How to Clean Socks with Indoor Playground or Lawn Work Stains

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We take our kids to the local indoor playplace for a few moments  of semi-peace, only to come home and fight the horrid black stains on their socks.  Then we regret trading our nighttime peace (because we now have to deal with stains) for a few moments of semi peace during the day.  Here’s how to take care of those pesky stains with the least amount of effort.

The easiest way to take care of stains from indoor playplaces is to hide them by having your kids wear dark colored socks!  This aha moment came when Little One had on white socks and Turkey had on brown socks. That week I only had 1 pair of socks with black stains.  Wish I’d thought of it sooner :-)   My dad has done this for years by having a couple pairs of ” yard work” socks.  They are well stained socks that wouldn’t ever be worn out in public, so my mom doesn’t ever worry about removing the grass and dirt stains. When she washes the really stained socks, they go back into the garage to be worn the next Saturday.

When you think about it, it’s just common sense and we’ve all been doing it for years.  When we use bleach for deep cleaning we wear clothes that are already stained so that bleach spots won’t matter.  We wear our “old” tennis shoes when we do lawn work. We cover our kids in smocks or dad’s discarded t-shirts when they paint.

If it is absolutely necessary to treat stains on light colored socks, the best way is to soak them immediately and overnight in a solution of warm water and oxy-clean or water and bleach, before washing as normal with warm or hot water.  Remember sunlight is a natural bleach, so hanging them out to dry for a few days helps too.  Never, ever, ever dry stained clothing in the dryer – it will set the stains!

Admittedly it sounds like a bit of a pain to have “lawn socks” or “playplace socks” but that’s certainly easier than dealing with the stains afterwards from the alternative.  Wouldn’t  you agree?

And FYI if you haven’t encountered it before – there are play places that will require you to leave or purchase a pair of socks for $1 if your kids aren’t wearing any.  That makes it worth throwing a few extra pairs in the car just in case we ever decide to play spur of the moment!

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