Ensure Your Handmade Items Last
For best results (even with superwash yarn), hand wash in cold water with a neutral pH detergent such as Synthrapol or Dawn dish soap. Squeeze out excess water and lay flat to dry. Never wring or scrub the yarn.
Washing machines and dryers are not recommended because they can and will felt your project, even on the gentlest cycles. It’s just not worth the risk after all the work you put in!
Did you know? Regular laundry detergent or other soaps can increase the pH of your water (making it alkaline). Alkaline conditions encourage dye to “strip out” (bleed) regardless of how well the color was set. The chemical bond originally formed with acid between the dye and the yarn becomes broken in alkaline water, allowing dye particles to wash out. Yikes! If you’re not sure what the pH of your tap water is, see if your municipality’s water quality reports are posted online.
Note: If you live in an area with naturally alkaline water like I do (average pH of 8.2), bleeding is likely to occur even if you use a neutral pH detergent! In that case, you may also have to add a tablespoon or two of white vinegar to your water or use distilled water to wash with.
Never use hot or warm water when washing. Hot/warm water can also encourage bleeding.