Tips for How to Wash Any Crochet Blanket (& Why You Should)

Preserve your handmade treasures for years to come with safe methods to keep crochet blankets clean.

Published July 6, 2023
Mom and son playing together under crochet blanket

If you've got a well-loved crochet blanket, then you know the panic that sets in when you spill something saucy all over it. Unlike regular cotton or polyester throws that you can toss in the wash and they still look great, crochet blankets may need a more sensitive approach.

Never fear - every crochet blanket, whether brand new or vintage, can be washed. It's how you wash a crochet blanket that matters.

Before You Wash, Identify the Fibers

Young woman crocheting in the living-room

Not all crochet blankets are made from the same fibers, and so they can't be washed the same way. To determine the fiber content, you can check a tag if there is one or ask whoever made it what kind of yarn they used.

But if you thrifted a mystery blanket, then you'll need to do a little more investigating. Most blankets are made using one of three different types of yarn: acrylic, wool, and cotton. Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that appears slightly shiny, pulls apart easily, and won't burn during a burn test. Wool absorbs moisture, is usually very soft to the touch, and has good elasticity. Meanwhile, cotton has a rougher texture and a finish that's much duller than acrylic.

How to Wash Acrylic Crochet Blankets

Since acrylic yarn is basically plastic, it's not nearly as temperamental as other fibers. To wash your acrylic blankets, simply toss them in the washing machine with a bleach-free, gentle detergent and set them through a normal cold water cycle. Dry them on a low heat in your dryer.

Quick Tip

If you're worried about your blanket getting pushed and pulled during a wash cycle, try washing them using a delicate setting first to see how they do.

How to Wash Wool Crochet Blankets

Wash instructions

Wool crochet blankets need to be handwashed because they're made of natural fibers and are likely to shrink. Handwash them in a tub of cool water and wool-specific laundry detergent. Gently agitate the water and then rinse, squeezing out as much moisture as possible. Leave them to air dry by laying them flat.

How to Wash Cotton Crochet Blankets

Cotton crochet blankets, whether mercerized or not, aren't quite as fussy as wool blankets. You can toss these in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with cold water, so long as you lay them flat to dry. Just like wool, cotton is a natural fiber and is prone to shrinking in extreme heat. Yup, just like those shirts you swore wouldn't shrink and ended up turning into baby clothes.

Need to Know

Never throw your wool or cotton crochet blankets in the dryer because they can shrink.

Can You Spot Clean Crochet Blankets?

Since crochet blankets are made from intricately looped stitches, spot treating them isn't always the best option. You run the danger of stretching in that area by tugging and rubbing at the individual spots. If you get a spot that you can't wipe up immediately or rinse out with some cool water, you can attack it with some gentle, bleach-free laundry detergent. Using gloves, rub a small amount of the detergent into the spot, rinse with water, and throw into a regular wash cycle.

@brandyrader How to spot clean and wash crochet blankets. #crochet #crochetblanket #yarn #yarntok #laundry #cleanblanket #washingblankets original sound - Brandy Rader

How Often Should You Clean Crochet Blankets?

This is totally up to you. While you don't need to wash them every week or so like your sheets, you definitely should wash them more than once every few years. If you think your blanket looks a little dingy, is flattening out, and/or has a funky smell, then it's probably time to wash.

Tips to Make Washing Your Crochet Blankets a Breeze

While the basics of cleaning a crochet blanket aren't difficult, there are a few things you can keep in mind to prolong your blanket's life and keep it warm and cozy for years to come:

  • If you're machine washing, toss the blankets in a pillowcase or mesh laundry bag to prevent unraveling.
  • Use a no-rinse detergent when handwashing your blankets to prevent soap buildup.
  • Handwash colored crochet blankets before washing them with other items to check that there's no dye transfer.
  • Use a blocking method to re-stretch bunched up blankets. Blocking is just stretching a crochet piece out and securing it in place with t-pins and a blocking board or some cardboard. Leave it there to dry, and it should stretch back out.

The Better You Wash, The Longer They'll Last

If someone took the time to make you a beautiful blanket or you're experimenting with crochet for the first time, you want to be able to use it for years. But don't hold off on washing it out of fear that you'll ruin it somehow. So long as you follow these easy methods to clean your crochet blankets, they'll end up fresh and fluffy every time.

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Tips for How to Wash Any Crochet Blanket (& Why You Should)