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Cotton versus acrylic yarn for crochet dishcloths and scouring pads

In general, I prefer to use cotton yarn when knitting dishtowels and scouring pads. This is mainly because cotton is natural, soft and durable. However, over the years many knitters have told me that they prefer to use acrylic for their wipes and scouring pads. So really, it comes 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.

Advantages of cotton:

Natural. As already mentioned, the cotton material is natural. To be honest, I don’t know if this makes a difference or not, but it puts my mind at ease when making scrubs for fruits and vegetables. That said, I try to stick with the white or off-white floss, as you don’t want the colored dyes seeping into your food either.

scrubbing action. Cotton is gentle on your face, but it’s an effective scrubbing pad for dishes, pots, and pans.

Cotton Cons:

shrinks. With cotton you have to be careful when putting the rags in the dryer because it will shrink the material. So when making dish towels and other cloths or scouring pads, be sure to make them slightly larger than you need. Or just avoid putting anything in the dryer.

Drying time. Another disadvantage of cotton is that it takes forever to dry. One solution I’ve found with dish towels is to simply lay them over the bottle of dish soap. But if you have a hanger handy over the sink, that would work even better.

Expensive. Cotton material is generally more expensive than materials made from synthetic fibers. However, on the positive side, as already mentioned; it’s also more durable, which helps balance it out.

Acrylic Advantages:

Dries fast. One of the nice things about using acrylic yarn is that it dries pretty quickly.

Static. I find that acrylic has a natural static that when swept across the floor or a dresser it picks up dust much better than cotton.

No shrinkage. Acrylic material does not shrink. However, I find that it tends to stretch more over time.

Economic. It is quite cheap to buy in the store.

Acrylic Cons:

Unnatural. Unlike cotton, acrylic is made from unnatural substances. For most people this is not a threat; however, some may experience itching or may even get a rash if used on the skin.

Not durable for hard scrubbing. The thread is not as durable for kitchen or household scrubbing. It’s fine for face cloths and dusters, but for heavy scrubbing needs I’d personally go with a cotton swab.

So there you have it. I hope you experiment with both.

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