How To Care For Handmade Knit and Crochet Items

You find your favorite knit or crocheted item, purchase it from a traditional brick & mortar location, online or my favorite is to find someone to make it for you. Whichever you choose, you want to make sure you take good care of your investment.

The items you buy from the retail side will have care instructions, most of the time recommending machine or hand washing. It really depends on the material used.

I handwash all my handmade and retail knit items using Woolite, Dreft, All Baby Liquid Laundry or any gentle washing detergent. It really doesn’t matter what brand as long as you use a gentle detergent. I was raised that way, anything made out of yarn, silk, rayon or materials like that we washed by hand. Washing items by hand keep the shape and gives your item longer shelf life.




Here’s how I wash my handmade items whether it’s acrylic, wool, cotton or a combination of other fibers:

  • If the item has a stain in it, pour a little detergent on the spot and rub under water.
  • I put the Woolite in the bin or tub, run water and then put the item in the water and allow to soak for 30-60 minutes. I’m normally doing several other things hence the time, lol.
  • I empty the bin or tub, rinse out the tub or bin and then fill with cold water.
  • Use gentle manipulation when rinsing to keep from stretching the item.
  • I always put my item on a towel and roll it up to remove excess water.
  • Reshape the item and lay flat to dry on a towel or styrofoam blocks

If the handmade item is heavy like a rug, blanket or coat, I would put those in the washing machine and wash on gentle, low spin cycle. The reason because it’s too hard to squeeze out excess water. I made this blanket for a customer last year and I would clean this in the washing machine. It’s heavy and would take too much time to squeeze/spin by hand. Plus I don’t have time for that.

Amigurumi, knitted or crocheted toys can be put in the machine. Children play with their toys and I recommend cleaning them regularly. If you put in the dryer, use low heat and if they have plastic eyes or other pieces, air dry or limit dryer time to prevent any pieces from coming off.


If you are selling your handmade items, make sure you include instructions on how to care for that item. Use the recommendation from the label on the yarn or more specific instructions. It lets your customers/clients know you care about how they take care of the item you have made for them.

Taking these suggestions will make sure you enjoy your handmade item a long time.