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Old 03-22-2014, 01:01 PM
  #8  
Prism99
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Western Wisconsin
Posts: 12,930
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You might want to try http://www.retroclean.com for stains.

I would wash them in a washing machine first. If you have a top loader with the usual central agitator, you can fill the machine, turn it off, then hand agitate (or use a broom handle) to wash, advance the control to spin, fill with rinse water, again turn the machine off and hand agitate, then advance to spin. If you have a top loader without the central agitator, you can probably just wash each quilt as a regular load. If you have a front loader, you can use it only if you can adjust it to use *lots* of water. If it's a water-saving front-loader, I would take the quilts to the laundromat and use their large front-loaders.

You want to use lots of water in the machine in order to dilute both dirt and any dye bleeds that might occur. Central agitators in top-loading washing machines are really hard on quilts, so it's best to avoid that kind of wear-and-tear on the quilts.

I would consider using RetroClean if there are still stains after washing.

An unwashed quilt will not have value if it smells bad. If you are concerned about the unwashed quilts, you may want to consult a quilt conservator before washing. These quilts may have great sentimental value to your family, but may not have much in the way of commercial value (or even commercial potential value) unless quite unique in some way. Unless a quilt is worth a thousand dollars, my inclination would be to wash at home.
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