Like any other blanket in your household, quilts need to be washed, though not as frequently as you might think. The first thing to keep in mind before washing your quilts is their age. A family heirloom or other aged quilt might not survive even the gentlest of handwashing, so make sure to look into other care options before endangering the integrity of the quilt. However, even washing newer, stronger quilts can still seem like a hassle, which is why we’ve organized some tips and tricks to help you know where to start.
New and Old Quilts- The Best Ways To Wash Them
If you’re a beginner, it’s important to follow a pre-wash routine with your quilts. Before washing your quilt, give it a once over to check for loose seams and loose threads, and do any repairs that might be needed now. Any area that is loose or coming undone can become a big problem once it has been washed, so save yourself the heartache of a fraying quilt and take the time to give your quilts some TLC before popping them into a washer or a bucket of water.
When washing a new quilt for the first time, use a gentle detergent and make sure to include dye catchers if your quilt has a wide array of colors. If your quilt has been made in a factory, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying. If you trust the construction of your homemade quilt, you can place it in the dryer on gentle or tumble dry, or you can line dry the quilt if the weather permits. Make sure to not wash your quilts with any other pieces of clothing, as there is a risk of the dye bleeding from one garment to another. After the first couple washes, you may want to look into quilt-specific detergents meant to be gentle on seams. These detergents can run a little more than the average laundry soap, but in the long run, they can keep your quilts looking brighter and tear-free longer.
Antique quilts deserve added TLC. Only hand wash these quilts with gentle quilt-specific detergent and do not scrub or pull on the fabric, as this can cause tears. You should never put an antique quilt in a machine dryer, simply hang them up to dry and let nature do the rest. In many cases, you can get away with simply airing out old quilts during a sunny day instead of the full wash routine, so make sure to do a full grime inspection before rolling up your shirtsleeves and going at your quilt.
If your quilt is made of wool or cotton, make sure to wash them on cold. For woolen quilts, in many cases, its best to not wash them, and instead gently brush them off. If you must wash a woolen quilt, do so by hand and make sure not to use any heat on the quilt. Otherwise, you may end up with an unintentionally felted mess. There are specific tools to help you brush off woolen quilts so you can avoid washing them, as well as soaps made for wool, but if you find yourself trying to loosen debris in a hurry, you can place pantyhose over a handheld vacuum attachment and simple suck up any dirt or hair on the surface. Keep in mind, for pilling or fraying quilts, it may be best to skip this step and instead go for the time-honored shake it out method.
Remember, washing a quilt doesn’t have to be a hassle, just remember that treating your quilts kindly now will help them live for generations to come.