damage caused by regular detergents, choose a product with a neutral pH balance, free of acids or alkalis.

Steer clear of products that contain fabric softeners, bleach, or dye because these ingredients can break down the fibers in your socks over time. Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap is an environmentally friendly alternative to chemically-based cleaners and soaps. To wash your socks, follow this handy guide:

  1. Pour liquid or powdered soap into the bag and give it a gentle shake.
  2. Place the bag on a flat surface for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the water from the bag at least 200 yards away from the nearest water source.
  4. Please refill the bag with an appropriate amount of water and shake it to rinse the soap.
  5. Drain the water and repeat step 4 until the socks are soap-free.

Step 4 Air Dry or Tumble Dry Low

To dry your socks faster, you can use a clothes dryer. You can also air-dry or tumble-dry your socks for a few minutes on low heat. Do not dry your socks in scorching temperatures, as this will cause them to wear out.

Are you trying to be friendly to your environment? Hang them outside on a line. To remove excess moisture, press them in between your palms. Hiking? Tie the socks to your backpack while you walk, and let gravity do the rest!

How Often Do You Need to Wash Darn Tough Socks?

Darn Tough Socks are made from merino wool, which means that you don’t need to wash them after each use. Merino wool is naturally antimicrobial and odor-resistant, so you can wear your socks for several days before needing to launder them.

When hiking, it’s best to pack only the essentials. One way to optimize space in your backpack is to bring only one pair of socks so you can have more room for other essential things like water, snacks, and first aid supplies.

Don’t worry if you pack only one pair of Darn Toughs—they can be worn for days in a row without getting stinky.

Do Darn Tough Socks Go In The Dryer?

You can dry your Darn Tough Socks in a dryer. Air-drying them is best, but tumble drying also works if you use the low heat setting. Avoid exposing your socks to any source of extreme heat, e.g., sunlight, radiators, and high-heat dryer settings, which could shrink them and damage their fibers.

Do Darn Tough Socks Shrink?

As with most wool socks, Darn Tough Socks may shrink in warm and hot temperatures. To prevent this from happening, we recommend you line-dry your Darn Tough Socks or tumble-dry them on low heat only.

When washing wool socks, be sure to follow the care label instructions. If you use hot water, harsh detergents, or fabric softeners, you risk damaging the wool fibers. Please stick to wool-approved detergents. Hanging the socks to dry may take several hours, depending on how heavily cushioned they are.


Darn Tough Socks are made to last and can withstand a lot of wear, but they require some special care when washing. To keep your socks in great shape, wash them with cold water and mild detergent.

It’s best to turn them inside out to clean the dirt that hides in their cushions, use warm or cold water instead of hot water, avoid using harsh detergent, and avoid drying them in intense heat.

Darn Tough Socks

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