Handmade crochet blankets are a beautiful addition to any home. They can be used as throws, bedspreads, or even wall hangings. However, they require special care, and that especially refers to washing. Otherwise, you can damage them and they’ll lose their original charm.
In this article, we’ll explain how to wash a crochet blanket properly so you can keep it pretty for years to come. Of course, these tips apply to other crochet items you might have as well!
How Often Should You Wash a Crochet Blanket?
This depends on a few things: how often it’s used, the type of fabric, and the amount of dirt or dust buildup on it.
Generally, crochet blankets are washed every three to four months. However, if you use your crochet blanket daily, for example, as a bedspread, or to decorate your favorite reading chair, you may need to wash it more often.
This wouldn’t be a problem if you could wash a crochet blanket in the washing machine, but how would you know if you’re supposed to? Simple. Just check what the blanket is made of.
What Is Your Crochet Blanket Made of?
The type of yarn and fabric will determine how you’ll need to wash your blanket. For example, cleaning a delicate cotton thread crochet blanket will be different from cleaning a wool crochet blanket.
A crocheted blanket made of synthetic materials can usually be cleaned just by putting it in the washing machine. However, most blankets made of natural fibers require special care. This is why you should read the laundry symbols on the label.
Read the Care Instructions
Once you know the type of material, it’s time to read the care instructions. You can find these on the tag sewn into the corner of your blanket.
In case you’ve received your blanket as a gift, you can usually find instructions on the website of the product’s company.
Care Instructions for Crochet Items
Untreated wool, alpaca, mohair, and silk: Hand wash it in cool water (lower than 86℉) and lay it flat to dry. Wool is a natural fiber that can shrink when washed in hot water or dried in a hot dryer.
Additional tips: Don’t rub a blanket made of wool, and make sure the detergent is entirely dissolved before putting the blanket in the basin.
Cotton, linen, and ramie: Using the washing machine with these materials is acceptable. Just make sure to put it on the gentle cycle in cold water and lay it flat to dry.
Cotton, linen, and ramie are natural fibers that become stronger when wet. They can shrink when exposed to heat, so it’s best to avoid using hot water or a dryer. Use cool water instead.
Additional tips: If your blanket is made with multiple yarn colors, wash it in cold water with like colors, and rinse the blanket thoroughly.
Merino and treated wool: Merino wool is a sturdier kind of wool. Look for yarns labeled ‘superwash’ or those with similar care instructions. This means you can machine wash and dry it without ruining the fibers.
When it comes to washing crochet blankets that have been treated, you can actually machine wash and dry them, but on the gentle cycle. Treated wool fibers have been chemically processed to make them far more felting-resistant.
Additional tips: Use a proper wool-safe detergent (one that contains lanolin). If your blanket has sequins, beads, or other embellishments, hand washing is necessary.
Acrylic, polyester, plastic, and other synthetic materials: Synthetic fibers can be washed in hot water and dried in the dryer. However, over time they will lose their luster and begin to look dull. To prevent this, wash them on the gentle cycle in cool water and also lay them flat to dry.
Additional tips: If your crochet blanket has a lot of lint, use a fabric softener sheet in the washer.
How to Wash Crochet Blankets by Hand
If your blanket is made of regular wool (or if you’re not sure what it’s made of), it’s always safer to hand wash it to prevent possible damage. Let’s check out the steps.
- Fill a bucket/sink/tub/basin with cool tap water. Avoid using hot water as it can damage the fibers of your blanket.
- Add a mild detergent or two tablespoons of mild or baby shampoo and stir for five minutes.
- Soak the blanket in the detergent for 15–30 minutes. Don’t add fabric softener, bleach, or other harsh chemicals. Softener will coat the fibers, making them less absorbent.
- Gently rub the soap into the fabric with circular motions.
- Rinse the blanket thoroughly under cool water until all of the suds have been removed.
- Squeeze out as much excess water as possible. To do this, you can lay your blanket flat on dry towels. Then, roll up the towels and press down on them to absorb as much moisture as possible.
- Unroll the towels and place the blanket somewhere where it can air dry well. Don’t put it in the dryer, as this will cause it to shrink and lose its shape.
How to Machine Wash a Crochet Blanket
Look for the machine washing symbols on the care instruction tag. If your blanket can be machine-washed, here are a few tips on how to do it correctly:
- Place your blanket in a laundry bag before you put it in the machine.
- Wash it with like-colored and delicate items, but don’t overload the machine.
- Use a quarter full cup of liquid detergent. Excess detergent can degrade the yarn. Don’t use fabric softener or harsh chemicals.
- Set to the delicate cycle (cold water) and a delicate spin speed of 600–800rpm.
- Avoid long laundry programs, since they can damage your blanket.
Additional tips: If you want to add your crochet blanket to your finest throw blankets, opt for a sturdier material that you can machine wash.
If your blanket gets soiled, clean it as soon as possible using a mild detergent and lukewarm water. Blot the stain with a clean cloth until it disappears. Do not scrub or use harsh chemicals to remove any stains.
Care instructions for crochet items don’t just refer to cleaning. Here are some other things you can do to help them last longer and remain in excellent condition.
Fluff the Blanket
Once your crochet blanket has been washed and dried, you should fluff it up. This can be done by shaking it out or using a hairbrush to separate the fibers.
Whether you live in a humid climate or not, you should store your blanket in a dry and cool place, like a closet or a dresser. You can also hang it on a clothesline.
Additional care tips:
- Fold the blanket instead of hanging it up. This will help prevent the blanket from stretching out of shape.
- When traveling with a crochet blanket, roll it up tightly in order to prevent creases and wrinkles.
Now that you know these tips, your favorite piece of decor will stay in good condition for years to come. Make sure to always use cold water and a delicate cycle when washing blankets made from natural fibers like cotton or wool. Finally, if you want to be extra careful, hand-washing is always the best method.
Can crochet blankets be machine washed?
Most crochet blankets can be machine-washed, but you should be extra careful. Use the delicate cycle and a low-temperature setting.
Moreover, avoid using bleach, fabric softener, or other harsh chemicals. Don’t overload the washer or dryer, and remove the blanket promptly when it’s finished drying to avoid damaging the fibers.
Can you put yarn in the dryer?
You can put yarn in the dryer, but you should use a low heat setting and be sure to remove it promptly when it’s finished. Overdrying can damage the fibers in your blanket.
However, bear in mind the results depend on the type of material. With regular wool, it’s best to avoid the dryer altogether and instead lay your blanket out to air dry.
However, if you’re using synthetic fibers like acrylic, you can put it in the dryer on a low-heat setting. Just be sure to keep an eye on it, as synthetic fibers can melt if they get too hot.
Can I use fabric softener on the crochet blanket?
In general, you should avoid using fabric softener on your crochet blanket, but if you do, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’ve cut them off, you should test a small section first to see if there is any adverse reaction.
However, you should also avoid using too much fabric softener, as this can cause the blanket to become stiff. If you do use fabric softener, make sure to do an additional cleaning step like rinsing it out thoroughly afterward.
How do you dry crochet clothes?
After cleaning your crochet blanket, it’s important to dry it properly to prevent shrinking and damage. The best way to dry a crochet blanket is to lay it flat on a clean towel in a well-ventilated area.
If you’re using a dryer, set it on the lowest heat setting and dry for only a few minutes. If you have any questions about how to wash a crochet blanket, check the manufacturer’s instructions.