Quiltingboard Forums

Quiltingboard Forums (https://www.quiltingboard.com/)
-   Main (https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1/)
-   -   Need Help Cleaning Salvaged Quilts (https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1/need-help-cleaning-salvaged-quilts-t243700.html)

Bedspreadhead 03-22-2014 11:27 AM

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?

ckcowl 03-22-2014 11:38 AM

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.

Jeanne S 03-22-2014 11:49 AM

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..

Bedspreadhead 03-22-2014 11:52 AM


Originally Posted by ckcowl (Post 6639559)
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.

Lori S 03-22-2014 12:01 PM

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.

KalamaQuilts 03-22-2014 12:09 PM

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.

Bedspreadhead 03-22-2014 12:52 PM


Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts (Post 6639603)
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.

Prism99 03-22-2014 01:01 PM

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.

117becca 03-22-2014 01:24 PM

Good luck cleaning them - and enjoy them and the memories that are attached to them!! That is priceless!

Bedspreadhead 03-22-2014 01:37 PM

Got three boxes of color catcher. We'll see what happens.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:26 AM.