Do Polyester Socks Smell? (Non-Breathable)

One of the most common complaints about polyester socks is that they can often smell bad after being worn a few times. This is because the fabric doesn’t allow your feet to breathe, which can cause bacteria to grow.

polyester socks smell

This article will discuss why polyester socks smell and how to prevent them from smelling bad. We will also provide tips on getting rid of the smell if it does occur.

Do Polyester Socks Smell?

socks smelly
Smelly and dirty sports socks. Credit: canva

Yes, they can smell, but not always. Polyester socks are made from synthetic materials, which usually do not allow for proper air circulation and can build up bacteria over time.


First of all, polyester is not breathable. And this makes your feet easily hot and sweaty. This creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive.

This lack of breathability is one of the main reasons polyester socks can often smell bad after being worn a few times.

Smelly Socks

It turns out that the bacteria create an odor on our skin, and the clothing fibers take in the sweat compounds.

Synthetic fibers such as polyester trap sweat, bacteria, and body oil more readily than natural fibers like cotton or wool. That can cause unpleasant odor. 

So if you wear polyester socks and don’t wash them often enough, there’s a good chance that they will start smelling pretty bad. 

Personal Body Chemistry

The good news is that not everyone will wind up with permanently smelly polyester clothing. It depends on their body chemistry.

Some people might find that polyester clothing doesn’t cause any smell issues, while others might find that they have to wash their polyester socks and other garments more often.

About Polyester Socks

sport socks
Polyester sports socks. Credit: canva

Polyester socks are popular because they’re durable and machine-washable. They can be a good option for people who do a lot of strenuous activities because the polyester helps to wick away moisture and keep your feet cool and dry.

Some people find that the socks cause itchiness and sweatiness. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to try a different sock material, like cotton or wool.


Do Polyester Socks Smell?
Photo by Nick Page on Unsplash

You can prevent your polyester socks from smelling bad in several ways.

  1. One of the most important things to do is wash your polyester socks regularly. This will help keep bacteria levels under control and also improve their overall appearance.
  2. Other tips include wearing clean socks, avoiding wearing the same pair multiple days in a row, and rotating between different pairs of socks, so they have time to dry out between uses.
  3. If your polyester socks do start to smell bad, there are some things that you can try to help get rid of the odor. For example, you can soak them in vinegar and water or place them in the freezer overnight to kill bacteria and reduce odors.
  4. Finally, it’s also a good idea to keep your feet dry and clean by wearing moisture-wicking socks or changing into a fresh pair of socks when your feet get too sweaty.


How do you wash your socks so they don’t smell?

I always wash my polyester socks separately from another laundry, using a mild detergent and avoiding fabric softener.

If your socks smell bad, try laundering them with vinegar or baking soda to help remove the odors.

What’s the best way to get rid of sock odor? 

One way is to machine-wash your socks with vinegar. Another way is to soak your socks in lemon juice or baking soda. You could also throw them out and buy new socks!

How often should you wash your socks? 

Some say you should wash your socks daily; others say every week.

If you wear them daily and they get filthy, I would say wash them daily. But if you only wear them once a week, I would say wait until they’re filthy before washing them.

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