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Thread: Help! When washing quilt blocks stained other areas of white during washing

  1. #1
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    Help! When washing quilt blocks stained other areas of white during washing

    My spouse found a recipe on this site using 1 scoop biz, 1 scoop oxy clean, per 1 gallon of hot water with directions to soak for 48 hours to remove yellowing in old quilts. I did this and got a long good except for 1 quilt the red quilt block dye ran into and transferred into other plain white border areas of the quilt where the red pieces were touching the white parts during soaking. I rinsed in 1 cup vinegar per gallon as directed and rinsed 3 times but have not dried the quilt. How do I get this red stain that has transferred to the white areas in numerous places now out of my vintage quilt. This is a very special wedding ring quilt my grandmother made and feel terrible now that the white is nice and white but ruined it with the red blotches where the red quilt pieces were touching during the soaking process. Please Help!!!
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-25-2017 at 09:32 AM. Reason: remove shouting/ all CAPS

  2. #2
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    Check out Vicki Welsh at http://www.colorwaysbyvicki.com/. She experimented with all sorts of ways to get out color that has bled. There is a big box just below the title that says "save my bleeding quilt" . My friend swears by Retro Clean to get out old yellowing stains. good luck and let us know how it goes!

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Try Synthrapol. You MUST agitate the quilt. You can use a top loading washer but agitate by hand. Fill washer with hot water and Synthrapol, stop machine, add the quilt, and then use your hands (covered with rubber gloves to protect against the hot water) or a clean broomstick handle to push down and let up on the quilt. Synthrapol works best in hot water so I would start with hot water but, if you are squeamish about it, you could try using Synthrapol in warm water first.

    You may need to do this several times using fresh water and Synthrapol to get all of the bleeds out. I would spend maybe 20 minutes or so per cycle. When done with all the Synthrapol washes, do two rinses. It is okay to spin out a quilt in a top loading washing machine. Again, if you're squeamish, drain the water and hand press out excess water before refilling machine. I would use the machine to spin out the water from the last rinse, though.

    Afterwards, lay the quilt out flat on a clean sheet to dry. You do not want wet red fabric touching wet white fabric while the quilt dries. This is also why you need to keep the quilt moving while it soaks.

    Here is a link to a thread that shows how this worked on another quilt:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...x-t144836.html
    Be sure to scroll all the way to the end of the thread to see how the quilt turned out after using Synthrapol.

    I have not heard of a bleeding problem like this with Retro Clean, but in my mind it is always risky to soak reds without checking on them every ten minutes or so during the first hour.

    Synthrapol is widely available online, but you may need to call around to find it locally. It is often carried by quilt shops that cater to home dyers.
    Last edited by Prism99; 05-25-2017 at 07:43 AM.

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    Why does everyone insist on washing quilts of Any age in hot water? It isn't at all necessary, and it isn't healthy for the fabrics.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-25-2017 at 09:32 AM. Reason: remove shouting/ all CAPS

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    The reason I would use hot water with Synthrapol is because Synthrapol, which is capable of removing dye bleeds from fabric, works best in hot water.

    I would try to keep water temp to 120 degrees F., which is at the low end of hot. Medium dryer heat is 125 degrees F, so drying flat is often a better option than drying a quilt in the dryer. This is especially true of vintage quilts.

    I have washed quilts in hot water and dried in laundromat dryers. These quilts are washed at most once a year. While the cumulative effects do add up eventually, none of my quilts is heirloom quality or vintage so I feel comfortable with this. I do try to wash only the first time in hot water, with Synthrapol, to get rid of any possible dye bleeds. After that I wash in warm or cold water, depending on how stained or dirty the quilt is (and I don't use Synthrapol if the quilt didn't bleed in the first wash).

    Edit: In my experience, exposing a quilt to light is much more damaging than exposing it to heat by means of hot water and a dryer. Light degrades dyes more than most people realize. It think the current standard for light fastness of fabric dyes is around 70 hours of exposure to light. Direct sun is the worst, but all forms of light fade fabric dyes.
    Last edited by Prism99; 05-25-2017 at 08:08 AM.

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    Thank you Beth. Definitely some options to try.

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    Thanks, sounds like Synthrapol might be worth giving a try with.

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    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    I to have a problem and I am watching this thread I may have to try Synthrapol but I was hoping a method to avoid the hot water I am a little shaky with that but I have a quilt that was in Paducha in 1998 and also in a magazine and the quilters art engagement calendar and thought I was taking very good care of it as I had it on a bed under other quilts and now I noticed a place on it that is running almost like it had gotten wet but how could that be when no others show any signs I will be watching for other answers but may have to try Synthrapol

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    My new top leader will not fill when it is empty...any other suggestions?

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    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    I had a polka dot top (I know it's not a quilt) that I got peach juice on. The top had a white background with multi color dots. I tried Oxy and several other things to get the stains out. Nothing worked. I finally got a Clorox pen and just dabbed the areas with the stain then washed to remove the clorox. It worked when nothing else did.
    Margaret

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    Life is a coin. You can spend it any way you wish but you can only spend it once.

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Dodie, dye transfer is possible between dry fabrics. In that case, it is called "crocking". If the area is small, you could probably get away with trying a spot treatment using Synthrapol and warm water. That is, you could use a large pot and just submerge and hand-agitate that small area in the Synthrapol/water solution. It might be enough. If it isn't, then you could try doing it in the top loader with Synthrapol and warm water first. Although Synthrapol works best in hot water, it still works to a certain extent in warm water. A crocked area of dye transfer is likely to be superficial, which is why I think just a spot treatment might be enough to get rid of it. In future, you might want to place a clean white flat sheet between quilts when storing them on the bed -- or at least on top of a special quilt like that one!

    Google "dye crocking" for more information.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris G View Post
    My new top leader will not fill when it is empty...any other suggestions?
    I don't have that type of machine, but I would probably try placing a couple of heavy bookends in the bottom of the washing machine to see if that weight would allow it to fill with water. Stop the machine before it is completely full so it doesn't start to agitate, remove the objects, add Synthrapol and swish around to dilute, then add quilt.

    I suppose your machine will not fill with water if the lid is open? Worst case, I would place the quilt in the tub and let it fill with water until almost full, then add Synthrapol diluted with a couple of cups of water to the tub and swish around. Even if some dye bleeds while the tub is filling, the agitation with Synthrapol over a period of 30 minutes or so will help lift the dye bleed out of the fabric. The dye bleed consists of loose dye particles -- dye particles that were not bonded to the fabric by the manufacturing process -- and even after they bleed into another fabric, they are still not set. Modern dyes require specific chemicals and heat settings much higher than typical dryers provide in order to become permanently set. As long as the loose dye particles remain loose, they can be lifted out of the fabric.

    The thing is, it's just easier to lift loose dye particles out of the original fabric and keep them suspended in water to be rinsed away. It's a little harder to lift loose dye particles that have already settled into a different fabric. In both cases, it can take more than one treatment with Synthrapol to get rid of all the loose particles. It's just that, in white fabric, it is easy to see a small number of remaining loose dye particles. The same number of loose dye particles remaining in the original fabric will be undetectable. In both cases, the small number of particles does not pose a risk to other fabrics because they will be diluted so much in water; however, in the white fabric you can still see them.

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    I'm working with reds too. I'm making a red and white quilt. At first, I tested the reds by putting a small piece in a pyrex pitcher with water, in the microwave and cooked for 2 minutes, then ironed it on a piece of muslin to see if the red bled. It did, but only a tiny bit. I decided to wash the red fabric with synthropol.....WOW that stuff really bled. I had to wash it twice (using hot water) and rinsed it twice (each time with a color catcher) It wasn't until the second rinse that the color catcher came out clean. I have been doing this all day, and although it is taking a while, I keep thinking, had I waited until the quilt was made, I would have just been crushed. Now I am wondering.....do I need to do this with all color-intense fabrics (like navy blue, dark brown, black, etc.)? I starch my fabrics when piecing the quilt top, so I could never get away with "this quilt will be a dry clean only quilt". Also, all of my reds were good quality quilting fabrics like Moda and Kaufman, etc.

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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    it is the product that requires hot water. not the quilt. I used Oxy clean but don't remember using terribly hot water and it worked on very old pencil marks.

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    I just had this happen a week ago, with a 1930's nile green bleeding onto the white on a vintage previously unused Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt! I followed the instructions on "Save my Bleeding Quilt" to "T". And it worked. Do exactly as she says: do it in the tub with very hot water, the more water the better, ten minutes of hand agitation with rubber gloves, alot of soap (I used an entire capful of Arm and Hammer free and clear liquid laundry soap, and a 12 hour soak, with the quilt weighted down with plastic bins of water sitting on their lids. I made sure every bit of my quilt was upside down and underwater. Good luck to you.

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    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    I don't have that type of machine, but I would probably try placing a couple of heavy bookends in the bottom of the washing machine to see if that weight would allow it to fill with water. Stop the machine before it is completely full so it doesn't start to agitate, remove the objects, add Synthrapol and swish around to dilute, then add quilt....
    This would scare me because I am easily distracted and forgetful. A few of these extremely high speed machines have exploded in apparently normal use, and bookends would surely void any claim or warranty. Don't most of these machines have a setting for bulky loads that would fill it? Or maybe you could trick it by putting a couple of towels in there and then removing them when you're ready to do the quilt.
    True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you donít need to regularly escape from. ~Brianna Wiest

  17. #17
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    Have you tried washing with color-catchers from the laundry section of the supermarket? It helps if you use plenty of water, perhaps go use the large front loading ones at the laundramat.

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    Thank you all for your help and I am going to go to work on it next week, the crocking makes sense as it was under other quilts to keep the light off of it and they were ok and it is in a small section as far as I can tell now I will get it off the bed, check it all and go to work on it next week and I do have a top load washes than still works manually that has many settings and even fill completely with the lid open so I can allow the soaking for 20 min. thank you so much and I will let you know how it turns out wish I could post pictures here but have been unable to do so Have a great weekend

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