Can you wash acrylic yarn?


First Published:


Yes, you can wash acrylic yarn. Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that is generally easy to care for, as it is both machine washable and dryable.

Dos and don’ts of washing acrylic yarn


  • Do check the yarn label for specific care instructions before washing.
  • Do use cool or lukewarm water for washing acrylic yarn items.
  • Do use a gentle cycle and mild detergent when machine washing.
  • Do dry items flat, if possible, to maintain their shape.
  • Do consider hand washing acrylic yarn items with a mild detergent as an alternative to machine washing.
  • Do gently squeeze out excess water from hand-washed items, avoiding wringing or twisting.
  • Do tumble dry on low heat if you choose to use a dryer.


  • Don’t wash acrylic yarn items in hot water, as this can cause damage and shrinkage.
  • Don’t use bleach or fabric softeners, as they can harm the fibers.
  • Don’t use a high heat setting when tumble drying, as it can cause the yarn to shrink, become misshapen, or melt.
  • Don’t wring or twist wet acrylic yarn items, as this can damage the fibers and distort the shape.
  • Don’t ignore the manufacturer’s care instructions, as they are specific to the yarn you are using.

5 step guide to washing acrylic yarn

Step 1

Check the label: Before washing your acrylic yarn items, always read the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. This will ensure you follow the recommended washing and drying methods specific to your yarn.

Step 2

Prepare for washing: If machine washing, select a gentle cycle and use a mild detergent. If hand washing, fill a basin with cool or lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners.

Step 3

Wash the item: For machine washing, place the acrylic yarn item in the washing machine and run the gentle cycle with cool or lukewarm water. For hand washing, gently agitate the item in the basin filled with water and detergent. Be careful not to wring or twist the item.

Step 4

Rinse and remove excess water: If hand washing, carefully rinse the item in cool water until all detergent is removed. Gently squeeze out the excess water, taking care not to wring or twist the item.

Step 5

Dry the item: Lay the item flat to dry if possible, to help maintain its shape. If you choose to use a dryer, tumble dry on low heat to avoid shrinkage or damage. Avoid using high heat settings, as this can cause the yarn to become misshapen or even melt.

Final thoughts 💭

Taking proper care of your acrylic yarn items is essential for maintaining their quality and longevity. By following the manufacturer’s care instructions and adhering to the guidelines outlined in this 5-step guide, you can ensure that your acrylic yarn creations stay in great condition.

Remember to wash your items using cool or lukewarm water, a gentle cycle, and mild detergent, while avoiding high heat and harsh chemicals. Proper drying techniques, such as laying items flat to dry or using low heat in a tumble dryer, will also help preserve the shape and appearance of your acrylic yarn projects. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy your acrylic yarn items for years to come.

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