How to easily wash a skein of yarn before using with a washing machine, and also soften up Red Heart Super Saver so it’s easier on your hands to crochet with. There is also an FAQ section to answer all your questions about Washing a Skein of Yarn.
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When I buy yarn at a garage sale or thrift store, I always wash it before adding to my stash, and I’m going to show you how to easily wash a skein of yarn before using it using your washing machine. It’s also a great way to soften up Red Heart Super Saver so it’s easier on your hands before crocheting or knitting with it.
You will need a mesh lingerie bag, and a washing machine – and I’m also using my dryer, but you could set out to dry as well.
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Where Can I Buy a Lingerie Bag?
I bought mine at JoAnn’s where all the sewing notions are, but I’ve found a great selection on Amazon, on Etsy, and also have seen them at Home Goods, Ross, and DDs. I can only imagine you’ll also find them at other stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby and more.
What Can I Use Instead of a Lingerie Bag?
Though I have not tried myself, I’ve heard you can place your yarn in pantyhose.
Can I Wash Yarn in a Pillowcase?
I washed the large cream colored skein in a pillowcase by itself. You can see the terrible halo.
I washed these two together in the same pillowcase. The flecks from the black skein rubbed all over the blue skein so now there are flecks stuck all over, and the black skein has a sort of gray wash over it from the gray flecks it has.
I can say with certainty after doing this test, that I do not recommend washing yarn in a pillowcase because the yarn will rub against the pillowcase, and it will cause the yarn to pill badly.
Video Tutorial: Can I Wash Yarn in a Pillowcase?
Can I Machine Wash Yarn?
It’s important to note that not all yarns can be machine washed. There are some that should be hand washed instead, like 100% wool for example which would most likely felt in this process. I recommend checking the washing instructions on your yarn. I have followed this machine washing and drying process as shown with Red Heart Super Saver, Bernat Blanket Yarn, Caron One Pound, and Bernat Super Value with no issues.
Do Colors from the Yarn Bleed or Fade?
The only yarns that I have found to bleed & fade are Lily Sugar n Cream, Bernat Handicrafter and Crafters Secret Cotton (all similar 100% cottons), and I knew it before so I’ve never washed any balls of them beforehand – I actually don’t really use this yarn anymore because it isn’t colorfast. Funny though, a few years ago, I was experimenting with Lily Sugar to test it’s color bleeding, and I put it into the washing machine with a white towel to see if the color would transfer. The color still faded from the crocheted square, but did not absorb onto the white towel.
Should I Wash Yarn Before Crocheting or Knitting With It?
The short answer is, it’s really up to you. When I buy yarn from my local craft stores, I do not wash before using, but if I buy yarn at a garage sale or thrift store, I do wash it before even adding to my stash. You never know the living conditions of where the yarn came from, and I always rather play it safe than sorry.
Should I Use Fabric Softener When Washing Yarn?
I use just laundry soap. No softener. Washing alone softens even rougher yarns like Red Heart Super Saver, and while care should be taken with washing as some detergents can damage certains yarns/fibers, like Wool, you can soften up rough acrylic yarn, like Red Heart Super Saver, with fabric softener and hand washing if desired. I still prefer to machine wash in my lingerie bag and Gain detergent.
How Can I Dry a Skein of Yarn if I Don’t Have a Dryer?
I definitely recommend using a dryer to dry your skein of yarn if possible because it will dry so much quicker, but if you don’t have one, you can follow these steps:
1. After washing, take the skein out of the lingerie bag.
2. Wrap the skein of yarn in a towel
3. Squeeze out as much water as you can
4. Lay out to dry, preferably outside where the sun will dry it similarly to line drying clothes, but inside on a towel is okay too.
If your yarn takes more than 3 days to dry, start over, otherwise you will find a smell similar to that of the washing machine when you forget to take the clothes out for several days after washing. If starting over, try your best to squeeze out more water after washing.
How Long Does it Take to Dry a Skein of Yarn if Laying Out to Dry?
The answer really depends on your climate. Living in Florida, and setting a ball of yarn out to dry on a not rainy day takes no time at all, though in the Summer with higher humidity levels, it could take longer than expected. Leaving the skein of yarn on top of your washing machine also takes a longer period.
Video Tutorial: How Do I Wash a Skein of Yarn Before Using It Using a Washing Machine?
Photo Tutorial: How Do I Wash a Skein of Yarn Before Using It Using a Washing Machine?
Alright, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, how to easily wash a skein of yarn before using it using your washing machine – my favorite way!
1. Remove the yarn label – it’s paper, and will turn into mush if washed. I try not to tear it, and keep on hand in case I’m able to put it back around my yarn after washing as it has important information about the ball of yarn.
2. Place the yarn skein into the lingerie bag.
3. Make sure the zipper is all the way to the end, otherwise, the bag may open up in the washing machine and make a mess with the yarn.
4. Place the lingerie bag into the washing machine – I do so with other clothes that I also wash on the same setting, like shirts that I don’t want the neckline to stretch out.
5. Wash on the handwash/delicate or casual setting and in cold water. I have done it on both settings, but most often use the casual setting.
6. After finished washing, place the lingerie bag into the dryer – I also do so with other clothes from the same load.
7. Dry on the handwash/delicate or casual setting, which uses low heat. I have done so with both settings, but most often use the casual setting. My dryer has a sensor that stops the cycle if it feels the clothes are dry, and this doesn’t always mean they are so I will usually place it on the casual cycle twice (after removing clothes I can tell are dry), or select “timed dry” on days when the dryer really isn’t cooperating.
8. Remove the lingerie bag from the dryer, reattach yarn label if you have it and are able to, and place the yarn into your stash. If your yarn unwinds in the washing/drying process, you may want to rewind it. I have never had to rewind a skein of Red Heart Super Saver (or similar), but I have had to rewind a skein of Bernat Blanket Yarn a few times, and when I do, I use my Basic Yarn Winder, but you can also Wind by Hand.
And there you have it, how to wash a skein of yarn before using it using a washing machine and dryer.
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