A Step-by-step Guide to Caring for Your Compression Socks
For people whose occupations require them to stand for long periods, compression socks have become a popular garment for stimulating blood flow and reducing discomfort and swelling in the legs. That being said, they usually come with specific instructions as to how they should be worn and how long they are supposed to be worn.
Additionally, compression socks require a bit more attention when it comes to maintenance and care. Unlike normal pairs of socks that you can throw into the washing machine with the rest of your clothes, compression socks need delicate care to remain functional and effective.
If you own compression socks or are planning to buy a pair of them, here is a comprehensive guide that will teach you some useful tips and tricks. By following these steps, you can ensure that your compression socks stay in good condition for as long as possible.
How You Should Wear Compression Socks
Wearing your compression socks properly is key to keeping them in good shape. If you’re not careful, you can cause the fabric to stretch or snap. When this happens, you’ll have no choice but to replace them, since damaged compression socks cannot do their job properly.
Compared to wearing normal socks, wearing a pair of compression socks is a bit trickier since you cannot yank and pull at them any way you want. To prevent snagging and stretching the fabric, here’s a three-step guide on how to wear them properly.
Step 1: Put your hand inside of the sock to grab the heel pocket, then pull the top of the sock down toward the toe to turn it inside out.Make sure to slip your hand in carefully so as not to stretch out the fiber of the sock. Also, take note that you’re only supposed to be turning the upper area of your sock—the fabric that covers the part above your ankle—inside out, and not the whole thing.
Step 2: Slide your foot into the sock until your toe and heel are positioned correctly. Remember that the toe and heel pockets must hug your foot without bunching up. If they do, the sock you’re wearing is probably too long.
Step 3: Hold the top of the sock, then gently pull it over your ankle and towards your leg.To avoid unwanted stretching or snagging, be very careful when pulling your sock in place. It will also help to gently massage the sock in an upwards motion to smoothen out the fabric and position it in a way that hugs your leg perfectly.
How You Should Wash Compression Socks
Generally speaking, compression socks require washing after every use. However, it’s not ideal to simply toss your used pair into the washer, as this cleaning method can cause the fabric to deteriorate quickly. This is why, even though these socks are usually machine-washable, most people prefer to wash them by hand instead. Here’s how to do so properly:
Step 1: Fill your bucket or sink with warm water, then pour in mild detergent. Do not forget to break down the detergent by slightly agitating the water with your hands. Also, be mindful of the water temperature when washing your compression socks. If the water is too cold, you’ll have a harder time eliminating dirt, oil, and sweat, which may be deeply embedded in the fabric. Meanwhile, washing them with hot water will damage the fabric and permanently set any stains. This especially true for white pairs of compression socks.
Make sure to use mild detergent, too, such as those for washing baby clothes or compression hosieries. That said, do not use bleach and fabric softeners because these can damage the fibers of the fabric.
Step 2: Leave your socks soaked in the warm soapy mixture for a couple of minutes. You can also gently rub them with your fingers to remove dirt. However, do not use abrasive tools like brushes to rub dirt off, as these can ruin the material of your socks.
Step 3: Pour out or drain the soapy mixture, then add in clean warm water to rinse your compression socks. Again, do not stretch, twist, or pull as you wash because doing so may ruin the elasticity of the garment. Rub the socks gently to remove soap residue. Then, squeeze the socks to get rid of excess water.
Step 4: Hang your compression socks to dry. As much as possible, let your socks drip and dry the natural way. Avoid using a machine to dry them because heat drying can damage your socks.
Follow these steps and you’ll be able to maximize the use of your compression socks for longer. It takes some getting used to, but once you’ve taken these steps and habits to heart, you won’t have a hard time wearing and caring for your socks.