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Thread: Washing quilts

  1. #1
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    I've got these quilts that I should freshen up, and would like to wash perhaps one of them. How do you wash your quilts and how often? Any special soaps or handling of the quilts?

  2. #2
    Super Member sidmona's Avatar
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    I just throw mine in my front loader with Tide Total Care HE on warm and gentle cycle. Then I mostly dry it in the dryer and then let it come to thrown over a bed. Mine get used a lot by my son so they are washed at least once a month.

  3. #3
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I wash mine on the gentle cycle in the washing machine and dry in the dryer. Mine get used a lot so they are washed often.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Front-loading washers are easier on quilts than top-loaders. If all you have is a top-loading washing machine, you can use that -- just don't let it agitate. It's the agitation that is hard on a quilt. Fill washer with water, add soap, stop the washer, add quilt, and *hand* agitate the quilt by pushing it up and down. When finished washing, move control to spin and spin out the wash water. Let fill with rinse water and again stop the machine before it has a chance to agitate. Hand agitate, then move control to spin to spin out the water.

    If the quilt is large, be careful about drying it in a home dryer. If you have to pack it in tightly, you could end up actually burning the quilt and damaging the dryer.

    Laundromats can be a good place to take a quilt -- front loading washing machines available and large dryers.

    A washed quilt can be dried outside if you lay out a large flat sheet first, then the quilt, and then cover with another large sheet and anchor the edges down. Do *not* expose a quilt to sunlight. Light fades fabric quickly.

    Some quilters like to use Orvus soap to wash their quilts. It is very gentle. Quilt shops have it, but it's much cheaper if you buy it in a place like Fleet Farm (used to wash horses). Any gentle soap is fine for an everyday quilt.

  5. #5
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    How old are they? what kind of material are they made of?

    This is all going to change the way I would wash one.

    However if I make a quilt out of "todays" fabric I put it in the washer with cold water and wash it with liquid detergent. Then I put it in the dryer on hot until its dry.

    If its real cold outside I will just throw it in the dryer until its nice and warm and then crawl up on the couch!

  6. #6
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I wash mine with small amount of Woolite Zero Extra Delicates (it's a
    very mild soap with no phosphates) then in the dryer on low/medium heat.

  7. #7

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    I wash them in warm water and dry them on low heat with a mild detergent (the same one I use on my clothes). I wash them when I know they're dirty, or about once a year otherwise, just to freshen them up.

  8. #8
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidmona
    I just throw mine in my front loader with Tide Total Care HE on warm and gentle cycle. Then I mostly dry it in the dryer and then let it come to thrown over a bed. Mine get used a lot by my son so they are washed at least once a month.
    Same here. I intend my quilts to be used and washed often. Some of mine are washed monthly, some are not used much and don't get very dirty.

  9. #9
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    I have a large capacity washing machine so I wash my quilts in that. I do however use the delicate cycle and "Zero", a detergent for delicates. Then I put them through a second spin cycle on regular spin to get extra moisture out before shaking them out and putting them in the dryer. I take them out before they are bone dry and hang them over my quilt frame to dry.

  10. #10
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyPeezy
    I wash mine with small amount of Woolite Zero Extra Delicates (it's a
    very mild soap with no phosphates) then in the dryer on low/medium heat.
    And always in COLD water...

  11. #11
    FortMyers's Avatar
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    I always wash all of my quilts large and small art quilts in my front load washer with the same detergent that I use on my clothes, on delicate with an extra spin. The dry them completely in the dryer, of course I use a color catcher cloth thru the whole process... I have found that even if the fabric doesn't run sometimes the thread will.

  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    it depends on the quilt. i make my quilts to be used and when i finish one i toss it in the wash with regular laundry detergent, i add fabric softener, i toss it in the dryer...if it's summer time and i can i hang them outside. they just get better and better with washing. soften and fluff.....ahhhhhhhhhhh i love fresh quilts!
    if it is an heirloom or antique you want to get with the experts and take much more care. but even the quilts i have made that the owners value highly or have been appraised fairly highly i have tossed into the wash and dryer...if it's big i go to a laundry may if it fits in my machines i do it at home but i never let a quilt go out the door that has not been washed and dried by me at least once. i want to make sure they are going to hold up, no color issues, no pulled seams. besides there is something special about a freshly laundered quilt.

  13. #13
    Senior Member scrapykate's Avatar
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    I wash in cold water, gentle cycle, hang to partial dry and then into the dryer. Love how the shrinking makes the quilt puff a bit.

  14. #14
    Senior Member DebbyT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Front-loading washers are easier on quilts than top-loaders. If all you have is a top-loading washing machine, you can use that -- just don't let it agitate. It's the agitation that is hard on a quilt. Fill washer with water, add soap, stop the washer, add quilt, and *hand* agitate the quilt by pushing it up and down. When finished washing, move control to spin and spin out the wash water. Let fill with rinse water and again stop the machine before it has a chance to agitate. Hand agitate, then move control to spin to spin out the water.

    If the quilt is large, be careful about drying it in a home dryer. If you have to pack it in tightly, you could end up actually burning the quilt and damaging the dryer.

    Laundromats can be a good place to take a quilt -- front loading washing machines available and large dryers.

    A washed quilt can be dried outside if you lay out a large flat sheet first, then the quilt, and then cover with another large sheet and anchor the edges down. Do *not* expose a quilt to sunlight. Light fades fabric quickly.

    Some quilters like to use Orvus soap to wash their quilts. It is very gentle. Quilt shops have it, but it's much cheaper if you buy it in a place like Fleet Farm (used to wash horses). Any gentle soap is fine for an everyday quilt.
    I also wash the quilts in the washer by hand, and other delicate items. My family often wonders why I spend so much time doing laundry. I try to explain, but they just don't get it. Won't come and watch. Might learn something. -- Thanks for the tip on the Orvus soap.

  15. #15
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilterella
    Quote Originally Posted by EasyPeezy
    I wash mine with small amount of Woolite Zero Extra Delicates (it's a
    very mild soap with no phosphates) then in the dryer on low/medium heat.
    And always in COLD water...
    Usually. But I made an exception when I first washed my latest quilt
    with Synthrapol on HOT. After this it will be cold wash only.

  16. #16
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    If the quilt is not dirty and really just needs "freshening up" I have tossed mine in the dryer with a damp bathtowel and a dryer sheet.

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