A lot of our customers ask us if the absorbent socks they’re using will eventually stop absorbing, or if the outer sock part will deteriorate first. Like most questions about product applications, the short answer is “it depends,” but let’s take a closer look.
Is It Okay to Reuse Absorbent Socks, and How Long Will They Last?
There are two ways to tell if it’s time to replace your sock:
1. Check the Skin of the Sock
Most of the time, the skin of the sock will degrade first because it’s exposed to UV light from the sun and lighting sources inside your facility. You can check the skin of the sock for thin spots, and if you find any, it’s probably time to replace it with a new one. The skin could also start to become brittle and start to tear open in spots. This is another sign it’s time for a new sock. If you keep using a sock past its useful life, the filler can come out, leaving you with a bigger mess than you started with.
2. Is the Sock Saturated?
Keep an eye on the socks as they’re absorbing the leaks. There’s no secret formula to knowing if they’re saturated — if you move the sock with your hand or foot and liquid comes out, the sock is soaked. When it can’t hold any more fluid, it needs to be replaced.
How Long Do Absorbent Socks Last?
Some socks are engineered with UV resistant properties for long-term deployment outdoors. It’s reasonable to expect these products to last up to 12 months without degrading. For indoor applications, you could leave socks in place for days, weeks or months depending on the level of saturation and exposure to UV rays. It’s not uncommon for facilities with messy processes to change out socks at the end of every shift, while other customers use socks as preventive measures that rarely see any action. For low-use situations, it’s best to perform the periodic inspections described above.
Which Reusable Absorbent Sock Should I Use?
The best socks to reuse when absorbing water are the PIG Blue Absorbent Sock and the PIG Mildew-Resistant Absorbent Sock.
The PIG Blue Absorbent Sock has a polypropylene skin with vermiculite filler. The filler will expand as it absorbs water and then shrink back to its smaller size as it dries out. This sock is also very heavy, so it’ll stay in place better.
The PIG Mildew-Resistant Absorbent Sock is our best reusable water absorbent sock. Its polypropylene skin and filler will resist the growth of mildew, and the sock can be air-dried and reused up to three times.
Keep in mind that neither sock has a UV additive to resist damage from rays, sunlight and interior lights. If possible, try to keep them out of sunlight to get the most bang for your buck.
These Universal Absorbent Socks also absorb oil, coolants and solvents. Check them out to get started on protecting your facility from unwanted leaks and drips.
How To Dry Absorbent Socks
When the only liquid you’re absorbing is water, many absorbent socks can be air-dried and reused. For best results, treat your saturated socks just like your wet laundry — hang them from a line or drape them over a rack (but never in a dryer — they could melt!!). Need them back in action ever faster? Speed up the process with moving air from a floor fan or an open window or door.