How To Wash Darn Tough Socks: What You Need To Know

Darn tough socks washing

Darn Tough socks are ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities. From all that hiking, your socks are going to get gross, sweaty, and require intense washing. That being said, how do you wash Darn Tough socks safely and efficiently?

You will need to turn the socks inside out. Then, select gentle detergent and wash the socks on cool or warm. Whenever you dry the socks, only allow them to air dry or tumble dry on low. Make sure to avoid hot temperatures when caring for your Darn Tough socks.

That is just the fast and dirty answer to how to wash and dry Darn Tough socks. For a more comprehensive answer to this question, keep reading below. This guide tells you everything you need to know about washing and caring for Darn Tough socks.

Darn tough socks washing

How To Wash And Dry Darn Tough Socks

Washing and drying Darn Tough socks is pretty easy. Select a gentle detergent and wash the socks in warm or cold water after you have turned them inside out. Only dry them through a hanging method or tumble dry them on low. From there, don’t iron or roll the socks.

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these steps.

Turn Your Socks Inside Out

Before you begin washing your Darn Tough socks, you should turn your socks inside out. Darn Tough socks have unique cushioning that creates little loops. If you fail to turn the socks inside out, a lot of dirt, debris, and germs will remain in these loops, even after washing.

Use the Right Detergent or Soap

You always want to use gentle detergents when washing Darn Tough socks. Use a gentle detergent that is free from bleach or chlorine. For the best results, select detergent that is specifically made for wool socks and merino wool, such as Woolite, Nikwax Wool Wash, or Dr. Bonner’s castile soap.

Wash in Warm or Cold Water

Now that you have selected the right detergent and turned your socks inside out, you can wash the socks. It’s best to wash the socks in cold or warm water on a gentle cycle. You may also want to consider buying a laundry bag to ensure you don’t lose any socks during the washing process.

Air Dry or Tumble Dry on Low

The last thing you need to do in the washing process is to allow the socks to dry. It’s best to air dry these socks since it is good for the environment and does as little damage as possible to the fabric. If you need a fast process, tumble dry the socks on low.

Bonus Tip: Fold The Socks

Most people roll their socks before throwing them in a drawer, which leads to the unnecessary stretching of fibers. To avoid this, you should fold the socks and then store them neatly on top of one another. Never iron your Darn Tough socks either.

Things To Avoid

If you follow the steps above, you will be able to safely and efficiently wash your Darn Tough socks. However, there are a few things you need to avoid when washing your socks. For example, avoid using harsh chemicals or high heat. Here is a complete list of things to avoid when washing, drying, and caring for your Darn Tough socks:

  • Do not dry clean
  • Do not use chlorine
  • Do not use bleach
  • Do not use fabric softener
  • Do not use hot water
  • Do not wash with sharp objects or clothing with hooks, such as bras
  • Do not use high heat
  • Do not iron
It’s always standard to pick socks that are a half step shoe size up from what you would usually wear rather than a snug fit. A pair of darn tough socks are known to shrink depending on the method of wash like a warm water on gentle cycle in your washing machine.

How Often Do You Wash Darn Tough Socks?

How often you need to wash your Darn Tough socks ultimately depends on you. If you are comfortable going a few days or even a few weeks without rewashing your socks, that’s fine. However, some people may only want to go a day or two in between washings.

Several factors will impact how frequently you need to wash your Darn Tough socks. If you’re doing extensive workouts in a hot environment, you will likely need to wash them more frequently since sweat and debris will build up inside the socks. In contrast, you may only need to wash them every few weeks if you prefer to lounge in these socks.

Although you can wash Darn Tough socks after every wear, washing the socks does put them under some pressure, which means they will begin to experience signs of wear and tear. Minimizing the number of times you wash the socks will keep them in great condition for longer. So, minimize the number of times you wash the socks while still being hygienic and healthy.

Do Darn Tough Socks Shrink?

No. Darn Tough socks do not shrink. You do not need to preshrink them either because they are preshrunk before the sale. If your sock feels smaller after the washing process, it is simply because the socks stretched out while you are wearing them, and they were stretched back to their original state during the drying process.

Merino wool for wool socks is a material that is very easy to shrink if you do not care for it properly. However, all Darn Tough socks are preshrunk before purchase. So, you do not need to pre-shrink the socks Whenever you first buy them and caring for them properly will keep the socks in their original state.

The one thing to keep in mind is that the merino wool fabric will stretch as you wear the wool socks, much like a pair of jeans. After you wash the socks, they will go back to their original size. So, your socks have not shrunk; they have just gone back to their original size after being washed.


Because Darn Tough socks are made from a unique material, it’s imperative that you care for the socks properly. Only wash the socks in gentle detergent and cold water after turning them inside out. During the drying process, air dry or tumble on low. It’s up to you to determine how frequently you wash them.  If you follow these instructions, your Darn Tough socks should not shrink.