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Photo Reveals That Those Damn Washers Really Do Eat Socks

Photograph by Twenty20

If your family has a pile of socks that have lost their solemates (honestly, who doesn't?), what you're about to learn will blow your mind.

We all know what it's like to finally finish folding a load of laundry only to find that a couple of damn socks are missing. Again. We make sure there isn't one clinging to our backs, carefully retrace our steps and even pat our hands around the inside of the washer and dryer to double-check. Maybe we're a little crazy for thinking that one of the machines must have eaten the socks—but where else could they have gone?!

Twitter user Sarah Rose knew this feeling well, so when she found out that was exactly what the washer was doing, she tweeted a photo that has now saved the sanity of thousands of people.

Photograph by Twitter

The photo, showing socks overflowing from the bottom compartment of a washer, was originally posted by Cathy Hinz on Bored Panda. Hinz and her husband, both property managers at a manufactured home park, were checking a malfunctioning washing machine in the park's laundry room when they found loads of socks, underwear, change and even a credit card in the front bottom panel, as well as the water pump from the machine.

James Darmstadt, a quality engineer at GE Appliances, told "Today" that the socks probably slipped through a hole in the gasket (that thick, rubber ring on front-load washers) after the front-loading machine went through years of heavy use. As for top-loading machines, socks could fall into the space between the tub and the side metal walls.

It helps to regularly check and clean the gasket, feel the surface and look for any tears, slits or holes. Also check and clean the filter or basket attached to the drain pump (there's a video on how to do that below). Lastly, we know it's incredibly tempting to cram as many clothes as you can into the washer (because there's always so much laundry to do)—but don't! Overloading the washer can get some of the smaller items like socks stuck inside the pump.

Hot tip: Another Twitter user also suggested checking and cleaning the duct attached to dryers.

To avoid feeding the hungry machines in the first place, this laundry hack will rock your socks off (but keep them together). Throw dirty socks directly into a mesh bag instead of into the hamper with the rest of your clothes, then throw the whole mesh bag into your washer and dryer. You'll never have to look for socks stuck in limbo again.

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