we have a QS quilt, it is 80% down so its very light and fluffy but in
recent times ive noticed it getting quite dirty. I see advertised all these
fancy quilt dry cleaning services but they charge so much.
Is this something I can put in the washing machine?
Is there a "right" way to do it? (Can I use stain remover on the sweat
I have washed down quilts with good success. Sweat stains are difficult to
remove. For them you might consider the dry cleaner but air the quilt
afterwards to get rid of the fumes from the process and the plastic they
wrap them in.
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Unfortunately, you've already got a dirty down comforter /
quilt........in order to avoid the problem (a dirty down quilt) you
need a removable / washable cover
per this article on the web
A comforter without a cover is called a "duvet." In order to take good
care of a new down comforter or blanket, we recommend that you use a
"duvet cover," a large "pillowcase" that covers the large blanket. A
cover will add some weight, and a decorative cover could add a lot of
weight. But a duvet cover will protect the down blanket or comforter,
and a cover is easier to clean than a large comforter.
You "can" do it yourself but I would recommend against it. The down
fill can clump & be very difficult to dry quickly &
completely....leaving you with a damp lumpy mess. .
You'll need a large washer & a large dryer (like at the laundromat) if
you want to attempt this yourself.
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Nothing gets stuff clean like a good washing in soap & water (since
the majority of dirt / stains are water soluble) but unfortunately
some things just don't tolerate a water washing very well. :(
Unless you want to risk the item...I would suggest biting the bullet
going with the expensive professional clean (if the item is worth it)
If you do go for 'washing" it yourself use very little soap & make
sure its ok for down.
I'm no expert but I think dry cleaning is a "no - no" for down.
After its clean, get a cover to keep it clean.
What is QS? Antique? What type of fabric? Pieced? If an old, pieced
quilt, washing is a bad idea. Washing any quilt in washing machine is
not a good idea, because the down floats and that will strain the
fabric. It could tear. I believe one old method of removing stains was
to put white corn meal on the stain - never tried it.
Drying hint: Buy a set of tennis balls (I paid $2 for 3) and throw them in
the dryer with the quilt. It's a little noisy, but this keeps the down from
bunching up. Everything dries much more nicely and easily. No joke! Also
make sure you dry on low heat or just air.
I can definitely recommend the duvet cover, also. Some can be pricey, but
you can find them for as little as $20, too (think close-out stores, or at
least one of the big bedding stores).
I dry quilts outdoors, either draped over our hedge or laid on the lawn.
Lawn is good when grass is tall enough to need mowing, clean sheet
under the quilt. Good air circ, not strong sunlight. Not a good idea if
you have mulberry trees or a lot of birds :o)
If you are going to wash it, I would put detergent on the greasy or
soiled spots. If you have a tub you can use outdoors (or a small
child's pool), line it with a sheet then put the quilt in to wash. You
might be able to get the fabric clean(er) before the down gets
saturated. Use the sheet like a sling so's not to tear fabric lifting
it while it is saturated and heavy. Roll the whole thing up to squeeze
out excess water, spin gently in washer to get out more water, lay out
or air dry. I have washed down pillows, and it is very difficult to get
real down saturated with water, so it is iffy to guess how the comforter
will work in washer.
You could hand-wash it with Woolite. You can do it on a clean
driveway and use the garden hose to rinse. This is a good method for
large delicate items. A warm sunny day will help dry it or you can
use a large-capacity dryer on the lowest setting. Add three clean
tennis balls to help fluff it back in shape. There is some risk using
a clothes washer--possibly damaging the machine. If you care about
the quilt, a professional cleaning is best.
Yes, but not in YOUR washing machine. Many coin laundromats have very
large washing machines for washing comforters, etc. Worked fine for me,
but (as people have noted) allow plenty of time for drying.
Have the quit professionally cleaned, then make washable quilt
cover(s)--these are quick and easy to make if you have a sewing
machine. I do this for two down comforters and launder the covers.
One is zippered, other has buttons, and another has a flap. I prefer
the flapped cover opening.
I lost track of the begining of this thread, but if it's a down quilt,
DO NOT have it cleaned. Wash it according to the accurate
instructions you have received, paying special attention to lifting it
out of the tub with something under it, rather than by its own weight.
I happen to have a yard where I could spread it out to dry in the sun,
but if you don't, you can use a large professional dryer, as others
have advised, with tennis balls (I prefer shoes) to even out the
I queried a respected outing shop years ago about cleaning my
down sleeping bag. These folks know what they're doing. They
said that dry cleaning actually deteriorates the down.
If it's not down, ignore this.
I've washed down "everything" (comforters, sleeping bags, jackets,
pillows, etc.) in the washing machine with never a problem. The
fabric of the comforter is probably a bigger consideration than the
fill. I've used Shout and nonchlorine bleach on down-filled items
with no problem.
For queen size, you'll definitely want to use jumbo laundromat
machines. It really doesn't take terribly long for down to dry if you
fluff it up while it's drying; I've usually used the tennis ball idea
posted earlier, although I've also washed my tennis shoes along with a
down item and then put them in the dryer with it (it takes longer to
dry this way since you have to turn down the heat because of the
shoes). Again, check the fabric of the cover and adjust dryer heat
Dry cleaner? I don't know -- I've always figured why spend the money
when machine washing works so well. Just for the record, I would
REPLACE a queen-size down comforter before I would attempt to wash it
by hand in anything! Talk about making work for yourself, yikes.
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