In general, I prefer to use cotton yarn when crocheting dishcloths and scrubbies. This is primarily because cotton is natural, soft and durable. However, over the years, I’ve had many crocheters tell me that they prefer to use acrylic for washcloths and scrubbies. So really, it boils down to personal preference; but in this article I’m going to go over several reasons why you might want to choose one over the other.
Natural. As already mentioned, cotton material is natural. To be honest I don’t know if this makes a difference or not, but it does put my mind at ease when making scrubbies for fruits and vegetables. With that said, I try to stick with the white or off-white yarn as you don’t want any colorful dyes leaching out into your food either.
Scrubbing Action. Cotton is soft for the face, yet it makes an effective scrubber for dishes and pots and pans.
Shrinks. With cotton you have to be careful when you stick your rags into the dryer because it will shrink the material. Thus, when making dishcloths and other washcloths or scrubbies, make sure that you make them slightly larger than what you need them to be. Or, simply avoid sticking anything into the dryer.
Drying Time. Another downfall of cotton is that it takes forever to dry. One solution I have found with dishcloths is to simple drape them over your dishsoap bottle. But if you have a hanger handy above the sink, that would work even better.
Expensive. Cotton material is generally more expensive than materials made from man-made fibers. However, on the plus side, as already mentioned; it’s also more durable, which then helps to balance it out.
Dries Quick. One of the good things of using acrylic yarn is that it dries fairly quick.
Static. I find that acrylic has a natural static that when swept over the floor or a dresser it picks up the dust much better than cotton does.
No Shrinkage. Acrylic material doesn’t shrink. However, I find that it does tend to stretch out more over time.
Economic. It is fairly cheap to purchase at the store.
Unnatural. Unlike cotton, acrylic is made from unnatural substances. For most people this poses no threat; however some might experience itching, or may even get rashes if used on skin.
Not Durable for Tough Scrubbing. The yarn is not as durable for tough scrubbing in the kitchen or around the home. It’s fine for facecloths and dusters, but for heavy scrubbing needs, I personally would resort to a cotton.
So there you have it. I hope you’ll experiment with both.