Crochet dishcloths are a staple in many households. I love crocheting dishcloths, but it can be tricky to figure out what materials are best when you are just getting started. In this post I want to break down the best yarn for dishcloths so you can make an educated choice!
Disclosure. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
I just have to start this post with a story.
I started crocheting when I was about 10 years old. After I’d gotten some experience under my belt, I decided I wanted to crochet a dishcloth for my grandma for her birthday. I was SO excited.
So I got out my red heart super saver yarn (which works for everything, right?!) found a pattern, and worked up a cute little dishcloth.
Before giving it away, I tested it out…and much to my disappointment, it didn’t work right at all.
The “dishcloth” would barely absorb any water. And if it couldn’t absorb water, how could it be used as a dishcloth? Disappointed, I put the project away.
Can you use any yarn for dishcloths?
As you can see, it is NOT a good idea to use just “any” yarn to crochet or knit a dishcloth. It simply doesn’t work.
There are specific things that need to be there in order for the yarn to work. Hint: red heart super saver does NOT have those things! 😝
So before we get into the list of MY favorite dishcloth yarns, let’s talk about what those qualities are.
Things to Look for In Dishcloth Yarn
There are actually quite a few things you want to keep in mind when buying yarn to crochet or knit dishcloths. All of these qualities are very important, but make sure to pay special attention when you get to number 4 – as this is why the dishcloth in my story failed!
1. Durability and Sturdiness
Dishcloths get used, a lot, and for a variety of tasks. They will get worn down. This is why it is important to choose a yarn that is durable and sturdy. It needs to stand the test of time.
I don’t think any crocheter or knitter would want to make a dishcloth that only lasted a few weeks!
Another key quality of a good washcloth yarn is absorbency. That is, how well does the yarn absorb water? It needs to absorb it well.
With some yarns, water will just kind of roll off of the project. We DON’T want that. Instead, we want a dishcloth that can absorb lots of water to wash our dishes, counter, etc.
Thirdly, you’ll want to keep in mind how much a yarn stretches before making a dishcloth.
Basically, you will want to make sure that it doesn’t stretch too much. Think about it – if you use a super stretchy yarn, the dishcloth will get all out of shape everytime you use it. It will be better if it is made from a firmer yarn.
4. Fiber Content
Here it is, folks, the MOST important thing about dishcloth yarn: the fiber content. This means, the materials that the yarn is made out of. If it is made from certain fibers, your dishcloth will function beautifully…or vice versa. So let’s take a look at some common fiber contents that WILL work and some that WON’T work.
As a general rule, dishcloths need to be made out of cotton yarn. If you find a yarn that is 100% cotton, there’s a good chance it will work wonderfully for a dishcloth!
Why? Well, cotton matches all of the first 3 characteristics we talked about above. It is very durable. Dishcloths made from cotton hold up for a long time, despite lots of everyday use.
It is very absorbent—you’ll have no trouble with water “rolling” off! And the stretch is just about right with cotton yarn. Dishcloths will stretch a bit, especially depending on the stitch you use, but it won’t be any crazy amount.
Polyester and Nylon
Another fiber possibility that works well is polyester! However, not just any polyester or nylon. If you want to use this fiber, make sure you get a scrubby yarn that is specifically designed for dishcloths.
One of the yarns I will show you later is actually 100% polyester, and it is made for the purpose of crocheted scrubbies/dishcloths. These yarns generally work great!
Just make sure you stay away from other yarns with these fibers that aren’t designed for this purpose. For example, if you have a hank of hand-dyed yarn that is 25% nylon, that doesn’t mean you should use it for a dishcloth! I guarantee you that wouldn’t work well.
Now, for the elephant in the room…acrylic. I have to be honest – I have never seen an instance where acrylic works well for dishcloths.
As you might’ve guessed, red heart super saver, the yarn I used in my story, is made from acrylic. And yes, that is the reason why the dishcloth failed.
Acrylic is simply not absorbent enough. This is the fiber that water rolls off of! I guess it kind of makes sense, because acrylic yarn is made from a type of plastic (whereas cotton is plant-based!)
5. Care Instructions
So, by now we’ve established that cotton yarn is best for dishcloths, with some cases of polyester and nylon being acceptable too. But now let’s narrow down those categories even more.
Once you are looking at a specific cotton yarn, another consideration before buying is the care instructions. You are generally going to want to buy a yarn that is machine washable and dryable.
I’m sure you know that dishcloths are bound to get very dirty over time, so this is pretty much a necessity. Thankfully, most cotton yarns fit this description!
Next, does your possible dishcloth yarn have the colors you like? Some yarns come in a wide variety of colors, while others do not.
Of course, this is very subjective. Only you know which colors are your favorite. So just make sure not to settle! You don’t want to buy a yarn just because it is good for dishcloths and end up unhappy with it because of the color.
If you are crocheting dishcloths for a craft show (like I am this year) this would also make colors very important! You’ll want to choose colors that go along with your color palette. For example, I am doing a spring craft fair soon with a sunflower + turqoise theme. So I’ll be choosing the following colors: yellow, brown, green, teal, etc.
7. Price and Overall Value
Lastly (but not least!) you’ll definitely want to take a look at the price and overall value of the yarn. Be careful here – because just because the ball of yarn is cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean it has more value!
Make sure to take a look at the yardage in each ball. How much do you get for the price? And more importantly, how many dishcloths can you make from one ball?
This will help you determine which yarn is best, and also how many balls you need.
The Best Yarn for Dishcloths – the List!
All right, so with those things in mind we are finally ready to take a look at some of the very best dishcloth yarns! I just love all these yarns for dishcloths and I’m excited to share them with you.
Lily Sugar ‘N Cream
My personal favorite choice for dishcloths is Lily Sugar ‘N Cream yarn. It pretty much meets all the criteria that I find important! It is sturdy, not too stretchy, and comes in a wide variety of color options (including variegated options!)
Of course, this yarn is well known by many crocheters. However, I have a little-known buying tip to share with you today.
I have been buying this yarn like crazy lately to make dishcloths for my upcoming craft show, and let me tell you – the prices are different everywhere! It’s pretty crazy.
Michaels sells Lily Sugar ‘N Cream for $1.99 a ball, with each ball containing 120 yards. On the other hand, Joann’s sells it for $3.99 a ball online and $4.99 a ball in store. They market them as a “super size ball” and the balls certainly look bigger. But get this – they only contain 80 yards more than the balls from Michaels!
It actually works out as a worse deal from Joann’s. You could theoretically get those 200 yards of yarn for only $3.20 from Michaels.
But then again, Joann’s carries more color options than Michaels. So you’ll have to weigh all the pros and cons for yourself!
Fiber Content: 100% cotton
Another one of my favorite dishcloth yarns is Dishie yarn from We Crochet. This is a more unique dishcloth yarn that is unlike many others on the market.
While it is worsted weight like many of its counterparts, it is thinner. You’ll end up with a more lightweight dishcloth if you use this yarn – but that’s not a bad thing! Because Dishie is still just as durable and easy to use.
See the photo for a comparison (with Dishie on the left and Lily sugar ‘n cream on the right). As you can see, the Dishie is more tightly twisted, for an overall thinner yarn.
The only downside to dishie is that you will not be able to touch and feel it before buying, because it is only available online.
However, We Crochet is one of my favorite onlines stores and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you decide to try it!
Fiber Content: 100% cotton
Yardage and Weight: 190 yds/3.5 oz
See Dishie yarn on Amazon (more expensive option)
Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton
Another fun cotton option is called Lion Brand 24/7 cotton. This is a really unique mercerized cotton yarn! It comes in lots of fun, bright colors, and it is available for purchase online at Lion Brand or in store at Joann’s.
It seems that you will get the best deal by purchasing directly from Lion Brand. But if you like buying yarn in store, it might be worth the higher price at Joann’s!
This yarn is also found on Amazon, but I would beware of the so-called “value packs” because most of them are much more expensive than buying separate skeins.
Fiber Content: 100% cotton
Yardage and Weight: 186 yds/3.5 oz
Red Heart Scrubby
Now, let’s get into some polyester “scrubby” type yarns! Red Heart Scrubby is well known for its amazing quality and durability. I believe it was one of the first scrubby yarns to go on the market!
This yarn is great for dishcloths where you really need to get stuck-on food OFF. It is also generally used to make smaller, sponge-type scrubbies (like this pattern).
This yarn can be found in your local Joann’s and Michaels, as well as on Amazon (surprisingly, the price on Amazon is about the same!)
Fiber Content: 100% polyester
Yardage and Weight: 92 yards/3.5 oz
Yarn Bee Scrubology
I had to share another scrubby yarn that I just recently discovered called Yarn Bee Scrub-ology! This scrubby yarn is available exclusively at Hobby Lobby (at least I can’t find it anywhere else). While the color options are limited, the yarn is amazing.
It is unlike any scrubby yarn I’ve ever seen! It is thick, which makes a scrubbie work up faster than the previous yarn. I have a round scrubby pattern that I can work up in just 8 minutes with this yarn.
The only downside I’ve found to this yarn is the label says the care is hand-wash, dry flat. However, I’ve remedied this by throwing my scrubbies in the dishwasher to clean. They held up just fine using this method!
Fiber Content: 100% Nylon
Yardage and Weight: 79 yds/3 oz
Crafter’s Secret Yarn
Last but not least, take a look at Crafter’s Secret cotton yarn! This is another yarn exclusive to Hobby Lobby. I have found it to be extremely similar to Lily Sugar ‘N Cream.
It has the exact same yardage, but I find I like many of the color options better, which is why I wanted to include it.
If you do a lot of shopping at Hobby Lobby, this is a great yarn to grab on their bi-weekly 30% yarn sale! That would mean you could score it for just $1.60 per ball.
Fiber Content: 100% cotton
Yardage and Weight: 120 yds/2.5 oz
So there you have it, my 6 favorite dishcloth yarns! But there is STILL more to talk about when it comes to dishcloths. I know it’s hard to believe, because they are such a quick and small project! But, it’s true. So let’s talk about some more common dishcloth questions before finishing.
People also ask
Is mercerized cotton yarn good for dishcloths?
Yes. While some people disagree on this topic, mercerized cotton was actually designed in the first place for kitchen items. It is specifically made to be stronger and more durable than other cottons. For more information on this, check out this article.
How much yarn do I need to crochet a dishcloth?
It always will depend on the pattern and the size of your dishcloth. With my 7″ seed stitch dishcloths, I can get 2 dishcloths from one 120 ball of Lily Sugar ‘N Cream. If you like larger dishcloths (the standard size is usually 8″) you may not be able to get two from one ball.
What is the most absorbent yarn?
Generally, cotton yarn is considered the most absorbent. Cottons that are minimally processed will usually be more absorbent. This is actually where the debate on mercerized or unmercerized comes into play. Unmercerized cotton will be more absorbent, while mercerized will be stronger. You’ll have to decide for yourself what you prefer.
If you want to understand more about the absorbecy of different yarns, check out this video where a bunch of dishcloths are tested!
Can I use Hobby Lobby’s ‘I Love This Cotton’ for dishcloths?
This is a deceiving yarn when it comes to dishcloths. Yes, it is 100% cotton – but I personally wouldn’t use it for a dishcloth. It is MUCH less absorbent than traditional dishcloth yarns (just watch the video I mentioned above to see what I mean!)
Does bamboo yarn make good dishcloths?
Bamboo will work for dishcloths. It is very absorbent, but it can be more expensive than cotton. It also tends to lose it’s strength and shape when wet.
Are knitted and crocheted dishcloths good?
Yes, they definitely are! While knit/crochet dishcloths are different from your typical store-bought ones, they still work great.
What are other materials I need to make dishcloths?
Generally, you will need a crochet hook, your yarn of course, and some notions like scissors and a yarn needle for weaving in ends. However, make sure you always check the pattern you’re following to make sure you have everything you need!
What kind of yarn do you use to make Scrubbies?
It is best to use a yarn that is specifically designed for scrubbies when you make them. I wouldn’t recommend using a regular cotton to make scrubbies, but rather something like Red Heart Scrubby.
Are dishcloths and washcloths the same?
Yes, it basically a different name for the same thing. I grew up calling them washcloths, but it seems like I am in the minority because all I ever see them called in the crochet world is a dishcloth! Anyhow, either name works just fine.
Dishcloth Patterns to Try
If you’re ready to get started crocheting dishcloths, you’re in the right place! I currently have 5 patterns released, plus a list of patterns that use sugar ‘n cream yarn (from various different designers!)
- Striped Washcloth
- Round Dishcloth
- Double Crochet Dishcloth
- Diagonal Dishcloth
- Sugar ‘N Cream Dishcloth Patterns
Dishcloths may be a small project, but making them could be considered an art! There is so much to consider before choosing your yarn, like durability, stretch, fiber content and more. So now it’s time for you to take action – buy a few dishcloth yarns to try yourself! Compare them as you go and see which one YOU like best. I hope you liked this post and found it informative for getting started.