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Quilt Batting Odor Problem

Quilt Batting Odor Problem

Old 12-06-2015, 11:37 AM
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Default Quilt Batting Odor Problem

Hello everyone. First of all, I am not a quilter, but my mom was. She died earlier this year and recently my dad passed away. I would like to make memory quilts with some of their clothes.

Though I don't know any of you, I am guessing that most of you have something in common with my mom - stacks of fabric, stacks of patterns and loads of thread and batting. When it's on sale, you stock up! Am I right? Yep, thought so. Mom did too.

Problem is that the quilt bats (sp?) were kept in the basement and they are smelly. If possible, I would like to use them to make tied quilts. Is there a way to get the musty smell out of them before I put them inside the quilt? There is a small roll of Warm & Natural at the house, but most of them are the other kind - polyester, I think? They are still in the bags that they came in from the store.

I will never be the quilter that Mom was (all hand-stitching), but Mom taught me to sew and even kept me busy as a little girl sewing quilt blocks (kept me out of trouble ) made with scraps and old clothes, so I know I can do this.

So, do I ....
1) Somehow try to wash the bat before inserting it in a quilt. But how? Won't it fall apart in the washer? Maybe even clog up the washer?

2) Make the block quilt, inserting and finishing it - and then wash the quilt? Hoping against all odds to get the smell out after it is all put together?

Laying them out in the sun is not an option. It is winter here. We have lots of snow and it is wet.

What to do? Or, is it not worth the effort and just toss them? Would hate to do that, there are lots of them. I feel like Mom would like me to at least make an effort and to not waste them.

Does anyone have experience with this?
Your thoughts?
Thank you!

Last edited by QuiltersDaughter2; 12-06-2015 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:48 AM
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Sorry about the loss of your parents . . .but what a wonderful idea to remeber your mom.

I think if it were me, I'd toss the smelly batting and by new. Washing before use would be risky . . .and hoping the odor would disappear in the wash after its made into a quiot would be even riskier.
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:53 AM
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Try putting the dry batt on Fluff in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet and see if that does the trick. Sorry you have lost your Mom but making yourself a memory quilt with her things would be great.
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:58 AM
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have you tried Febreze
Nancy in western NY
before you speak T.H.I.N.K. T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:39 PM
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actually freezing is a great way to get rid of odors. Otherwise, I would go to the pet store and buy some Nature's Miracle (a pet odor removal product) and pop some in a spray bottle and spray it on the batting.
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:45 PM
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I would lay them out in the cold and let them freeze for several days or a week or two.

Do you know the brand name of the batts? Different polyester battings are manufactured in different ways. If you tie the quilts using polyester batting, you need to place the ties fairly close together. Depending on manufacture, polyester battings may or may not hold up to repeated washings when tied. For tying, you would be safer using Warm and Natural batting with scrim (the kind that says you can quilt 10" apart). This is a very stable batting that will hold up to repeated washings even if ties are not 2" apart.

If you are going to tie the quilts, my recommendation would be to purchase W&N batting. I would still freeze the polyester battings to see if the odor will come out. If it does, I would either save them for hand or machine quilting or donate them to a charity that will hand or machine quilt them.
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:53 PM
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Before tossing them out I'd try this on at least one.

Fill the bath tub with water and add baking soda, Oxy Clean or Odo Ban. Add batt and squeeze to get it wet throughout. Let it soak for an hour or so. Empty tub, rinse, and squeeze out as much water as possible. Tumble in the dryer on low heat.
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:53 PM
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Never heard of using the freezer but I think it is worth a try. You can NOT agitate the batting when washing cotton batting otherwise you will have a disastrous mess on your hands.
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:08 PM
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Quilters do prewash warm and natural batting to pre shrink. Cut a piece to fit your project from the roll, making it several inches larger to accommodate the shrinkage. Here are the instructions from the W&N web site:
As mentioned, do not agitate or spin. You can just soak in your top loader or use your laundry or bath tub.
So sorry for your loss.
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:10 PM
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You say the smelly quilt batts were kept in the basement. Since many basements are damp, I'd be afraid that odor might be caused by mildew. If that's the case, you really need to toss those batts. If you use them without actually killing the mildew, the smell will keep returning and ruin your quilts. Merely covering the odor will not kill the cause of the odor.

If you don't want to toss them, set them aside and tackle them later. In the meantime, either use the Warm & Natural you have or buy new batting.
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