How to wash knitted baby blanket?

Hello! Beginner knitter here. I just finished knitting a 18x28 baby blanket for my baby cousin that’ll be born sometime next month. I’m glad I finished the project, but I’m confused and terrified when it comes to washing the blanket. I don’t have a washing machine, so is it possible to handwash it? If so:

  • What water temperature?

  • Should I use softeners/detergents/other products?

  • How do you dry it?

  • Other tips on washing it, please :blush:

I’m scared the yarn would come undone or unravel, so I have been holding off washing it since I have no idea how. I’m a newbie, and this is only my second project, and I don’t want to mess it up just because I washed it wrong.

(Yarn is 60% cotton, 40% acrylic. Pattern is basic garter stitch).

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Welcome to KH!
The ballband or label on the yarn is a good indication of how to wash the knit item. Handwashing with a mild soap or a wash like Euclan or Soak works well (no Woolite). The label may say that items can be machine dried on low but laying flat to dry always works.

What yarn did you use?

I used a local brand yarn, made of 60% cotton and 40% acrylic. There’s not much that’s said on the label of the yarn, it just said to hand wash only, dry flat, and to not bleach. Pretty basic information!

My biggest question is whether to wash it with cold or warm water? Because I asked too on another site, and some people said to wash it with warm water. But then I asked some other people too and they said to wash it with cold water. I’m so confused hahah I don’t know which one’s better!

Does the water temperature make any difference at all? Does the temperature even matter?

Wash it in lukewarm water (medium-cool). You can even use a mild dishwashing liquid. Rinse it out well. You can then wrap it in a towel and gently squeeze out the excess water. Lay flat to dry.
You can wash in a sink since this blanket isn’t as large as the one described here.

Be sure to include the ballband with the washing instructions when you give this blanket as a gift.

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Thank you so much for your advice! I guess I better get to washing the blanket :blush:

I have a quick question for u salmonmac!! The article u linked to mentioned using a large lingerie bag for machine washing a blanket. I’ve only ever seen small ones in stores. Where would I find a large lingerie bag? AND do they have a zipper at the top?? Also, what sizes does “large” mean??

Ok sorry about that. I have more than 1 question!!!


I’ve used ones from Amazon, Polecase Mesh Laundry Bags. They come as an assortment with the jumbo 24" x 24", all with zippers.


Hello again!!

So it doesn’t matter if the blanket is bigger than 24"x24"?? I can still use that size? A friend told me that to wash my blanket, I have to get a really big bag so it will fit inside without getting all “scrunched up”. And I’ve never seen any bags that big.

Just wondering what u think!!!

Oh, it’s going to get scrunched if your machine is anything like mine. Unless you pinned it to the corners like a duvet, there’s no avoiding that. I wouldn’t recommend pinning though because of the possibility of pulling. In the water, the blanket is going to float around even inside the bag so the 24" will work for baby blankets.
That said, I usually handwash all knits and briefly spin them in the spin cycle.


Thanks for your advice!! My friend sewed a bag for me out of an old sheet and she insisted that it had to be as big as the blankets. I tried to tell her that I could fold them before I put it in. But she didn’t think so. So now I have a bag that’s 36"x45". It made her happy and we stopped arguing!!


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It’s like the Jolly Green Giant of bags!!!


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My opinion: hand washing is always better than machine washing for handmade objects. Use a mild soap, press out the water, dry in the sun (or shade, if it’s warm/hot where you live), flat.That’s what I do.

Don’t worry, the yarn will not unravel, no matter how you wash it!

What is the name of the yarn you used? If it’s 40% acrylic, odds are you can throw the whole thing into the washer machine on a gentle cycle, then dry on the lowest setting.

But if you are worried about destroying it…you can wash it by hand, then air dry.