CARING FOR YOUR STOCKINGS
PLEASE, wash your compression stockings! I have heard several stories of people not wanting to wash their compression stockings for fear that the garments will wear out faster. The opposite is true. Washing your compression stockings daily maximizes therapeutic effectiveness and prolongs the life of the stocking. This is because the oils and dirt in the skin cause the compression in the stocking to break down faster and be less effective.
I recommend hand washing your compression stockings in warm water with mild soap. Using soap specifically designed for compression stockings can prolong their effectiveness. Ensure you rinse all soap residue from the socks, then wrap your compression stockings in a clean towel and pat as much of the water out of them as possible. Lay flat to dry. Roll in a clean towel to get excess water out to dry faster. You may also want to put a fan on them to help speed up the process.
Some manufacturers do say that their stockings can be machine washed and dried. Treat your compression stockings like you would fine lingerie if you decide to go this route. Use the lowest permanent press settings and a garment bag. If you also choose the dryer, use the lowest possible temperature setting. Never use bleach, chlorine, fabric softeners, Woolite, or other laundry additives, for these can damage the compression in the garment.
ONE TO WASH, ONE TO WEAR
Depending on how often you do laundry, you will want to have adequate stockings so that you have a clean pair of stockings to wear each day. At the very least, you will want a pair of socks to wear and one to wash. If a compression stocking is worn daily, you should get good compression therapy for around four to six months. If you purchase two pairs of socks and switch them out regularly, you now have good compression therapy to last the entire year.
SILICONE BAND CARE
Occasionally the silicone band at the top of the stocking will begin to lose grip. If and when this happens, you can use a little rubbing alcohol to clean the silicone. If no rubbing alcohol is available, hand wash the silicone band with hot soapy water. This should give the silicone band some extra life.
PROTECTING YOUR COMPRESSION STOCKINGS
Gradient compression stockings are expensive – and to get the best, most effective use out of them, it is essential to care for them properly. Caring for your compression stockings by wearing donning gloves is one of the easiest and first things you can do to protect your investment. These gloves not only help you get your compression stockings on and off, but they also help protect the stockings from jewelry and sharp fingernails.
It’s perfectly safe to use lotions and creams with compression garments as long as they are Latex Free. This is especially important for people with lymphedema since daily skin care and moisturizer are critical. Lotions and ointments will break down garments made out of natural rubber. The compression stockings we sell at The Compression Closet do not have Latex. So you do not have to worry about using lotion with your Juzo Dynamic Stockings or Mediven Plus stockings.
PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT
Gradient Compression Stockings are an investment in your health! Protect your investment with proper care of these garments. To review:
- Wash stockings daily by hand
- Lay flat to dry
- Clean silicone band when needed
- Use donning gloves whenever you don or doff a garment
REPLACING YOUR COMPRESSION GARMENTS
When wearing compression stockings daily, you should get four to six months of good compression therapy from your garment with proper care. Be sure to replace garments when they feel loose and seem too easy to get on. Compression only works if it is compressing, and older garments will not give you the necessary benefits. Investing in your health with good quality compression stockings can be expensive, but caring for your compression stockings can protect that investment in your socks and your health.
Disclaimer – This blog is for general information purposes only. Furthermore, the information contained in this blog is not a substitute for medical advice – always consult a licensed healthcare professional for advice on your specific condition.