How to Properly Clean Pilates Grip Socks

Whether you’re a beginner and just starting your Pilates journey or a seasoned pro, taking care of your workout equipment and clothes is of utmost importance. Cleaning the mat and storing the balls, bars, and rings is quite simple, but what you might not know is how to properly clean your Pilates grip socks. Luckily, I’m here to help.

To properly clean your Pilates grip socks, wash them in a washing machine using a gentle cycle with the water temperature up to 86°F (30°C). Wash them turned inside out with a small amount of mild detergent. When washing by hand, use cold water. This will keep the socks sticky for up to 12 months.

In this article, I’ll explain the process of washing your grip socks in more detail. I’ll also share some tricks and tips for taking care of these essential Pilates accessories. Lastly, I’ll dive into the importance of the quality grip that your socks provide for your Pilates routine.

Cleaning Your Pilates Grip Socks

Although you might think that in order to preserve the stickiness of the silicone on your grip socks, you shouldn’t wash them, that will make wearing them very unhygienic and not to mention it will also decrease the grip strength very fast.

Because of all the grime, moisture, and bacteria that Pilates grip socks collect during your workouts from the floor and the sweaty mats, you should definitely clean your Pilates grip socks thoroughly.

The best way to do that is by washing them in a washing machine or, if you have the time and patience to do so, by hand in cold water.

How To Wash Your Pilates Grip Socks in a Washing Machine

1. Always Turn Your Pilates Grip Socks Inside Out

When washing your grip socks in a washing machine, always turn them inside out. This will stop fluff from other clothing items from adhering to the silicone on your socks, keeping them sticky for a longer period of time. Washing the socks in a laundry bag is also a great option if you have one.

2. Use a Short Cycle on Your Machine

When choosing the cycle on your washing machine, make sure to use a short and gentle one. Additionally, make sure that the water temperature doesn’t surpass 86°F (30°C). Anything hotter will make your silicone dots lose their grip within a few washes, so steer clear of overly-hot, overly-aggressive cycles.

3. Use a Mild Detergent and Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Use the mildest detergent you have, and don’t use a lot of it. If there are stains that regular washing couldn’t take care of, you can use a stain remover to get rid of them. However, use it sparingly and just on the area in which the stain is located.

Do not use bleach or fabric softener. These might affect the level of stickiness or, in the case of bleach, shorten the work life of your grip socks by severely damaging the fabric with prolonged use.

4. Wash Your Grip Socks Separately

Avoid washing your grip socks with items like fluffy blankets or wool sweaters or items that your pets use and are, consequently, full of animal hair. This will minimize the fluff that can stick to your grips and make your washing routine easier. If you must wash these items together, you can use a lingerie bag to separate the socks from the rest of the laundry.

5. Make Sure Your Socks Don’t Turn Hard

If you notice your grip socks are getting hard, that is because your sweat contains salt. Salt can harden your socks when they dry. If this happens, wash your socks in the washing machine and then run them through lots of cold water to make sure all the salt gets washed out.

6. Air Dry Your Pilates Grip Socks

When drying your Pilates grip socks, opt for air drying. If you’re in a hurry and find the process to last too long, you can use the dryer. In that case, use low heat. Try to not make the dryer your go-to method, as it inadvertently shortens the efficiency of your grip socks over time.

Moreover, do not iron your grip socks. If you find them getting wrinkly, try throwing them in the dryer with a few cubes of ice on low heat. The moisture from the melting ice cubes will straighten your socks in a jiffy.

How To Wash Your Pilates Grip Socks by Hand

The best way to wash your Pilates grip socks is by hand. Wash them in cold water as this will help to avoid shrinkage. Don’t use a lot of detergents, and make sure you rinse them well. After washing, it’s best to leave them to air dry.

How To Keep Your Pilates Grip Socks Sticky

If your grip socks are losing their stickiness, be sure to forgo machine washing and the dryer for a while. Washing them by hand in cold water and drying them on the rack will take longer, but it will also return some lost stickiness to them.

Tips and Tricks To Add a Bit More Grip

If you’re really in a pinch and your grip socks are less of a support and more like a slip n slide, try using this hack from YouTube:

This Viva Decor Sock Stop LiquidOpens in a new tab. from Amazon will allow you to add an anti-slip effect to your grip socks. After washing your socks without the fabric softener, just apply this slip-proof paint to the bottoms of your socks and leave them to air dry for at least 24 hours.

This will add the much-needed grip to your existing grip socks or provide your regular ones with the sticky support your feet need to let you enjoy your Pilates class without worrying about sliding across the floor.

Hot glue will have the same effect if you’re in a hurry, with Pilates just a few hours away and no grip on your socks. Just make a few dots and lines with a hot glue gun, of course, while not wearing the socks, and you’ll have DIY emergency grip socks, as you can see in this video:

Moreover, to ensure your grip socks keep sticking for a more extended amount of time, be sure to only wear them when doing Pilates.

Even though it might be tempting, wearing them all day at home or inside of shoes will greatly affect the sticky part by amassing dirt and grit, making them ineffectual for when you really need the support they have been made to give your feet.

Storing Your Grip Socks

When putting your grip socks away, don’t roll them in a ball. Also, avoid leaning the sticky parts onto each other. This might make the silicone stick or even rip off in high temperatures.

Instead, just fold them over and keep them to the side with the rest of your socks.

What Are Pilates Grip Socks and Why You Should Use Them in Your Pilates Training

Pilates grip socks are non-slip socks for low-impact movement. They are usually made from materials that absorb moisture from sweating, and they keep your feet dry all throughout the workout.

Anti-slip socks have PVC or silicone patterns on the bottom that keep you from skidding both on your mat and on the floor, thus minimizing the risk of injury. They work well on carpets too, but in that case, you do need to invest a little more effort into keeping the silicone clean.

  • Investing in a pair of Pilates grip socks is a great and cheap alternative to buying a new mat without losing any quality in your workout routine. Grip socks provide the same anti-slip attributes as your mat, at least as far as granting grip to your feet goes.
  • They help in keeping your posture in static positions and provide great help in transitioning from move to move without losing your grip. In positions where you have to keep your weight on your back foot, they do an perfect job of adhering your body to the mat or the floor, keeping you grounded.
  • If you have a history of injuries or sensitive feet, some come with features such as arch compressions, tabs for protection of the Achilles tendon, or a functional cooling mesh.
  • Pilates grip socks are also a great way to keep your feet warm, whether the location you practice is a bit cold or if you just have a propensity for cold feet. Since it’s hard to concentrate on your workout routine if you keep thinking about how cold you are, these are a great solution to cold floors and bad circulation.
  • They also come in all sorts of styles – traditional, Mary Jane, with crossed straps, or even a toeless version for those who want to feel the floor under their feet but keep a grip on things.

I recommend these Tavi Noir Non-Slip Pilates SocksOpens in a new tab. from Amazon. They come in the Mary Jane style and a multitude of colors, so you can mix and match them with your workout gear. They have arch bands that offer support, slip-free grip soles, and a heel tab that protects the Achilles tendon.

Emma Non-Slip Socks are made from GOTS-certified organic cotton and designed to give comfort and support while still allowing you to express your individuality and style.

If you prefer the toeless version, I recommend ToeSox Non-Slip Toe SocksOpens in a new tab. from Amazon. These half-toe grip socks pack an all-around protective punch with heel tabs and arch bands that offer support and lift with a fitted heel that prevents the bunching and twisting of socks on your feet while exercising.

They allow for natural toe movement while providing a hygienic alternative to working out barefoot.

Pilates doesn’t have a strict dress code that would force you to spend a lot of money and effort on clothes instead of concentrating on getting your body in the best form it can be. That makes Pilates even more easily accessible to anyone that wants to try it in a studio, gym, or at home.

In spite of that, accessories like a quality pair of non-slip socks bring a dose of security to your workout routine that is as equally important as your Pilates bar, band, or ball.

Are Barre Socks the Same As Pilates Grip Socks?

Barre socks are the same as Pilates grip socks. Yoga socks also fall in the same category, so keep that in mind while browsing for them online or in specialized stores. Since these are, in essence, the same socks, the upkeep is the same: cold water, gentle detergents, and air drying.

Can You Wear Normal Socks for Pilates Sessions?

You can wear normal socks for Pilates sessions; however, people usually find normal socks too slippery, especially on a wooden floor. An alternative is working out barefoot, but the most hygienic option is grip socks. Some studios and instructors make wearing them a requirement.

What Should You Look for When Buying Pilates Grip Socks?

When buying your Pilates grip socks, the most important thing is to look for heel-to-toe grips because they will provide the best results – the more dots they have, the better grip they provide. Look for a stretchy, breathable fabric that will keep your feet warm while also keeping them dry.

How Long Do Pilates Socks Last?

Pilates grip socks last 6 to 12 months depending on the effort invested in their upkeep. Grips lose their stickiness with time but tend to last longer with appropriate washing and drying. High temperatures, aggressive chemicals, and piling of grime are the biggest enemies of your silicone grips.

Final thoughts

With everyday use, your Pilates grip socks get drenched in sweat and collect dirt and bacteria from the floor, especially if you take Pilates classes in a studio or in the gym, so it’s very important to keep them washed and clean.

While cleanliness is a must, with Pilates grip socks, you also have to make sure they keep, well, gripping. To maintain the integrity of your grip socks, wash them in cold water and avoid aggressive chemicals.

Keep your socks grippy, and they will keep you grounded and steady for a long time.


Donna Finnie

Donna loves to share her passion for Pilates with others. She is a fully qualified instructor who believes Pilates is for everyone, regardless of age, as it can truly help to increase strength, flexibility mobility and athletic performance.

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