Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tips On Cleaning and Storing Your Bedding


The bed is usually the focal point of a bedroom and new bedding can really give a room a fresh, new look. Bedding can get expensive and even if you find a great deal on a new bedspread or comforter, taking good care of it will help keep it looking great.
It’s not uncommon to have different sets of bedding for different seasons. A heavy, thick comforter is good for the winter months, while a lighter quilt or bedspread is appropriate during the warm summer months. Here are some tips for cleaning and storing comforters and bedspreads.


Washing
Make sure you read the label first. Do not machine wash an item that says "dry clean only". Commercial washing machines or very large machines designed to handle oversized loads are best for proper agitation and better aeration after the rinse cycle. This also helps to remove dust mites more effectively. Use a mild detergent and warm, not hot, water. Avoid pouring the soap directly on the fabric.


Drying
A commercial dryer or extra large capacity dryer is best again for aeration. Avoid over drying, dry on high for 30 minutes and then finish drying on a lower setting. Drying outside on a clothesline is a great way to air out your bedding. It is best to use multiple lines though, to help support the weight. Be careful to avoid direct sunlight which can fade colored fabric.

Storage
A great way to store bulky comforters and bedspreads is to use vacuum sealed storage bags. All the air is sucked out of the bag, making it much smaller. It also keeps dirt, dust mites, mold and bugs away from your bedding. When you need to use the bedding again, it will come out as fresh and clean as when you stored it.


Special care should be taken when cleaning and storing quilts, especially when they are handmade. Follow these tips when caring for quilts:

Washing
To wash a quilt by hand, fill up the tub with warm water and add a gentle, non-abrasive detergent. Wash the quilt using slow, gentle kneading motions. Be careful of any stitching, ribbon or fringe that may tear easily. Never use a brush or abrasive scrubbing tool that can harm the fabric. To rinse, drain the tub and refill with fresh water, and gently work the detergent out, then roll it to squeeze out the excess water. If the tag says you can machine wash, make sure to use the gentle cycle with a mild detergent and never use bleach. Dry cleaning is generally not recommended for quilts.

Drying
The safest way to dry a quilt is to lay it flat. You can use a fan to help it dry faster. Do not hang a quilt over a clothes line, or in direct sunlight. The weight of the quilt, especially when wet can cause the threading to break where it touches the line.

Storage
If you need to fold the quilt to store it, make sure you fold it differently each time to avoid the creases becoming permanent. Wrapping an old sheet around it will help protect it and keep it clean.

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