Washing a knitted or crocheted blanket is sometimes a simple matter of tossing it in the washing machine and then allowing it to air dry. Other times, you need to hand wash the item. Here are some tips on how to take care of a chunky knit blanket regardless of the fiber.

chunky knit yarn, chunky knit blanket, knitting wooden needles over a soft white blanket

The washing method you choose depends on the type of yarn used to make the blanket. Although machine-washing works well for acrylics, cotton and polyester, hand-washing is the safest method when the fiber is unknown, or for specialty fibers such as wool, silk, rayon or mohair.

Here are some of the best oversized yarns for chunky knit blankets with some tips to care for them as well.

Can I Wash My Chunky Knit Blanket?

Yes and no. Depending on the type of yarn you use, you may be able to machine wash your blanket. But if you are using the loop and threads yarn, you will want to wash your blanket by hand.

Some of the chunky yarns are definitely machine washable, so just check their labels to make sure. My favorite chunky yarn is by premier yarns, called jazz couture, it’s so soft and doesn’t shed like most chunky yarns do. It’s the softest and easiest to work with too. I love using chunky knit blankets as throws so I don’t have to wash them super often.

chunky yarn, chunky knit blanket, knitting wooden needles in white, cream and soft colors

Here’s What to do With Your Chunky Knit Blanket:

  1. Soak your blanket in cold water mixed with wool wash for approximately 30 minutes. This allows the water to fully soak into the fibers.
  2. If it’s required by your wool wash, rinse.
  3. Drain the water from your blanket or scarf by gently lifting it and letting the water run out of it. It’s important to avoid squeezing or wringing it at this stage because this can damage the delicate fibers of the yarn.
  4. Spread out some towels and lay your chunky blanket or scarf flat on it. Place more towels over the top of your blanket or scarf and roll it all up to remove the excess water.
  5. Take your blanket or scarf out of the towels and lie it flat in a warm place that is out of direct sunlight.
  6. Leave your blanket or scarf to dry. You may need to turn it to ensure it dries completely, and if necessary, use a fan or heater.

white and blue chunky knit blanket with wooden knitting needles and knitting yarn

Know Your Chunky Knit Blanket 

Attempt to determine what type of yarn the blanket is made from. If you made the blanket, simply check the care instructions on your yarn. 

If not, ask the person who made it what kind of yarn was used. If this is not possible, you can attempt to determine what type of yarn you have based on its look and feel. 

Cutting away and burning a small piece of the blanket, such as a single tassel, can also tell you what type of material it is.

  • Cotton yarns feel smoother and stiffer than wool or acrylic, which have tiny scales that give them their “fuzzy” feeling. Cotton feels cool to the touch, while wool and acrylic retain heat. When burned, cotton produces a fine ash and smells like burning leaves.
  • Wool feels somewhat rough and itchy. It holds heat and smells similar to a wet dog when dampened. It smells like burning hair when touched by flame and leaves a hard, crumbly ash behind.
  • Acrylic feels much like wool but has no smell when it is damp. It flares up with a hot flame and melts as it burns, producing black smoke with an acrid, chemical odor. Acrylic leaves a melted bead instead of ash.
  • Polyester yarn burns very quickly and produces black smoke with a sweet smell. It leaves behind balls instead of ash and burns very slowly.

knitting yarns for chunky knit blankets, colorful knitting yarns in baskets

How to take care of a chunky knit blanket

Machine Washing Your Chunky Knit Blanket

Step 1

If your blanket is made of acrylic, polyester or cotton, place it in a large lingerie bag for protection and drop it in the washing machine.

Step 2

Add a dash of mild detergent to the washing machine and turn it on, selecting either the delicate or permanent-press cycle. Wash dark colors together in case the yarn bleeds.

Step 3

Lay out a tarp or shower curtain in a safe place, and then place a clean white sheet on top of it. Reshape the blanket and lay it flat on the sheet to dry for 24 hours.

Hand-Washing Your Chunky Knit Blanket

Step 1

Fill your bathtub or a large basin with cool water. Add a pinch of mild detergent and agitate the water to create suds.

Step 2

Place the blanket in the water and swish it gently back and forth to work the suds into the fibers. Let the blanket soak for 15 minutes.

Step 3

Drain the tub and refill it. Gently swish the clear water through the blanket. Drain, refill and repeat until the suds are gone. Press out as much of the excess water as you can by squeezing the blanket without wringing it.

Step 4

Carefully lift the blanket from the tub and wrap it in clean, white bath towels. Roll the blanket in the towels, and squeeze to remove more water. Do not wring the blanket.

Step 5

Spread a plastic sheet or shower curtain on the floor where no one will disturb it. Carefully lay the blanket over the plastic sheet, smoothing it into its original shape. Leave the blanket to dry for 24 hours. If the blanket is still damp, place a fresh sheet under it. You can speed the drying process by running a fan near the blanket.

knitting yarn, knitting needles, over a wooden storage box, on a table with a room background

Whether you purchase it or make it yourself- there is nothing more luxurious and relaxing than a chunky knit blanket.  Don’t forget to enjoy a refreshing fruit infused glass of water while you are caring for your blanket. And treat yourself to our favorite homemade chocolate popcorn while snuggling into your chunky knit blanket an enjoying a good movie.

Using a chunky knit blanket as a throw may require washing it less often. That’s my favorite way to use a chunky knit blanket. Do you own a chunky knit blanket and if so how do you take care of it?