My Hands

Dry Cleaning Delicate Knit/Crochet/Fabric Toys and Items

Most of us likely own a few textile products which can’t be tossed into the washing machine. Some of them require professional dry-cleaning (which actually isn’t “dry” at all), and others call for hand-wash only.

Some items can’t be washed in water at all because they are delicate, have sewn or glued parts, or contain materials (corn kernels/beans/rice for example) which would be damaged in a detergent and water wash. Fortunately, you probably already have most of the items you will need in order to clean these treasures. Once they’re clean again, spray them with a fabric protector (eg. Scotchgard).

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • An appropriate amount of absorbent powder: (choose one)
    • Baking soda (best choice because it can be used for any colour item)
    • Cornmeal (for yellow or beige)
    • Wheat germ (for dark colours)
  • A plastic bag large enough to contain item and powder


Place the item in the bag and add a generous amount of the absorbent powder. Seal the bag, then shake it to distribute the powder over the item (if the item is a delicate one, shake gently).
Leave the item in the bag for at least an hour to absorb dirt (baking soda will absorb both dirt and odors).
For the next step you might want to go outside: Take the item out of the bag and shake off the powder. For some items you can use a soft bristle brush to remove any remaining powder, for others, wrap a sock or breathable fabric over the end of a vacuum hose and gently vacuum off the residual powder.
You can repeat the steps if needed, but as long as you haven’t let your item get too dirty before using this method, once should be enough.