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Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Where do your lost socks go?

I polled our facebook fans and the answer was undeniable:

Gnomes, by overwhelming response.

All humor and kidding aside, there are a few places your socks can wind up and you CAN get them back!

The Agitator

you know that big “thing” in the middle of the washer? the one with the fins? that’s the agitator. They only exist in top-loaders. Have you ever had to untangle something wrapped around the agitator? if you slide your fingers underneath there’s about a 2-inch gap that socks can easily get sucked into. The socks can get wrapped up in there and stuck. Never fear, you can get it back!

To launch a search-and-rescue mission, first unplug your washing machine. This is MAJORLY important for your own safety.

Various washing machines differ in how the agitator is removed. If your machine is a newer model, you may be lucky enough to have it lift straight up and out. In most machines you may have to do a combination of the following:

  • If there is a fabric softener dispenser remove it. It may lift out or unscrew.

  • Remove the agitator cap. It may unscrew, or it may need to be pried off.

  • Underneath the agitator cap there may be a bolt which will require a socket wrench with an extension. There may also be a screw near the bottom of the agitator post.

  • Once these screws and bolts(if any) are off, try lifting the agitator straight up. You may need to employ a rocking motion back and forth. Be careful that you don’t accidentally whack yourself in the face if it comes loose all of a sudden or go flying backward.

The Overflow

Some older top-loading machines have a tub overflow space for the water. If you overload your machine, your socks can go over the top of the machine tub and get stuck in the pump or go out with the waste water. If you suspect this is where your socks are going you may have to wait until the maintenance/repair man makes a visit to check the pump.

The Sliding Seal

You don’t have to go to the aquarium to see a sliding seal – there may be one on your front loading washer and/or your dryer! Socks can get sucked into this space and into the casing very easily as well. The sliding seal is a rubber seal that goes between the door/window and the drum.

The Pants Leg

The other place socks may go is hidden inside clothes. They can get static-y and snake their way into sleeves and up pants legs and into the corners of sheets. If you don’t wear the garment for a while, you may not find your sock for months. Duvet covers will gobble socks like Shamu eats sardines.

How can you prevent socks from going missing? A mesh bag of course! Simply drop in the socks, zip and go!

Disclaimer: We are not responsible if you break, or can’t figure out how to put your washing machine back together if you have taken it apart. Please do some more research on your particular model before you embark on your sock search-and-rescue mission. Also, do not take apart machines that you do not own, such as those in laundromats, college dorms, or apartment buildings. We are not responsible for any physical harm that may come to you from working on your own machine or someone else’s.


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