Keeping it Fresh – Does My Crochet Stink?

Home, home on my range.  Where the spices and herb smells all play.

One of the things that has been bothering me about starting my crochet business is… smell.  We cook at my house… a lot.  And we love garlic and onions and peppers and all those other amazing spices and herbs and ingredients that taste so great…  but leave a distinct scent behind long after they’ve been devoured.


What are they feeding you?  No, really.  This is my cat, Sonnie.  He isn’t a smelly cat.

Toss in the cat, all of the DIY projects we do  (we’re currently busy painting walls and refinishing the hardwood floors) and all of the other odor-ific things that happen at my house on a daily basis and it leaves me wondering…

Do my crochet pieces stink?  Are they absorbing all of the odors that we call home, sweet home? Am I the only one who worries about this?  After doing some research online I learned that, no.  I’m not alone with my smelly crochet fears.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do clean and keep my house neat and tidy.  And the cat is NEVER ALLOWED near my yarn stash or me while I’m crocheting.  But… as clean as I can keep it, there’s still odors that creep in from time to time.  And those are the ones I’m worried about.


After reading dozens and dozens of paragraphs at blog posts and all of their accompanying comments, I’ve found three different remedies that I kind of like:

  • Dryer sheets.
  • Baking soda.
  • Clean, fresh air.

I also learned that there’s a huge audience of potential customers who might be allergic or opposed to anything with a heavy chemical or perfume smell.

I’ve decided to test out a couple different methods of smell removal.  I’ve purchased some Meyer’s dryer sheets because they’re made with natural scents, are compost-able, and can be easily ripped in half so hopefully they won’t be too overpowering in the fragrance department.  I’ve chosen the lavender one which has lavender essential oil in it… On it?  I really don’t know how they’re made.

Where I was shopping, (Oh, who am I kidding, I was browsing Amazon. I don’t go out unless I absolutely must.) they also had 3 other scents; Lemon Verbena, Geranium, and curiously enough… Basil.  (Which left me wondering, who wants their laundry to smell like Pesto?)

Any who…

For this test, I’ll simply add a piece of a dryer sheet in with my crochet item before storing it in a plastic bag.

I’ve also purchased an Arm and Hammer baking soda fresh air filter thingy.  It’s meant to be used in your refrigerator but I’m going to stick it on the top of a large plastic storage container where I may keep my items-in-waiting, depending on the outcome of this experiment, before they get ordered and shipped.  Call me mad, but I thought this filter thing would be better than sprinkling each item with baking soda, or even keeping an open box anywhere near my handmade items, but what do I know?

After I receive an order, (fingers crossed) I’m also planning, weather permitting, to hang my pretty crochet things outside in the fresh air for a little while prior to packaging and shipping.

I’m going to try each of the two methods I’ve discussed above (dryer sheets and baking soda) for about a week and then open the stored goods to see what I smell.

I’ll let you know what I discover and which way I prefer when I’m done.

In the meantime…

Do you have a special method that keeps your crochet fresh and sweet smelling?  Do you even worry about this?  Please share your thoughts, ideas and tips in the comments.  Or feel free to call me crazy for even worrying about this!  Either way… as always, I look forward to the conversation with you.





About Robin @ Imperial Crochet

I'm a former community manager of a now defunct lifestyle site who's been writing online, and off, for over fifteen years. My passions include my family, my cat, reading, writing, crochet, and yarn art. I've decided to stitch all of those things together by way of my new blog, Imperial Crochet. I can't wait to see how it all turns out!
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25 Responses to Keeping it Fresh – Does My Crochet Stink?

  1. I use the dryer sheet method too, seems to work okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tami says:

    Everything I crochet is for family or friends so I just toss it in the washer and dryer before I give it to them. This also removes any pet hairs, and my hairs, that the lint roller missed. I use mostly acrylic yarn so machine wash/dry isn’t an issue. The things I’ve made that need to be hand washed I just hand wash it. I write a blog for a janitorial supply company and have done a few posts about deodorizing fabrics. Fresh air and sunlight is the best natural fabric refresher. Baking soda is also an excellent odor neutralizer especially with food based odors. I think that using the refrigerator box is a good call since you don’t need to worry about it spilling. Also a spritz with a vinegar and water mixture will freshen clothing. The vinegar smell fades quickly and neutralizes odors. This would be a good option to use if you are blocking your project. If you have concerns about your customer’s having allergies or sensitivities there are many unscented, dye and chemical free products too. A spritz with lemon juice, or other citrus onto a clean cloth and placed in a bin or bag could also work, but be careful as the acid in the citrus may cause damage to the colors. One last thing – the chemicals that make dryer sheets smell nice are usually heat activated so placing them in with the items may mask the odor but a fragrance free odor neutralizer would probably be your best bet! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Robin says:

      Wow Tami, you are a goldmine of information on this topic. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. Much appreciated! I don’t block my items but it might be a good time to start. That way I could also take advantage of the vinegar solution.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tami says:

        Robin, I was really excited because all of the research I did for work actually became relevant in my crafty world! I would do a test swatch with the vinegar first to make sure it doesn’t damage the color. Also it should be white vinegar not Apple Cider. And with acrylic yarn I really love giving it a toss in the machine because it comes out so much softer than it is when it’s fresh off my hook! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Robin says:

    I’m grateful for your research too! Thanks again Tami, from the bottom of my heart!


  4. tonymarkp says:

    Fresh air I think is the best you can do. I’ve used dryer sheets and, although they are effective, carry their own odors. Another trick of mine is to add a little baking soda to the water when I wash things by hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tinaor says:

    I wondered about lemons and getting rid of smells. I’ve read if you put a lemon half in a smelly fridge it absorbs odours.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have a recommendation for getting rid of odors! Vodka! This is a tried and true method used by costumers for decades. Put undiluted, cheap (really cheap) vodka in a spray bottle and spray away! The vodka leaves no scent, evaporates quickly, and kills odor-causing bacteria. It is not a stain remover and it won’t get rid of particulate matter like tar, but it will kill odors on items that are hard to launder.
    My mom and I recorded a whole podcast episode on this and we actually sell spray bottles for this purpose- needless to say, we’re passionate!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh man, I wasn’t even worried about my crochet smelling. Now I’ve got to think about it! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Since I have an shop myself I also worried about this. We also sell a lot of yarns dyed with plants, which sometimes leaves a bit of a smell after dyeing. Especially onion skins, which leave a great ocher colour but not a very nice smell! Most of the time I gently wash my wool-based products in Eucalan before packing and sending it. Products without wool I normally wash with Ecovert wool wash (yes I know still a wool wash, but without lanolin). Ecovert also contains lemon juice which helps keeping away any lingering odors and sweat stains.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. yarnrelatedgmailcom says:

    I have not had this problem yet, but I’m going to save this in case I do in the future. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Knit Potion says:

    “Where I was shopping, (Oh, who am I kidding, I was browsing Amazon. I don’t go out unless I absolutely must.)” LOLOLOLOL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have had a problem with smelly crochet, but I know it’s derived from my hand lotions. I made a knock off of an old Sophie Digard scarf out of 100% cotton thread. About half way through I noticed that it was starting to smell – bad. Like rancid old lady bad. When I was done with the scarf, I did everything I could think of to get rid of the smell – baking soda, vinegar, woolite and pre-wash spot removers, soaking in detergent for weeks, steaming with an iron and using a scented fabric starch. Nothing worked. Finally after I blocked it I just gave up, folded it with a dryer sheet and put it in a ziplock bag. About two years later I was looking for something and I ran across the scarf, so I gave it a sniff just for kicks. NO SMELL! I’m glad it doesn’t smell anymore, but who needs to go through all that!
    I still have a problem with hand lotions leaving a residue smell on my crochet. I try not to use a lotion if I’m going to crochet, but my hands get so dry! I thought I discovered the culprit lotion and stopped using it, but I’ve found other lotions can leave a smell too (just not as strong, thankfully). If anyone knows of a good hand lotion that won’t leave a smell on your crochet, PLEASE let me know. I currently have two creations soaking in a woolite bath to get rid of the lingering odor.

    Liked by 1 person

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