Once you've finished creating your beautiful natural knit, be it a sweater, socks, or a unique new pattern of your own, your next step will probably be to give it it's first washing. Just as the fibers we use in our knitting are important, so are the soaps we use to wash our knitted garments. Like synthetic yarns, non-natural soaps also contain hazardous chemicals, known to cause cancer and other health disorders. There are several natural soaps available that offer the perfect choice for natural knits.
Two of the most popular and widely recommended soap brands for washing knitted projects are Soak and Eucalan. Both comprise of primarily natural or natural-derived ingredients. They both work well for handknits and are significantly better than common household laundry detergents, which contain a long list of unpronounceable chemical ingredients. However, at the top of our list is Dr. Bronner's and KnitIQ -- competitively priced and made from a short list of natural ingredients, they wash well and don't leave us wondering about potential negative effects. Let's take a quick look at the ingredients used in these four wool washes, as well as a common household detergent and see how they compare:
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KnitIQ No-Rinse Wool Wash
Designed specifically for knitters, KnitIQ's simple wool wash formula is our favorite go-to. With a delicate, refreshing, lavender-citrus scent, this no-rinse formula is easy to use and comes in a convenient pump bottle. Use it for all your handknits and for regular laundry too! Looking for blocking boards? KnitIQ has got them too! If you need boards, you're sure to love the high quality Gridded Blocking Boards from KnitIQ.
Available in eight different scents and seven different sizes, Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap is incredibly versatile. Though not marketed directly for knitters, it's perfect for all your natural knitwear washing needs and can double as a perfect hand soap or body wash! Be sure to also check out Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds -- a powerful detergent that only requires a drop to perfectly clean your woolly knits. We recommend rinsing your knits after washing, as this is not a no-rinse solution.
Images on this page courtesy of KnitIQ, Dr. Bronners, Eucalan and Soakwash