Hand Washing Quilts
For truly delicate pieces, hand-washing in a large tub may be desirable. Fill a large sink or tub with tepid water and add a cleaning agent that contains little to no perfumes or additives. There are several products on the market made especially to launder quilts. Accordion-fold the quilt and place it in the tub. Allow the quilt to soak for 15 to 30 minutes or longer. Extensive soaking will not harm your quilt. Drain the tub and refill it with cool water and rinse the quilt. Repeat the rinsing process several times to remove any residue. Take care in hand-washing to avoid lifting or agitating the quilt to excess while it is being washed. After the quilt is rinsed, blot it dry with towels to absorb moisture. Lay out the quilt on a dry surface where air can circulate around it to dry.
How Should a Quilt Be Washed?
When you consider the many hours put into the creation of a quilt, it is only logical that the utmost care should be taken to preserve its beauty. All too often, quilts are destroyed by improper care and cleaning. A well constructed quilt, stitched at the proper intervals for the batting used, will wash beautifully. The weight of a quilt when wet can cause stress to the fibers of the fabric and batting if lifted improperly or if too much agitation is involved.
Machine Washing Quilts
If your quilt is in good condition, the washing machine may be used. Fill the machine with tepid or cold water and add a cleaning agent. Place the quilt in the machine, gently move it around with your hands and allow it to soak for 15 to 30 minutes. A "gentle" or "delicate" agitation cycle may be used for just a few minutes, but is best avoided. Use the spin cycle to remove the water. Repeat this process to rinse the quilt, filling the washer, avoiding agitation and then spinning to remove the water. Lay the quilt flat to dry. You may wish to gently machine tumble on low or delicate heat or on "air" dry to add further puffiness to the quilt.
Dry Cleaning Quilts
Generally, we do not recommend dry cleaning quilts and comforters. Some fabrics lend themselves to dry cleaning only, making it necessary to dry clean the quilt. Sometimes, after dry cleaning a quilt, it may be necessary to air the quilt as the fibers may temporarily retain some of the dry cleaning fumes. Also, dry cleaning does involve agitation and harsh substances, which can create additional wear and tear on you quilt. Whenever possible, it is advisable to gently home launder your quilts in the methods described above.
Additional Cleaning Tips
Quilts and comforters should always be treated and cared for as you would for a fine garment. Using proper quilting methods and washing techniques, quilts can be kept looking fresh and new year after year. Wall hangings and quilts can also be vacuumed periodically between laundering. Remember the basic points for successful washing: warm or cold water, gentle or no agitation, blotting out moisture and laying flat to dry. One last important point - be certain that your fabrics are of good quality, that they have been preshrunk and that they are colorfast; otherwise all of your time and work will have been wasted. If you are ever in doubt about the washability of your quilt or comforter, contact the manufacturer of the materials used for their recommended methods.