How to wash crochet and knitted items

*This post contains Affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures. As an avid crocheter I'm often asked how do you wash hand crocheted items. No one wants to just throw them in the washer and call it good. What if it damages the fiber? What if it comes unraveled? Will the colors run? Worst of all will it shrink? While I can't tell you that there is a set answer if you throw it in the washer I can say that those beautiful homemade crocheted or knitted items can be washed so that it stays in great shape. First of all you will need either a sink or bathtub depending on what you are washing. I am fortunate to have a large laundry room sink so that is where I wash most items that can't go in the washer. You will also need Woolite. I am a die hard user of Woolite for washing more delicate items so it is all I recommend for washing crocheted items.  Lastly you will need towels to help dry the item. The amount needed will vary depending on the size of the item. The blanket I'm washing in the tutorial took 4 towels due to it's size so you may need to eyeball it.
Place your crocheted or knitted item in a clean sink or bathtub with the stopper in place and fill with warm water and a little bit of Woolite. I never use much because it really doesn't take a whole lot. Of course if you use a more heavily soiled item you may decide to use a bit more if necessary.
Now you want to agitate the item a bit. I find that swishing it around and gently squeezing all over with my hands is enough to clean hand washed items. Once you feel the item is clean it's time to rinse. Let the soapy water drain and refill the basin once more with clean slightly warm water.
Swish the item around a bit more to rinse the soap out and drain again. You can also rinse under slightly warm water. I generally do both on a larger item such as this blanket I'm washing in the photos. Once it's rinsed gently squeeze as much water out of the item as possible. Do not wring it. This could cause it to stretch out. Once you have as much water out of it as you can you are going to lay it on one of your towels. Lay another towel over the top. It will look like a crocheted jelly roll which is the idea. You want to get as much water out as you can, so once you have a towel on top and bottom you're going to roll it.
Squeeze the towel roll to get as much excess water out of the item. Again you don't want to wring it to avoid stretching it out. Once you feel you have gotten enough water out you can unroll it. Repeat with a dry set of towels if necessary.
Lay flat to dry on top of another towel or two. I used 2 in this tutorial because it was a bulkier project. At this point I generally let mine sit on the back deck to dry in the shade or on top of the washer. You will want to flip it to the other side at some point to allow the other side to dry. Now your item is clean and ready to be snuggled in or worn!
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