Knitting Tips: How To Clean Yarn

Blossom Lady
Jul 11, 2020 07:54 AM

Washing yarn isn't something that most knitters have to deal regularly, but you might want to do it if you've recycled yarn from an old project or a store sweater and want to straighten it out before you work with it. 

Simple steps, right? And which method do you usually use to wash yarn? Share in comments!

Discover 2 helpful methods to clean yarn properly.

Knitting Tips: How To Clean Yarn
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Washing yarn using hangers.

Knitting Tips: How To Clean Yarn

You will need: hanks of yarn; sink, bucket, or bathtub; water; wool wash, dish soap, or shampoo; Large bath towel; Hangers or another means for drying the hanks.

Instructions
Before you start washing, tie your yarn hanks securely in a few places to prevent tangling.
Step 1
Begin filling your sink with cool to lukewarm water. Some people recommend warm to hot water, and you may need that if your yarn is dirty, but it's best to use cooler water, especially with animal fibers that may felt under too much heat or agitation. Add a good bit of wool wash, shampoo, or liquid dish detergent to the sink (about 1 tablespoon for a small batch of yarn). You can also do this in a bucket, or even the bathtub if you have a lot of yarn to process.

Step 2
Once the sink is full, add the hanks, one at a time, gently pushing them down so the water and soap can permeate the fibers. Be careful not to agitate.
In a normal sink, you can probably wash three or four hanks at a time. You don't want to overcrowd the sink but allow the fibers to float free.

Step 3
Allow the hanks to soak for about an hour. If you're in a big hurry and are just washing hanks to straighten out the yarn, you can probably get away with a half-hour soak. If your yarn has more serious problems, you can leave it as long as overnight.

Step 4
Drain the water from the sink or tub and rinse the hanks one at a time to remove all soap residue. Press or squeeze the yarn gently to remove as much water as you can, but again don't agitate the fibers.

Step 5
Place the hanks in the center of a large bath towel and roll the towel up around the hanks, pressing as you go to remove more water.

Step 6
Hang the hanks to dry on hangers over the bathtub (as shown) or on a coat rack or drying rack. The hanging action helps the yarn dry straight. You can also weigh down the end of the yarn if necessary with a binder clip or even by slipping a bottle of water or a can of vegetables into the bottom loop of the hank as it dries.

Tip:
Don't agitate the fibers once they're in the water; be careful, as you could get the hanks tangled.
2

Washing balls of yarn using socks.

Knitting Tips: How To Clean Yarn

You can wash a ball of yarn by using the method listed above, but that involves unraveling the ball into a skein. If this is not a step you want to take, there is another method. The second method may be riskier but could also yield great results. This method is perfect for thrift store yarns and any yarns that you have spilled stuff on or may be dusty.

Instructions
Step 1
Find pantyhose or nylon (knee or thigh high work best)

Step 2
Remove paper labels from yarn.

Step 3
Without unraveling, shove yarn into nylons (up to 4 skeins)

Step 4
Wash in washing machine in cold water on gentle/delicate or hand wash cycle (check yarn label to make sure you have the right temp and cycle)

Step 5
Dry on extra low/delicate or air only dry (please check yarn label to be sure)

Step 6
Remove yarn from nylon. That’s it! Easy!
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