DIYdiy projects

diy wednesdays: crocheted cotton dish scrubbers

by Grace Bonney

our recent crappy weather has encouraged some quiet, crafty evenings at home. In going through our supplies, we’ve discovered tons of leftover yarn from previous projects. instead of trying to mix and match it all into one larger thing, we’ve discovered the joys of making little things—projects we can whip up in 30 minutes or so while catching up on flight of the conchords or whatnot… these dish scrubbers are a good example: quick and easy to make, a great use of cotton yarn scraps, and they make great gifts. plus they’re a great alternative to stinky, disposable sponges. use these, toss them in the laundry, and use them again and again and again.

have fun!
derek & lauren

CLICK HERE for the full project and instructions

here’s what you’ll need:
-worsted-weight cotton yarn (available at yarn stores and craft stores for $3-$6 per skein). we used lion brand cotton in seaspray, paprika and avocado.
-size F crochet hook
-yarn darning needle for weaving in ends

1. to make an 8″ square dish scrubber, chain 34 stitches with your crochet hook.

2. insert the hook back into the third chain from the end and do one half double crochet stitch into each chain to complete the row. for more detailed instructions on how to crochet this stitch, click here for a youtube video. we found the half double crochet to be the perfect stitch for these dish scrubbers- not as dense as the single crochet and not as loose as the double.

3. chain 2 stitches at the end of each row and continue working in half double crochet until you end up with a piece that is 8” square (about 24 rows).

4. cut your yarn, tie it off and weave in both loose ends with your yarn darning needle.


5. depending on the size of your skein of yarn, you should be able to get 2-4 dish scrubbers out of each one.


Suggested For You


  • i love these. my grandmother has been making them for years, and recently sent me a new set after i helped her move. they make even the sink look cozy and loved!

  • my Granny makes me a set every year for Christmas! They work much, much better than sponges on tough dishes to clean… I wouldn’t be without mine.

  • i have one that was a extra gift with purchase from an etsy seller. i absolutely love it. she somehow found actual “scruby yarn” to use so its 2 rows of cotton yarn, 2 rows of “scruby yarn” alternated. it works wonderfully well!

  • My sister sent me a fancy bar of soap with a little white knit wash cloth It is so cute, and I love how it looks in my bathroom with my other white towels, plus it is really soft.

  • March is National Crochet Month according to the Crochet Guild of America. This information comes to me via my friend Ellen who is a Crochet Queen and often gifts spa cloths with delicious soap. It’s a great project.

  • I love your blog! I have totally been a) OBSESSED with Flight of the Conchords lately, and b) I’ve been crocheting dish cloths. I love how simple this is…will have to switch to just hdc. thansk!!

  • These are so cute and timely…i just finished reading the book “The Friday Night Knitting Club”. Makes me want to learn how to knit!!

  • Love this stitch – cool. I make these to sell in my Etsy shop and at craft shows, and sets are the way to go. These cloths last forever, they feel so good on your skin and they dry quick so they don’t stink. I add potholders and experiment with color combos for a great little gifts.

  • leave i to me with the semi-non-sequiteurs…. flight of the concords films a lot in greenpoint, for those brooklynites out there. and check out eagle vs. shark on netflix if you like the show. i’ve been wanting to learn to knit. my aunt knits everywhere- even at the movies. is crocheting easier?

  • Great idea! …and, would you mind divulging the source for the spherical hanging lamps (looks like they’re constructed of rafia or reed) on Domino’s current Budget Decorating Guide page? They’re exactly what I’ve been searching for.

  • So beautiful they might just inspire me to learn crochet, but don’t know if I could use them for the dishes – they’re lovely just to look at :)

  • Love these – if only my crocheting looked like this! I took a crochet class at the Point Cafe in New York last year – and I was rubbish. But I love the idea of making these yourself.

  • I made a rug all is half double crochet using 2 strands of contrasting chenille yarn. It looked great and was nice and cushy. I may have to make another one. And some of these too.

  • You two are too fabulous! Another great project. I’ve been wanting to learn to crochet, and this is something I could handle. And use (now UFO’s hanging around. Yay!)

  • OMG…now I know why my grandmother taught me how to crochet! I can’t wait to try this.

  • I tried this with some of my leftovers, and they came out so great – and quick! Thanks so much for the idea – how useful!

  • This made me want to learn how to crochet! I was wondering though, do you have to have a yarn made of wool? Is there any other material that’s not an animal product that I could use?

  • Flight of the Conchords – They’re from my country yet they seem way more popular in America…
    Anyway, huge fan of this site!

  • This project inspired me to finally learn to crochet. I made one – and I am hooked (on hooking… get the pun??)! Thanks for the shove in a crafty direction.

  • Wow, I’ve been doing this wrong all along! I have always done a single crotchet stitch my entire life. I learned just from watching my grandma when I was 4 and have been crotcheting since, 33 yrs. I’m going to try this simple technique. Thanks for sharing with us!!!!!!!

  • Love these! I have a circular pattern I use for my dish scrubbies, and instead of using cotton yarn scraps I prefer using super cheapo scratchy acrylic yarn. I find it works much better for scrubbies.

  • are you crocheting into just the back loops of the previous row? or going under both loops?
    It looks like you are just doing the back loops, but the instructions don’t say anything about it, so I just wondered before I start :)

  • I have been making these for years! They make super great face cloths, I put them with some homemade soap & give them as gifts.

  • This is the first pattern that is not so complicated. Absolutely love them. Thank you.
    I am already half way there.

  • I haven’t crocheted in maybe 30 years. I sw these and was inspired! I love simple, easy,practical, beautiful and natural. This project is all those things! I had to learn how to cast on again…but I followed a few youtube videos and off I went. I finished two the first day. My husband said “Where did you get this?” and when I told him I made it he said “Good.” lol He likes them too! Thank you for taking the time to post these nice instructions on such a perfect little project!

  • When I make dishclothes I think it works better if you use 100% cotton.When I first started I used an Acrylic and it doesnt ring out the water very well like the cotton.So when you wipe up around the sink everthing is still very wet.

  • How do you get such perfect straight edges? I end up with a scallopy effect on the sides. I am new to crochet and have tried googling this problem, and I find all kinds of (complicated)alternatives for the turning chain. Maybe I will try just 1 turning chain? or start next row into 3rd stitch??? For my 1st dishcloth I will just continue with the scallop effect! But please leave any tips if you have them….

  • I make mine like yours, it takes me 2 hours to make one!!! :) :) :) I get my yarn on the cones and make about 6 dishcloths per cone.

  • I stopped about halfway thru cause my hands were hurting (arthritis)…..So I decided to fold in half longway and stitch up the sides. You can stick your hand in for easier scrubbing or stick a bar of soap in it. If it’s a rougher yarn/string it makes a great exfoliator.

  • I see where you said to start in 3rd chain, but do we go to 3rd chain in every row? or just the 1st could have done it then found out but this is easier ty

  • I made up a similar pattern but inserted hook in back of loop. It gives it a nice ridge/ texture. Love using the half double stitch!

  • I made my own pattern that is similar to this. I like the handmade dish cloths.