Quilt Care Instructions

Displaying Your Quilt

  • Avoid Direct Sunlight
  • Expose the front of the quilt to light evenly.
    • Quilts in display cases, folded over couches or quilt racks need to be refolded regularly to avoid fade marks, even from man-made light sources.

Cleaning Your Quilt

  • VACUUM IT: If a quilt is dusty, try vacuuming it
    • Avoid the hose sucking it up by placing a stocking over the end of the hose
  • DO NOT DRY CLEAN: dry cleaning is not recommended unless the quilt is made from wools and silks
  • USE QUILT SOAP: When laundering always use a specifed quilt soal like Orvus Paste Quilt Soap
    • If you cannot find a quilt soap look for a soap that has no detergents, phosphates, perfumes, softeners or optical brighteners
  • TOP LOADING WASHING MACHINE: If your top loading machine does not have a handwash cycle substitute agitation by hand for the machine’s agitation cycle
  • FRONT LOADING MACHINE: Use the handwash setting
  • DO NOT HANG ON CLOTHESLINE: Never hang a wet quilt on a clothesline as it will be heavy enough to break the stitching
  • LAY QUILT FLAT: Laying a quilt flat (or over the backs of dining room chairs) to dry is best

Instructions for Washing Machines Without a Handwash/Delicate Cyle

  • Fill washer with cold water, add quilt soap
  • 1) Shut off washer, 2) Add quilt, 3) Gently agitate by hand, 4) Soak 5 to 10 minutes
  • 1) Drain washing machine, 2) Refill with cold water, 3) Agitate by hand, 4) Repeat this step until soap is removed
  • Let spin cycle remove excess water
  • Lay quilt flat on top of a white sheet laid on carpet or other surface

Instructions for Washing Machines With a Handwash/Delicate Cycle

  • Use delicate or handwash cycle and cold water
  • Mix quilt soap with warm water before pouring into machine’s soap dispenser
  • Do not use the maximum extract setting
  • Run through a complete wash cycle again without soap (repeat this step until you can’t “hear” soap when you manipulate the wet quilt)

Soap Brands

  • Orvus Paste Quilt Soap: The most widely available soap at quilt shops and online (also available at Field’s Fabrics)
  • Soak Wash: A new product available at quilt shops and online
  • Ensure Quilt Wash: By Mountain Mist
  • Quiltcare Liquid Wash: By Fairfield
  • Shout Color Catcher: Use this in your wash cycle to keep dye from bleeding
  • If you can’t find any of these soap brands, look for a soap that has no detergents, phosphates, perfumes, softeners or optical brighteners

Quilt Storage

  • Store quilts in a people-comfortable climate: no damp basement, cold shed, garage or hot attic. Closets and dark, spare bedrooms are great
  • Storing a quilt flat is best.
    • The second best is rolling from top to bottom
    • Each time you roll the quilt, change which side of the quilt is on the outside
    • Roll around a cardboard or plastic tube covered in batting or plain cotton muslin
  • Never fold a quilt perfectly in halves; at least fold it in sloppy thirds so permanent creases won’t develop
  • Avoid leaving a quilt in contact with raw wood (cedar chests or unfinished wood shelves)
  • Use plain cotton muslin to protect your quilt by making a custom sized pillowcase to fit around a rolled quilt
  • Use air tight containers if you have a dust or pest problem.
    • Periodically take the quilt out for airing to avoid moisture problems
  • The high the stack of quilts, the more likely the one on the bottom will suffer from folds becoming permanent creases