Can you bleach fleece?

critters_momFebruary 26, 2010

I can't find anything on this using search.. Google gave me an obsolete answer on this forum.. =(

I'm making removable covers for pillows to be used in pet containers at our local Humane Society. I've made three today but started thinking about being told they wash and bleach their covers daily (they had just been washing the whole pad which was wearing out washing machines quickly). They would also be drying them instead of hanging them to dry (what I read you should do while searching this question).

From what I've been able to find out on-line, bleach should NOT be used (unless labeled clothing says it's okay) and cool dryers used rather then hot. Cool or warm water was also advised in the washer. I also read washing often will cause the material to pill. There was no label with this material stating if it was non-pilling material.

I want to call the animal shelter tomorrow and advise the lady I'm working with about this information to make sure this is what they want me to use before making more.

Does anyone know of any way this can be used? Would washing daily in warm water still be detrimental to the pad covers even if bleach wasn't used?

I got the impression that bleaching all materials that come in contact with animals was a must..

Any suggestions as to what would be good to use for this project?

Thanks for your time in replying...


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I have a home-made fleece cat bed that I've been washing with hot water every week for over a year. It's been washed with bleach (I usually throw it in with our towels) probably more than a dozen times, and has been fine. It's pink and cream colored, and all fleece fabric (there's no foam or poly fill "stuffing" in it) it sounds similar to what you'll be making.

It's made of "non-pill" fleece from Joann Fabrics.

It's not as dense and plushy as it was when it was new, but it's held up fine--my cats aren't complaining! ;-)

I line dry it in the summer, but dry it on high (with towels) in the winter. Haven't had any problems.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 10:44AM
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critters, can you take a scrap of the material and run it with a load of laundry that you put bleach in to see what happens? Fleece is nearly indestructible I think unless you put it in hot water....and that seems to just make it all nappy looking. Of course bleach will change the color...but I don't know anything else that will kill germs as well as clorox or heat.

If you TURN THEM INSIDE OUT before washing, they shouldn't get pilly if the water isn't too hot. The only way to tell is to wash a sample of the fabric.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 10:53AM
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Thank you so much for your informative and prompt replies to my posting!

Monaw... I was hesitant to wash and bleach this fabric as I didn't buy it and am using the material in as efficient a way as possible to utilize the size and have no scraps yet. I thought it would probably take a number of washings to get a true idea of what the results would be. A forum inquiry seemed like the best way to get a true answer by using others experiences with the fabric. I was going to ask the Humane Society if they'd like to use these three covers for awhile to see how they would stand up to their cleaning procedures before going on to make the rest.


Cryptandrus... you're posting gives me more confidence to go ahead and make the rest of the covers (I was so glad to be able to do something useful for this group). I will ask if she knows about the material's likelihood to "pill". I don't know if the material came from Joanns but that would be a good bet. Hopefully these pillow covers will behave as well as you're cat bed cover.

Thank you both for your time and input! Although I've used Garden Web quite a bit for gardening and cleaning forums I'd never looked at this one. I'll do that and see what kind of interesting information there is.

(If I could remember a tenth of what I read I would be SO smart! =) The memory is going.... =)

Thanks again...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 11:51AM
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Hi Donna,
in winter i use fleece socks, they are always washed @ 140°F on normal or perma-press.

Have also some fleece training jumpers (Patagonia capilene).

A few times they stay sweat-soaked in a plastic bag in the car while going home from an holiday and they are a chemical weapon :). These times i pour also some LCB, about a tablespoon, *when the powdered detergent has already dissolved*. This way chlorine will delete the stench but won't fade colours as if it were alone in the 1st rinse.
Also my syster washes her cat fleece blankets in this way.

Just don't forget Monaw's "inside out" rule : it does make a huge difference - not only for fleece

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 12:16PM
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(Thank goodness for this forums "acronyms and jargon" page.. couldn't figure out waht LCB was.. =)

Thanks Hidroman!

I'll share this with the animal shelter this afternoon. I'm going to pass along the information gathered (and make sure we are on the same page). I'll also type up a info sheet as well. I would think more then one person does laundry. Turning the covers inside out should be easy when removing them from the pillows/pads.

I don't know how much bleach is used. Probably more then a tablespoon but it could be they could lower the amount they use. I hadn't thought of that.. I never use bleach that isn't included in the laundry product like "Tide" which seems to keep hubby's whites bright.

Thanks for your reply...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 12:45PM
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critters, forgot to mention that you are an angel for taking care of the homeless "Cridders"...:)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 1:20PM
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