General Question

janbb's avatar

Why do clothes driers eat socks?

Asked by janbb (43596 points ) October 11th, 2009

O.K. kids, it’s science time. As I’m sure has happened to many of you, I have noticed that the clothes drier has eaten two (not of the same pair) socks of mine in the past week. They are not on the floor, they are not in the washer, I tried the basket and they’re not there either. This has happened to me many times in my long life. Why does he/she eat them and where do they go?

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33 Answers

Cartman's avatar

It’s not the drier. It’s a furry little monster that lives underneath it. That’s what my grandmother told me and, so far, I have not been able to disprove her statement since none of my socks have ever returned.

ccrow's avatar

Well, they obviously like variety since they never eat both socks of the pair.

oratio's avatar

Well, they have shown that particles pop in and out of existence. It seems probable that the nature and shape of the sock combined with fabric softener makes them less stable, which might just make them slip out of existence and time as we know it.

They could also be left in the hamper.

RandomMrdan's avatar

All the missing socks actually go to Narnia.

janbb's avatar

@RandomMrdan Oh! If I go in the drier, can I go with them? I thought it was just a magic wardrobe! I always wanted to go to Narnia.

wilma's avatar

Are you sure that the dryer is the culprit?
Could it possibly be the washer that is doing the deed?
In the past my washer has had an appetite for bras.

dpworkin's avatar

I thought we were to treat these questions seriously, at least at first. Here is the answer:

Socks are actually larval paper clips. Have you ever purchased a paper clip? I thought not. They just appear in your desk drawer, don’t they.

Well, each sock that has been “lost” has actually pupated under the bed (you may have seen a “furry” looking sock under there) and then migrated to the desk drawer.

Everyone buys socks; no one buys paper clips. Ipso Fatso.

janbb's avatar

@pdworkin Who ya calling Fatso?

Your explanation certainly has merit as do all the others, but it raises a question in my mind. If the socks become paper clips (and come to think of it, I have noticed those larval socks under the the bed,) where do the rubber bands come from?

@ccrow Gourmet dryers? I like it, I like it!

@wilma Washing machines eat bras, dryers eat socks!

@oratio Shape and time shifting makes sense too, because they often reappear weeks later.

Cartman's avatar

@pdworkin AHA… so this is the teachings of transubstantiation in the church of the Sock.

aprilsimnel's avatar

The Doctor needs your socks. He’s terribly sorry, dear gel, but he’s not had time to thank you in person. Saving the multi-verse and all that. I’d be honoured if I were you!

dpworkin's avatar

Rubber bands and wire clothes hangars are a continuing mystery to science. We have not yet discovered their larval form, but some studies suggest that ball point pens may be a likely suspect in the case of wire hangars.

janbb's avatar

@pdworkin I’m looking at my house in a whole new way now! Do you think the lettuce in my veggie bin might turn to butter pecan ice cream if I leave it alone – or do I have to throw it in the dryer?

dpworkin's avatar

What are you, nuts?

janbb's avatar

Ah – the old bait and switch!

oratio's avatar

@pdworkin Well, it’s like the 1940’s third rich. Then, a lot of people was a bit nutsy.

Cartman's avatar

@janbb No, no, no… first it has to be cleansed to a pure state in the Washer.

Lightlyseared's avatar

They add fibre to an other wise boring diet.

whitenoise's avatar

Because they can…

Much like George Mallory needed to climb the mt. Everest; because it was there

rowenaz's avatar

I hate it when the socks fall in love with other items of clothing, and I’m walking around at work and the sock conveniently “falls out” of my shirt, or peeks out of my collar onto my shoulder like it’s a parrot….

aphilotus's avatar

They go to a centralized subdimension filled entirely with socks. It’s like quantum tunnelling, but with socks.

gailcalled's avatar

A friend tells me that the odd socks are in heaven with Baby Jesus (or stuck to the back of the t-shirt you are about to wear).

jrpowell's avatar

Our drier started doing this. It also swallowed bras, panties, boxers, and a belt of mine. Turns out one of the wheels that connects the tub to the back wall of the washer came loose. A little gap was formed and stuff got pulled down. This is obviously a huge fire hazard. It was a really old washer but I got a kit from Sears that had new belts and the wheels that align the drum and new heating element.

Thirty bucks and four hours and we had a kick-ass drier.

What I meant to say was.. Does the tub wobble if you try to move it around?

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I don’t know about socks, but as far as paper clips and wire hangers…

They are a bidimensional life form, meaning they exist in this dimension and one other. They are not recognized as life in this dimension. The egg form is in the other dimension, the paperclips are the larval stage. The pupae and adult stages are “over there”, and what we see as wire hangers are the skeletons after they die and are once again transported to this dimension.

bea2345's avatar

I know for a fact that my daughter vanishes socks. I never get them back when she borrows mine and hers never seem to be around.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

haven’t you ever watched Halloweentown?
there’s this dude and he lives in this giant house and all the lost stuff ends up in his home. he goes through it. i think it’s kinda hard to get stuff back from him. he’s a pretty isolated dude.

it might be halloweentown 2, i can’t remember!

wickedbetty's avatar

I don’t know either, but we keep a bin of “divorced socks” in the laundry room and try to match them up from time to time… I think we have about 50 unmatched sock so far this year.. and no signs of reconciliation.

wilma's avatar

@wickedbetty I think the lonely ex-partners are are in the basket in my laundry room.

gailcalled's avatar

Living where I do, I can wear unmatched socks and gloves (no one mentioned them). No one notices or if they do, they don’t care. My biggest problems were not the unmatching issues but the collection of only right gloves. Where did the left ones go?

janbb's avatar

@gailcalled You mean Milo doesn’t notice? I thought he was a more discriminating cat!

gailcalled's avatar

@janbb: Milo here: Gail is my local Dobby; she (Gail) is lucky she has any clothes, as I keep telling her.

janbb's avatar

Milo, you are a cat with some ‘tude!

gailcalled's avatar

Milio here: So, tell me something I don’t know.

yankeetooter's avatar

I like Seinfeld’s take on this. The sock waiting on the side of the dryer, waiting to escape…It runs away and becomes a sock puppet, months later it’s lying run over on the side of the road. (Can’t remember the whole bit, but it was hilarious…)

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