After the hours of hard work you put in to your knit or crochet project, the last thing you want to do is ruin it due to improper laundering. Always check the yarn label for washing instructions (you will see care symbols for washing, drying, ironing, and more), and then use the general instructions below to care for your finished item. If you are giving the finished item as a gift, include a small tag, label, or note with care instructions for the yarn from which it was made. This will save the recipient from having to guess how to clean or care for the item. For more information on specific laundering icons, check out the American Cleaning Institute's Guide to Fabric Care Symbols.
Machine Washing and Drying—Cotton Yarns
Machine wash whites and neutrals in hot water at the same setting you use for your regular “whites.” Machine dry at the same setting, too. For colored yarns, machine wash and dry following the yarn label’s directions for water temperature, machine settings, and other laundering recommendations.
Machine Washing and Drying—Synthetics
Machine wash on the “Gentle” or “Synthetic” setting using a mild soap or detergent that does not contain bleaching agents. Machine dry on the cool setting on your dryer. Be sure the item is absolutely dry so it will return to its original shape and size.
Hand Washing and Drying
Hand wash in cold water using soap meant for cold water, following the manufacturer’s directions. Gently work suds through the item and rinse well. Squeeze out excess water, taking care not to pull the item out of shape. Roll it in a terry towel and squeeze again. Remove the item from the towel and spread it out on a flat surface over a dry terry towel. Shape it according to the desired measurements, using a paper pattern or rustproof pins to guide you. Allow the item to dry thoroughly before moving it. Never dry a knit or crochet item in direct sunlight and never hang to dry.
Professional dry cleaning is recommended as an alternative to automatic laundering.