You see them everywhere you look on the Internet: crochet blanket patterns, free and paid. They’re in hotel rooms, airports and even schools now. Everyone seems to be making them. And why not? They are so cozy and fun to make! If you’re a caregiver for someone who has trouble with everyday tasks like dressing or bathing, you know how useful a crocheted blanket can be for keeping your loved one warm at night without overheating or getting cold. Washing it is also much easier than trying to launder a quilt or other woven blanket. It’s true that some people think of crocheted items as something only grandma would love, but we think this caregiver guide will help you change their minds!
How To Wash A Crochet Blanket
Prepare to Wash Your Blanket
Make sure that the blanket is clean enough before you wash it. Ideally, you should wash your blanket before the first time you use it. Before you get started, mark the blanket with the date. This will help you determine when it should be washed again. Some washable blankets can be used many times, while others should be washed after a single use. Look at the care instructions. Some blankets are machine washable while others can only be hand washed. If you’re not sure, you can always wash a sample swatch of the blanket to see how it holds up. If the blanket is machine washable, read the washing instructions carefully. Some blankets can only be washed on a gentle cycle with a small amount of other clothes. Others must be washed alone. Check the instructions for how much the blanket should be filled in the washer. You don’t want it to be overstuffed or the fabric will stretch out of shape.
Mix the Detergent
Most crochet afghan blankets are made from acrylic or polyester yarns. If a blanket is made from acrylic, you can use a gentle, no-rinse detergent like Woolite or All Free Clear. If the blanket is made from polyester, you can use a no-rinse detergent like Woolite or All Free Clear. If the blanket is made from wool or cotton, you’ll need a more heavy-duty detergent like Dreft or Tide. If the label on the Dreft bottle doesn’t say that it can be used with wool, look for a detergent that contains trisodium phosphate (TSP). If you’re not sure which detergent to use, try to find a no-rinse detergent with a hypoallergenic formula. This is especially important if you’re washing a blanket made from wool or cotton.
Wring Out the Blanket
Wring out the blanket as tightly as possible by hand. You don’t want to put it in the washer with too little water or it will take hours to dry. If you’re washing a handmade blanket made from a natural fiber like wool or cotton, you should definitely wring it out as tightly as possible. This will remove as much water from the yarn as possible before it enters the washing machine. This will reduce the chance that the yarn will shrink. If the blanket is acrylic, you can leave it a little looser. The excess water might evaporate while the blanket is in the washer.
Add Baking Soda and Bleach
If you’re washing an acrylic blanket, you can add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the wash cycle. This will help to neutralize odors and reduce pilling. It may also make the water more alkaline which will help to prevent the yarn from pilling. If you’re washing a wool or cotton blanket, use a small amount of bleach in the wash cycle. This will help to kill bacteria and prevent the blanket from getting moldy. Be careful not to use too much bleach. It can easily ruin the fibers of the blanket by breaking down the molecular structure too much. It is better to use a little bleach once in a while than to risk ruining the blanket by not using enough.
Let It Sit
Let the blanket sit in the washer for a few minutes before you start the wash cycle. Letting the blanket sit in the water for a little bit will help to reduce the risk of pilling. If the blanket has a high risk of pilling, you can place a small mesh bag of sand or pebbles in the wash cycle along with the blanket. This will help the yarn to tangle with the sand and pebbles, rather than itself. If you’re washing a wool or cotton blanket, it’s important to let the water sit and cool down so that it doesn’t damage the fibers.
Rinse It Well
Rinse the blanket well in the wash cycle to remove all of the detergent, baking soda, and bleach. This will help to prevent the blanket from pilling and keep it from smelling. If the blanket is acrylic, you can use the gentle cycle and cold water. If the blanket is wool or cotton, you may need a warm water rinse cycle. If the blanket is acrylic, you can add a small amount of vinegar or a fabric softener to the rinse cycle. This will help to keep the blanket from smelling like vinegar. If the blanket is wool or cotton, keep the vinegar out of the rinse cycle. It can actually be harmful to the fabric.
Dry What You Can
If the label on the blanket says that it can be dried in a dryer, you can dry it on low to medium heat. If the label says that it can only be dried in the dryer on the no heat setting, you can hang it outside or lay it on a drying rack. If the label says to line dry the blanket, find an open space with a breeze. You don’t want ants or other insects to get in your blanket. You can also put it on a clothesline and wrap it inside an old sheet to keep it clean. If the blanket is acrylic, you can use a low heat setting in the dryer. If the blanket is wool or cotton, use the no heat setting.
Why Care For A Crochet Blanket?
1. It’s Beautiful
Crochet can be beautiful. Even if you don’t care for the color, you can still appreciate the work that went into creating your blanket.
2. It’s Durable
Crochet is a durable and long lasting craft. You can crochet blankets for years and years without ever worrying about them falling apart or losing their shape.
3. It’s Versatile
You can crochet any pattern or design onto your blanket and make it look however you want it to look! This is one of the reasons why crocheting blankets is so popular today among people who want to decorate their homes with beautiful handmade items but don’t have the time, or maybe even the desire, to sew clothes or make quilts.
4. It’s Easy To Learn & Fun To Do!
There are a lot of things that are easy to learn, but difficult to master. Crocheting is easy to learn and fun to do! If you enjoy doing something that requires no skill besides holding a hook, then consider crocheting your next project!
Tips For Washing A Crochet Blanket
1. Never wash a blanket in a washing machine!
Washing machines can destroy the integrity of your crochet blanket. If you do wash your blanket in the washing machine, then you will have to dry it out first. Then, you can either crochet it again or wash it again to make sure that all the chemical residue from the washing machine is completely removed.
2. Wash by hand!
Washing by hand is the best way to care for your crochet blanket. This means that you will use a gentle detergent on delicate yarns and lingerie yarns that are prone to fraying and snagging. You can also use a soft scrubbing brush or sponge on cotton yarns. You can also use warm water and a mild detergent to clean woolen yarns or acrylic yarns which don’t snag easily.
A crochet blanket is the perfect item to keep on the back of a couch or to use as a lap blanket while reading a book. Simple squares can even be used as throw pillows. Because they can be machine-washed, they are easy to maintain. If you or someone you know has trouble with daily tasks like dressing or bathing, a crochet blanket can be a great option for keeping them warm at night without overheating or getting cold.