How to wash a quilt????

chuckwagonMay 28, 2008

My MIL made my DH a very nice quilt several years ago. What is the best way to wash this quilt? Our cat have been using it for a bed and it is now dirty. Can I wash it in a front load washer on delicate or should I have it dry cleaned? I hate to ask my MIL because she might ask how it got dirty. The last thing I want to tell her is a cat slept on a quilt that took her hours and hours to make. Thanks for any suggestions.

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Take it outside and shake it thoroughly to get any loose cat hairs off. Then bring it to a laundromat with large capacity washing machines. Use a liquid cleaner like Woolite or even liquid dishsoap like Dawn. And cold water and gentle wash. Hang to dry if possible. I own several quilts and this is how I wash them.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 8:15AM
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Quilters use a product called is a soap used for washing horses. Very gentle. It can be found at Feeders Supply. It is a paste and dissolves easily. I also use it on my husband collars. Just a dab will do.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 10:37AM
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How to wash the quilt depends on what it's made of and what it's filled with...and how good thes titching is.
For a good strong fairly new quilt filled with dacron batting, I would do the large capacity laundromat thing and machine dry it....for an older quilt filled with cotton batt, I would very gently wash it in Orvis and lay flat to dry. The weight of a hanging wet quilt will often damage the quilt.
Linda c

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 12:11PM
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Well, we have a cat, too. If you vacuum the quilt with the drapery cleaner on your vacuum, it will take all the hair out.

Ours likes to climb under the covers in the guest bedroom?

And I always vacuum even the sheets to get the hair out before I launder them.

It's a darn good thing we love that cat as much as we do....


    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 8:19AM
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I just recently needed to wash an (antique) quilt. The quilting shop downtown was out of their solution and told me to use wooolite --- to first fill my bathtub with hot water, woolite and oxiclean (as mine had some stains) - then add cool water --- then the quilt. After soaking for several hours, I drained the tub and filled it twice with cool water to rinse. Then I carefully *kneeded* it till mostly dry and laid on a bed with towles underneath to dry. Took about 24 hrs! I don't know if this is usuall for hand made quilts or not - but it did work like a charm and none of the stitching was ruined (that I can tell). And - better yet - all the stains came out!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 8:37AM
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I'm a quilter too, and I have to tell you, I want people to USE the quilts I make! I'd love to know a kitty slept on one of mine. My kids both have quilts (that I've made) on their beds. I put them in the washing machine, by themselves, wash them on the regular cycle with regular detergent (Gain in my case), and then dry them on medium. They come out beautifully! If they are not antique quilts, they don't need to be babied. They are just cotton fabrics, with modern poly or cotton batting, and probably stitched on the machine, which means they are going to hold together quite well. We USE our quilts!

The only time I would not wash a quilt this way is if it is truly being used as a show quilt, a wall-hanging, or something like that. In those cases, you do not want to dry the quilt in the dryer because you are going to get puckering around all stitching. To me, that it half the charm of a quilt, and gives it that aged, warm and cozy look. But if you are trying to maintain a more pristine appearance, do NOT put it in the dryer.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 12:05PM
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I am a quilter too and I have to agree with what Bestyears said. We use our quilts all the time, and I love to see other people using the quilts I've made them. I always wash my quilts in the gentle cycle (or the bulky cycle now in my HE machine) and dry them on low in the dryer (or bulky cycle on my new dryer). They come out great. I tell everyone I make quilts for to do the same. If you want to be sure, just ask your MIL how she would clean it. She might wonder why you didn't ask sooner, but you can just tell her you've been very careful with it but it needs cleaning now.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 4:21PM
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Another quilter here, and I agree with the others...if you actually use a quilt I made, I am thrilled!!! Ask the quilter.

Your MIL knows how she made it, knows what or where the weaker places may be, and can tell you what she would recommend.

I've got several quilts "out there" that I would probably give different cleaning instructions for because of the fabric, thread, and batting choices I made. Please ask her.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 8:27PM
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