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April 20, 2012

Where does the missing sock go?


I just realized that this is the third consecutive post today featuring socks.

What's up with that?

Never mind.

Doing the laundry, occasionally a sock goes missing from a pair.

Where did it go?

Most people long ago gave up wondering, simply accepting it the way I accept the disappearance of my endotracheal tube cuff syringe after induction.

Open the drawer and get another one, move on, nothing to find here.

But I digress.

I was kind of astounded to read the following in yesterday's New York Times "Shopping With" feature: "From a practical perspective, he [industrial designer Stuart Leslie] liked the Sock Cop clips, which hold pairs of socks together 'so the washer doesn’t eat your socks.' ('I asked Samsung where they go,' he said, referring to the stray socks that disappear during laundry, but no one had a good answer.)"

How is it possible that I, an anesthesiologist in a Podunk town in central Virginia, know  where the stray sock go and the mighty Samsung empire with all its scientists and experts hasn't a clue?

Because I do know.

Look at the photo below.

Photo copy

It shows my washing machine from above.

Now look at the photo up top.

See how I've pulled to the side the tub where you put your clothes?

Between the inner tub and the outer wall of the machine is empty space, necessary so the tub can move around and do what it needs to do to agitate the laundry.

Guess what?

Every now and then a sock finds its way into the narrow opening up top between the tub and the outer wall and takes up permanent residence in the space below.

A appliance repairman told me that many years ago.

The only way to see for yourself is to tear your machine apart or get a fiber optic scope and snake it down there to have a look.

If you do that, send me a pic or two of what you find and I'll make you world-famous overnight.

April 20, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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was the $17 enough to pay for the belt?

Posted by: sherlock | Apr 21, 2012 1:02:35 AM

Search the dryer first. If you have a drum type dryer (most people do), the seals at the front and particularly back of the dryer will wear over time and allow socks (and slippery feminine underthings and anything else that's thin and slippery) to work their way out from the drum and into the body of a dryer. I had a friend give me a dryer once and when I opened it up to change the drive belt, it was absolutely full of both socks and slippery unmentionables, plus $17 in bills.

Posted by: Scott | Apr 20, 2012 10:51:46 PM

You located the sock monster!

I gave up the search decades ago and decided to buy my socks in sets of identical patterns (dress socks and sports socks) so that I may lose one or two but would still have matching socks until the monster ate enough to leave me with singletons.

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Apr 20, 2012 4:13:26 PM

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