Over time I have invested a lot of money in a rather nice collection of crochet hooks. Crochet hooks that are meant to last a life time, and with proper storage and care you could add life to your hooks. I have found that in my students that there is often an overlooked habit that most crocheters do not consider. This post will be on how to care for your crochet hooks. With your hooks being the main tool of your craft, you do not want to go through the expense of buying the same hook over and over again because you damaged or lost the first one. For every hook you have to repurchase is one less skein of yarn you will buy.
Storing Crochet Hooks:
When I first started crocheting I kept my hooks in a Pringles potato chip canister. What I did not realize at the time was that by throwing my hooks in like that, it gave them little to no protection. This also happens in bags or boxes and containers that do not keep them separate. Hooks that are constantly banging against each other can cause pits, which when crocheting can cause snags in the yarn. Plastic hooks can also become bent or warped, as well these annoying pits.
If you are at the point that you know crocheting will be a permanent part of your life I would advise you to invest in a case especially designed to store your crochet hooks. By properly storing your hooks you are ensuring that your hooks cannot only be found when your need them, but you are protecting your hooks from damage. I have crocheted for over thirty years and have never had to replace a hook that I had already purchased. My hooks are always ready and waiting and for the work they were intended for. An added bonus to keeping them in a case is that they are also unavailable to my husband and children who might want to use my hooks for purposes that they were not intended for.
Cleaning Your Crochet Hooks:
I know people who are fanatical when it comes to cleaning their cell phones, computer mouse, doorknobs and even their credit cards and anything else that might be touched daily that could harbor germs. In todays society that might not be a bad idea when you consider these nasty cold and flu seasons. But have you never once considered all the germs and grime that might be accumulated on your collection of crochet hooks? Most people do not think it is too important or even realize how dirty the hooks actually might become.
When this concept first was brought to my attention, my first thought was, “I wash my hands every time before I sit down to crochet! My hooks could not possible be dirty.” What I did not realize was that my skin has natural oils that over time build up and rub off on my yarns. Think about those hot days outside when your hands might be sweaty and sticky, all of which is passed on to your hooks. Then upon further meditation I also realized how much comfort I found in crocheting on those days that I did not feel well. (flu germs) and the many students who had held my hooks in class and actually considered all the germs that they actually did came in contact with. All in all your hands could very easily be involved with a whole smorgasbord of germs.
One last thought on the subject, by having clean hooks you will notice that they glide though the yarn smoother and faster; making your crocheting experince more enjoyable.
If you have aluminum, plastic or steel hooks and want a quick cleaning – you could just use an alcohol wipe to quickly wipe down each hook and help to disinfect them. However if you would like to deep clean I might suggest the following:
Aluminum and plastic hooks should be placed in warm water with a mild detergent, thoroughly washed and then placed on a towel till completely dried before storing.
For your steel hooks, most times I just soak them in rubbing alcohol and rinse in warm water before placing them on a towel till they are completely dried before putting them away.
Most wooden hooks have been coated to resist splintering, so it is not advisable to soak or scrub the hooks. Instead, think of wooden hooks like any other wooden item you might have in the house. You might want to buff them with Murphy’s Oil to help clean them. If you would like to clean more thoroughly I might suggest taking a damp cloth and clean each hook, and then quickly drying each with a towel. Then after each hook is clean use the Murphy’s wood oil.
Note: When cleaning any hook always remember to take special care around the hook area to make sure that they are clean.
Note: My crochet hooks are used daily, so I clean them every 3 months.
I am hoping this post will give you something to think about in the caring for one of your most valuable tool. After all without your hooks you would not have all those hours of enjoyment that crocheting can bring to your life. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Until next week, keep those hooks flying.