The Smartwool Experiment

Charting the wear and tear on four pairs of Smartwool socks.

The process I’ll use for handwashing Smartwool socks.

with 3 comments

Based on her advice, I have decided to use the following process for the handwashing of my brown (adrenaline outdoor) and gray (adrenaline hiking) socks.

handwash and air dry. i’m a knitter and i suspect that smartwool is a combo of superwash wool (wool chemically treated to resist felting) and nylon (and lycra).

still, i wouldn’t trust the superwash thing– all wool will felt over time with constant agitation and definitely will shrink with machine drying (ask me how i know…a certain superwash wool scarf shrunk over time).

what i’ve done with woolens is to wait until they all get dirty, fill a bowl or sink with luke warm water and no rinse detergent like soak or eucalan (not woolite), put the woolens in, squeeze gently to let water flow through, and after 15 minutes, take them out and put them in washer using spin cycle only. then i put them flat on a towel, roll up towel, stamp on the towel to soak up any remaining moisture, and then lay them flat on another (dry) towel and let airdry.

a bit laborious but my handknits have survived pretty well and those that i’ve machine washed and dried look worse.

Thank you sleepyneko!

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Written by Beck Tench

November 3, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

3 Responses

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  1. This is interesting. My wife would literally kill me if I ever washed her smartwool socks in the washing machine! I never knew. Me? I washed mine that way all the time. I have a pair I’ve owned for 10 years and they still seem OK 🙂

    John Rees

    November 17, 2008 at 2:48 am

  2. John, part of me wonders if they were made differently 10 years ago. I look forward to seeing if hand washing makes a difference.

    I’m curious, what kind of soap do you use?

    Beck Tench

    November 17, 2008 at 3:02 am


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