I crochet lots of things but they seem to get dirt and stuff on them. I use lots of yarn but mostly the brand Red Heart. I try cleaning it off with water but it doesn't come off. How do I clean yarn characters?

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    Welcome, Susan! We need to know more info about your characters... what is your yarn made of... for example. Is it poly or cotton or wool?
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 1:07
  • Also, how tightly are they crocheted and do you know if the yarn might have problems with colour bleed?
    – EmRoBeau
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 13:10
  • Are your characters stuffed with anything, like cotton batting or polyester fiberfill? About how big are they? We'd love to see a picture of one so we can give good advice!
    – user1798
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


It's been my experience that items made with synthetic yarn and synthetic fiber fill can be washed by hand. If the item has become extremely soiled, it may be worth trying it in the washing machine on a gentle or hand wash cycle. You may want to remove sewed-on items if you feel they are vulnerable. I like drying in a dryer because the item is less likely to get musty, but if you judge your item to be too fragile, drying in the sun should also work. The important thing is not to let it stay damp for any longer than absolutely necessary.

If you have a handheld steam cleaner, you could try that too, especially if you have stubborn stains. I've used mine with vinegar mixed into the water to successfully clean cushions soiled with urine, but I've never used it on a hand-knitted stuffed character. Still, it's another option you could consider experimenting with.

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