Maybe you can advise?

The advice I need concerns the washing of acrylic yarn blankets.

I have never washed any of my blankets even though I made the first one
Hexagon blanket on bednine years ago.

It does only get used about four months of the year and is stored in a cupboard the rest of the time.

But more recently, the Granny Ripple blankets that decorate the back of my Poang chairs.
smooth ripple blanketslow ripple blanket

are beginning to smell a bit dusty, as I realised recently when I used one of them for some extra warmth.

Even my sitting room snuggle blanket spends a lot of time, especialy in the summer, on the back of a chair and also smells a little dusty.

snuggling in blanketThe Granny Ripple blankets are made from Stylecraft Special DK and the hexagon blanket from Paton’s Fab but they are both machine washable and I have washed smaller items in the washing machine successfully.

However I am rather nervous of washing the blankets and don’t know if I should wash them on a regular cycle or use the handwash option. These days I wash my acrylic jumpers with my hand-knitted socks on the Wool cycle (to make up a full load) and use special wool friendly detergent.

Another question is “Do I use fabric conditioner?”

I gave up using it on my regular washes as I couldn’t stand the way it made my sheets smell. Got right up my nose!

I also gave up using it on my socks as I realised that even a small quantity made them too soft and they were better without it.

I had never thought of not using it until I was thinking of rewashing my bed jacket jumper.bed jacket

I knew the yarn was machine washable but the first time I washed it the sleeves stretched so as to become a little too long. When I went to double check the washing instructions more recently, I found that they actually said not to use fabric conditioner.

So I am beginning to thing that fabric conditioner is maybe of more use on cotton, except that then it reduces absorbency so is no good for towels.

So the big questions are.

Which washing machine cycle should I use? (or even handwash in the bath) though that would be tricky.

Does it matter what sort of washing detergent I use?

Should I use fabric conditioner?

I suppose I am worried about them stretching and getting all out of shape or bobbling. Then there will be the question of how to dry them. Maybe it would be better to wait until the weather in warmer, though if I dried them outside the colours might fade. I know one of my three African Violets has faded badly, thought the other two are fine.Crochet African Violets

These have faded to a pale blue. There are traces of the original colour on the undersides of the petals.

20 thoughts on “Maybe you can advise?

  1. I have washed Stylecraft Special DK blankets on a wool wash 30 degrees, with ordinary detergent. They are fine but less soft than before washing.
    People in FB groups have said that tumble-drying brings back the fluffy softness, but on environmental grounds I don’t own a tumble dryer, so I have not tested that myself.
    Fading only occurs by prolonged exposure to sunlight, I think , so one wash, one dry outside, and I don’t think you would notice a difference.
    My Mum’s blanket was repeatedly washed in the industrial washing machines in the Care Home and it survived but became thinner and thinner over time. The colours held up pretty well though.
    I have never used Fabric Conditioner.
    Hope that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for that. I do own a tumble dryer because of problems I had in my previous house when drying washing indoors but I only use it for sheets and towels in the darkest, wettest part of the winter. Would be nervous of using it for the blankets, I am never impressed by the amount of fluff that accumulates, when drying towels especially, but better than too much moisture indoors.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I reckon 30- 40 C is fine. My DILS wash all the blankets I have made them, apparently they love them because they come out of the machine pretty dry to begin with and dry quickly on a line. Try the one you care for least!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. From the US: I use Red Heart Super Saver frequently; it’s acrylic. It washes up great in cold or warm water using your regular detergent. No fabric conditioner – not needed. You could throw in a large towel or two to keep the blankets from tangling or balling up; although that usually happens in the dryer. Line drying is good; just to use enough clothes pins to support the weight of the wet blanket. Before folding, I always check for loose yarn ends that might have popped out during washing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I make and gift acrylic blankets and always advise to wash it in warm water with regular detergent and to let it almost dry in the dryer, pulling it out and hanging it to line dry for the last little bit so it doesn’t wrinkle. We usually use dryer softening sheets (my husband’s preference) but yes, the smell is strong. It also fades fairly quickly. We use the old used sheets for the blankets we put in storage, layering them between blankets to ward off any musty smells. I think there are unscented ones on the market if it really bothers you. You do beautiful work! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Don’t know much about the first two questions, but I never read anything good about fabric conditioner. Seems to coat fabrics in a residue that eventually causes its own issues. I always avoid it. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I must have started using fabric conditioner at least forty years ago. (Never on towels of course!) I had started using only a small amount except for socks and jumpers recently. Then a few months ago I ended up having to buy a different brand and the smell so got up my nose from the bed sheets that I was finding it hard to go to sleep. So when it was available I went back to my previous brand. That had new packaging and didn’t seem much better. So I stopped using it while I thought what to do and I must say I haven’t noticed much difference, except on my socks that are now less floppy and therefore better.


  6. You’ve had lots of good answers. I just know my Stylecraft, which I usually use as it is such easy care, gets thrown in a 30 short wash, one of those 20 minute ones, with conditioner and on the line pegging evenly.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have crocheted most of my blankets in either Stylecraft Special DK or Scheepjes Colour Crafter, and both have washed well on a normal 30 degree wash. I use softener, and dry either over a clothes rail or folded over the halfway point (to avoid any stretching) on the washing line.

    Liked by 1 person

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