February 14, 2011

To Wash or Not to Wash...


A problem with living with quilts is that they eventually get dirty. Case in point: there was a mysterious glob smack dab in the middle of the quilt on my bed this morning and, funny, the cat was slinking, guiltily away. Eeewwww! So, it has to be washed.

I wash my quilts in the machine, but I take some precautions. First, I bought a front loading machine so I could get my bed-size quilts in. (I know a bit extravagant, but I use it for clothes, too!) Then I set it on the shortest, most gentle cycle the machine has. I set it on speed wash, warm/warm, light soil, low spin. It will wash about 30 minutes. I use about a tablespoon or two of Dawn dish washing liquid for the soap. (Don't freak out! Remember, it's the same as Synthropal. Click here to read more.) Then I dry it for about 20 minutes on medium, which usually gets it dry.


I haven't had any trouble with bleeding or fading in the years I've been washing my quilts.

9 comments:

  1. Not sure of the reason for the low spin? Would think that the more water out of the quilt the better......

    You know, if they do fade - it is not the end of the world..... you are using your quilt which is good.......even if the cat was not so good... Note to self: start saving for a front loader....

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  2. I'm with you on the washing machine., although I use Persil...low spin also, fast is too harsh. If the quilt looks sturdy enough I also put my antique quilts in (I really only have vintage)

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  3. Hi Mimi,
    I use the low spin to keep down stress on the quilt, but that may not be a concern at all now that I think about it! And even with the low spin, they come out of the wash pretty "dry" (not sopping wet). You won't regret a front loader! They use minimum water and the energy use is much less than my old, traditional machine.
    J

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  4. I wash mine in the washing machine on gentle cycle. If I worry about colors bleeding I throw in a Shout color catcher sheet. I also prewash my fabrics. Thanks for letting me know about Dawn. Hugs

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  5. I'm such a new quilter, I haven't had to wash any of mine yet. The thought of doing so has actually scared me a little until reading your blog entry today. I have read so many blogs and articles about they painstaking process of 1) soaking them in the tub in some expensive quilt soak concoction, 2)spinning them in the washer to extract the water and 3)then laying them somewhere flat to dry. First off, all my bathtubs are upstairs. The washing machine is downstairs. Can you imaging the weight of a soaking wet quilt that I would somehow have to lug down the stairs without getting everything wet between the two loations. And frankly, I don't have a spot big enough anywhere to dry any of my quilts FLAT to dry. I make king sized ones. So...I'm glad to hear that someone has had good luck just 'washing' them like any other normal bed linen item. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Hi Sherri,
    I think the laying dry flat is so they stay square. But honestly, a well-constructed quilt won't change shape! And, I have a dog, two cats three kids and a husband. Where on earth would I find a place to dry a quilt flat!
    Thanks for your comments. Let me know how it goes washing your first quilt!
    J

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  7. If it can't be washed and dried, why bother making it in the first place? I make mine to be used and slightly abused. That is why I have bunches of them too. I just finished a red and white top. Gotta get some color catchers for sure before washing that one. Didn't prewash anything, and the fabrics are from the 90's so I know they are going to bleed like crazy. If it screws the color up. It will still be usable to go camping or cuddle on the sofa, just won't look as great is all.

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  8. Hi Ann Marie,
    I like your philosophy! It matches mine. I use many quilts at ball games, etc.! It kills my Mom to see it, but If I'm cold, I need a quilt!
    J

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  9. I want a bright red shiny washing machine. I somehow can't see my DH allowing me to swap a white one which is almost the same just to change the colour. It's fabulous.

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