How to Wash Muddy Soccer Socks

Updated February 21, 2017

After a muddy soccer game, your cleats, socks and legs may be covered with mud streaks. Classified as a protein stain, mud sets up if laundered in hot water. The key to removing mud stains from athletic socks is removing as much of the mud before laundering as possible, then treating the socks in cold water so the stain doesn't set. While white soccer socks may be bleached clean again, that isn't an option with coloured socks.

Dry socks that are caked with mud on a flat surface, then pick off the caked mud before laundering. Washing severely muddy socks straightaway can make them more dirty, and wet mud tends to smear when picked up. If your socks don't have caked-on mud, skip this step.

Fill a 5-gallon bucket with cold water. Add a detergent pre-soak product, following the dose range on your product.

Place muddy soccer socks in the cold water to soak, and soak the recommended wait time, which varies by the product you used. After 10 to 15 minutes, scrub the inside of the sock with your hand or a washcloth to loosen the mud from the fabric. If there is no wait time, soak for 30 minutes.

Remove the socks from the cold water soak, and transfer them to the washing machine. Wash the socks using warm water and your typical washing powder. Do not use hot water.

Inspect the socks after the wash. If they are still muddy, soak them in cold water again for one-half hour, and wash them a second time.


If washing doesn't remove the stain, wash the socks using chlorine bleach for whites or oxygen bleach for coloured socks.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Detergent pre-soak product
  • Washing powder
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