How do you wash alpaca socks for longest life?

Now that you've purchased a new pair of premium alpaca wool socks, you may be wondering how to clean your socks and how to dry those socks quickly. The good news is that it isn't as difficult at all. There are two ways of washing alpaca wool socks - hand-washing & machine-washing. If you're like us, hand-washing is completely out of the question. Nevertheless, we want you to have all the information you can to make the best decisions for you and your lifestyle.

Machine-Washing Your Warrior Alpaca Socks

  • Use cool water (85ºF / 27ºC max.) and a mild soap. Woolite is not recommended.
  • Please use the wool cycle (on newer washing machines) or the hand-wash cycle on the cold water setting.
  • Please refrain from using chlorine bleach.
  • Liquid fabric softener can be used sparingly, if desired.
  • Wash dark colors separately.
  • Turn socks inside-out or use a mesh laundry bag to reduce the chance of damage during machine-washing.
  • If your socks are heavily soiled, please soak them in cold water prior to washing them with a bit of non-chlorine bleach and then wash them as listed above.
  • Lay your alpaca wool socks flat to dry out of the sun. You may tumble dry on an air setting however this may draw out the alpaca fibers reducing your alpaca socks lifespan. 
Notes: We machine-wash all of our alpaca socks because that method fits our lifestyle best. Taking a moment to turn socks inside out will reduce the chance of snagging or pilling during machine-washing. You can also use a mesh laundry bag to protect them further. The sock wash bag will aid them in maintaining their shape and avoid getting stretched by other articles that may be washed at the same time. We generally wash our dark-colored socks with blue jeans in cold water. We find that laying them flat to dry is easiest and helps them dry fast. If they go into the dryer, they aren't ruined, but they may shrink slightly. Rest assured, they are easy to care for.

Hand-Washing your Warrior Alpaca Socks

When hand washing, we recommend the following method:

  • Use cool water (85º F / 27º C max) and a mild soap. Shampoo can be used if you're traveling. Woolite is not recommended.
  • Please refrain from using chlorine bleach.
  • Liquid fabric softener can be used sparingly, if desired.
How to Wash Socks: Fill a container with cold water and add soap (and/or color safe bleach) to the water to create a sudsy bath. Submerge your socks and let them rest in the water for two to three minutes. Do not scrub them or rub the socks together. Drain the water and refill with cold rinse water. Again, let your socks soak for a few minutes. Swish them gently (at this point, if desired, a small amount of liquid fabric softener can be added to the water). Drain the water. Blot the socks with a towel to remove the excess moisture. Please do not wring your alpaca socks. Reshape them and lay them flat to dry out of sunlight.

Alpaca socks are beloved by hikers and campers as they don't need to laundered after every wear. Alpaca does not absorb moisture, nor does it hold bacteria that causes odor, so several wears can occur between washing. Ice-cold water can be used, as well, so if you're traveling, you can wash them quickly and easily. Because they don't absorb moisture, they dry quickly - often overnight.

Washing 100% Alpaca Wool Socks

The bulk of our Alpaca socks are mixed with Acrylic which is used in part to insure ease of washing, however some people want 100% alpaca wool, thinking that 100% is better, warmer and safer. This is not the case - please see our article "Looking for 100% Pure Alpaca Socks?" for a greater understanding of the nuances of alpaca socks. 

100% Alpaca wool, like 100% Sheep's wool will shrink and even felt if over agitated, if warm to hot water is used and or if they are tumble dried used during the cleaning process. This is the nature of wool and thus when we add acrylic, the opportunity to reduce these natural factors from occurring is mitigated, while maintaining the full benefits of the alpaca fiber. 

If you follow the washing instructions below for 100% alpaca wool socks you will not have any issues.

  • Hand-wash in cool water with a gentle detergent.
  • Lay flat to dry.
  • Do not bleach.
  • Do not agitate.
  • Do not tumble dry.
  • Do not dry in the sun.

Like all of our socks, less cleaning is needed than with other types of socks including cotton and merino wool. We recommend washing only after 5+ wearings. 

Storage of your Warrior Alpaca Socks

  • Before storing any alpaca or natural fiber product please make sure that the item is clean and completely dry.
  • Soiled alpaca wool items can attract moths, further protection can be insured by using Cedar or Lavender sachets 
  • Please store in a breathable container and avoid the use of plastic bags. Breathable containers can be a box, pillow case or fabric storage bag. This allows for air circulation during storage.
Alpaca socks protect feet in all types of weather - even hot and humid conditions. We encourage you to find the perfect pair of alpaca socks that fit every season of your life and Tap your inner Warrior™