Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main
Need Help Cleaning Salvaged Quilts >

Need Help Cleaning Salvaged Quilts

Need Help Cleaning Salvaged Quilts

Old 03-22-2014, 11:27 AM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: FL
Posts: 9
Default Need Help Cleaning Salvaged Quilts

I'm here because I need some advice. I salvaged 12 quilts from a drug house which was full of black mold, dog urine, and rodent excrement. The quilts had been abandoned. Some are family heirlooms, made by family members in Kentucky. Others appear to be unused. I don't know what value they have. They smell pretty awful, and some have discolored areas on them.

The older ones have been washed many times in the past, so I'm running them through the machine with Oxyclean detergent. The others, I'm afraid to mess with. A couple look like they've never been washed, and I don't know if machine washing and drying affect the value. What's the best way to fix them up? Should I just take them to a dry cleaner?
Bedspreadhead is offline  
Old 03-22-2014, 11:38 AM
  #2  
Power Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 12,768
Default

a dry cleaner may refuse them if they are as 'stinky' as you imply- and they have no value in that state- so I would wash them- maybe 2 or 3 times- including vinegar in the rinse water to help disinfect them- if they come out ok that's great- if not, parts may still be salvageable. but as they are now I would not be concerned with them being *heirlooms* they obviously were not- though if they tolerate disinfecting/laundering they may become heirlooms.
ckcowl is offline  
Old 03-22-2014, 11:49 AM
  #3  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Tulsa, Ok
Posts: 4,582
Default

I agree that you should wash them. The amount of known and unknown toxins seem to me to make a compelling argument for multiple washings. Good for you for trying to salvage them, hope they go to a better home..
Jeanne S is offline  
Old 03-22-2014, 11:52 AM
  #4  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: FL
Posts: 9
Default

Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
as they are now I would not be concerned with them being *heirlooms* they obviously were not- though if they tolerate disinfecting/laundering they may become heirlooms.
I should clarify. They were heirlooms to the rest of the family, but not to the idiot who hoarded them and then tried to ruin them. The rest of us were surprised to find out where they were.
Bedspreadhead is offline  
Old 03-22-2014, 12:01 PM
  #5  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 9,312
Default

Definitely wash them, its probably the most thurough way to clean and sanitize them. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, so let them soak before mildly agitating them. Once washed, evaluate if they can withstand the dryer. They will be of no use unless you can get them sanitized.
Lori S is offline  
Old 03-22-2014, 12:09 PM
  #6  
Super Member
 
KalamaQuilts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: SW Washington USA
Posts: 3,811
Default

use color catchers (on the laundry supplies isle) when washing, particularly the unused ones. Be a shame to get the yuck out, to be replaced with red or green dye everywhere.

We'd love to see some before and after, and your hindsight advice if you have any, when finished.
I'm glad you found them, all kinds of family items get lost in the hard spaces of life.
KalamaQuilts is offline  
Old 03-22-2014, 12:52 PM
  #7  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: FL
Posts: 9
Default

Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
use color catchers (on the laundry supplies isle) when washing, particularly the unused ones. Be a shame to get the yuck out, to be replaced with red or green dye everywhere.

We'd love to see some before and after, and your hindsight advice if you have any, when finished.
I'm glad you found them, all kinds of family items get lost in the hard spaces of life.
Thanks for all the advice. The only advice I, myself, can offer is to have your will written by an excellent lawyer, and try to give valuable things away BEFORE you die, so things like this don't go to the looters and nuts.
Bedspreadhead is offline  
Old 03-22-2014, 01:01 PM
  #8  
Power Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Western Wisconsin
Posts: 12,930
Default

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.
Prism99 is offline  
Old 03-22-2014, 01:24 PM
  #9  
Super Member
 
117becca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: dayton OH
Posts: 1,911
Default

Good luck cleaning them - and enjoy them and the memories that are attached to them!! That is priceless!
117becca is offline  
Old 03-22-2014, 01:37 PM
  #10  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: FL
Posts: 9
Default

Got three boxes of color catcher. We'll see what happens.
Bedspreadhead is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Christine27
Pictures
9
01-25-2013 06:58 AM
QultingaddictUK
Pictures
44
11-05-2012 12:31 PM
gramma nancy
General Chit-Chat (non-quilting talk)
5
07-28-2012 12:08 PM
hperttula123
General Chit-Chat (non-quilting talk)
42
10-15-2011 07:00 AM
Blackberry
Pictures
11
06-24-2011 07:13 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


FREE Quilting Newsletter