Bedding is expensive, but you can protect your investment by keeping it in tip-top shape. Follow these tips on how to clean and store bedding to keep it looking its best.
Prevent Dyes in Bedding from Bleeding
Keep the dyes in a new quilt or other bedding from bleeding by soaking it in a mixture of washing soda and water. You can get washing soda from large grocery stores. If you haven’t any handy, soak the quilt for about two hours in a large washbasin or clean bathtub in a mixture of cold water and 3 to 4 cups of salt. Rinse the quilt well. To dry it, lay it flat outdoors, preferably out of the sun, on a dry day.
Clean Bedding without Washing It
Before you put a quilt through the stress of cleaning, try the less wearing approach of simply vacuuming off the dust every four months or so. Use the lowest setting on your vacuum cleaner and fit it with the small brush attachment. It’s a good idea to wrap a piece of cheesecloth or old panty hose around the end of the hose to prevent small, loose pieces from getting sucked in.
Spot Clean White Bedding
To clean a spot on a white section of bedding, mix up a paste of cream of tartar and all-fabric bleach. Put a dab of paste on the spot and allow it to set. After it dries to a powder, brush it off.
Brighten bedding that has yellowed with age by soaking it for an hour or so in a solution of 1 tablespoon of sodium perborate and 1 gallon of lukewarm water. Sodium perborate is a mild bleaching agent. Its effervescent action gently penetrates and cleans the fabric. Ask a pharmacist for sodium perborate (you shouldn’t need a prescription). Rinse the quilt by dunking it in clean water (in the bathtub), then dry it flat outside on a dry day.
Store bedding in white cotton king-size pillowcases, which allow them to breathe. If you store textiles in plastic bags, they’re more susceptible to mold, mildew and being mistaken for a sack of trash. Don’t use colored pillowcases; the colors may rub off onto the quilts.