If you know me and my yarn stash - you know I have a ton of yarn that's seemingly pretty random.
From metallic tubular yarn to blanket yarn and even loopy yarn - I have it all. Do I use any of it? No, of course not - but there's a rare few that I actually do use, quite often. Red heart's Scrubby Yarn is one of those.
Red Heart Scrubby is a yarn marketed specifically for use with dishcloth and other scrubbing projects. It's available in a variety of stores - from craft stores to department stores, as well as online. In this review, I aim to give you a better understanding on why I like to use Red Heart Scrubby, even given its reputation for being an absolute pain to work with.
Disclaimer: No part of this review is sponsored or paid for by any party - this is my honest opinion and websites linked are not affiliated.
A Quick Look
|Craft Stores & Department Stores
|Multiple Outlets - or at Yarnspirations
|Solids: 100 g/3.5 oz (85 m/92 yds)
Prints: 85 g/3 oz (71 m/78 yds)
|Price Per Skein (Online)
Colors & Styles
This yarn is best known, I feel, for the 100% Polyester version of itself - however, there are a few different styles to choose from, should you decide against the 100% Polyester version. Each style option comes in a small variety of colors to choose from, though not quite as large a range as some other brands.
100% Polyester Version
The 100% Polyester version is probably my favorite, and the most common one that I see. This version comes in a variety of both solid and variegated colors, though some of the color combos may be a bit strange.
While the 100% Polyester version hits most of my marks for a good yarn color selection, I do wish it came with a few other options - for instance, a solid pink. One thing's for sure, someone at Red Heart really likes having different shades of blue.
100% Cotton Version
If you are looking for a cotton option - there are a few options here.
While the cotton version comes in a smaller variety of colors, I do actually prefer the cotton colors more than the polyester. In general, I tend to prefer the lighter, more subdued colors rather than the vibrant that the polyester version offers us.
The cotton version tends to be less available in-store, and also online at present. Perhaps this one is being phased out?
Regardless - the cotton version feels different enough to warrant its own review - this will be looked at in a later blog post!
One of the best things I love about all Red Heart yarns - they are available literally anywhere you buy yarn (given it's a non-branded store, anyway).
I've seen this yarn at Michaels, Joann, Walmart, and even online! It's usually around the same price point ($5.99 USD) with a variety of colors to choose from at each store that I've seen them at. They're usually seen grouped together on an end cap or in a box dedicated to the scrubby yarn.
One thing you'll notice immediately as you pick up a skein of Red Heart Scrubby is just how textured it is. The yarn is, for lack of a better term, fairly scraggly - but that's the scrub part of it!
Out of all the skeins I've had, I have only had some small issues with the quality of the yarn in the skein. One skein had a few factory knots - nothing major, but about 2-3 throughout. Another skein had a ton of thin sections of the yarn where parts of the yarn was pulling apart! Thankfully, this has only happened to 2 skeins out of my maybe 10-12 skeins I've purchased of this yarn.
One thing that I do suggest with this yarn - don't even try center pull. There are so many offshoots with this yarn that it is almost guaranteed to get tangled using the center pull method.
Overall, I haven't had issues with most of my skeins, but the variegated ones seem to be worse with factory knots, while the solid color skeins tend to be worse with the thin sections of yarn.
Experience - Working Up
Working with this yarn the first few times is absolutely a nightmare - even worse if you do end up running into a factory knot or thin section.
Now, that's not to say this yarn is absolutely awful in general. It just takes a lot of effort to learn how to work with it! I find it easiest to work with this yarn with a bright lamp nearby. On top of that, I tend to feel my stitches more than I tend to actually see them. Using a slightly larger hook also helps with keeping it easy to see.
In terms of what hook is best to work with this - I find that aluminum or smooth gliding hooks are best. Usually, I prefer to use tapered hooks with most of my projects. With this yarn, I swapped to inline hooks to try and help me with being able to grab the correct strand of yarn - and not the off-shoots. It helped a great deal in working with the correct strand and to keep the project moving smoothly!
The biggest issue I had with this yarn isn't how it works up, however. It's how it feels while being worked up. This yarn is extremely rough - especially compared to the normal yarn I've been working with recently (chenille, anyone?).
To get around how rough it is, I can't really offer any solutions here - I tend to work with this yarn in small amounts, then later will come back to work with this yarn more depending on the project and how long it will take. It's a worthwhile note, however, because the roughness does make it a bit daunting to work with.
So, time for the big one - this yarn is absolutely fantastic in the wash! It goes into the wash cycle and stays relatively the same after it's out, maybe with a slight change in color and size after the first wash cycle. I do tend to put most of my crochet work in a lingerie bag in the wash, but since it's usually washed with just towels, I don't worry about it snagging on things too often.
The biggest issue I noticed with this yarn early on is lint. As with some other crochet materials, it will attract lint like crazy in the wash. Washing in a lingerie bag will help to prevent lint, but I normally just deal with it.
The wash instructions on this yarn simply state to machine wash & dry. I normally toss all my kitchen towels in a hot wash cycle and dry on low heat, and it turns out fine with those settings. I know some do put their scrubbies through the dishwash cycle, but I've never personally done that, so I can't attest to its durability in the dishwasher.
Note: The image comparison below is not after 1 wash, but after 25+ - the after photo is directly from my kitchen wash cycle, as the scrubby has been in use for about a year now.
I notice that, during normal wash cycles, the stitch definition will start to eventually flatten out, which isn't a huge deal given the yarn (and the fact that it doesn't really have a ton of definition to begin with). I do also notice some fraying on some strands - likely ones that have taken a beating from knives and other sharp silverware. See my bonus section below for more on the knife situation.
Size-wise, it does seem to get smaller - My scrubby lost about 1/2" total, maybe just a little bit over, over the course of a year. This could also be due to the cotton underlying it (this is one of my seamless scrubby pattern). I will have to do another swatch of just scrubby later to see how scrubby itself holds up!
Bonus: Scrubbing & Washing Experience
I have been using this yarn for scrubbing dishes in my normal everyday routine now for almost a year, maybe even longer. I've also given scrubbies made with this yarn as gifts to numerous people, and I can say with confidence that they are always a hit!
This yarn even takes center stage in my Seamless Scrubby Pattern - along with a normal worsted weight cotton. After using these scrubbies for over a year, I can say this yarn holds up to the challenge - from constant dish washing to just tossing them in a washer/dryer with the rest of my kitchen towels, these things hold up so well!
The biggest challenge with using this yarn as a scrubby is cleaning knives. Recently, we got some brand-new kitchen knives that (thankfully) are super sharp. I lost one scrubby to the knife a few months ago because of too much pressure being put on the scrubby while cleaning the knife. Since then, I've adjusted how I clean the knives so there's less pressure on the blade part with the scrubby.
It gets the tough stuck on food off my cast iron great and also holds soap well for washing my normal dishes. I have a few different colors ready to go for different things in my kitchen and the system works great for me and my household!
Another way to use this is as a soap saver or exfoliating body scrub! I'm happy to report that it holds up much better against skin than it does against knives :)
Red Heart Scrubby, while an absolute pain to work with, is one of my favorite yarns to use for dish scrubbies. Its durability, color range, and texture make it ideal for a select set of things and it's perfect for what it's used for!
I would consider it one of the best yarns for projects like:
- Kitchen Scrubbies
- Bath Poufs
- Soap Savers
- Exfoliating Wash Cloths
I've personally used it a ton for scrubbies and bathing cloths - it's perfect for scrubbing stubborn food off dishware as well as a great exfoliator for the shower! I'm also currently experimenting with this yarn with other projects - such as bath poufs and soap savers.
My main gripe with this yarn is that it's an absolute pain to work with. I also wish that Red Heart would look at the possibility of doing alternate color ways for this yarn - while it's not a huge issue, I'd love to see a greater range of softer colors, and less vibrant colors making their way in. I'd also love to see more of the Cotton Scrubby yarn make a comeback rather than just the polyester versions.
Have you used Red Heart Scrubby? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!