Product Review and Giveaway: Soak Wash
November 04, 2013
I'm not big on washing my knits. It's like a necessary evil to me because I worry that the washing process will somehow ruin all my good knitting work.
Well, it turns out I should not be so fearful, as there are products that are made specifically for washing delicate (and not so delicate, but chunky!) knitwear.
With a little know how and some experiments that have turned out just fine, I'm no longer so aprehensive about washing my knitted treasures.
Soak Wash is one company that gets my fears. They have created a line of beautifully packaged, very gentle soaps that do exactly what they are supposed to.
I wouldn't even call them "soaps," as the word "soap" often means harsh detergents that require lots of suds, aggitation, and rinsing to work effectively.
They call it a "no-rinse wash," which is way more accurate.
It's intended for delicate fabrics, wool sweaters, newly knitted projects. and more. I used it to block my recently released #174 Simpatico Alpaca Stole, which was knit in an Alpaca wool blend.
I got a few dark-colored beach towels (this yarn does bleed in the wash a bit) ready on the bathroom floor. I filled my bathroom sink with some water and the recommended amount of Soak Wash (just a capful!). Then, I stuck the stole in and let it soak for 15 minutes. I do admit to rinsing very gently a few times, as I wanted to get some of the dye out in the water (vs. on me or my clothes!), but I was very careful not to aggitate it in any way - NO wringing, just gentle squeezes against the side of the sink to get most of the water out.
Then, I picked up the stole gently (didn't want the alpaca to stretch!), supporting the whole thing, and laid it out flat on one of the beach towels. I topped it with the other beach towel, then rolled all 3 layers together (like an alpaca sandwichl!). I pressed down on it using my whole body weight to get all the wetness out into the towels.
Then, it was transfered to my blocking board and pinned out to dry.
The result: a NICELY-blocked, subtly-scented stole! Very happy with the resulting stitch definition and softness too ;-)
So, I do highly recommend you try Soak Wash to make an otherwise tedious chore much better.
Soak Wash is also biodegradable and phosphate-free. They offer a scentless version too. More information on Soak Wash is available through their website at: http://www.soakwash.com/ and you can purchase Soak Wash through many online and local yarn shops.
AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! I'VE GOT TWO BOTTLES OF SOAK WASH TO SEND TO TWO LUCKY WINNERS:
HOW TO ENTER: You can do one or more of the following to enter.
1) Make a pattern purchase from SweaterBabe.com of any knitting pattern, crochet pattern, or eBook pattern collection from now until November 30, 2013. Every purchase counts as an entry, so feel free to make multiple purchases to be entered multiple times! NOTE: Excludes free patterns.
2) Be a SweaterBabe.com Knitting Club Member through the end of November. All Members will automatically get counted for 2 entries for this giveaway. To join, it's just $7.99/month, and you get all new releases of knitting patterns automatically every month, plus special members-only knit-alongs, giveaways, and more! And if you join now, your payment counts as a purchase entry too!
3) Post a comment on this blog post telling us what you think of washing your finished knits. One comment per person, please. AND share this giveaway: , or share it on Facebook! Comments must be posted by 9pm PST, November 30, 2013.
Shortly after November 30, I'll randomly choose 2 entrants - one will receive the Lacey-Scented Soak Wash and the other the Celebration-Scented one.
THAT'S IT! Good luck to all!
*** WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT ***
And the 2 randomly chosen winners from all the entries are. . . Paula S., who made a pattern purchase on 11/7/13 and Sharon M., a SweaterBabe.com Club member. Congrats! I've emailed you both!
I've had mostly good luck washing my finished knits over the years. Have used a variety of methods but have ensured I was being gentle. Pinned at http://www.pinterest.com/pin/286471226270931159/
Posted by: Charlot Barney | November 04, 2013 at 08:45 PM
I a looking forward to trying your Soak Wash. Many of the delicate knits require gentle laundering.
Posted by: Mary Goebel | November 05, 2013 at 03:16 AM
I have used other wool washes in the past on special and delicate items. For washable baby/kid items, I tend to just wash them as they will be washed by the parents.
Posted by: Jennifer R. | November 05, 2013 at 03:19 AM
Thanks so much for your review of Soak Wash! I'm going to try it!! I love your site and all of your patterns!
Posted by: Nadine | November 05, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Have heard about this product and after reading your review will give it a try.
Posted by: Catherine | November 05, 2013 at 03:30 AM
Since you have given this product a raving review I will definitely try it. Thanks , I love your site.
Posted by: Donna frederick | November 05, 2013 at 03:40 AM
Like you, I'm quite apprehensive about washing my knits. I'd love to try a product that can help ease that fear!
Posted by: Jenna Lanphear | November 05, 2013 at 03:57 AM
I used to rarely block my knits, but now with a product like Soak, it is so easy. I still have friends who are timid of blocking so I will definitely share your review.
Posted by: Sarah Punderson | November 05, 2013 at 04:00 AM
I wash my knits in much the same way that you described, including the rolling it up between 2 towels. My mother taught me that back in the 50's when all knitting was wool, I don't think man made yarns were available yet. But Ialso add a tiny bit of vinegar to the rinse. That ensures that your knits do not develop that sour smell.
Posted by: Marj Birley | November 05, 2013 at 04:04 AM
hi, I never like washing my knits either but it is necessary when you block your knitted garment. I just recently purchased Eucalan No Rinse Delicate Wash and it will be my first time trying a wash specifically made for knits. so it would be nice to try them both and see for myself which i like best.
Posted by: calissa jensen | November 05, 2013 at 04:04 AM
I also hate washing my wool knits...oh the smell! I do add a little vinegar to the water. Hate the smell of wet wool. It would be so nice to try a wash specifically for wools.
Posted by: Rebecca Boardman | November 05, 2013 at 04:17 AM
I don't like washing OR blocking, but this sounds like an improvement in the process
Posted by: Roberta | November 05, 2013 at 04:18 AM
A good wash is a must. It's always a stressful few momenta though because your never sure how it will turn oit. Products like Soak takes some of that stress away from the process.
Posted by: Stacy | November 05, 2013 at 04:21 AM
I am going to give this a try. I appreciate your instructions about sandwiching the item between 2 towels.
Posted by: Paula Wright | November 05, 2013 at 04:47 AM
I will definitely try this one after reading your positive review. Thank you.
Posted by: Linda Newcomb | November 05, 2013 at 04:53 AM
I love the Soak that I have tried and would love to have more. I haven't tried all of the wonderful scents yet! Have pinned this offer!
Posted by: Deb | November 05, 2013 at 05:01 AM
I've only ever used samples of Soak that I've gotten with other purchases before, but I'd love to have a whole bottle of it. It works wonderfully for washing knits!
Posted by: Alia | November 05, 2013 at 05:04 AM
I launder all of my charity crochet - but that's all in machine-washable acrylics. One reason why I haven't done much crocheting with the natural-fiber yarns in my stash yet is precisely because of concerns about how to safely clean the FOs if they get soiled. A product like Soak Wash, though, would take away a lot of my concerns, and make me brave enough to crochet with the "good" yarns more often!
Posted by: Catherine A. McClarey | November 05, 2013 at 05:38 AM
I've always washed my knits - gently! It's never bothered me. I haven't tried any of the
soaps specially made for knits though. I would like to try this, but now that I've moved to a part of the country where the water is 75% iron, I wonder what is going to happen to my knits. Guess I'll pull out the Woolite
Posted by: Cynthia W | November 05, 2013 at 05:39 AM
I am very interested to try this. I've recently gotten into knitting sweaters and this is a HUGE fear of mine. I don't want to put so much work into my knits to just get ruined when I try to wash them. So far, I haven't had any problems doing a gentle cycle and laying flat to dry but I would definitely feel more comfortable using a product that specific to this!
Posted by: Brianna Nikolai | November 05, 2013 at 05:41 AM
I've always washed my knits in exactly the same way as you describe. I've done it for so long now that it's just a necessary part of the process, like seaming and weaving in ends. I like how it softens the fabric and magically makes all my stitches uniform. I've used other wool washes before, and liked the no-rinse part. It shortens the process. BTW, did you know that Soak sells a kit with a bottle of Soak Wash, a skein of wool, a pattern for fingerless gloves, and a bottle of nail polish in the same shade as the wool? Now THAT would be a giveaway!
Posted by: Ilehlia | November 05, 2013 at 06:05 AM
Not so much the washing as waiting for the pieces to air dry is what I hate. Love my knits anyway!
Posted by: Jennifer K. | November 05, 2013 at 06:07 AM
Anything that can make wet wool smell better is worth a try!
Posted by: Kara Larson | November 05, 2013 at 06:11 AM
I have used samples of Soak before and really liked it for my handknits. My local yarn shop doesn't carry it and would love to have a bottle of it.
Posted by: Ann Marie Keeler | November 05, 2013 at 06:13 AM
I would love to try Soak! It sounds like a lifesaver!
Posted by: Maryum Karim | November 05, 2013 at 06:20 AM
I have a tough time forcing myself to do it, but it is always worth it. And awesome products like Soak, make it much easier
Posted by: Susan | November 05, 2013 at 06:22 AM
I hate washing and blocking, and the results are never great for me. I'd love to see if Soak is any more successful!
Posted by: stefanie | November 05, 2013 at 06:42 AM
This product sounds amazing. I'll look for it!
Posted by: Mindy D | November 05, 2013 at 06:45 AM
I really dislike hand washing things, but with a product like Soak, it's so much easier. I love that it's no-rinse.
Posted by: Lisa Leavitt | November 05, 2013 at 06:53 AM
I had the opportunity to try a sample bottle of soak recently and was very pleased with the outcome. I'd love to have a bottle to use on the shawls that I knit.
Posted by: Wanda Wrightson | November 05, 2013 at 07:09 AM
I wash all of my hand knits after they are completed. I think the stitches even out and the item looks more finished.
Posted by: Knittingdancer on Ravelry | November 05, 2013 at 07:15 AM
I haven't had an issue washing my hand knits but I have always steered towards easy care yarns. Since I want to start trying some different types of yarns, this review and the washing tips were very helpful.
Posted by: Anne | November 05, 2013 at 07:31 AM
Thanks for the review. Although I've never had a problem washing my completed projects, I always dread that last step more than sewing it together. It always looks nicer and more professional so I psych myself up, wash and block. and I always think I'm an idiot for stressing over it.
Posted by: Ruth D | November 05, 2013 at 07:37 AM
I love my Soak it is great to take on vacation to clean bras etc quickly. It has no strong odours and knits look great after.
Posted by: Wendy wheeler | November 05, 2013 at 07:39 AM
I too hate the thought of soaking and blocking my knitting items and would love to try soak.
Posted by: Peggy | November 05, 2013 at 07:39 AM
I've tried a sachet of Soak before and was very impressed with it. My LYS doesn't stock it, however. Wish more of them did, as rinsing out a normal wool wash seems to take forever!
Posted by: Lindame Rumsey | November 05, 2013 at 08:02 AM
Thanks for your review of Soak Wash. I had seen it but not heard a review. I will definitely buy it after reading your review. Love your patterns and website.
Posted by: Lisa P | November 05, 2013 at 08:18 AM
I avoid washing and blocking for all the same reasons you mentioned.. in fact I have a small bottle of Soak that I've been paranoid to try. Now that I've read your review, I'm going to weave in the ends of my just finished project and then go dig out that bottle.. thanks!
Posted by: TroElli | November 05, 2013 at 08:21 AM
Great review - thanks for sharing that there's no need to be afraid of wet-blocking. I use SOAK on my handknits all the time - I love it! See my Pin here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/237494580322968387/
Thanks for a great giveaway!
Posted by: TrishKnits | November 05, 2013 at 08:23 AM
I always wash all the things I knit. I have used samples of Soak from LYS, and would love to win a whole bottle.
Posted by: gina | November 05, 2013 at 08:45 AM
I have hand washed my knit socks in the bathroom sink using Dawn original liquid dish soap (the blue stuff) without any problem. Accidentally sent one pair through the washing machine on regular with warm water. Gave that pair to a friend with smaller feet than mine. I have a cardigan and 2 sweaters that I am more than a little afraid to wash. With Soak though it would not be such a formidable task. Thanks for the review!
Posted by: Lori Sutton | November 05, 2013 at 08:48 AM
I am just getting in to knitting with hand wash wool, so I have not used a wool wash. I would love to try the Soak Wash.
Posted by: Helen K | November 05, 2013 at 08:53 AM
Washing knits is a pain to do but a necessary evil.
Posted by: Monica | November 05, 2013 at 09:17 AM
I use soak to wash my knits, too.
Posted by: Patsy Coats | November 05, 2013 at 09:32 AM
I worry about what product to use with my hand knits.
Soak sounds like the perfect thing to use.
Posted by: Kelly W | November 05, 2013 at 09:45 AM
Blocking and washing are wonderful ways to 'blossom' your hand work!
Posted by: Dari Trout | November 05, 2013 at 01:25 PM
The only wool I'm fussy about washing is Icelandic wool, which shrinks if you breath too heavily on it. For that I use some lanolin-based wash that you don't rinse out of the wool. I'm not sure how effective these washes are at actually washing, but I'm sure they leave the wool soft and fragrant. I'd love to give them a try!
Posted by: Karen | November 05, 2013 at 03:27 PM
I've been using Soak for 2 years now on my handknits and on lingerie with good results. Highly recommended.
Posted by: Diane Powers | November 05, 2013 at 05:31 PM
I'm always dread washing my knitting. It's not so much I'm afraid it will ruin it more than I find it such a chore. I usually just wet it and block it but have been wanting to try Soak for a while and just haven't gotten around to it.
Posted by: MistyDot | November 05, 2013 at 05:47 PM
HATE WASHING & BLOCKING !!!
This product will make it easier and less smelly!
Can't wait to try it.
Posted by: Sarah | November 06, 2013 at 06:26 AM
I would like to try it, I have never used a product for my knits. This will be the frist time to see if it really makes a difference . I am encouraged by your review and the other comments.I wonder can you use it on yarns that are not wool ?
Posted by: Joyce Gooden | November 06, 2013 at 08:50 AM
I love the soft smell Soak imparts on the wool. Not too strong but enough to lessen that wet sheep smell. And it does quickly soften!
Posted by: rena chezkian | November 06, 2013 at 08:51 AM
I'll be honest, it's a chore, all of it.. I just want to wear it, and no, I have to wash it, block it and THEN wait for it to air dry... but I do like softly scented washes that Soak offers..!
Posted by: Laura L | November 06, 2013 at 06:47 PM
I have a basket of projects waiting to be blocked and more waiting to have ends weaved in and seams sewn together. Love finishing a project to start another, but always find it hard to sit and do the final little touches to actually finish and be able to wear or gift my projects.
Posted by: Stephanie W | November 06, 2013 at 07:29 PM
This product would probably be great for my weaving projects since it's all yarn and fiber.
Posted by: Karen H. | November 06, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Eucalan is the specific wash I have used. Before them, I used pure soap flakes. Adding a teaspoon of white vinegar took the smell off and help fix the color. I will try the Soak Sentless. No perfume in my wools, ever.
Posted by: Christiane Johnson | November 08, 2013 at 10:39 AM
Soak is a wonderful product, I first tried in some small sample packs to pick a fragrance I liked. They are all very subtle - wonderful products!!!!
Posted by: Debra Smith | November 08, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I wish I had this when I finished my project this weekend. I have never tried Soak so I will be visiting their website. Thanks for the review.
Posted by: Irma Hendricks | November 19, 2013 at 03:28 AM
Soak is the BEST!
Posted by: Carole Schwinn | November 23, 2013 at 04:08 AM
Thanks for the article! I only recently learned about washing and blocking knits. I recently tried Soak and really like it.
Posted by: Rina Cristy | November 23, 2013 at 04:52 AM
Sometimes I put off blocking way longer than I should, but it is easy, and I am always thrilled with the way it makes my projects look...and often feel, too.
Posted by: Elisha C | November 23, 2013 at 04:54 AM
I'm anxious to try some Soak Wash. I hate blocking. I'm so afraid of messing up my knitted project. And it's hard to find enough space to block a sweater. I like the vinegar tip.
Posted by: Carolyn Bruns | November 23, 2013 at 05:01 AM
I haven't tried a no rinse wool soak yet, but probably will do soon as I'm knitting a mohair top. In the past I've just used a gentle soap based product which requires thorough rinsing without any problems but it is time consuming to do it gently by hand, and without rubbing or twisting. Haven't dared use the washing machine for this!
Posted by: Linda chiswell | November 23, 2013 at 05:11 AM
I'm sure the wool wash has a wonderful smell, and why not have your knitting projects smell as good as they look.
Posted by: Elaine Hardersen | November 23, 2013 at 05:40 AM
Handmade fiber items should always be washed, gently of course.
Posted by: Denise Royal | November 23, 2013 at 05:51 AM
It's always good to do a good wash on handknits. It's great to have a product that you don't have to worry about ruining your knits!
Posted by: Gloria Doyle | November 23, 2013 at 06:27 AM
I always use Soak for my hand knits. And when I give my hand knits as a gift, I include a single use package of Soak with the gift along with care instructions. Many of my friends have purchased Soak as a result.
Posted by: Pam Winne | November 23, 2013 at 06:32 AM
I always wash my knitted gifts before gifting. Have been thinking about trying this. This would be a great gift for me. Love your sight and patterns.
Posted by: Carol Smiarowski | November 23, 2013 at 06:43 AM
I've just recently begun knitting with higher-end natural fibers, and have several unblocked pieces - because I've been afraid I will ruin them... I hadn't seen these wash products, so I will look for Soak!
Posted by: Cindy Holt | November 23, 2013 at 06:53 AM
I knit mostly with acrylic yarns, so I just toss them in the washer with the rest of my laundry. I do have some good wool sweaters (store bought plain knits) that I usually wash in my washer, but I use basically no agitation except some hand swishing. I use lukewarm water, a bit of detergent, and let them soak for a while and then swish around by hand. I then go to the spin cycle to drain and then repeat the wash routine without the detergent. I then spin them out and lay them flat to dry. The washer tub supports them really great while it is spinning out the water and the garments don't have the weight of much water in them. I use this method for any wool garments, such as slacks, shirts, and skirts, except that I usually hang them on sturdy plastic hangers.
Posted by: Twink's Designs | November 23, 2013 at 07:28 AM
Thank you for your review. In looking forward to trying out this product.
Posted by: Alicia | November 23, 2013 at 08:30 AM
I always wash my hand knits by hand, even the machine washable ones, they just come out nicer. I usually just use my hair shampoo and conditioner in the rinse. Would love to try Soak, haven't been able to find it in any stores in my area.
Posted by: Kathy Davis | November 23, 2013 at 09:17 AM
I've heard about this, good to read your review! I have only blocked one shawl, but will be making more, so this would come in handy.
Posted by: Lisa | November 23, 2013 at 09:49 AM
As you so highly recommend Soak Wash, I would love to try this product.
Posted by: Helen K | November 23, 2013 at 10:34 AM
I have a grey water system that supports a small natural pond. Seeing that Soak Wash is biodegradable and phosphate-free would be a big plus. It would be so much better that using shampoo on my delicate knits. I would love to give it a try!
Posted by: Rebecca Palecki | November 23, 2013 at 03:14 PM
I like blocking my knits--feels like the final punctuation to my project. I hide my wool wash so only I know where it is, so it's reserved for my knits.
Posted by: Emily | November 23, 2013 at 03:34 PM
As someone who can't work with animal-based fibers, I've used Eucalan with great success on my cotton/bamboo/linen/silk/etc. blends. I would love to try Soak and get a chance to compare the two!
Posted by: C. Jules | November 23, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I hate washing my knits because I normally end up shrinking them! I really need to label them handwash only then use a special yarn wash.
Posted by: Tammy | November 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Can't wait to try on my wool knits! Thanks for sharing
Posted by: Andre | November 24, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Like you, I'm very nervious about washing my knits. Thanks for the good review about Soak. I definately want to try this product - especially if I could win a free bottle :)
Posted by: Christi | November 25, 2013 at 06:52 AM
Blocking can seem boring, but I love how it makes my projects turn out! Especially Lacey knits!
Posted by: Terah | November 26, 2013 at 12:09 PM