04 October 2012

Cleaning Feather or Feather/Down Quilts

These can, indeed, be washed rather than dry cleaned and now is the ideal time to do this chore before you put quilts away for the summer.

Any stains, such as the grime on the cuffs of a jacket, should be spot-cleaned with a pre-wash treatment (such as the Cheapskates Stain Removing Soap) then rinsed with water.

Wash the item in the washing machine on the gentle cycle with 3 teaspoons of Cheapskates Washing Powder and 1/2 cup white vinegar in the rinse. The key is to ensure the down is rinsed extremely well so run an extra rinse cycle, then a gently spin.

Take the quilt and put it in the dryer rather than line drying (I know, I can hardly believe I'm telling you this either). This allows the feathers to plump up again. Place large knotted towels or tennis balls in the dryer to help fluff the down.

The only caution is if the item has weak seams or fragile fabric it could "explode" and leave you with a dryer full of feathers. Go over your quilt or jacket carefully before you attempt to wash it. If there is any doubt about the stitching or the fabric then reconsider - if you are prepared to risk a mess, go ahead. If not, pay for it to be professionally cleaned.

If there are stains remaining, place it (on a blanket) outside in full sunshine for a day or two. This often helps. If not, at least your doona will have that outdoor fresh smell.

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