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The are plenty of hacks floating around the internet promising to stop you from losing your socks in the washing machine. We decided to put three of them to the test to find the ultimate hack.
If you've never lost a sock in the washing machine, I simply don't believe you. Even when using the best washing machine, odd socks have been the bane of my laundry ever since I left home. From speaking to the Ideal Home team I know I'm not alone.
Over the years I have learnt how to clean a washing machine, and the best way to care for my clothes. However, keeping my favourite M&S cat socks together remains as mysterious to me as the dark arts.
To put an end to my odd sock box once and for all I decided to try three hacks that have been doing the rounds online. The contenders were the sock clipping/pinning hack, the balled up sock hack and the mesh bag hack.
Each promised to put an end to my daily morning sock scavenger hunt. In the interest of fairness, I tried the hacks on multiple pairs of socks and included them all in the same wash with a number of other clothing items.
Stop losing socks in the washing machine hack
The sock clipping/ pinning hack
This hack was the most sophisticated of the three. It involved clipping or pinning pairs of socks together with a clip or safety pin.
The benefit of this hack was that once the socks had come out of the wash, they could easily be hung up to dry in pairs. However, clipping them all together could be a bit fiddly, plus you had bits of plastic and metal flying around the washing machine to worry about.
I didn't have any safety pins or clothes pegs so I decided to improvise with kirby grips. I thought I'd struck gold with this solution, rogue kirby grips were as plentiful in my home as odd socks.
Sadly, it didn't work out quite as I had imagined. While one pair of socks managed to stay clipped together. The other two pairs are still missing their other halves.
It might have been more effective if I had used safety pins. However, I am still suspicious of them springing open and causing damage to me or the washing machine.
The balled-up sock hack
This is more a hope for the best laundry manoeuvre than a full-on hack. Simply tuck your socks together like you would in a drawer, chuck them in the washing machine and hope for the best.
I really did hope for the best, but despite the simplicity of this hack, unsurprisingly it failed epically. It took me a lot of digging through my wash basket to eventually retrieve the full pair.
The winner - The mesh bag hack
This hack isn't limited to using a mesh wash bag but will work with a pillowcase too. All it involves is throwing your socks into the bag, then into the washing machine it goes.
I was concerned about how long it would take me to match the socks up post-wash, but I needn't have been. I popped four pairs of socks into a mesh zip bag I already had from Amazon (opens in new tab) for washing my bras in.
Its pop-up circle shape meant that when it came out of the wash it was easy to reach in and quickly sort the socks into pairs. In record time I had four pairs of matching socks, I had found the winner!
I couldn't believe that the solution to my odd socks problem had been lying next to my wash basket all this time. Will you be trying this hack?
Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.
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