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As washing experts, we feel it's our responsibility to answer all the laundry questions that plague Australians. So it’s quite irresponsible that we are only just getting to one of THE biggest mysteries of all time. Socks. 
We know they’re better at the Houdini than Houdini himself, but why? Are they being eaten by the washing machine? Are they actually somewhere in your house, hiding in plain sight? 
According to the Whirlpool institute of home science, all washing machines are capable of letting an errant sock exit the drum and end up somewhere not visible to the user. Be it behind the rubber seal; in the crevice between the inner and outer drum; behind the agitator; or in the drain pipe, socks have a footful of sneaky hiding places. 
So, it IS the washing machine’s fault that you’re wearing odd socks. Almost entirely. 
Almost entirely because the maths almost definitely does not add up. 
Last year, Samsung commissioned UK statistician Geoff Ellis, and psychologist Dr. Simon Moore to evaluate the epidemic of missing socks.
According to Samsung, Brits lose an average of 1.3 socks every month, or 15 a year. No machine is capable of digesting so many socks. So, they looked to the next most obvious culprits, the users. 
Two significant findings emerged. 
Larger households lose more socks. They believe this is because there is a diffusion of responsibility with every extra person involved in laundry - meaning no one bothers to look very hard for a missing sock in a large household. 
People who enjoy washing lose less socks. This they attribute to the fact that people who enjoy washing do it more systematically, and are therefore less likely to let socks slip through the cracks. 
So basically what Geoff and Simon are saying, is get rid of your housemates and children, and pretend to like washing to save your socks. No, that’s not really what they said, they said if you want to hold onto your socks, stop being lazy, and develop a system for your laundry. 
Personally, we’ve found the best sock system to be an ‘odd sock’ tote bag. Put every partnerless sock in the bag over the course of three months, and then make a game of matching the pairs when you empty the bag. It’ll be an oddly satisfying couple of minutes, trust us. 

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1 comment

  • Dear Dirt company,
    Great research but I’m afraid that the real reason for odd socks has been missed.
    It’s all related to wire coat hangers and why they seem to multiply in your wardrobe. Why you ask?
    Well coat hangers need socks to breed but by some curious quirk of nature they only eat one in each pair.
    Hence two of the great mysteries of modern life have been solved.
    The increase in wire coat hangers is directly related to the increase in odd socks.

    John on

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