Why Do Socks Go Missing In The Wash? Science Has The Answer

Has science solved the mystery of the missing socks? [Photo: Rex Features]

Weird fact of the day. Us Brits lose more than 1200 socks in a lifetime! That boils down to 1.3 socks every month, 15 socks a year, or precisely 1,264 the whole time we’re alive. Jeepers!

Where those socks go is one of the life’s greatest mysteries. It’s not like they can get up and walk themselves out of the washing machine is it?  

But now, science has finally come up with an answer about where those wayward socks actually get to. And its about time because losing all those blasted socks costs the average Brit £2,528, which is not a figure to be sniffed at.

Psychologist Dr Simon Moore and statistician Geoff Ellis have put their collective minds together to devise a mathematical formula, which aims to throw some light on why we’re so frequently one sock down.  

They concluded that: (L(p x f) + C(t x s)) – (P x A)

Where L = Laundry size, calculated by multiplying the number of people in the household (p) by the frequency of washes in a week (f);

C = Complexity of washing, calculated by multiplying the number of different types of darks and whites washes households do in a week (t) by the number of socks washed in a week (s);

P = Positivity towards doing the laundry, measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being a ‘strong dislike’ and 5 ‘strong enjoyment’;

And A = Attention paid, measured as the total number of precautions taken at the start of each wash out of checking pockets, unrolling sleeves, turning clothes the right way around and unrolling socks.

Happy feet! [Photo: Rex Features]

Now, we’re no scientists but what we’re taking this to mean is that the reason our socks go missing is that either we’re very careless with our sock washing or that our immense dislike of laundry is a considerable contributing factor in sock-loss. 

The enlightening research was commissioned by Samsung to promote the launch of its new AddWash washing machine which allows you to add in items mid-wash to ensure everything stays together. Dream machine or what? 

Where do all the missing socks go? [Photo: Rex Features]

But though the formula will help us understand why those pesky socks disappear it won’t be able to help you find them. According to Samsung’s accompanying survey, common causes of sock-loss include items falling behind radiators or under furniture, stray socks being added to the wrong coloured wash and becoming separated from their sock twin, or socks not being pegged to the washing line securely so they blew away never to be seen again.

So there you have it folks, mystery solved. If anyone needs us we’ll be daydreaming about what we could have spent £2,528 on instead. *sighs*

What do you think of the formula? Let us know @YahooStyleUK

Science Reveals The Surprising Trick To Make You More Attractive

The Scary Reason You Should Probably Ditch Wearing Knickers In Bed