When did time begin? What happens when we die? Why do we dream? These are just a few of life’s burning questions. Another that we always ask on laundry day is where do all the missing socks go?
The phenomenon has happened to everyone — you finish the laundry only to have a few stray socks left unmatched. You know you didn’t wear mismatched socks this week. And you’re confident every pair made it into the wash. So why is your sock drawer perpetually filled with strays of various colors and styles?
Billions of socks have been lost through the ages. We may never truly know why, but we can certainly attempt to unravel the many theories out there.
How Often Do Socks Go Missing?
It’s not your imagination — socks do indeed go missing. Scientists have even developed a formula to calculate the probability of losing individual socks based on factors like family size, batch complexity, and degree of attention when doing laundry. They found that socks go missing at an alarming rate of 15 socks per person per year. That’s one lost sock every 24 days!
Why All the Missing Socks?
Experts have hypothesized the most plausible explanations for why socks go missing and where they disappear. Here are the standing theories.
The Sock Monster Ate Them
One of the most prevailing theories is that the sock monster gobbles up stray socks. Whether he lives under the washer or behind the dryer, experts aren’t sure, but one thing is clear — he’s out to make life harder for us all. It might seem far-fetched that a monster could subsist on socks alone, but until we hear a more convincing hypothesis, we’re not willing to toss this one out.
The Washer or Dryer Ate Them
Whether you have a top-loader or front-loader, the black hole in your washing machine could certainly be to blame for your lost socks. You might also want to check below the agitator, behind the drum, or under the door’s rubber gasket, just in case.
Even if your socks make it to the dryer, they’re not out of the woods yet. Socks can also become lodged under the lint trap or stuck to the walls of the dryer, so take a close look before you assume your socks are lost to the black hole forever.
You Just Haven’t Looked Hard Enough
Perhaps the most plausible answer is that a lost sock simply slipped between the washer and dryer, or it’s clinging to a larger piece of clothing, or it’s hiding in the leg of your jeans. Then, consider that not all socks go missing on laundry day. Maybe one slipped over the side of the sock drawer and is now stuck inside your dresser. Others may be hiding under a couch cushion, at the bottom of the hamper, or at the foot of the bed. Perhaps your dog dragged a stray sock outside or into their kennel. The possibilities are endless.
How To Prevent Missing Socks
Once you lose one of your favorite socks, you realize you can’t rely on chance to keep them from disappearing. Fortunately, you can prevent that pile of orphaned socks from growing any larger with a bit of foresight. Here are some ideas:
- Pair up your socks with a sock clip before tossing them in the hamper. Don’t want to buy clips? Use safety pins.
- Wash a batch of laundry containing just socks.
- Stuff your socks into a mesh laundry bag before washing.
- Fold your socks before putting them away.
Time for Some New Socks?
Whatever the reason your socks go missing, it’s time to toss out that basket of strays and upgrade to America’s number one socks. Whether you’re a runner or a cyclist, a man or a woman, a youth or an adult, we have the socks for you. Take our sock finder quiz to help you choose the perfect socks for your lifestyle.