Caring for quilts and other big washables with Soak
Whether it's a family heirloom, a piece you stitched yourself, or cozy store-bought comforter, Soak’s gentle formulation lets you give your Soakworthy® piece the care it deserves.
Check the fiber content
Handmade quilts are typically 100% cotton, but keep in mind that factory-made quilts, those made with clothing or quilts from particular eras may contain other fibers. Some fabrics that have “do not wash” warnings can still be washed with Soak. (Just be sure you don’t skip step 2: checking for color fastness.)
Test for color fastness
No matter what fabric the quilt is made from, this important step checks if the color will bleed when you wash it.
- Rub some Soak on inconspicuous areas of the quilt to test.
- If any color bleeds, take the piece to a professional cleaner. However, if you see color in the water, don’t worry. Gentle cleansers like Soak can pull excess dye out of fabric.
- If you have a quilt that can’t be washed (or is really hard to wash), consider using it as a wall hanging instead of a functional piece.
Many quilts, especially modern or factory-made ones, can be washed in the machine in cold water, on the delicate cycle. For vintage and delicate quilts, be extra gentle by hand-washing them with Soak in the bathtub.
To get the water out of a large piece, let the water out of the tub, then gently squeeze out as much as you can. Don’t wring, twist or lift a part of it so the rest hangs down – the weight of the water can stretch it out. Lift it as a whole, supporting as much of it as possible, then roll it up in a clean towel, or if your machine has a gentle spin cycle, spin the water away.
- If you’re worried some dye may leach out, you can also use dye-catchers (in the machine or tub) to trap any wayward dye.
- 100% cotton quilts can be dried in the dryer, on a clothesline or laid flat to dry.
Lay vintage or delicate quilts flat to dry to avoid stressing the fibers.
Storing your quilt
If you’re putting away your quilt for the season, wash it first to prevent damage from dirt, oils and odors. Get the scoop on off-season storage here.
- Keep it in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. Avoid storing it in the basement or attic: humidity may cause mold.
Refold your quilt in different ways periodically so creases don’t become embedded: these areas can become permanent or discolor over time.