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    How to Wash Compression Socks and Keep Them In Best Shape?

    How to Wash Compression Socks and Keep Them In Best Shape?

    In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the importance of washing compression socks, provide step-by-step instructions, highlight common mistakes to avoid, and offer valuable tips for storing and drying them. 

    jUNE 9, 2023   |    5 Mins Read


    Compression socks have gained popularity in recent years for their ability to provide support, improve blood circulation, and alleviate leg discomfort. However, to maintain their effectiveness and ensure optimal hygiene, it is crucial to understand the proper techniques for washing these specialized socks.

    By following these guidelines, you can extend the lifespan of your compression socks while enjoying their maximum benefits.

    How to Wash Compression Socks: Step-by-Step Guide

    how to wash compression socks in washing machine

    This step-by-step guide will show you how to wash compression socks properly, so that they will last longer and continue to provide the compression you need.

    How to Hand Wash Compression Socks?

    Hand-washing is the preferred method for washing compression socks, as it allows for more control over the process. Follow the step-by-step guide below:
    1. Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage the fabric and affect the compression levels.
    2. Add a mild detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as they can degrade the elasticity of the socks.
    3. Gently agitate the socks in the soapy water, ensuring that all areas are thoroughly cleaned. Pay extra attention to the foot and heel areas, as they tend to accumulate more dirt and sweat.
    4. Allow the socks to soak for about 15 minutes. This helps to loosen any embedded dirt or stains.
    5. After soaking, rinse the socks thoroughly under cool running water until all traces of detergent are removed. 
    6. Squeeze gently to remove excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting the socks, as this can cause them to lose their shape.

    How to Wash Compression Socks in Washing Machine?

    Generally, anything with compression should not be machine-washed. While you can certainly get away with it for certain items (such as leggings or tights), compression socks are far too delicate and require special care. Some fabrics are sensitive to high-temperatures which can cause them to shrink, pill and lose their elasticity.

    The Koprez Compression Socks are made with 80% nylon and 20% spandex, materials which are made from premium synthetic fabrics with elastic properties. The best way to machine-wash them is to place the socks in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase and use the delicate cycle setting. Wash them in a cold water setting with a mild detergent, and avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these could damage the elasticity of your compression socks. You should also remove the socks from the machine as soon as the cycle ends, and avoid leaving them in the washer for long periods of time.

    We know that hand-washing is not a tolerable task for everyone. But be aware that your compression garments will have a shorter life if you toss them in the washing machine every now and then. Remember to do this only when absolutely necessary. 

    Expert tip:

    If you've been out on sweat-inducing activities like running, hiking, crossfit, we recommend hanging them in the air to dry. The longer sweat lingers on the fabric, the more likely it is to cause odor.

    How Can I Better Care for My Compression Socks?

    Here are some tips to get the most out of your compression socks:

    Recommended water temperature and detergent types

    Water Temperature: Lukewarm water (around 86°F or 30°C) is generally recommended for washing compression socks. If the garment is heavily soiled, you may need to soak it in warm water for 15 minutes to remove all the grime and soil embedded in the fabric.

    Detergent Types: Use a mild detergent that is suitable for delicate fabrics. Look for products labeled as gentle, hypoallergenic, and free from harsh chemicals. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as they can compromise the integrity of the compression fabric.

    Air-drying is the best way to dry compression socks

    The best method for drying compression socks is to air-dry them. Lay them flat on a clean towel or hang them up to dry naturally. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or heat sources, as excessive heat can damage the fabric.

    Do not iron compression socks

    If you need to expedite the drying process, you can use a fan or a cool air setting on a hairdryer, keeping a safe distance to avoid applying direct heat. 

    Gentle hand wash separately in cold water

    Compression socks should be washed separately from other laundry, especially if they are made of a delicate fabric. This is because the compression properties of the socks can be affected by other garments in the wash, such as jeans or towels. Additionally, the colors of the socks may bleed if they are washed with other garments.

    How to Store Compression Socks Properly?

    Proper storage is essential to maintain the compression levels and prolong the lifespan of your socks. Follow these best practices:

    • Ensure that your socks are completely dry before storing them to prevent mold or mildew growth.
    • Store your compression socks in a clean, dry place away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and excessive moisture.
    • To prevent excessive folding or wrinkling, consider rolling your compression socks instead of folding them. This helps maintain their shape and reduces the risk of creases that could affect the compression levels.
    • When storing your socks, avoid stretching or pulling them forcefully. 
    • Regularly inspect the socks for signs of wear and tear, such as stretched fabric or decreased compression.

    Common Mistakes to Avoid When Washing Compression Socks

    To ensure you're taking the best care of your compression socks, avoid these common mistakes:

    1. Do not use harsh chemicals or fabric softeners as they can degrade the compression fabric.
    2. Washing in hot water can damage the fabric and affect compression levels.
    3. Overstretching or twisting the socks forcefully leads to misshaping and reduced compression effectiveness.
    4. Storing damp or dirty socks can promote mold or mildew growth and affect hygiene.
    5. Avoid using bleach or chlorinated detergent.
    6. Do not tumble dry.
    7. Do not dry clean.

    FAQs About Washing Compression Socks

    Can I use dish soap to wash compression socks?

    No, we do not recommend using dish soap to wash your compression socks. Dish soap is often too harsh and can damage the delicate fabric of the compression socks, compromising the elasticity and reducing its effectiveness. 

    Instead, use a mild detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics or a mild cleaner specially designed for maintaining compression garments. This helps to preserve the elasticity of your socks.

    When should I replace my compression socks?

    Compression socks should be replaced when they start to lose their elasticity or when they become too loose for effective compression. Signs of wear and tear, such as holes, tears, or stretched fabric can also indicate the need for replacement. The Koprez® medical compression socks have an average lifespan of 6-12 months with regular wear and proper care.

    Can I wash my compression socks everyday?

    Yes, it is perfectly safe to wash your compression socks every day if needed. Nylon, spandex, and other synthetic fabrics used in the construction of compression socks are designed to withstand frequent washing. 

    How often should I wash my compression socks?

    The recommended frequency of washing compression socks can vary depending on individual needs and usage. Consider the following factors when establishing a washing schedule:
    1. For daily wear or intense physical activities, such as sports or exercise, washing your compression socks after each use is generally recommended.
    2. If you wear your compression socks occasionally or for less strenuous activities, washing them every 2-3 wears may be sufficient.

    How many times can I wear compression socks before washing?

    Compression socks should be washed at least once a week. Depending on your lifestyle and activities, you may need to wash them more frequently. 

    For example, if you are an athlete or have an active lifestyle, you may want to wash your compression socks after each use. Conversely, if you're sedentary for most parts of the day, washing them once a week should suffice. To learn more about the proper and timely use of compression socks, you can read more about this in our article, When and When Should You Not Wear Compression Socks.

    Regularly washing compression socks not only ensures hygiene but also prolongs their lifespan. By keeping them clean and free from oils, sweat, and bacteria, you can maintain their compression effectiveness for a longer duration.

    Read this guide to learn when you should wear compression socks.

    How do you get the smell out of compression socks?

    Soak them in vinegar. Soaking your compression socks in vinegar can help to kill bacteria and remove odors. Mix one part vinegar with two parts water, and soak your socks for 15 - 30 minutes.

    Add baking soda to the wash. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can help to remove odors from your compression socks. Add a cup of baking soda to the wash cycle along with your detergent.

    Sprinkle some essential oils. Simply add a few drops of your chosen oil to the inside of the sock. You can also add a few drops of oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spritz your socks before wearing them. The best essential oils to use to avoid unpleasant odors are peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree,

    Can I dry compression socks in the dryer?

    No, we strongly advise against tumble drying your socks or any compression garments. The heat from the dryer can damage the fabric of the socks and weaken the compression properties. 


    By properly washing and caring for your socks, you not only extend their durability but also ensure their effectiveness in providing the compression benefits they are designed to deliver. These benefits range from improving blood flow to reducing pain and swelling, making compression socks an excellent investment for your health and well-being.

    Remember, it's not just about wearing compression socks; it's about maximizing their potential to benefit you. So take the time to clean them properly and care for them as part of your routine.

    And if you're curious about the wide array of benefits that these special socks can offer, don't hesitate to check out our article on the benefits of wearing compression socks. You might be surprised by just how much of a difference they can make in your everyday life!


    Claire Evans worked as the content marketing manager at Koprez. Claire combined a background of writing and editing, marketing, and patient education to best serve consumers, fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and anyone who relies on the Koprez brand for helpful information.

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