Caring for Treasured Afghans

Caring for Treasured Afghans
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I have the afghan my grandmother gave me when I graduated from high school and all of my children were made special afghans by their grandmothers when they were born. They make us feel cozy and give us a connection to the people who made them. How do we care of these treasured afghans?
If the afghan is made out of wool or wool blend yarn it can be washed in the washing machine IF you don't allow it to actually agitate. All settings must be on cool or cold, and the gentle cycle. Fill the washer with cool water. Dissolve a mild soap or detergent in the washer water. Then add the afghan. Allow it to soak, moving it around gently with your hands, for about 15 minutes or so. Then turn the machine to the spin cycle. After it finishes spinning and the water drains, stop the machine and add cool rinse water and a fabric softener if you wish, but do be cautious. Some fabric softeners can cause colors to run. If in doubt use a gentle PH Balanced hair conditioner instead. Again, allow it to sit for 15 minutes or so, then spin out the water.

Dry the afghan flat away from the sun, or any type of heat source. You can place it on the floor on a large clean blanket to dry if it's a large afghan. This is just one method of cleaning. You could also gently hand wash the afghan using a similar method in the bathtub or a large sink. Even doing this, you should be careful as far as scrubbing or stretching too much.

For afghans made out acrylic yarns you can usually wash in warm soapy water in the gentle cycle and dry gently in the dryer as well. If the instructions are available from the yarn package it should give specific instructions. If in doubt, use the gentle method above.

For all cotton blankets or afghans, use the washing machine with cool water on the gentle cycle. Dry flat or line dry. However, chenille must always must be hand washed or dry cleaned.

Of course, no bleach should ever be used on any of the afghans. Store them out of sunlight and heat sources. The same goes for displaying them. Use gentle care on all of your afghans and they will be treasured keepsakes for your family.

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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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