It takes time, money, and consistent dedication to create cute crochets. Those crocheted baby blankets and socks your tot received as birthday gifts, well, treasure them. But how do you take care of those delicate crochets if you don’t know what to do and how to do it? I crafted this post to give you the lowdown on how to wash a crochet blanket and other crocheted items.
How To Wash a Crochet Blanket (And Clothes)?
Hand wash your crochet blanket and clothes in cool water and a mild detergent or baby shampoo. You may also machine-wash crocheted clothes on a front-load washer that lacks a center agitator to stop stretching. While machine-washing crochets, run the Delicates cycle and use cold/cool water.
Remove the blanket from the washbasin or washer and squeeze out any excess water. Then, roll the blanket or sweater in a dry towel to absorb any excess water/moisture. Next, place a towel on a family game table/card table and lay the clean blanket on it to air-dry it. You can also put the blanket in a dryer, but make sure to run a low-heat cycle.
Finally, fold the blanket and store it in a sealed plastic bag with moth-repellents such as lavender, rosemary, cedar, or cotton balls dipped in scented lavender essential oil.
- Know your yarn: No yarn label? No problem. Locate a thread near the edge of the item and try burning it with a flame. If it melts, it’s definitely a synthetic fiber. And if it gives off a burning-hair smell and burns down to ash, it’s a natural fiber such as wool or cotton.
- If a yarn behaves like wool, it’s most likely wool: If you think a certain yarn is wool but aren’t 100% sure, there’s a way to know for sure. Cut a small thread from a hidden area and unravel the fibers. Then, wet your fingers and try rubbing the fibers between them. If it’s wool, the fibers will have a felt-like look while synthetic yarns don’t get matted.
- You can machine-wash crochets made from synthetic yarns such as acrylic together with other clothes.
- Hand-wash natural fibers such as linen and cotton or machine-wash them on the gentle cycle in cool or warm water.
- ALWAYS hand-wash wool crochets in cold water to prevent shrinkage using a wool-specific detergent or mild baby shampoo.
- If you want wool crochets to last long, consider using a specialty detergent such as Eucalan on them.
- When air-drying crochets, keep them buttoned and the collar folded.
What to Do Before Washing Crochet Blankets and Clothes
If there are holes on the blanket, take care of them before doing anything else. Hand-stitching should solve the problem if the holes aren’t crater-wide. But if the holes are too big, unraveling the blanket or sweater or whatever creating a new item may be best.
To remove stains from crocheted blankets or clothes, rub in a little heavy-duty detergent. Let the detergent deal with the stains for about 20 minutes.
Not sure what stain you’re looking at? I found this stain removal resource useful. Whether they’re fresh, easy-to-remove stains or old, set-in stains, the guide sure helps.
Below is what you need when washing crocheted clothes and blankets:
- Family game table (card table)
- Vinyl tablecloth
- Washing machine (optional)
- Dryer (optional)
- A mild detergent or mild baby shampoo; a specialty detergent (Eucalan recommended) if washing a crocheted wool blanket.
- A plastic bag for storing the blanket after washing and drying it. A zip-lock bag with a zipper will do.
Laundry experts recommend hand-washing as the best way of washing crocheted blankets and clothes. Most yarns can be machine-washed, but you don’t want to put crochets made from specialty yarns in the washer. If the crochet is machine-made, follow the special care instructions printed on the yarn label. And whenever in doubt, always make the safest decision: hand-wash the crochet.
Follow the step-by-step crochet blanket washing instructions below to complete the task:
Step #1: Fill a washbasin with cool/cold water. Add a mild detergent or mild baby shampoo and let the blanket stay soaked for about 1 hour.
Every part of the blanket should stay fully submerged. Meaning you need a large-enough washbasin. You may have to press down on the blanket to fully immerse it into the water.
Step #2: Don’t agitate the crochet blanket by rubbing. While rubbing may remove dirt faster, it can weaken the delicate structure of crocheted clothes. Instead of rubbing the item, slosh it around to encourage the dirt to come out.
You may also use a washing machine if you want to, but that’s not a good idea for the most part. If you must use a washer, use a front-loading option without a center agitator. This is how you prevent stretching.
Crochet care tip: To further protect your delicate crochet baby blanket while in the washer, put it in a mesh laundry bag.
Run the Delicates Cycle and wash the blanket in cold water using a mild laundry detergent. It’s always best to consult the yarn label to learn the recommended detergent for it.
How do you whiten yellowed crochet blankets? Use oxygen bleach to whiten yellowed blankets if they’re crocheted from cotton or acrylic yarns. But if it’s wool yarns, you likely won’t see any difference.
Step #3: Pour the soapy water out (if hand-washing) while firming the blanket onto the base of the washbasin with one hand. Next, pour clean cool/cold water into the basin.
Step #4: Squeeze any excess water out. Repeat this step as many times as needed to make the rinsing water clear and suds-free. I find that 3-4 rinses often does the job.
Step #5: Hold the crocheted blanket around the bottom to prevent stretching. Crotched clothes are like knits; if you’re not careful while handling them, they extend in all directions and become misshapen.
The worst-case scenario is that your sweater might become too loose that you won’t want to wear it anymore. That’s not a result any sane person looks forward to, right?
Step #6: Roll the blanket or other item in a clean, dry bath towel. The towel absorbs the water that didn’t come out of the item at the “squeezing” stage.
Step #7: Dry the blanket. The smartest way of drying crocheted blankets and clothes is to air-dry them.
But, can you put crocheted clothes in a dryer? Yes, you can. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If you insist on using a dryer, tumble-dry the item on the low-heat cycle.
Run the dryer on a low spin to protect the integrity of the crochet. To make it less likely that dryer action might mess the blanket up, put it in a large mesh laundry bag.
Check on the blanket every 20 minutes to make sure everything is OK. Remove it when it’s still somewhat damp and air-dry it.
How to Air-dry a Crochet Blanket or Clothes
Lay the blanket on a flat surface. Use your family game table for this purpose; it works really well for me. If you’re using a wooden table and believe that the water might damage its surface, cover it with a vinyl tablecloth.
Then, place a clean dry towel on the tablecloth before finally laying the blanket on it. If it’s a large-size blanket, you’ll need an equally large bath towel.
Before leaving the blanket to dry, try re-shaping or re-adjusting it to its original shape without pulling too much.
How long does a crochet blanket take to dry out completely when air-dried? It should take no more than 24 hours if the weather is nice and warm.
Step #8: Store the crochet in a cool, dry place. But what’s the right way of doing this?
After washing and drying your crocheted blankets or clothes, fold them and put them in an airtight bag. If air gets into the bag, there’s a good chance that mold will start growing on your items.
This is because air contains moisture, and moisture motivates mold growth. Storing crocheted clothes in an airtight plastic bag also helps keep bugs out.
Moths like chewing on crochets during long-term storage. To discourage moths, soak a few cotton balls in essential oils such as lavender and put them into small bags. Then, toss these cotton balls in the plastic bag before sealing everything up. Alternatively, put bug-repelling herbs such as lavender or rosemary into the bag.
Open the bag periodically to inspect the clothes for signs of moth. If you notice moths, take action right away.
Here’s what to do: First off, get the clothes out of the bag and take care of the moths. Then, deep-freeze the crochet blanket or whatever it is for two days. Doing this kills moth larvae. Finally, remove the deep-freezed blanket and wash it as described above before storing it away.
What about ironing?
It’s tempting for many crocheting enthusiasts (especially) to use an iron box to flatten curled edges. But you don’t need to use an iron on crochets for the most part because it’s easy to burn or even melt the yarns.
At least, don’t use the iron directly on crochets. Instead, place a towel between the crocheted item and the base of the iron and start pressing on the item. You want to steam the crochet rather than dry-iron it.
I assume you’d wet-blocked your crochet project from the get-go to flatten it. If that’s the case for you, ignore this step.
In crocheting, blocking is a kind of finish intended to make the blanket or other item stretch out to a more or less permanent shape.
There are several ways of blocking a crochet including wet-blocking, steam-blocking, and spray-blocking.
Here’s the thing: you don’t need to be a laundry expert to try out any of these crochet blocking methods. Learn about how crochet blocking works.
Washing Crocheted Clothes and Blankets: Final Thoughts
Washing crocheted blankets and clothes is relatively easy. With a washbasin, a yarn-safe mild detergent, cold water, a few bath towels, and a flat surface, you should finish your laundry work correctly and quickly.
Pour cold or cool water into a washbasin, large bowl, or bucket and add a reasonable amount of a mild detergent. Then, swirl the blanket or garment around to get the dirt out.
Next, drain out the soily, soapy water and rinse the blanket with cold water. Keep rinsing until there are no more suds.
Then, squeeze the blanket gently to drain out excess water. Next, roll the blanket or garment in a dry towel and press on it to absorb some of the remaining water/moisture. Finally, air-dry the blanket by laying it flat on a card table or other flat surface.
Finally, fold the blanket; put bug-repelling herbs or cotton balls in an airtight plastic bag, and store them away.
If you follow the crochet care steps above, you’ll use your blankets and clothes forever.
Frequently asked questions
Can crochet blankets be machine washed?
Whether you can machine wash a crochet blanket or not boils down to the yarn and the instructions on the care label. Generally, crochet blankets and clothes made from synthetic yarns such as acrylic are machine washable in a normal cycle, even with other clothes. However, this is not a move you want to pull with wool (wool being the most delicate), cotton and linen crochet blankets. It is best to wash these by hands, but you can machine wash linen and cotton crochets separately in a delicate cycle.
How do you wash a homemade yarn blanket?
Hand wash your homemade yarn blanket in a wash basin with cool water and gentle detergent or baby shampoo. If the blanket is made of wool, use special detergent made for wool. You can also machine wash cotton, linen and acrylic blankets. Machine was cotton and linen ones on a delicate cycle while the acrylic ones can go to a normal cycle. After washing, lay your blanket flat to dry.
Should I wash crochet blanket before gifting?
You do not have to wash your crochet blanket before gifting or selling. However, if you have pets in your house, it might have collected pet dander and hairs while you were making it. This creates the need for washing it gently especially because some people are allergic to pet protein.
How do you wash a Bernat crochet blanket?
You can wash Bernat crochet blankets in the machine then finish up by tumble drying on low. However, use a gentle detergent and avoid using chlorine or oxygen bleach.
How do you dry crotchet clothes?
Dry crotched clothes by laying them flat to dry. You can spread them on a dry flat drying rack or on a table. If using a table, spread a towel on the table first that spread the sweaters, dresses or blankets. Remember that drying flat takes a lot of space. Thus, spread your crochet laundry across multiple washes.
How do you soften a crochet blanket?
You can soften your crochet blanket by using fabric softener or using a solution of water and vinegar. Simply begin by soaking it in cool water first then use one of the two given methods of softening. If using a fabric softener, mix water and fabric softener in the ratio provided on the user instructions written on the bottle of the product you are using. If you using vinegar, add a cup or more to a wash basin filled with water.