Friday, November 16, 2007

Gaaa! Laundry crisis chez Sock Knitters!

A select number of our handknit socks are festooned with crud! Like, dusty crud embedded in the knitting that puffs out in little clouds when you pull the sock over your heel. One sock was so becrudded this morning that it was a different color from its mate.

Now, we have hard water and we machine wash the socks and then air-dry them.

In the summer, when we dried them on a clothesline, we had no dusty crud.
We tried drying them on a rack in the basement, and got dusty crud, so we surmised the dusty crud was in the basement air somehow (scary, but not impossible).
So we tried drying them on the rack upstairs, and still, dusty crud. But only on some, which is leading me to think our washer is somehow faulty.

Ask The Blog, the Fool said.
I'm asking - this is a bad, bad turn of events. Winter is coming and we need warm feet.


LaurieM said...

Do an experiment. Wash some in bottled water and see if you still get the dusty crud. Try to keep the other variables the same for true scientific results.

Anonymous said...

Yup, it's either mineral deposits or undissolved laundry powder from the hard water. Switch to liquid laundry soap and fabric softener, and send them through a second rinse cycle. If your wash has filters, make sure you clean them extra often. You might check into installing a water filter on the water line coming into the houses, as well.

You probably have similar deposits on other clothing, but you're noticing it more on your socks because the nature of knitting and wool traps more of the particulates.

Lisa the Riveter

Lanea said...

Aiieeeee! The poor socks! The poor feet!

I second/third what the wise posters said. And also, you may want to consider an in-line water softener in addition to a whole-house filter. If this is a result of really hard water, a filter may only do so much on its own and you'll need to add the right minerals to counteract the problem. Soil alteration is similarly fiddly. Which reminds me I have to plant one million bulbs right now. Crap.

PICAdrienne said...

I agree with the other posters, with one clarification. Wash selected socks with distilled water. Not all bottled water is mineral free.

Of course, if washing with distilled water does not make a difference, get the air tested for particulates in the house.

Kathy in KS said...

I say you need to go and buy a LOT more sock yarn, just in case.

Lorna said...

Ooooh, Kathy in KS..

I love the way you think - maybe it was a "trick" by "The Fool" in order to have a perfectly rational reason for needing MORE sock yarn!!

I also agree with the others on the hard water cause

=Tamar said...

The clothesline moves in the breeze, and the socks get the dust knocked out of them. Hanging indoors, they don't. *All* laundry soap leaves some kind of residue, and it builds up when you use the same brand for a long time. Different ones will wash out each other's leftovers, so *any* change to any soap will cure it temporarily . Eventually you can change back to your old favorite and it will work again.

Katy said...

water softener. get one, fix it or replace it. A water softener is the answer. Not 42, as previously believed. Also, more sock yarn.

Aidan said...

You also might try, after they are dry, putting them in the dryer on fluff with a dryer sheet.