Can I machine wash a dry clean only comforter?

shelendeJune 18, 2008

I a interested in a comforter made by Croscill, the Wisteria pattern. It says dry clean only. If I buy it and want to launder it in a laundromat because it is too big for an ordinary washing machine, can I do that? Would it ruin the comforter. I don't like dry cleaning a comforter. It is made of polyester and cotton.

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If it says dry clean only, then dry clean only. It would ruin either the fabric or the stuffing.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:16AM
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The reason I like to launder rather than dry cleaning is because I would feel it was really clean and with dry cleaning I would feel it was saturated with chemicals. Also how do you know, when you bring it to be dry cleaned, what is really done, they can just spot clean and tell you that they cleaned the whole thing and you would never know. When you actually machine wash a comforter, than you know it is really clean.
Now I am wondering if I should buy it.
Has anybody machine washed a dry clean only comforter?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:33AM
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My down mattress pad said dry clean only. But I washed in my front load washing machine and in came out perfect.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:48AM
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I wash dry clean only things all the time, on wool setting in my front loader. I wash the arm covers that came with my sofa and they are some heavy duty upholstery fabric and they came out like brand new. I washed my sister's down comforter and it came out beautiful. However, I wouldn't take the responsibility of telling someone else they can do it and then have it ruined.

I like to wash things so I know they are clean.

Personally I don't buy comforter's only cotton bedspreads.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 1:08AM
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You're absolutely right - your comforter would be saturated with chemicals in the dry cleaning process. That is the nature of the drycleaning process. As for just doing "spot cleaning",this is probably not likely for beacause "spotting" often involves applying solvent under pressure that oftens leaves a ring that needs to be dissolved by cleaning the entire article in the cleaning machine.

Dry cleaning won't harm any fabric -- provided it won't dissolve in an organic solvent! Manufacturers can tag something "dry clean only" even if it is washable. It is easier to slap a "dry clean only" tag on something than to deal with consumer complaints after washing.

Look at your fiber content tag & check for colorfastness.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 5:46AM
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I wash my dry clean comforter all the time. I've done it so many times that the fabric is starting to look worn from it, but besides that, there hasn't been any damage.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 7:41AM
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Is this the comforter you are considering? If so, the description says the fabric is linen.

Linen can be washed, but I imagine it would shrink in the dryer and come out terribly wrinkled. And then an iron hot enough to get the wrinkles out of linen would probably melt the inside layer. I wash "dry clean only" comforters that are polyester and even rayon. It works, but the fabric then doesn't look as good as new.

The Wisteria collection by Croscill Home Fashions is a linen that incorporates a beautifully woven center motif with pale golden leaves and blossoming ivory hydrangeas on a soft, light blue ground.

Here is a link that might be useful: Croscill Wisteria comforter

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 7:42AM
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I've cold-washed dry clean items before & gotten along fine, but there's always an exception.

I'd be tempted to try washing it with a gentle cycle, cold water and woolite and then pop it in the dryer with no heat & fluff and/or air dry. Do you want to be tied into taking it to the dry cleaners all the time? It may fade, shrink or get shrivelly, then you'd have to decide if you still like it. The worst that could happen is that it might be ruined and you'll be comforter shopping.

I recently bought some new hand towels from LNT for our guest bath and now realize there's a tag that says dry clean only. Who would have dreamed they'd make dry-clean only towels? In their haste to make pretty things they lose all common sense. I sometimes wonder if they don't put those tags on them just to protect themselves from product failure.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 8:21AM
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I have had good and bad luck machine washing comforters. Sometimes the stuffing end up all in one end and the comforter is ruined. The one I have on my bed I wash all the time in the machine and it turns out fine.

I try not to dry-clean anything - too many harsh toxic chemicles.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 9:50AM
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hilltop, I had the same thing happen to me.

When we were staging our last house for sale, I bought these gorgeous hand towel for one of the bathrooms. When we moved in the new house and I noticed the color would be great for the master bath, I looked at the tag and it said dry clean only. Huh? Who dry cleans towels?

Another one of my pet peeves is trying to find kitchen linens and dish cloths that don't say cold water wash. I want them clean!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 9:51AM
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I worked for a dry cleaner for several years in my (sort of) misspent youth. I worked in the alterations department and I also learned to press which meant I spent a lot of time "out back" with the dry cleaner and the spotter. I learned a TON about fabric care and when I no longer worked that job (and no longer received free dry cleaning!) I began learning how to properly launder things, by reading old sewing and Home Economics books I picked up at yard sales.

"Dry clean only" is the safety net for manufacturers. If they slap that label on something they're protected from liability. Consider that both sheep and geese routinely get wet. ;)

Cold water and a dilute solution of my favorite laundry detergent is how I wash things like comforters. I will take them to a laundromat to use the extractor to really get remaining water out of them and use their dryers (I don't have a dryer).

I routinely wash our feather pillows by first soaking them with the garden hose (this keeps them from floating in the washer). I put them in the washing machine with a cup of ammonia and run the cycle. I rinse them twice. Ammonia cuts grease (and everyone's hair is oily and sometimes we sweat while we're in bed). I take them to the laundromat and "extract" them and then dry them, finishing with a full day in the sunshine on top of the car, turning every couple of hours. They look nearly brand new when I'm done. They're now nearly 15 yrs. old, too.

I use ammonia a lot actually; esp. for woolens. I use it for hats, socks, mittens (I rinse carefully and add a capful of lanolin to the final rinse to add water repellency and promote elasticity in the wool fibres). I block and dry them flat or, in the case of socks, on stretchers.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 2:28PM
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i was all down in the washer, but i only buy down that is in cotton so it's no biggie to wash it, but what you're proposing to buy is not a down comforter, and it's not in cotton.

when you mix different fabrics as this comforter does, you end up with a product that acts differently when washed. your innards could melt while your outters could shrink...your outters could unravel...or the back side shrink while the fontside stretches out like a sock.

when working with natural materials, i don't mind ignoring the dry clean label...but in this case, i wouldn't even consider it.

i make very expensive silk quilts, and label them dry clean only. the reason for the label is not because i'm lazy but because the different fabrics used all react differently to water. most all i'd wash on their own, but to do so together would ruin a very expensive quilt....i know this because i've seen one that was ruined in a washer. the dyes didn't hold (because she used a hot setting) and the fabric shrunk in some areas...and the velvet melted in the dryer (silk velvet should not be dried on hot hot hot!)

i'd look to another seller like pottery barn who make this in a cotton duvet version.

and on the dryclean need to find a new drycleaner if you don't trust yours to follow instructions, and if you're worried about the chemicals...try a green cleaner...thy're more expensive, but they're out there!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 4:11PM
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Could you try hand washing in the bathtub? I did that with my great-grandmother's quilt with some mild soap and soaked it in the bathtub. Then squeezed (not ring) the water out as best I could then hung it up on the cloths line outside.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 5:53PM
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I didn't read the other posts, but my bedspread said dry-clean only and I washed it in cold in a hand wash setting then line-dried it. Came out fine. The lack of being able to "wash" IMO is gross after a while so I didn't care if I wrecked it. But it came out good!!!! On the other hand, it didn't have any stuffing and it didn't spot when wet.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 6:47PM
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