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Making Long Lasting Cotton Dishcloths With Crochet

Every household has the ongoing need for washing up, even if you have a dishwasher there is a need for sponges and dishcloths for keeping things clean.

The ones in the shop are made to be replaced, often made of plastics which degrade over time and end up leaving residue on your dishes and going down the drain.

I found I was forever replacing them, never feeling they were clean even when I washed them. I decided to find what all the fuss was about from others with cotton crochet dishcloths, and have to say the rumours are true: they're awesome.

I recommend 100% cotton for things like this as it is absorbent, can be cleaned in boiling water and will not fluff. Acrylic is not as absorbent and will melt or stretch under heat. As it breaks down it will also put more plastics in the water, which we are learning is causing all kinds of misfortunes.

When it's time to wash them, simply throw them in the machine with your clothes on the next cycle. If they are greasy or stained, try soaking them in boiling water with dish washing detergent to break it down.

(7 minute read)

I have made a mix of styles for different types of purposes, from my own experiences and feedback from my boyfriend. The three main types I like having on hand are:

  1. round scrubby with bobbles for heavy duty cleaning
  2. waffle stitch squares for wiping spills and crumbs
  3. lemon peel square for all rounder

Since I missed a blog last week, I decided to spoil you all by grouping this into the one post. 

Update 14/6/2021: YouTube tutorial has been added for the bobble stitch; Lemon Peel is coming soon!

Update 11/7/2021: YouTube tutorial added for Lemon Peel, just as promised!

Quick side note before we dive in, I've been sick for two weeks with a terrible Summer cold, so I'm keeping this blog simple. If you notice any mistakes, please drop me a message on my socials (see contact page) so I can fix it up. Alrighty, on to the patterns. 

Pink cotton crochet dishcloth hanging above a sink, and a round dishcloth with bobbles resting on the edge of the sink.
Cotton dishcloths getting a good workout

Round Scrubby with Bobbles

This is a favourite of ours, I've made a few versions of this and this is the final edition. Bobbles may be tedious and slow, but they are well worth it for scrubbing.

Updated 14/6/2021 - YouTube video tutorial available now!

Pink round cotton crochet dishcloth with bobbles resting on white background.
Round scrubby with bobbles finished and ready to wash

Resources

  • 8ply cotton yarn, my sample was using mill ends but any cotton yarn will do
  • 4.5mm hook 
  • yarn needle

Stitches

  • Magic Circle
  • CH - Chain
  • SC - Single Crochet
  • SCInc - Single Crochet Increase, complete two single crochet into the same space
  • Bobble Stitch - yarn over, hook through, yarn over, pull through loops, repeat another 4 times, should have 6 loops on hook, yarn over, pull through all loops
Update 14/6/2021 - YouTube tutorial for bobble stitch available here!

Three photos showing the progression of making a bobble stitch.
Step by step of making a bobble stitch, just like making 5 double crochet in one
  • HDC - Half Double Crochet
  • HDCInc - half double crochet increase, complete two half double crochet into the same space
  • [stitch] - stitches between these brackets are completed in the same stitch
  • *stitch*7 - repeat the stitches between the asterisks times the number following it
  • (10) - the total number of stitches on the row to check count

Pattern

Worked in the round, at the end of each row slip stitch to the first stitch and chain 1 to begin the next row.

Row 1: Magic circle, SC7, pull start tail closed  (7)

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 1

Row 2: SCInc7 (14)

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 2

Row 3: *SC, [SC, bobble stitch]*7 (21)

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 3

Row 4: *SC2, SCInc*7 (28)

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 4

Row 5: *SC3, SCInc*7 (35)
Row 6: *SC4, SCInc*7 (42)
Row 7: *SC5, SCInc*7 (49)
Row 8: *SC3, bobble stitch, SC2, [SC, bobble stitch]*7 (56)

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 8

Row 9: *SC7, SCInc*7 (63)

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 9

Row 10: *HDC8, HDCInc*2, CH20, Sl St to the last HDC, *HDC8, HDCInc*5, Sl St, tie off (70)

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 10 after *HDC8, HDCInc*2
Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 10 after Chain 20
Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 10 after slip stitch to start of chain
Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 10 finished

Sew in tails

Pink crochet cotton dishcloth with blobbles.
Round Bobble Dishcloth Finished

Waffle Stitch Square

Here is another favourite pattern of mine using cotton crochet to help around the home. I use this for dishcloths in the kitchen, but you could use them for face washers or whatever your imagination cooks up. 

Resources

  • 8ply 100% cotton yarn
  • 4.5mm hook (up or down as needed for your yarn)
  • yarn needle
  • scissors
This is a great beginner pattern for becoming comfortable with waffle stitch as it's a smaller swatch than delving straight into a blanket. 

Stitches

  • chain
  • slip stitch
  • double crochet
  • front post double crochet
  • single crochet
  • simple sewing skills (to sew in the ends)
YouTube video covers the full instructions: 

Lemon Peel Square

This style was the first I made when I decided to try crochet dishcloths. It's gone through a few tweaks, to get the size right, but now it's perfect. Made larger and without the loop, it can also be a fantastic face washer. 

YouTube video: https://youtu.be/bc_T9fGpiMM

Ravelry Link for PDF: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/square-lemon-peel-dishcloth 

Pink square cotton crochet dishcloth with loop on white background
Lemon Peel Square(ish) dishcloth

Resources

  • 8ply cotton yarn, my sample was using mill ends but any cotton yarn will do
  • 4.5mm hook 
  • yarn needle

Stitches

  • Magic Circle
  • CH - Chain
  • SC - Single Crochet
  • DC - Double Crochet

Pattern

Row 1: CH18

Row 2: *SC, DC* repeat until the end, chain 1, turn,

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 2

Row 3: SC into the last DC, then *SC, DC* along until the end, chain 1, turn

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Row 3

Repeat third row until square / to your preference. I recommend finishing on an even row count - your hook should be on the corner opposite from the starting tail. If you want it to be square, be sure to stretch it out up and down as you will find it is taller than it seems.

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Continue until square / to your preference 

Border:

Don't turn on the final row (well you can, but my photos will look slightly different)

SC along the edge. I find SC2 in the DC and SC in the SC.

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
SC along the edge
Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Border should lay flat, add or reduce stitches as needed

On one corner chain 18 and slip stitch to the stitch on the edge.

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Chain 18
Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Slip stitch to start to close the loop

Continue SC along the edge.

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Continue SC along to the next corner

In the other corners, CH3 and SC back into the same space, continue SC along the edge.

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Corner is simple CH3

Continue until border is complete and Sl St into first SC. 

Photo of work in progress crochet dish cloth
Just the tails to go

Last step is cut the tail and sew in the ends.

Photo of crochet dish cloth
All finished and ready to wash!

It doesn't have to be perfect, they're just for cleaning after all. 


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