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No more fear: how to hand wash your handmade projects 

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A colorwork knit piece in black, white, pink and orange in a sink and a bottle of Soak wash in the Wild Mint scent.

This is the second in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of Indie Untangled, taking place on October 20, 2023, in person and online. Tickets are now available!

When we go to shows, we meet so many amazing knitters and makers. And here’s what they tell us: they’re scared of washing their handmade projects. A surprising number say they rarely wash their knits — and occasionally a brave soul tells us about a favorite piece that has never been washed, yet has been worn and loved for years. 

Other folks only wash their items at the end of the season, some at the start. But a growing number of yarn loving folks are happily joining the ranks of expert hand-washers who confidently swatch, block, and care for their knits on the regular. And they do it with Soak.

No shrinking. No felting. No dry cleaning. No fear.
It’s true. Washing your favorites by hand doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it’s easy, safe and can actually help those cherished items last longer! 

Like that sweater or scarf that took time and love to create. The beloved item someone made for you. That unique sweater you picked up on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. The crocheted blanket that’s been in your family for generations. 

Soak was originally designed for knitwear: the gentle formulation lifts dirt without damaging the fibers. It’s gentle enough to clean the raw fibers used in spinning and dyeing, which makes it ideal for the entire fiber lifecycle. So you can use it to care for cashmere, wool or cotton. Whatever you like to knit with will love Soak. 

And here’s another benefit: when you wash your favorites with Soak, they won’t just be clean and fresh. Moths won’t touch them. Moths love the dirt, oil and perspiration in unwashed wool. So when you Soak your items, you’re protecting them from being moth snacks — and yourself from the heartbreak of discovering those tiny, aggravating holes. 

Hand-washing knits without fear: the basics

  • Soak your swatches! That way you’ll know exactly what will happen to the yarn when you wash the finished item.
  • Check if the fiber is colorfast. Whether you’re knitting a new project or washing an item you already own, it’s important to see if the color can hold up to being washed. Rub some Soak into a hidden area and rinse after a couple of minutes. If there’s no bleeding, you’re good to go.
  • Get Soaking! Fill a basin or sink with room temperature water. Add Soak, leave your item in for 15 minutes. Just make sure it’s fully immersed and that the water can move around it a bit. 
  • Soak twice if it’s really dirty. If you haven’t washed your piece in a while, you’ll probably see dirt or oil in the water. Pour it out, refill and Soak it again. 
  • Don’t worry if you see color in the water. That’s just excess dye, no garments are being harmed. It comes out of your clothes in the machine too, you just don’t see it (see above, check if the fiber is colorfast)
  • Squeeze gently. Don’t wring or twist, and be careful not to lift the item so the weight of the water stretches it. Roll it up in a clean towel and press out the moisture. 
  • Lay it flat to dry. Make sure there’s good air circulation on all sides (a flat drying rack is good). Line up stripes or cables and adjust it to the shape it should have when it’s dry. Don’t forget to flip it over after a while.

Want to learn more about Soak? 
Check out Soak School! It’s a super-helpful source for info about everything from hand-washing basics to understanding how different fibers hold up to care. 

Get your Soak sample at Indie Untangled, then tag us on social @soakwash #soakwash when you wash your wools and your other favorite handmade projects with Soak. 


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