I make crochet dishcloths to sell online and at local craft shows. During shows, I’ve had many requests for dish scrubbies. I’ve tried making them with nylon netting that I cut into long strips and found it a real struggle to work with for a number of reasons. Consequently, I haven’t made many of them from netting. So, when I recently heard of Red Heart’s Scrubby Yarn, I had to give it a try! I’m pleasantly surprised as to how easy it is to work with and yet it’s also effective at scrubbing dishes. With that, I thought a complete review may be helpful to others who are considering the yarn. Here it is…
Size of skein. The skeins come in a net weight of 3.5 oz (100 g) with 92 yards (85 m) on them. The knit scrubbies I’ve made with this yarn (when coupled with a strand of cotton or cotton blend yarn) measure about 4″ wide x 4-1/2″ long. One skein makes 7 scrubbies of that size, with a little yarn left over.
Cost. Watch prices online as they do vary from site to site. I’ve seen prices for this yarn ranging from $4 to over $9 per skein. It pays to shop around!
Construction. This yarn is interesting in itself. It is made of 100% polyester and has a thin central strand with little “extensions” along the strand. The thin central strand appears to be too thin at first, but it actually works well when making a dish scrubby (especially when coupled with one strand of cotton yarn).When looking online at pictures of a skein of this yarn, to me it looks more tangled than a bowl full of angel hair pasta. It’s hard to distinguish one strand of yarn! However, once you get used to it, the yarn is easy to work with. Importantly, I have yet to encounter any tangles at all. In fact, it “flows” easier than most traditional yarns I’ve used. Literally, no knots or tangles. Amazing!
Color fast. Since it’s made with polyester I suspected it would not bleed its color. But, I tested it nevertheless. I placed a strand in hot water and let it sit for a while. No color loss at all! That’s very impressive to me, considering how much color loss there is in some of the cotton yarns! Also, I have not noticed any color loss with the one I’ve been washing dishes with for a while.
Effectiveness. The little “extensions” act as fine scrubbers when removing stuck-on food particles from dirty dishes. They are simple and effective for medium tough jobs. They cannot take the place of a steel wool pad on a really tough burnt-on food mess, but they are effective when washing everyday dishes. As advertised, the little “extensions” make the scrubbies more effective than using standard crochet or knit dishcloths for removing food particles from dishes.
Knit or crochet? Because this yarn has little “extensions” on it, I found that it’s easier to knit with than crochet. The “extensions” seem to get caught easily on the crochet hook. Knitting with this yarn seemed to be a smoother task. However, even with knitting it does take a little time to get used to working with it. Once you do, speed picks up and there are fewer dropped/split stitches. [Hint…Knit loosely!] Perhaps given some time, one could get used to crocheting with ease with it.
Use alone or with cotton yarn. As per Red Heart’s suggestions, this yarn can be used alone or coupled with cotton yarn. A scrubbie or dishcloth made with this yarn alone has a totally unique character and feel. It is quite stretchy and has little absorbency. To me, it resembles some sort of clothing accessory [like a nice scarf] or part of a child’s toy rather than something to wash dishes with. However, THAT’S just my opinion and the next person may love using it that way.
I found that I like it much more when coupled with cotton or cotton blend yarn. The cloths have a more sturdy, thicker feel with much more absorbency. I like that sort of feel when washing dishes. However, coupling it with cotton/cotton blend yarn does extend the drying time quite a bit.
Substitute for nylon netting? When considering if this yarn could substitute for nylon netting in scrubbies, I’d say no. Why? Because it’s simply different. It’s not as scratchy as nylon netting, so the scrubbing effect is more mild. Netting seems more appropriate for those tougher jobs where you almost need a steel wool pad. Scrubbies made with this yarn are wonderful for those not-quite-so-tough jobs. They scrub more effectively than dishcloths, but not quite as well as scrubbies made with nylon netting. So, here’s my rendition of the most mild to the toughest scrubbing power among various options: cotton dishcloths, scrubbies made with scrubby yarn, scrubbies made with nylon net, green scratchy commercially made scrub pads, steel wool pads.
Honestly, I’ve been washing dishes for a while now with a scrubby I made with this yarn (coupled with cotton yarn) and I’m very happy with it for everyday needs. It’s much easier to work with than nylon netting. All things considered, I recommend this yarn for making scrubbies what would meet most everyday needs. Perhaps have a few other things on hand in your kitchen arsenal for handling those occasional really tough jobs that come along. However, this should meet your needs most of the time! Thanks Red Heart!
Happy crocheting and knitting!