Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quilt Care Series Part One: Washing Your Quilt

Quilts are a very delicate and loved heirloom that must be treated with care. Although you should wash your quilt as little as possible (once every six weeks is ideal if you can get away with it), there will come a time when that musty, dusty piece of artwork must be washed. Here is a simple guide to help you through the daunting and sometimes scary task.

I will share two options to wash your quilt, machine washing and hand washing. When choosing how to wash your quilt, make sure to pay careful attention to the details of the piece. Is it hand or machine sewn? Is it in relatively good condition or has time, use and wear made it more delicate than it was in its early years? Questions like these will help you decided if you feel it is safe to machine wash your quilt or if it needs the special care and time of hand washing. The following tips will be useful in either style of washing.

Washing Tips and Rules:

1. NEVER use bleach.
2. Use a gentle laundering soap that is fragrance free, color free, and if at all possible free of fabric softener.
3. Wash in warm, not too hot, not too cold water.
4. Never put non diluted laundering soap directly on your quilt.
5. NEVER use bleach.
6. Always double rinse your quilt with cold water to make sure all soap is washed out to prevent damage.
Kenmore washing machine & dryer (United States)Image via Wikipedia

Machine Washing:
1. Fill the washing machine with warm water and recommended amount of laundering soap. Make sure soap has COMPLETELY dissolved.
2. Add Quilt to wash. Completely submerge into the water.
3. Choose a gentle, warm wash cycle and cold rinse.
4. Once quilt has finished its wash cycle start a new, cold rinse cycle to make sure the quilt has completely rinsed.
5. Dry. (Drying Part soon to come!)

Old Child BathtubImage by MyEyeSees via Flickr

Hand Washing:

1. Make sure the tub you are using is completely clean and rinsed of all cleaning agents.
2. You may use your bath tub or any washing tub of your liking.
3. Fill tube with warm water and laundering soap. Make sure soap has COMPLETELY dissolved .
4. Completely submerge quilt in the water.
5. Gently “swirl” the quilt with your hands under water and let sit for a few hours.
6. Drain water from the tub and refill with cold water with your quilt still in it. Let it soak for a few hours.
7. Drain.
8. Dry. (Drying Part soon to come!)

Too scary for you? Not quite ready to make the big jump into washing your quilt? Maybe it’s just not as dirty as you thought… Try vacuuming it. Put the vacuum on the gentlest suction you can. Using the dusting attachment, hold the vacuum an inch or two from the fabric and suck out all the dust and dirt you can. Whatever you do though, no matter how afraid of washing your quilt you maybe, NEVER use fabreeze or similar items to freshen up your quilt.

Any one have any other tip or tricks when it comes to washing your quilt? How do you keep them fresh and smelling good?

Read More:
(Coming soon!)

1. Choosing a Detergent.
2. Drying Your Quilt.
3. Storing Your Quilt.
4. Shipping Your Quilt.
5. Repairing Your Quilt.
Anything else you would like to hear about? Just let me know. :)

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