cleanquiltsSecret Recipe That’ll Keep Your
Quilts Clean!

Ever wonder what the secrets are to a lasting quilt?

Proper cleaning and care should do the trick! And the key word there is proper. So read on and learn a trick or two from this step by step approach on making your quilt last a lifetime.


  1. Examine the quilt. Before doing anything to your quilt, check it out for tears or rips. If there are any, make sure to repair them first – you can do it yourself or ask a reputable quilt repair service to do it for you. If your quilt was bought, check its label and follow cleaning/storing instructions.


  1. Cleaning. Quilts because of their size, weight, material, and age – makes it difficult to clean. But yes, you do have to still wash that quilt sometime… and here are a few tips on cleaning but at the end of the day, always use your best judgment.


Categorize your quilt:

a.) Antique/Heirloom

b.) Quilts with beading, embroidery, or appliqué

c.) Newly crafted/bought quilt


Cleaning Methods:

a.) Dry Clean/Machine wash

b.) Hand wash

c.) Airing

d.) Vacuum

e.) Hire a Qualified Quilt Conservation or Restoration Service


Dry Cleaning/Machine Washing. Antique quilts, heirlooms, quilts with beading, embroidery or appliqué should not be dry cleaned or machine washed. Quilts like these may not be able to withstand the power of the machine and the chemicals. For newly crafted or bought quilts, check for 2 things: colorfastness and/or care instructions. If you do decide to run your quilt in a machine, make sure to use a mild and fragrance free soap and to put the machine in its lowest and shortest cycle.

Hand Wash. Just as mentioned above, check first for colorfastness. This is important so that you’ll see if the colors of the fabric will not run when washed. You can test for colorfastness by rubbing a white piece of cloth damped with water into every color of your quilt. If your white cloth stays white, you are good to go. In any case, make sure to use cold water or lukewarm water to further avoid staining.

Airing. Air out your quilts to freshen them. This is the most inexpensive and safest way to keep your quilts clean and new. Air out your quilts in a good sunny day but do not allow direct sunlight.

Vacuum. To help take out dust that may have accumulated on your quilts, you may want to try vacuuming once in a while. Make sure to use the lowest speed of your vacuum and to put a stocking over the vacuums nozzle. Lightly vacuum your quilts.

Hire a Qualified Quilt conservation or Restoration Service. Especially for heirlooms and antiques, hiring an accredited cleaner would be the best choice of cleaning method. Ask them the procedure and soap they’ll use. Let them know how important that quilt is and make sure you pick a reputable cleaning service.

Drying your quilt. The proper way of drying your quilt is to lay it down flat over towels and cover it with more towels. You may also bring the quilt out on the grass but still put towels underneath and make sure to cover the quilt with a light sheet to prevent sun damage.


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By Tammie Bowser

I am the creator of three quilting techniques and published three books. Learn How To Sew and get new Quilting Ideas from me. I'll teach you with simplicity, patterns and online sewing classes for FREE / You can also find me at: Google+

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