How To Wash a Crochet Blanket: A Comprehensive Guide – Amerisleep


Key Takeaways

  • Maintain a Loved Blanket: Proper care is essential to maintain the appearance and durability of crochet blankets, ensuring they remain cherished items in your home.
  • Know the Yarn: Washing a crochet blanket can be made easier with knowledge of the yarn type and specific care instructions, whether it’s acrylic, cotton, wool, or a blend.
  • Proper Care Strategies: Techniques such as hand washing or machine washing, along with proper drying and storage methods, are crucial for preserving the beauty and longevity of your crochet blanket.

Crochet blankets are cherished items that add warmth, comfort, and a touch of handmade beauty to any home. Whether you’ve created a blanket yourself or received one as a treasured gift, proper care is essential to maintain its appearance and durability.

Washing a crochet blanket may seem daunting, but with the right techniques and knowledge, you can keep your blanket looking its best for years to come.

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In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about washing your crochet blanket, from identifying the yarn type to drying and storage tips.

Preparing to Wash Your Crochet Blanket

Before you begin washing your crochet blanket, it’s crucial to gather information about the yarn used and any specific care instructions. This will help you determine the best washing method and avoid any potential damage.

  • Acrylic Yarn: For blankets made from acrylic yarn, it’s advisable to use a dryer sheet when drying to minimize static. Always check the care instructions on the yarn label to see if the yarn does well in the dryer, ensuring you follow the best practices for maintaining its quality.
  • Cotton Yarn: When dealing with cotton yarn, it’s important to air dry cotton crochet blankets to maintain their shape and quality. Cotton yarn requires gentle care, and air drying is a key step in preserving the integrity of your blanket.

Identifying the Yarn Type

Some common yarns used to crochet a blanket include:

  • Wool: Wool is a delicate fiber that requires special care. A wool crochet blanket is prone to shrinkage and felting if not handled correctly.
  • Cotton: Cotton is a durable, natural fiber that can withstand regular washing. However, it may shrink slightly and lose its shape if not properly cared for.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that is easy to care for and retains its shape well. It is often machine washable and dryable.
  • Blends: Yarn blends combine two or more fibers, such as wool and acrylic or cotton and polyester. Care instructions for blends will depend on the dominant fiber.

Checking for Care Instructions

Always check the yarn label or the blanket’s care tag for specific washing instructions and laundry symbols. If you’ve created the blanket yourself, refer to the yarn label for guidance. If you’ve received a crocheted blanket as a gift, ask the giver if they have any care recommendations.

Testing for Colorfastness

Before washing your entire blanket, it’s essential to test for colorfastness to ensure the colors won’t bleed or fade. To do this, dampen a small, inconspicuous area of the blanket with cool water and gently press a white cloth against it.

If the color transfers to the cloth, the blanket is not colorfast, and you should take extra precautions when washing, such as using color catcher sheets or washing it separately.

Hand Washing Your Crochet Blanket

Hand washing is the gentlest method for cleaning your crochet blanket and is recommended for delicate fibers like wool or if you’re unsure about the yarn’s care requirements. When washing wool crochet blankets, it’s crucial to be incredibly gentle to avoid stretching or damaging the item.

When to Hand Wash

Hand washing is ideal for:

  • Delicate fibers like wool or silk
  • Blankets with intricate stitches or embellishments
  • Blankets that are not colorfast
  • When you’re unsure about the yarn’s care instructions

Supplies Needed

  • Gentle, no-rinse wool wash or mild detergent
  • Large basin or bathtub
  • Towels for drying

Step-by-Step Hand Washing Instructions

  1. Fill a basin with cool water and add a small amount of gentle, no-rinse wool wash or mild detergent. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause shrinkage and color bleeding.
  2. Submerge the blanket in the water and gently agitate it to distribute the soap. Do not twist, wring, or scrub the blanket, as this can damage the fibers and stitches.
  3. Allow the blanket to soak for 10-15 minutes, then drain the basin and refill it with cool, clean water. Gently squeeze the blanket to remove excess water and soap. Repeat the rinsing process until the water runs clear.
  4. To remove excess water, gently squeeze the blanket without wringing or twisting. Then, roll the blanket in a clean towel and press to absorb more water.

Machine Washing Your Crochet Blanket

Some crochet blankets, particularly those made from acrylic or cotton, can be machine washed. However, it’s essential to use the correct settings and take precautions to minimize damage.

When deciding to wash crochet blankets, it’s crucial to opt for gentle care and limit washing frequency to maintain their shape and prevent fuzziness, especially for blankets that are used regularly or are made of delicate fibers.

When to Machine Wash

Machine washing is suitable for:

  • Blankets made from durable fibers like acrylic or cotton
  • Blankets without delicate embellishments or intricate stitches
  • When the yarn label or care instructions indicate that machine washing is safe

Choosing the Right Settings

  1. Water temperature: Use cold water to minimize the risk of shrinkage and color bleeding.
  2. Cycle type: Select a gentle or delicate cycle to reduce agitation and prevent damage to the fibers and stitches.
  3. Spin speed: Choose a low spin speed to minimize stretching and misshaping.

Using a Mesh LaundryBag

Place your crochet blanket in a large mesh laundry bag before washing to protect it from snagging or tangling with other items in the machine.

Avoiding Harsh Detergents and Fabric Softeners

Use a mild, low-sudsing detergent and avoid fabric softeners, as they can leave a residue on the fibers and affect the blanket’s texture and appearance.

Drying Your Crochet Blanket

Proper drying techniques are just as important as washing methods for maintaining your crochet blanket’s beauty and longevity. To make the blanket fibers softer and more flexible after air-drying, consider using dryer sheets with fabric softeners as part of the drying process.

Air Drying vs. Machine Drying

Air drying is the safest and most recommended method for drying crochet blankets, as it minimizes the risk of shrinkage, stretching, and damage to the fibers.

Machine drying should only be used if the yarn label or care instructions indicate that it is safe.

Air Drying Techniques

  1. Lay the blanket flat on a clean, dry towel or a mesh drying rack. Avoid hanging the blanket, as this can cause stretching and misshaping.
  2. Gently reshape the blanket while it is still damp to maintain its original dimensions and prevent distortion.
  3. Avoid direct sunlight or heat sources, as they can cause fading or shrinkage.

Tips for Machine Drying

If machine drying is safe for your blanket, use the lowest heat setting and remove the blanket promptly from the dryer to minimize the risk of shrinkage or damage. Place a few clean, dry towels in the dryer with the blanket to absorb excess moisture and reduce drying time.

Caring for Different Crochet Fibers

Each type of fiber used in crochet blankets has unique characteristics and care requirements. It’s crucial to use gentle laundry detergent or baby shampoo to avoid damaging the yarn fibers, applicable to all types of fibers discussed.

Here are some specific tips for caring for different fibers:


  • Always hand wash wool blankets in cool water with a gentle, wool-safe detergent.
  • Avoid agitation, wringing, or twisting to prevent felting and shrinkage.
  • Air dry flat, away from direct heat sources.

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  • Cotton blankets can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent.
  • Reshape and air dry flat to prevent shrinkage and maintain the blanket’s shape.


  • Acrylic blankets are easy to care for and can usually be machine washed and dried.
  • Use cold water, a gentle cycle, and low heat when machine drying.


  • Care for blended fiber blankets according to the most delicate fiber in the blend.
  • If in doubt, hand wash and air dry to minimize the risk of damage.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even with proper care, crochet blankets may develop issues such as stains, stretching, color bleeding, or becoming scratchy. Here are some tips for addressing these common problems:

To soften a scratchy crochet blanket, you can use hair conditioner to smooth the blanket fibers. This method transforms the texture into something soft and silk-like, providing a more comfortable experience.

Treating Stains

  • Address stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting.
  • Gently blot the stain with a clean, damp cloth and mild detergent or a stain remover specifically designed for the fiber type.
  • Avoid rubbing the stain, as this can spread it or damage the fibers.

Preventing Stretching or Misshaping

  • Handle the blanket gently during washing and drying, avoiding wringing, twisting, or hanging.
  • Reshape the blanket while it is still damp and allow it to air dry flat.
  • Store the blanket folded or rolled, rather than hanging, to prevent stretching.

Dealing with Color Bleeding

  • Test for colorfastness before washing, and wash separately if colors bleed.
  • Use color catcher sheets in the wash to absorb any bleeding dyes.
  • Hand wash and air dry blankets with bleeding colors to minimize the risk of damage to other items.

Storage and Maintenance

Proper storage and maintenance can help extend the life of your crochet blanket and keep it looking its best.

Frequency of Washing

Crochet blankets do not need to be washed frequently, as excessive washing can lead to wear and tear. Wash your blanket only when it is visibly soiled or has an odor. In general, aim to wash your crochet blanket every 3 to 6 months, depending on usage.

Proper Storage Techniques

  • Store your crochet blanket as you would store any bedding—in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, which can cause fading and damage to the fibers.
  • Fold or roll the blanket loosely to prevent creasing and stretching.
  • Consider placing the blanket in a breathable cotton or muslin storage bag to protect it from dust and pests.

Repairing Minor Damage

Small snags, holes, or loose ends can be repaired by gently working the stitch back into place with a crochet hook. For more significant damage, consult a crochet expert or refer to online tutorials for guidance on mending techniques.


What is the fastest way to dry a yarn blanket without ruining it?

The fastest and safest way to dry yarn blankets without causing damage is to lay the blanket flat on a clean, dry surface, such as a towel or mesh drying rack. Gently reshape the blanket while it is still damp to maintain its original dimensions and prevent distortion.

If you need to speed up the drying process, you can use a fan to circulate air around the blanket or place it in a well-ventilated room. However, always avoid direct sunlight or heat sources, as they can cause shrinkage, fading, or damage to the fibers.

How do you wash a thick crochet blanket?

The best way to wash a thick crochet blanket is by hand, using cool water and a mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fibers. Gently submerge the blanket in the water and carefully squeeze the suds through the fibers, avoiding twisting, wringing, or scrubbing.

Rinse the blanket thoroughly in cool water until all soap residue is removed, then gently press out excess water using a clean towel. Lay the blanket flat to air dry, reshaping it as needed to maintain its original size and shape.

What happens if a crochet blanket gets wet?

If a crochet blanket gets wet, it’s essential to handle it carefully to minimize the risk of damage to the fibers and stitches. Gently squeeze out excess water without twisting or wringing the blanket, as this can cause stretching and misshaping.

Lay the damp blanket flat on a clean, dry surface, such as a towel or mesh drying rack, and reshape it to its original dimensions. Allow the blanket to air dry completely before using or storing it.

Depending on the fiber content, some crochet blankets may experience slight shrinkage or changes in texture after getting wet, but this can often be minimized by handling the blanket gently and avoiding high heat or excessive agitation during the drying process.

Can crocheted blankets be machine washed?

Yes, some crocheted blankets can be machine washed, depending on the type of fiber used and the care instructions provided by the manufacturer or pattern. Blankets made from durable, synthetic fibers like acrylic or polyester are often machine washable, while those made from delicate natural fibers like wool or silk may require hand washing.

When machine washing a crochet blanket, always use the gentlest cycle available, such as a delicate or handwash setting, and choose cold water to minimize the risk of shrinkage or damage to the fibers. It’s also a good idea to place the blanket in a mesh laundry bag to protect it from snagging or tangling with other items in the wash.

How do I soften a crochet blanket?

If your crochet blanket feels stiff, there are several methods you can use to soften the blanket fibers and improve its overall texture. One simple way to soften a crochet blanket is to wash it using a gentle, low-pH detergent and fabric softener, which can help relax the fibers and make them more pliable.

You can also soak the blanket in a solution of water and white vinegar for about an hour before washing, as the acetic acid in the vinegar can help break down any residue or stiffness in the fibers.

For a more luxurious approach, you can also try adding a small amount of hair conditioner or baby shampoo to the wash cycle, as these products are designed to soften and moisturize fibers without causing damage.


Washing and caring for your crochet blanket may seem challenging, but with the right knowledge and techniques, you can keep your cherished blanket looking beautiful for years to come. By identifying the fiber type, choosing the appropriate washing method, and following proper drying and storage guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy the warmth and comfort of your crochet blanket while preserving its handmade charm.

Remember, the key to successfully washing your crochet blanket is to handle it gently, use cool water and mild detergents, and avoid excessive agitation or heat. When in doubt, always refer to the yarn label or care instructions for specific guidance, and test for colorfastness before washing.

With proper care and maintenance, your crochet blanket will remain a treasured addition to your home, providing comfort and joy for generations to come. So, go ahead and snuggle up with your beloved crochet blanket, knowing that you have the knowledge and skills to keep it looking its best.

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