Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Odiferous Fiber

I've been seeing a lot of questions pop up on blogs and in groups around the net pertaining to foreign odors in yarn. Whether it's the result of a smoker, the family pet(s), or just plain funkitude (did I just invent a word?) it's something that needs to be dealt with.

First of all, consider the source of the smell. If it comes from smoke, or some other "additive," you are going to want to wash the yarn to remove any remaining residue. Of course you can just wash the yarn and be done with it all in one fell swoop, but it's probably easier to wash a finished item than it is a skein of yarn (plus a finished item will dry WAY faster than a skein of yarn!) Just food for thought.

Secondly, keep in mind that I am in no way an authority on the subject. I just thought I'd gather a few suggestions that I, and others, have found successful for removing those offensive smells.

> Erika over at Crochet by Day used some Febreeze and good ole fashioned sunshine to wipe out her "Yarn Funk".

> This idea is from me but inspired by Cyndi. Of course people have been using baking soda for years in the fridge for keeping odors at bay. Cyndi started sprinkling it on the carpet to avoid the unwanted odors that owning a dog can bring. She also uses it to remove foul odors from anything plastic. So I had the idea to place one of the fridge packs in with a box of offensive yarn. Leave it in the closed box overnight, or a couple of days for stronger smells, and you will have odor free yarn.

> And here is a discussion over on the 'ville regarding washing a whole skein yarn. It seems wrapping it up in a knee high stocking and letting it run through the machine is a go!

That's what I have for now. What have you used to remove unwanted odor from your yarn?


  1. I'm not sure how well it works because I've never tried this one myself, but here goes. I recently read an article that suggested putting garments in the freezer to kill odor-causing bacteria in things you can't/don't want to launder. The suggestion was to put the item in a zip top bag or wrap it in plastic and stick it in your freezer for about a week.

    I tend to just tolerate any funk as I crochet then launder my finished project. Unfortunately, this doesn't work if you're bestowing the item as a gift since you don't want to give something that has a "shop worn" look.

  2. I had a mattress that carried an odor and scattered baking soda all over it. I left it there for several hours, then vacuumed it up. Then I used Febreze on it. This got rid of the odor quite nicely.


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