Every socks I own quickly end up dry and rigid (2 or 3 months). I am sick to feel like I was folding paperboard after every laundry, or buy a new dozens every month or so.

I don't know what the reason is, but perhaps it's due to my sweaty feet.

These socks are 100% cotton, changed every day. The detergent is... I don't know, a regular one? (It smells quite good, ah!) To dry them, I hang them.

How could I prevent this from happening?

  • What material are your socks made out of and how do you wash and dry them and what kind of detergent and how much of it and how often do you change them... We'll need a lot more details, please! Welcome to Lifehacks SE, please don't forget to take the tour and visit our help center to learn more about the site and the SE system in general, then edit your question with more details.
    – Stephie
    May 30, 2016 at 8:20
  • Check the instructions on the packet and your water hardness; maybe you are using too much washing powder? Try using less and see what happens.
    – RedSonja
    May 30, 2016 at 11:58
  • What temperature are you washing them at? too high a temperature can cause this problem, but otherwise, I agree with the use of fabric conditioner after they're washed.
    – Bamboo
    Jun 3, 2016 at 17:31

5 Answers 5


You need to add fabric softener to your washing steps, after using the detergent fill up the laundry machine with water again and pour the instructed quantity of fabric softener, let the laundry do its job and after it has finished its cycle then take them to the dryer, hanging them to dry is another factor for this hard/rough/unpleasant situation.

If you add fabric softener and use a dryer I can assure you you'll have fluffy socks for longer time.

NOTE: Washing machines usually have predefined cycles that include the fabric softener step.

  • Probably in that cost he would just purchase new pair of socks
    – Fennekin
    May 30, 2016 at 17:43
  • It isn't costly at all @Fennekin
    – Just Do It
    May 30, 2016 at 17:50
  • Using a dryer is not recommended for most socks. Check the washing instructions.
    – Stephie
    May 31, 2016 at 4:03
  • 3
    I've used a dryer for all of my socks for years now, without a single issue, so I don't know where you get the "most socks" from @Stephie
    – Just Do It
    May 31, 2016 at 14:25
  • 2
    I guess we buy our socks in different stores then :P Cause I've literally used the dryer for all my socks and I've had the fortune of keeping them in perfect state. @Stephie
    – Just Do It
    May 31, 2016 at 14:31

Use LESS detergent

The detergent has stiffened the fibres of your clothing. Bending stiffened fibres will weaken and eventually break them. The life span of the clothing has been compromised. A dryer will hasten the process. That's the first problem you asked about. There's more.

Ahhh should be Argh! ! !

If you can still smell your soap/detergent after your clothes are completely rinsed, something is wrong. If you can't completely rinse, You're using too much.

CUT BACK on the amount until you cannot smell the cleaning agents. The manufacturers have ADDED an odour to your wash. How can adding something clean it? It's bait and switch for your nose.

You are not sick to feel you are folding paperboard. You are poisoning yourself with the chemicals from the overexposure to the pthalate impregnated socks you're wearing.


Apparently using vinegar in with the fabric softener softens them


Are you using your socks for other activities non-foot related that might cause them to become rigid and dry?

There are a few factors to this equation: 1-The quality of the sock itself. The fabric used to make the sock may be a thin blend. 2- Dryer setting is too high. Some people I know just throw everything into the dryer at once like savages and the setting for the dryer is is too high causing shrinkage and stiffness. 3-Depending on your location, your water may have different impurities impacting your fabrics (May not be the case if your other articles of clothing are coming out fine).

  • 2 is irrelevant for OP. They are hung out to dry. Jun 3, 2016 at 15:20

Use liquid detergent and use the recommended amount. Usually the first line on the inside of the cap. In the rinse cycle use a 1/4 cup of vinegar to help dissolve any excess soap. Vinegar serves 3 purposes: As a de-greaser, deodorizer, and poor man's fabric softener.

Too much laundry detergent doesn't rinse out completely and a result when it dries it becomes stiff.

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