How To Wash And Care For Your Quilts?

“Quilts are often our childhood memories that have been passed down as an heirloom for generations”

Many often say that the warmth of a quilt is often more comforting than the synthetic factory made blankets. An ancient form of handicraft, quilts require lots of tender love and care to last through ages. “Quilts feels like home”, that is what most will say.

Quilts are used every other day, especially in countries with lower temperatures all year round. So they are bound to get dirty, however careful you are. These delicately handwoven natural blankets cannot be simply tossed into the washing machine.

People who have done that, most often never saw the quilt in its former glory ever again. To understand how to clean quilts, one must know a bit more about the make and aspects of the quilt being used.

Just like fingerprints, no two quilts will ever be the same. From fabric used in it to the stitches and the fillers, it will always be different. That is what makes it one of the most unique and preferred sources of warmth and comfort.

Washing quilts the right way

Handwashing

Handwashing

This is one of the most preferred methods of washing quilts. It is easy, money-saving and definitely much more effective in caring for the condition of the quilt.

  • In a large sink, pour liquid detergent with mild caustic property and dilute it well. Additionally, half a cup of vinegar can be added to maintain the color brightness of the quilt.
  • Immersing the quilt for a few hours helps in loosening the dirt and other unwanted deposits from the quilt surface and inside as well.
  • Drain the muddy water and add fresh cold water and rinse a few times until the water runs clear.

Machine Washing

Machine Washing

Quilts can be washed in a washing machine but under specific settings and guidelines. It is fast and less strenuous on the body.

  • Make sure the machine tub is large enough to fit the quilt loosely inside. Never try to fit a quilt into a compact and tight tub.
  • Use cold water instead of warm or hot water while washing quilts.
  • Special detergents custom made for quilts are available. These detergents are very mild on the quilt fabric and also have additional conditioning properties.
  • Always use the delicate mode as it prevents too much harsh and abrupt cleaning motions in the quilt.
  • Rinse out all the soap water.
  • Do Not spin the machine.

Drying the quilt

Quilts need to be dried under special guidelines. It cannot be spun dry in a washing machine, nor can it be squeezed and contorted after handwashing.

  • Post rinsing, it is best to flatten the quilt on a large bedsheet and then twist and wiggle slightly to remove as much moisture as possible.
  • Once excess water is out, flatten the quilt and place a few towels on the entire quilt.
  • Roll the quilt as tightly as possible along with the towels inside and leave it in rolled-up condition for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Rolling the quilt with the towels will help in removing the excess moisture from within.
  • Once unrolled, let it air dry under a shaded area or place it directly under an overhead fan.

Maintaining the quilt

Quilts can stay in a very good condition for a long time if it is well maintained. Instead of washing quilts regularly, it is best to do it once every 3 months or so.

However, Baby quilts are a different matter. Those can be easily washed and dried regularly as they are much more resistant to wear and tear.

  • Brushing it well and air drying it a few times a year will help in removing any unwanted smell or loose dust accumulations.
  • Vacuuming once a month ensures most of the surface dirt is completely removed.
  • Woolen and silk quilts are very delicate and easy to tear open. These quilts should never be rinsed harshly or with much strength.

Do’s and Don'ts of caring for a quilt

Do’s

  • Use cold water for washing all ways.
  • Vacuum or Dust and shake the quilt at regular interval to avoid dust clogs and fine hair clogs.
  • Store them in airy and well-ventilated spaces.

Don’ts 

  • Use bleach or chemical cleaners.
  • Dry under direct sunlight.
  • Spin dry in the washing machine.
  • Twist and wriggle the quilt as that causing the sewing to come off.
  • Hang wet quilts to remove excess water.

Read Also: Iron for Quilting.

Points to note before deciding to wash a quilt

As stated, no two quilts are similar, regardless of the technique and fabric used in making them. SO careful evaluation is important before washing it. Some major factors to consider includes-

  • Evaluate the fabric well and based on that decide to plan the cleaning regime.
  • If the quilt is made of the delicate fabric, it is best to dry clean it rather than hand washing or machine washing them.
  • Always check for colorfastness before washing the fabric.
  • Pre-treating stains gently beforehand is always a better decision.
  • In case you have issues with hard water, it is best to use filtered or distilled water for washing quilts.
  • Repair small damages and open stitches to avoid further damage while washing.