No, You’re Not Imagining It — Your Washing Machine Really Is Eating Your Socks

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Frustrated at the lack of symmetry you face when sorting socks after a spin in the laundry? There always seems to be at least one that's mysteriously missing. Always a long lost sock unable to complete a pair. But, why?! The age old question — why you lose socks in your washing machine — might finally have an answer. It turns out, your laundry machine actually likes snacking on socks.

Every time you load laundry into a machine, it's as if you're offering a sacrifice to a cleanliness Goddess. You can't do a load without bidding farewell to at least one sock who has always been there for your feet. It's a risk you have to take because, well, socks tend to stink — there is no other option but to stuff it in the washer with the rest of your dirty clothes, hoping that socks are protected by the larger items like jeans and t-shirts. But alas, socks meet their maker in the spin cycle.

Now a Twitter user has gotten down — literally — to the issue and is finally exposing the truth behind the vanishing item. Which can lead to the emotional and satisfying reunion between single socks. There is a far more economical solution to replacing dwindling pairs of socks. It starts at the bottom of the washer.

You can always thank social media for solving the hard hitting questions. Twitter user @1SarahRose posting a picture of a sock-hungry laundry machine that will settle all your theories about where socks go. The picture shows a laundry machine with its lower half removed. And from it? A hoard of socks spills out. You guys, it's like a treasure trove. But instead of gold, it's... well, socks.

The original posting of the viral photo was from Bored Panda where poster Cathy Hinz became a laundry room Sherlock Holmes. After becoming fed up with the loss of socks Cathy explains, "my husband got tired of fooling with one of the washing machines that was just not working properly and decided to take it apart, starting with the bottom panel." The thought led to the grand reveal and treasure find. A pile of socks, rescued. It wasn't just socks that were recovered but $7 in change and a credit card. Taking a look at what's inside the lower panel on your washing machine could be revelatory.

Quality engineer at GE Appliances, James Darmstandt, tells, "the socks most likely slipped through a hole in the gasket — that thick, rubber ring on front-loading washers that creates a tight seal when the door closes." Basically, when the spin cycle is taking your laundry for a dizzying ride, the high speeds can see your socks slip through a hole, getting themselves into a tricky situation down below. It's kind of like the Upside Down in Stranger Things, but for laundry.

While you might not recover all your missing socks — maybe some did just get up and walk out the door — you could find some if you decide to inspect. The answer of the missing socks can literally be right in front of you. Most of the time, it seems, they've been right here all along.

This expose on washing machines' appetite solves the question that nags us every week. And because of that, we now don't have to see the laundry room as an ominous cove where only the strong clothes — and some socks — survive. Reunite your socks and settle the nagging mystery that probably keeps you up at night, now.