How to Wash a Skein of Yarn

You may be wondering if you can wash yarn and the best way to wash it. Washing yarn is not something that is regularly done by crocheters and knitters, but occasionally you may have some dirty yarn you want to clean before starting to work with it.

Whether the yarn came dirty, smelly, or you accidentally spilled something on it, we will cover everything you need to know about washing yarn here.

Can You Wash a Skein of Yarn?

Yes, you can wash skeins and balls of yarn. If you’re washing delicate yarn, you need to be very gentle though so that you do not damage it. We will cover the best ways to wash yarn below.

How to Wash a Skein of Yarn

Washing Yarn in the Sink

The safest way to way yarn is to gently wash it in the sink. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Fill your sink with either cool or lukewarm water. Add a small amount of soap. For soap, you can use liquid dish detergent, shampoo, or wool wash soap.
  2. Add your balls or skeins of yarn into the sink and let them soak for about an hour.
  3. Drain the water, and rinse your yarn one at a time to remove the soap residue.
  4. Place the yarn in a bath towel and gently apply pressure to help remove any excess water.
  5. Place them on hangers and let them air dry

Can You Put Yarn in the Washer?

Yes, you can also wash yarn in the washer. Check your yarn label and make sure it is able to be machined washed though, not all of them are. Follow the steps below for the best results.

Washing Yarn in the Washer

If you’re going to wash yarn in the washer, you want to take extra precautions so that it doesn’t damage or unravel your yarn. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Remove all labels from your yarn
  2. Place your yarn inside pantyhose (you should be able to fit a few balls/skeins inside one pantyhose)
  3. Wash on a gentle cycle with mild detergent
  4. Air dry or use a delicate dryer cycle

Washing yarn inside pantyhose is a good trick to help your yarn keep its shape in the washing machine. But remember to check your yarn label and only use settings that are acceptable for the yarn you are using. Not all types of fibers should be put in the washer.

Can Yarn Get Wet?

Yes, you can get most yarn wet. It’s best to have dry yarn before knitting or crocheting though. Not all fibers should stay wet for long periods of time though. Some yarn fibers will start to break down if they are left constantly wet. Your yarn will last much longer if you don’t let it sit wet for long periods of time.

Should You Wash Yarn Before Crocheting?

If you wash your yarn very gently before crocheting, it’s completely fine for most yarns. If your yarn isn’t dirty though, there isn’t really a need to. Depending on how you wash it, your ball could begin to unravel, and not all fibers can handle washing machines. If your yarn is clean and doesn’t have any odd smells, you might want to skip washing it and just get to crcoheting!

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