How to wash a quilt

How to wash a quilt

Washing sheets, pillowcases, and bedroom linen is a relatively straightforward affair. However, if you’ve been lying awake at night wondering how to wash a quilt, you’re not alone. First, there’s the logistics of managing your quilt’s size and weight. Then, the myriad of various fibres, feathers and fabrics to acquaint yourself. Unsurprisingly, some of us feel a little daunted when approaching this task. Perhaps you didn’t know you were supposed to wash your quilt. Most of us snuggle up to our quilts on a nightly basis, so it’s perfectly reasonable to want to know the correct way to keep this important everyday item fresh and hygienic.

As a general rule, it is best first to check the instructions on the care label of each quilt. Cotton quilts, for instance, can usually be washed on a cold machine cycle, whereas quilts that have polyester or blended fills can be washed on a slightly warmer cycle. Wool sometimes needs a more delicate approach with a gentle detergent.

Here are a few handy quilt-washing hints.

Should you wash your quilt?

Quilts should be washed. Washing a quilt helps keep your bed fresh and helps remove dust mites, bacteria, pet dander, and any build-up of skin cells or sweat that may have accumulated in your quilt due to daily use.

How to hand wash a quilt:

If you’re unsure about popping your quilt in the washing machine, you might want to tackle a hand wash. 

  1. Check the care instructions and look for any wear and tear. Now that your quilt is free of the cover, it’s a great way to look for holes or loose threads. 
  2. Clear your sink or bath of soaps, oils, dirt or other debris. Give it a quick rinse to ensure it’s nice and clean before filling the tub with cold water and washing detergent.
  3. Submerge your quilt into the water and gently move it around with your hands. You can leave it to soak for 10-20 minutes. 
  4. Drain the soapy water and refill the tub with more cold water. Consider this the rinse cycle! Move your quilt around again to remove any remaining detergent.
  5. Continue to repeat this process until all the detergent is gone. 
  6. Drain the tub and gently squeeze out any excess water. Then, move the quilt to a drying rack or the outside clothesline. You can also lay towels on the ground and spread the quilt flat for easy drying. 

Can I wash a quilt in the washing machine?

If your quilt is made from cotton, wool or a renewable fibre such as Suprelle® Blue, it can easily be machine-washed and (normally) tumble dried, though you should always check the care label for specific instructions.

Due to the density of some quilts, it’s best to wash them by themselves. Quilts need room to gently agitate in the machine for a good and proper clean, uninhibited by additional items. When wet, quilts can also become quite heavy. Keep an eye on the wash cycle, as you may have to re-position the quilt mid-wash to rebalance the weight, especially in top-loading machines.

Many modern washing machines have dedicated cycles for washing quilts, so look out for those settings on your machine.

Importantly, thoroughly dry your quilt before putting: it back on your bed or into storage. Quilts still slightly damp can be a breeding ground for mould and mildew. If you can air dry your quilt in sunlight, this is ideal as the sun can naturally help kill bacteria.


How to wash a quilt in a front loader?

Using a front loader is often the best method for machine-washing a quilt. If your front-load washing machine doesn’t have a specified bedding cycle, consult the care label.

  1. Load your quilt into your machine. 
  2. Quilts need room to gently agitate in the machine for a good and proper clean, uninhibited by additional items. 
  3. Use a low heat setting on a gentle cycle for cotton, wool, or polyester quilts. 
  4. Make sure to keep an eye on the quilt. You may need to re-position it mid-wash to rebalance the weight in the machine, especially in top-loading machines.
  5. Thoroughly dry your quilt before putting it back on your bed or into storage.

How often should you wash your quilt?

While you certainly don’t need to launder your quilt at the same frequency as your bed linen, a seasonal freshen-up every 3-6 months will help keep your bed free from nasties. Why not use the beginning of each season as a prompt to remind you that it’s time to wash your quilt? If you can’t keep up with washing your quilt every season, perhaps choose the start of summer or spring, as it’s often easier to dry your quilt in the warmer months.

Washing your quilt shouldn’t be a complicated task. Most can easily be machine-washed and dried if your quilt is made with quality, breathable fibres; like those you’ll find at Snooze, most can be machine-washed and dried. To uncover our range of easy-care quilts for all seasons, head in-store or online to make cleanliness in your bedroom a breeze.

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