Next, load your dress-sock-only load into the washing machine. A front-loading washing machine is preferred, but, regardless, wash your socks in the gentle cycle with cold water and light detergent.
I use The Laundress Darks Detergent, which is a specially-formulated enzyme-based detergent that prevents any fading. Because it does utilizes enzyme detergents and not petroleum-based solvents, it also helps protect the integrity of cotton fibers. This prevents socks from beginning to “fuzz.” Alternatively, you could also use The Laundress Delicates Detergent.
Depending on how soiled the socks are (I normally wear my socks several times before washing in order to further extend their lifetime), I will allow the socks to soak in the cold water for 30 minutes prior to starting the cycle.