It is no secret that I love acrylic yarns, not just for the prices, but because acrylic yarn:
A. makes really beautiful amigurumi toys,
B. is available in a wider range of vibrant colors
C. provides warmth (suitable to use to make blanket) and unlikely to cause skin allergies like some natural fibers do
D. resists moths, mildew, yellowing/spotting, fading of colors
E. is one of the few fibers that is humidity tolerant (hence, point D), which is perfect for tropical countries like Singapore
The downside is that even the deluxe grade acrylic yarn can be a little scratchy to touch, but all is not lost yet. I am actively researching online for homemade household cleaners and household products using more eco-friendly recipes. By chance, I found articles about washing knitted/crocheted items made with acrylic yarns, with vinegar. It not only helps to remove odor, but also helps soften the acrylic yarns.
White distilled vinegar is a popular household cleanser, effective for killing most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its level of acidity. Cleaning with white distilled vinegar is a smart way to avoid using harsh chemicals. You’ll also be glad to know that it is environmentally friendly and very economical.
So, I tried washing 1 large and 1 medium-sized crocheted pieces (acrylic yarns).
1. Laundry detergent
2. White vinegar*
3. Fabric softener
*I don’t know if there is a different between natural of artificial vinegar, but we don’t have that wide a range in the neighborhood grocery store, and my husband helped to pick up the vinegar by price – per my instruction.
Steps (click the images in the gallery for step-by-step pictorial instruction):
1. Toss the items into washer
2. Set the washer to regular cold wash, double rinse cycle (my basic washer only has single rinse cycle, so I have to set it manually again when this wash cycle completes)
3. Add laundry detergent (I added 1 cap)
4. Let the washer runs through the cycle
5. First rinse – add 1 cap of white vinegar to the load
6. Second rinse – add 2 caps (double) of fabric softener to the load
7. Dry naturally
8. (further softening) Dry in dryer set to low heat, and use dryer/softener sheet.
The pieces turn out soft and smelling great! (No sour or vinegar smell); color is as vibrant (if not more, since they were soiled before wash) as before.