can you wash macrame

Can You Wash Macrame?

Macrame is a beautiful and versatile craft that can be used to create everything from wall hangings to plant hangers, curtains, and more. Macrame, often crafted from natural fibers like cotton, hemp, or jute, and is known for its intricate knotting patterns.

Over time, these pieces can attract dust, dirt, and other particles that can cause them to look less vibrant. Regular cleaning can help restore their beauty while also extending their lifespan. But, can you wash macrame?

Yes, you can wash macrame. However, it requires careful handling, preferably hand washing with mild detergent and lukewarm water, to prevent damage to the intricate knots and natural fibers.

This article will guide you through three methods to clean your macrame effectively, starting with our preferred method of initially spot cleaning. So, let’s delve straight into these methods.

Spot Cleaning Macrame

Spot cleaning is a great method for addressing small stains or areas of dirt without needing to wash the entire piece. This method can be especially useful for larger macrame items that are difficult to wash in a sink or machine.

This is the safest method to start off with, as it tests the macrame for color run or damage in a local area.

Does It Wash Team

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Remove any dust from the macrame.
  2. Mix together a solution of lukewarm water with a small amount of mild, non-bleach detergent.
  3. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the solution. Wring it out so it’s damp, not soaking wet.
  4. Gently blot the stained area with the damp cloth or sponge. Be careful not to rub or scrub as this can damage the fibers and spread the stain.
  5. If the stain persists, gently repeat the process.
  6. Once the stain is removed, the area should be rinsed by blotting with a clean cloth dipped in fresh water.
  7. Gently squeeze out excess water from the cleaned area, or use white paper towel to soak up moisture.
  8. Lay the piece flat, reshape it, and let it air dry.

Hand Washing Macrame

Hand washing is the safest way to clean your macrame pieces. It’s gentle, effective, and doesn’t require any specialized equipment.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Remove any dust that’s accumulated on the macrame piece.
  2. Fill a sink or large basin with lukewarm water. Avoid hot water as it can shrink or damage natural fibers.
  3. Add a small amount of mild, non-bleach detergent. Swirl the water around to distribute the soap evenly.
  4. Submerge your macrame piece in the soapy water. Gently agitate it to loosen any dirt or dust.
  5. Let the piece soak for about 15-30 minutes.
  6. Rinse thoroughly under running water, ensuring that all soap is removed.
  7. Gently squeeze out excess water. Do not wring or twist your macrame piece as this can distort the knots.
  8. Lay the piece flat on a clean, dry towel and shape it back into its original form. Let it air dry.

Tip: Be prepared that because macrame could be made from a variety of materials, it can be difficult to predict if there is any dye or stain that might run if it becomes wet. To be safe, try and test a small area first before using any cleaning method. This applies equally to the risk of shrinkage.

Does It Wash Team

Machine Washing Macrame

Machine washing macrame that is made of synthetic materials can be possible. However, this method should be used with caution as it can potentially damage your piece no matter what the material. Machine washing should only be carried out if you are certain of the macrame.

It is safe to assume that macrame from different sources may wash differently even if the material is thought to be the same.

Does It Wash Team

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Remove as much dust as possible from the macrame.
  2. Place your macrame piece inside a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect it during the wash.
  3. Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle using cold/warm water.
  4. Add a small amount of mild, non-bleach detergent.
  5. Once the washing cycle has completed, remove the macrame from the bag and gently reshape it.
  6. Lay the piece flat on a clean, dry towel and let it fully air dry.


Can macrame shrink if washed?

Yes, macrame can shrink if washed, particularly if it’s made from natural fibers like cotton and if it’s exposed to hot water. To prevent shrinking, always wash your macrame in lukewarm water and allow it to air dry naturally. Avoid using a dryer as the heat can also cause the macrame to shrink.

How to dry macrame after washing?

After washing, gently squeeze out excess water from your macrame piece, or use paper towel. Do not wring or twist. Lay the piece flat on a clean, dry towel and reshape it into its original form. Allow the macrame to fully air dry, preferably in a well-ventilated area avoiding direct sunlight.

What materials do you need to wash macrame?

You will need mild, non-bleach detergent and lukewarm water. If you’re using a washing machine, a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase is also needed to protect the piece during the wash.

How often should you clean macrame?

Typically, a thorough cleaning every six months plenty. However, if your macrame is located in an area of higher dust levels, you might need to clean it more frequently.

How do you remove excess dust from macrame before cleaning it?

Before washing, you can remove excess dust by gently shaking the piece or using a soft brush or cloth to dislodge loose particles. A vacuum with a soft brush is also very effective at dust removal.

What materials are commonly used to make macrame?

Macrame is commonly made from natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, or jute. However, it can also be made from synthetic materials like nylon or polyester, which are more durable and can sometimes be easier to clean.

What are some tips for caring for macrame?

Regular dusting and occasional washing can keep your macrame piece looking its best. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading and avoid placing your piece in a humid area to prevent the growth of mold or mildew. Always handle your macrame gently to prevent damaging the knots.


Yes, in many cases you can wash macrame, and doing so will help to extend its lifespan, and help keep it looking its best. Spot cleaning is the safest and most recommended method if you don’t know how it will respond to washing. Gentle hand washing is then a viable option, but machine washing can also be used with caution if the material is synthetic.

Regular care, including dusting and gentle cleaning, will help preserve the beauty of your macrame piece for years to come. Whether it’s a wall hanging, a plant hanger, or a curtain, your macrame deserves the best care.