Care and Feeding of Hand Knit Socks

If you already have a system for caring for your hand knit socks that works for you, that's great and I would love to hear about it - especially if it is simpler than mine - I am always looking for ways to simplify my life and routines.  

Firstly, I soak all hand knit socks before they are worn.  I fill the washroom sink, add some Eucalan and soak them for a while.  Then I gently squeeze the excess water out and lay them to dry; unless they are a gift or need to be photographed in which case I will block them on a sock blocker.  I like to wash them before they are worn because I tend to knit socks everywhere I go, so my WIPs come into contact with lots of pet hair, floors, dirty hands (mine if I am snacking and knitting) and whatever else I come into contact with when I am out in the world. 

After that, we wash our hand knit socks after each use.  I know some knitters do not like to wash their hand knit socks that frequently, but we find that they get a bit stretched out after a full day of wear and washing them helps them to bounce back.  Also we have a lot of pets and, try as I might, we probably do not have the cleanest floors around.

I put them in lingerie bags much like this one: 
Then they go into my washing machine on the 'Delicate' or 'hand wash' setting with some gentle detergent.  I have a sensitive child, so we already use a fragrance free, dye-free, paraben-free, everything-free laundry soap.  In fact we usually make our own laundry soap

When they come out of the washer I hang them on our sock-drying-octopus-hangers and hang them to dry from hooks above the bath tub in our master bathroom.


Then they are folded (not rolled as I find that stretches them) and put away until they are worn again:
When I have some time, I plan to make some sock blockers from wire coat hangers and start drying socks on those because I find that blocked socks are less bulky and take up less drawer space than socks that have been hung to dry.