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Need Help Cleaning Salvaged Quilts

Need Help Cleaning Salvaged Quilts

Old 03-23-2014, 06:19 PM
  #21  
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Well, thanks. But I'm not that nice. After being forced to retrieve them and breathe all that filth, I am not planning to return them. This house was supposed to be cleared out about ten days ago, but the person responsible deliberately left piles of nasty, neglected items for me to deal with.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:04 AM
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You could wash them in the machine with minimal agitation. Rather than drying them in the dryer, I would put them on a sheet on the lawn if it is warm enough. The sunshine will help to deodorize and bleach stains. If that is not possible you could lay them on a basement floor on a sheet or on a hard floor surface to dry. Good idea to use Oxyclean or Retroclean in the wash and colorcatchers too. Good luck!
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by GrannieAnnie View Post
I'd soak them for a couple days in a huge tub even a plastic trash can with a heavy dose of Oxyclean. Put something heavy on top of them to squish them up and down. Rinse, look at them then maybe put them back in another oxyclean soak. After you are happy with them, lay them out somehow, maybe on a wooden porch wiht a sheet under them to let them dry. Don't get in too big a hurry, do one and don't rush. When that one is put out to dry, start the next one. DO NOT HANG THEM TO DRY, puts too much stress on posssibly weak fabric &/or seams
I would put them face down on the sheet so if there is any fading it is on the back!
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Bedspreadhead View Post
To clarify again, these were not in a meth lab. They were in the home of an addict. They smell because the house was full of black mold and mildew. There are only a few mildewy places on the quilts. The rat pee is a bigger concern. Fortunately, it appears to be concentrated in the quilt that also has cigarette burns going all the way through it.

Things are going much better than expected. Most of these things will be usable. The color catchers are working. I'm washing them in a warm cycle with a prewash and an extra rinse, and I'm drying them on low heat. If I can get them to the point where they don't smell, then I can make sure they're dry, and I can store them indoors without filling the house with mold funk. After that I'll have time to worry about further cleaning.

When they came home, they smelled so awful I had to open the SUV windows. Not a particularly powerful smell, but very oppressive. Like being trapped in a filthy drawer.
Odors that seem to be gone can come back. I have had that happen with other fabric items. Odoban eats odors. I have a silly little dog, that doesn't always let us know she needs to go out. She handles it herself in one of my extra bedrooms. I pour a mixture of 1 capful of Odoban to a quart of water on the soiled area and just let it dry by itself. It does take a while. There is no odor left. Odoban is a wonderful disinfectant, odor eater. It would definitely be worth the $10 cost for the original Eucalyptus scent to get those quilts odor free. I use about a quarter cup of Odoban as the softener when I am doing laundry. Even tee-shirts that have a sweat odor in the fibers don't stand a chance.

That being said, I haven't tried it for the mold & mildew. I always use a little bleach on that type stuff. There are probably better products out there.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:02 AM
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Depending on the drugs used you may have to discard them and see if they have contaminated anything in your house. As you know some things in a drug house, if they have made it must be destroyed to not cause permanent damage to others around them. I would make sure before using them and if you check with authorities they can tell you who to contact to see about that and how to clean them. It is best to be safe than sorry.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:02 AM
  #26  
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As many have said, they cannot be used or enjoyed as is. Wash and dry them and see what happens. You may lose one or two but mold must be dealt with regardless.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:57 AM
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I like vintage and antique fabric items and wound up talking to a lady whose business included such things. She swore by

Sodium Perborate

for cleaning them. She said it is available from the druggist only. She also instructed me to speak with the druggist regarding the best way(s) to use it as well as the safest.

Please note that I have never used it but am creating a pile of fabrics that need attention.

One more thing. About Oxyclean. My experience is that it works the best when dissolved in the hottest water possible and the fabric is allowed to soak until the water is cold. Repeated soakings were occasionally necessary.

Tide has chemical wetters that open fiber pores and allow stains, etc. to come out more easily. Had a conversation with a Tide corp. rep. on that one.

Good luck and thanks for sharing my interest. Please let us know what you finally do and how it works. My grandmother loved lacy linens and as she got older did not care for them properly. She passed on at 96 and left some gravy stained, etc. table cloths and napkins that did come clean. And the fabric survived!

Pat
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:02 AM
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fyi for those who might ever want to add more water to a water saving front loader. i was told to add water by adding extra through the "bleach" dispenser.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:45 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Bedspreadhead View Post
To clarify again, these were not in a meth lab. They were in the home of an addict. They smell because the house was full of black mold and mildew. There are only a few mildewy places on the quilts. The rat pee is a bigger concern. Fortunately, it appears to be concentrated in the quilt that also has cigarette burns going all the way through it.

Things are going much better than expected. Most of these things will be usable. The color catchers are working. I'm washing them in a warm cycle with a prewash and an extra rinse, and I'm drying them on low heat. If I can get them to the point where they don't smell, then I can make sure they're dry, and I can store them indoors without filling the house with mold funk. After that I'll have time to worry about further cleaning.

When they came home, they smelled so awful I had to open the SUV windows. Not a particularly powerful smell, but very oppressive. Like being trapped in a filthy drawer.
Please reconsider your decision to dry them in the dryer. Even low heat in the dryer will just "set" stains. I always air dry until I am absolutely sure I have removed all stains.

Also use Retroclean....it works!
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:46 AM
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​Definitely wash them, use a tub if you do not have front loader, lots more work. If they are as bad as you say I do not think you will hurt the value of the quilts, thankfully you have them and I wish you the best of luck getting them cleaned up. I have had good luck with the oxi cleaners, borax and baking soda gets the smells out of most things. Let us know how things go.
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