In general, I prefer to use cotton yarn for knitting dishcloths and scrubs. This is mainly because cotton is natural, soft, and durable. However, over the years I have been told by many crocheters that they prefer to use acrylic for washcloths and scrubs. In reality, it all comes down to personal preferences; 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 me at ease when making scrubs for fruits and vegetables. With that said, I try to stick with the white or off-white thread as you don’t want the colored dyes to seep into your food either.
Scrubbing action. Cotton is gentle on the face, but it is an effective cleanser for dishes, pots, and pans.
Cons of cotton:
Shrinks. With cotton, you have to be careful when putting the rags in the dryer because it will shrink the material. So, when making tea towels and other washcloths or scrubs, be sure to make them a little larger than you need. However, just avoid sticking anything in the dryer.
Drying time. Another downside to cotton is that it takes forever to dry. One solution I have found with dish towels is to simply place them over the dish soap bottle. But if you have a hanger on hand over the sink, it would work even better.
Expensive. Cotton material is generally more expensive than materials made from synthetic fibers. However, in most cases, as already mentioned; it’s also more durable, which helps balance it out.
Advantages of acrylic:
Quick dry. One of the advantages of using acrylic yarn is that it dries quite quickly.
Static. I find that acrylic has a natural static that when it is passed on 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 spread more over time.
Economic. It is quite cheap to buy in the store.
Cons of acrylic:
Unnatural. Unlike cotton, acrylic is made from unnatural substances. For most people, this poses no threat; however, some may experience itchiness or even a rash if used on the skin.
It is not durable to scrub hard. The thread is not as durable for a hard scrub in the kitchen or at home. It’s fine for face wipes and feather dusters, but for heavy scrubbing needs I’d personally turn to a cotton pad.
So there you have it. I hope you experiment with both.