You love the handmade chunky crochet throw blanket you splurged on to spruce up your sofa, but after months of use, it is starting to look dirty and smell worse for wear. The problem? You’re not sure how to wash a crochet blanket without damaging its soft, intricately-woven yarn. Thankfully, restoring your blanket to its former glory and maintaining its cozy texture is simple with a few easy washing techniques. Plus, the pros share their tricks for removing stains and odors. Read on for the easy how-tos!
What is a crochet blanket?
A crochet blanket is made by looping yarn using a hook tool or even your arms to create a patterned fabric. Many types of yarn can be used to make crochet blankets, but some of the most popular varieties include acrylic, cotton, linen, ramie and wool yarn. These different materials require different washing methods as determined by the yarn label or blanket label’s care instructions.
How often should you wash crochet blankets?
“While crochet blankets aren’t necessarily delicate, you do want to take special care when washing them,” says crochet pro Lauren Brown of DaisyCottageDesigns.net. “If treated too roughly, occasionally, yarn ends may start working their way out, causing the blanket to unravel.” While it is possible to fix this issue, it’s much easier to avoid it by being gentle when caring for your blanket.
Additionally, if your blanket is mainly for decoration, Brown suggests washing it every two to three months. But, if the blanket is used on a regular basis, she recommends washing it every two to three weeks.
The best way to wash crochet blankets in the washing machine
If you’re equipped with yarn care instructions or washing information on how to wash your crochet blanket and you’re pretty confident that it will survive the washing machine, Brown says it is still a good idea to be careful when machine laundering. To be safe, pop the crocheted blanket into a mesh laundry bag (Buy from Amazon, $6.99) before tossing it into the washing machine. The bag helps protect the blanket from washer agitation that can damage the blanket.
Then, wash in cold water on a gentle or delicate cycle with just a few teaspoons of your favorite laundry detergent, since too much can deteriorate the yarn fibers.
When to hand wash your crochet blanket
Received the blanket as a gift or can’t locate a care label on your store-bought blanket? “If you don’t have the washing information available regarding the yarn used to make your blanket, it’s safest to hand wash it,” notes Brown. Her easy how-to: Fill a bucket or basin halfway with cool water. Stir in 3-4 tsp. of a gentle laundry detergent or baby shampoo, which will safely cleanse the blanket without damaging yarn fibers. Next, add your blanket to the water and swirl it around gently. To finish, rinse the blanket with cool water and press out the excess water over a sink or tub.
The best way to dry your blanket and what *not* to do
If you want your blanket to last a lifetime, avoiding the dryer is key. If you’ve washed your blanket by hand or in the washing machine, be sure to squeeze out as much excess water as you can. Then, lay the blanket out flat to dry and shape it into a perfect rectangle or square, which ensures that the blanket returns to its original shape, notes Brown.
Tip: If your crochet blanket feels stiff after it has air-dried, pop it into the dryer with a dryer sheet for 5-10 minutes on low heat. The sheet’s fabric softeners help make the blanket fibers softer and more flexible.
How to lift odors from a blanket
Your pets love that your crochet blanket as much as you do and now it’s smelling less than fresh? Just fill an orphan sock with baking soda, tie off the opening with twine, then toss into a trash bag or large zip-top bag with the blanket and seal; let sit overnight before removing blanket. The baking soda absorbs and neutralizes odors for a fresher smelling throw.
To keep them smelling fresh in storage
Place a few scented soap slivers on a coffee filter and tie it closed with ribbon (or pop them into a small burlap sachet from the craft store), then store the sachet in the linen closet. The soap will continuously release a clean scent so the blanket smells fresh long after laundry day.
This also helps keep moths away from your blanket since soap emits a strong odor that moths dislike.
To treat stains on a crochet blanket
Did a little ice cream drip onto your blanket during your late-night snack time? Not to worry! Simply mix a drop or two of laundry detergent in ½ cup of room-temperature water, then dip a soft cloth into the mixture and gently blot the stain until it disappears, advises Brown.
To soften a scratchy crochet blanket
When you crawl under the covers, the last thing you want is to be met with a scratchy blanket. Luckily, softening it is easy, says Bailey Carson, Head of Cleaning at Handy.com. “Just as hair conditioner smooths your tresses, it also soften blanket fibers.” Simply submerge the blanket in warm water and massage in a squirt of conditioner. Let sit for 10 minutes, rinse and let air-dry. The conditioner plumps fibers, making it soft as silk.
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