Can You Tumble Dry Compression Socks? (will they shrink or is it ok)
There are several different brands and makes of compression socks and they all have differing care instructions.
Which is why it is important to consult the care instructions on your compression socks.
Some say it is OK to use a tumble dryer to dry them on a low /no heat setting. While others say do not tumble dry.
In the absence of a care label, it is recommended that you air dry your compression socks to keep them as firm as they should be.
Compression socks should be replaced after 3-6 months as even the best quality compression socks will stretch and wear out in a few months.
What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On Compression Socks
There are many brands of compression socks, each with their own care instructions. Below is a list of all of the symbols relating to tumble dryers that are likely to be found on care labels.
Only some will apply to compression socks but we have listed them all for your information.
Square With White Circle And A Black X On Top
This symbol indicates that the item cannot be tumble dried. This is the most likely symbol to be found on compression socks.
Square With White Circle
This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried. There are some compression socks that carry this symbol.
Square With Black Circle
This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried using no heat. You could find this symbol on some compression socks.
Square With White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle
This symbol is used to indicate that the item can be tumble dried on the low heat setting. This can sometimes be found on compression socks.
Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle
This indicates you can dry the item on a medium heat setting. It is unlikely to find this symbol on compression socks.
Square With White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle
This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried using the high heat setting. It is highly unlikely that you’ll find this symbol on compression socks.
How To Dry Compression Socks Without A Tumble Dryer
The best and safest way to dry compression socks is to air dry them. This can be done in a number of ways which include;
Air Drying Compression Socks On A Washing Line
You can hang your compression socks on a washing line, rotary line or retractable clothesline in a shady spot to dry.
Compression socks are relatively thin and will not take too long to dry. They should be removed from the line as soon as they are dry to prevent the sun’s rays from damaging them.
Air Drying Compression Socks On An Airer
To dry compression socks using an airer simply lay the socks on the racks of the airer.
This can be done outside or indoors on bad weather days. Never place the compression socks in direct sunlight or too close to any heat source (radiators, etc).
You Can Reduce Drying Times Using A Dehumidifier
By placing a dehumidifier in the same room as the drying compression socks you can significantly reduce the time they take to dry.
This is because the compression socks can release more moisture into the room if the air is dryer. The dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air which speeds up the drying time.
Decrease The Time Needed To Dry Your Compression Socks Using An Electric Fan
You can simulate a gentle drying breeze by placing an electric fan in the same room as the drying compression socks.
You’ll need to open a window to allow adequate air flow for this to work.
SEE ALSO: Bladeless Fans Worth Checking Out
Why You Should Always Read The Wash Care Label On Compression Socks
There are several companies marketing compression socks and they all have their own particular washing and drying instructions.
This is why you should always check the care label before washing and especially drying your compression socks.
If you ignore the care instructions you could;
Shrink Your Compression Socks
There are many different materials used in the manufacture of compression socks. Some of which will shrink if exposed to high temperatures.
Loss Of Compression
The high heat of a tumble dryer could make your compression socks lose their compression.
This will result in circulation problems, swollen legs, feet and ankles or worse.
Stretched Compression Socks
Depending on the material blend used to make the compression socks, they are likely to become stretched in the tumble dryer.
This would render them useless as compression socks.
Weakened/Damaged Compression socks
The heat from the dryer coupled with the rough and tumble action of the drum could cause the material of your compression socks to become weakened or damaged.
This would likely make them split, rip or tear as you tried to pull them on.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should always consult your care instructions but as a general rule, it is not safe to put compression socks in a tumble dryer. They could become damaged in a number of ways making them unfit for purpose.
The heat from the tumble dryer could cause damage to compression socks. They could shrink, stretch, weaken and become ripped or torn.
Without using a tumble dryer, you can air dry your compression socks on a washing line or airer. You can speed up the drying time using an electric fan or dehumidifier in the same room as the drying compression socks.
It is recommended that compression socks should be washed every day.
Compression socks should be replaced every 3-6 months.