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How to Wash an Afghan

Check out these crochet tips and tricks for washing your afghans.

By: Elini Murphy, Editor,
How to Wash an Afghan

If you're new to the world of crochet, you'll definitely need some crochet tips and tricks to help you on your journey. Learn How to Wash an Afghan with this page.

We will teach you one of the most basic necessities in afghan care cleaning. Hopefully, your crochet blanket patterns are getting put to good use, and consequently getting a bit dirty.

If you're wondering how to wash crochet blankets, this guide is perfect for you! Yarn washing techniques vary depending on the type of yarn it is, so make sure it read carefully. Learning how to wash an afghan is a must if you're a crochet lover.

You can also learn how to care for your vintage afghans on our blog, Stitch and Unwind.


How to Wash an Afghan: Machine Wash

Although you run the risk of possible snags, washing afghans in the machine is usually quite fine. Sometimes we don't have time to hand wash our crochet projects, so the washer can really be a lifesaver.

First thing's first, you have to determine which type of yarn your afghan has. If it is acrylic or synthetic or cotton, you can wash it with your laundry, but wool yarns and older cotton yarns should only be hand washed.

  1. Put your washer on a normal or delicate cycle with cool to cold water.
  2. Make sure there are no other items in the wash that may snag the blanket, like items with zippers.
  3. Run the cycle. If there are tassels or fringe on the afghan, add some fabric softener to avoid tangles.
  4. When the cycle is done, it's time to dry! With acrylic or synthetic yarns, you can throw the afghan in the dryer on minimal heat in a mesh bag. With any other yarns, lay the afghan out - do not hang - to dry. If the afghan has tassels or fringe, lay the blanket out and comb through the fringe with your fingers to detangle. 
  5. If any yarn has snagged or come loose, work them back into the afghan.

How to Wash an Afghan

How to Wash an Afghan: Hand Wash

Hand washing is always the safe bet for crochet afghans. If you're wondering how to wash an afghan, follow these simple steps and you're blanket will be clean in no time.

  1. Choose a detergent. For almost all afghans, a mild detergent in cold water will work best. With wool yarns, use a baby shampoo or a special wool cleaner.
  2. Wash. Make sure not to drag, rub, or scrub the yarn with the detergent. Putting too much strain on the afghan when it's wet will stretch it out. Instead, gently soak the afghan and lightly work the soap into it.
  3. Rinse with cold water in the sink or tub. Rinse until all the soap is out of the afghan. DO NOT WRING out afghan.
  4. Dry your crochet afghan by laying it flat on top of a towel. Make sure it is shaped exactly how you want it to dry, not stretched out.

BONUS! More Crochet Tips and Tricks

For even more tips and tricks and all things crochet, you'll want to check out our other informative articles and video tutorials. The links are below for you to look at:

  1. How to Wind a Yarn Ball
  2. How to Block Finished Crochet Projects
  3. How to Make T-Shirt Yarn
  4. Crochet for Beginners: How to Read Crochet Patterns
  5. How to Organize Your Works in Progress (WIPs)


Do you have any tips for washing crochet afghans?
Let us know in the comments below!

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Fine and good. But I'd love to know just how one is supposed to lay out a 5ftx6ft afghan "on a towel". I made a custom size afghan for my son last Christmas and it needs to be washed. I used acrylic yarn, so I imagine washing it alone in a front-loader on gentle cycle would work well, and hopefully spin-drying wouldn't harm it (although it is not mentioned here). Heat doesn't work well with acrylic, or so I've been told, so I think I'd prefer to air dry this. But laying it out? Where? On the floor? On the bed? In a tiny one-bedroom apt that might be difficult, especially with children and pets in the mix. Even a small kitchen table wouldn't be big enough, according to these instructions. I'm flummoxed as to where to lay this to dry. Anyone have any suggestions? At this point I'm almost thinking I may have to build something, so any design ideas are welcome!


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