How to Crochet a Tawashi

comments (27) February 20th, 2016     

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LindaPermann Linda Permann, contributor
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The tawashi (dish scrubber) in its natural habitat.
Start by making a chain of 21 stitches.
Sc in the 2nd chain from your hook, then sc in next ch, hdc in next 2 ch, dc in next 12 ch, hdc in next 2 ch, sc in last 2 ch. Before completing your last sc (i.e., before the last yarn over), switch colors as detailed below.
The tawashi (dish scrubber) in its natural habitat.

The tawashi (dish scrubber) in its natural habitat.

Photo: Linda Permann
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Japanese Tawashi, or dish scrubbies, have become popular crochet (and knit) items over the past few years, perhaps because they are small, cute, and useful. They can be washed and dried, meaning there's not the same gross-out factor as with commercial sponges that end up getting tossed. I designed this tawashi out of Red Heart Eco-Cotton Blend, which is made out of recycled T-shirt remnants (factory waste). You can also make these out of acrylic (the scratchier the better!) for extra scrubbing power-in Japan, they even sell yarns that have silver ions in them and are antibacterial. Supposedly they need no detergent to work-now that's eco-friendly!

After my crafting session, I put the tawashi to use straight away on the dishes and found it especially good for bowls and glasses because of its flexibility (I like to fold it over the edges and clean the outside and inside at once). A scratchy one would do a supreme job on tougher dishes, but I like the feel of the cotton. It would also make an excellent duster or counter wiper-I see more of these in my future! If you find yourself addicted to crocheting these, you might want to check out Tawashi Town on Ravelry (you must be a Ravelry member to join).

crochet Get more crochet projects:

• How to Edge a Napkin (or Anything Else) with Crochet
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How to Crochet a Rug out of T-Shirts

How to Make a Pet Bed from Recycled Sweaters


  • Small amount of Red Heart Eco-Cotton (or comparable yarn, CYCA size 4) in three colors
  • Size F (3.75mm) crochet hook
  • Yarn needle
  • Scissors

ch chain
sc single crochet
hdc half double crochet
dc double crochet

How to Crochet a Tawashi   Start by making a chain of 21 stitches.



How to Crochet a Tawashi   Sc in the 2nd ch from your hook, then sc in next ch, hdc in next 2 ch, dc in next 12 ch, hdc in next 2 ch, sc in last 2 ch. Before completing your last sc (i.e., before the last yarn over), switch colors as detailed below.


Each row of color will taper off at both edges-this will make the ball shape of the tawashi.

How to Crochet a Tawashi   Make the last yarn over of your last stitch with a second color (I used three in all, which makes it easy to pick up the colors at the end of each row), and turn.



How to Crochet a Tawashi   Row 2: Working in the back loop ONLY, ch 1, sc in first 2 sc, hdc in next 2 hdc, dc in next 12 dc, hdc in next 2 dc, sc in last 2 dc (changing colors with last sc), and turn.




Repeat row 2 twenty-two more times, for a total of 24 stripes of color. Row 3 will be your third color (white, for mine). You'll work every row in the back loop only, which will give the tawashi a slightly ribbed texture.

How to Crochet a Tawashi   When you get to the end of your third (white) row, grab the color from the first row (green) to complete the last single crochet, and turn.




Using three colors makes it easy to have one to grab at each side. If you only want to use two colors, you might want to alternate colors every two rows so that you don't have to cut and weave a lot of ends.

How to Crochet a Tawashi   At the end of the 24th row, fasten off and leave a long (12-inch) end for sewing. Your work should look like this. Weave in all of the ends, except for the tail you left for sewing.




How to Crochet a Tawashi   With wrong sides facing, use a whipstitch to sew up the side seam of your tawashi, catching only the inside loop of the last row.



How to Crochet a Tawashi   Loop the needle through every other green stripe all around the top of the tawashi and pull taut. Insert the needle through to the other end of the tawashi and repeat on the bottom side.



How to Crochet a Tawashi   Carefully weave the end into the inside of the tawashi, working through the back side of only one layer of stitches. Trim the end.


Press the tawashi flat so it looks like a circle. Head to the sink, and add some soap and water.

How to Crochet a Tawashi   Now you're ready tawashi the dishes! I can't guarantee it will be fun forever, but this little project did inspire me to do my keeping-it-real sinkful of dishes.


See more of my projects on my personal blog, and look for my book, Crochet Adorned.

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posted in: green, tutorial, how-to, free pattern, eco, tawashi, dish scrubbie

Comments (27)

AlisaSnow writes: Thanks for sharing. This dish scrubber pattern is useful and I would like to make my own Tawashi ao as to add another type of kitchen scrubber for washing dishes. I have found a pattern of tulle dish scrubber as an alternative to my silicone scrubber in the kitchen. Now I want to try Tawashi and test which dish scrubber is the most powerful tools for dirty dishes.
Here is some info of the other two dish scrubber I have mention above:
Posted: 10:50 pm on May 24th
KarenA writes: I am trying to make one out of netting, this being my first try at making a Tawashi. I seem to be following the pattern, but mine does not look like your pictures states it should. Mine keep curling in a ball. Both ends seem to taper. Can you help me on what I might be doing wrong? Thanks a bunch.
Posted: 6:45 pm on April 6th
heather77 writes: @igolf -- I'm sure you already have this answered - but there is NO decrease stitch. you have your first row of 1 stitches, sc in 2nd ch, sc, hdc, hdc, 12 dc, etc - when you change colors, turn and chain 1, then continue with the sc, sc, hdc, hdc, etc for 20 stitches across again. hope that helps
Posted: 10:46 pm on November 13th
igolf writes: I guess I'm missing something here. When I do row 2, I start out with the ch 1, then it says to sc in first 2 sc, is this the decreasing stitch? Then followed row 2 toward the end the pattern says to hdc in next 2 dc, sc in last 2 dc. When I get to the end of the row I have 2 hdc and 2 sc stitches. Can someone clarify this for me? I know I can do it but am totally confused. Thanks!
Posted: 2:17 pm on September 16th
Njikoka writes: This is a really fun project. Great to do while waiting to pick up my grandson's from school. I discovered that when making the smaller version, it helped to use less rows. I used 16 rows in the smaller version and it worked quite well. Thanks again.
Posted: 8:06 pm on August 30th
canadaroxieg9 writes: I too love these tawashi(s) and have made many many of them for family and friends.I was given some of that old plastic fantastic "yarn" called phentex some time ago and wondered what to do with it. It is great for a dish cloth and the colours last. Apparently one person heated their tawashi up on purpose and of course it melts which then she used as a defoiler? spell that one? Thank you again it is so fun and so useful and makes good use of leftover yarn
Posted: 8:13 am on August 14th
Rebekah_Lynne writes: I do a scrubbie that is similar to the tawashi but it is oblong instead of round. The tawashi sounds just as easy as the one I do so I think I'll switch things up and try it.
Posted: 3:17 pm on May 28th
Debs1967 writes: Great project. Easy to follow directions. Thanks for sharing.
Posted: 10:42 pm on April 4th
SweetSereRinity writes: hi , i made a cpl of these today there really great, can u tell me how i can make em a lil bit smaller, instead of 21 sts would it work with 11?
any info would be greatly appreciated thank you!
Posted: 9:09 pm on March 31st
LindaPermann writes: Manfamae- Yes, you may make and sell tawashi from this pattern. I'd appreciate a link back to my website ( or this tutorial. Thanks for asking!
Posted: 10:34 pm on March 19th
ManfaMae writes: I made a bunch of these for Christmas gifts this year and everyone loved them. When I make them, I use all one color and add a sc loop at the top so that they can be hung up to dry. Recently, I've had a few people offer to buy some from me. I just wanted to verify if it was okay to sell tawashis made from this pattern if I include a link to the pattern.
Posted: 9:50 am on March 12th
peacebirdstudio writes: This looks great! Putting on my list of craft adventures!
Posted: 10:33 am on March 4th
EFB writes: It' kind of like the spiral scrubby I've made before. Looks easier to make though. I'll try it.
Posted: 4:16 pm on December 6th
Querida writes: Not too good at this....I posted a picture of the Tawashi I made and it's in the Mine folder, and I'd like to add my picture to this page....please tell me how.

Posted: 8:03 pm on November 30th
Kat7914 writes: I love this pattern for a tawashi. I want to put a photo on my blog of what I have made using your pattern. Is this ok if I put a link back to this web site?

thanks for a wonderful easy pattern!

Posted: 12:01 am on July 7th
21centurydressmaker writes: it's visually wonderful and I also love your tutorial, clear and doable. Must go fill a colorful basket with them to keep handy in the kitchen. Thank you!
Posted: 4:23 am on June 4th
LindaPermann writes: thanks rainbowridgegrma! i'm glad you like them!
Posted: 1:07 pm on April 23rd
rainbowridergrma writes: I am not one to ooh and aah over a dish cloth, but this is an exception. I have made several from your wonderful pattern. They fit my hand just right and they really do a good job of cleaning. Thanks so much for the pattern.
Posted: 12:00 pm on April 23rd
LindaPermann writes: craftybear- you can try the link i listed for other free tawashi patterns, or check I hope you'll share your results with us!
Posted: 2:41 am on April 5th
craftybear2005 writes: cool pattern, I can't wait to make some of these! Do you have any other of the cool tawashi patterns, as I bought a book but can't translate it into English
Posted: 2:03 am on April 5th
txyarngirl writes: Thanks! I've been wondering what to make w/ my leftover dishcloth cotton, and I think I'll try a Tawashi. Cute!
Posted: 11:19 pm on April 3rd
ohnoshesews writes: oh, so cute! great stashbuster, too. Thanks for the nice tutorial.

Posted: 2:24 pm on April 2nd
LindaPermann writes: thanks! and Joannie_N- I'm glad you already had a chance to use it. And yes, for anyone who wants to make a smaller version, just subtract some of the double crochets on each row (for instance, do only 6 dc/row).
Posted: 12:08 pm on April 2nd
Joannie_N writes: This article came at the perfect time. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and I was able to make two of them -- one full size as the pattern indicated for my husband (the dishwasher in this house) and one smaller one for my mother to use at her house. Very quick and easy!
Posted: 8:44 am on April 2nd
NigheanRuadh writes: I was just thinking that I need to replace my worn-out dishcloths (craftily, of course). This project is perfect!!
Posted: 6:55 am on April 2nd
5andDime writes: It looks like a sea urchin! It could go in the coral reef.
Posted: 12:42 pm on April 1st
Sister_Diane writes: I love this project! Useful, simple, pretty, AND makes good use of scrap yarns. I have so much acrylic leftover from teaching various classes - which I'll now be putting to good use. Thanks for the lovely tutorial!
Posted: 7:29 am on April 1st
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