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Wondering how to wash bedding? Everyone has their own opinion on the subject! Some say that vacuuming your comforter is the only way to freshen it up, while others say you can hand wash it. Check out what to look out for to enjoy beautiful, fresh and clean bedding!

How to wash a comforter in the washing machine?

Before you wash your duvets, check whether the filling is synthetic or natural (down/feather). Look for labels that tell you how to wash specific bedding. Typically, you should set your washing machine to 60 degrees Celsius.

Check to see if your comforter will fit comfortably in the washing machine. Use about ⅓ of the usual amount of detergent. Turn on the normal spin cycle. When the wash is done, shake out the quilt to evenly distribute the filling. Put it in the tumble dryer for 45 minutes or dry it on the balcony on a warm, sunny day. Air out the comforter before you put it back on the bed.

A natural comforter, on the other hand, should be washed very carefully. Some people recommend taking the duvet to a dry cleaner. If you want to clean it at home, keep in mind that it will take much longer to dry than products with hydrophobic, water-repelling filling. Make sure the quilt has actually dried. Although it may appear dry to the touch, the down inside often retains moisture. There is then a risk that the bedding will begin to rot.

Practical tips

Comforter covers and pillowcases protect them from most dirt. As long as you haven’t spilled anything, you don’t need to wash them more than 1-2 times a year. If you can, wash your pillowcases weekly.

For newer comforter covers made of high quality fabric, machine wash them in cold water. Set a gentle cycle and use a mild detergent. A fragrance-free liquid detergent for delicate fabrics will work well here.

Before you throw the comforter in the washing machine, make sure there are no loose threads or stretched seams that need to be repaired first. Remember to check your bedding regularly for these issues. This will help you avoid unwanted accidents.

photo: Burst/Pexels

How to hand wash bedding?

Before you get down to washing, remove all stains with a stain remover or an oxygen and water based bleach. Follow the directions on the package. Never use bleach on satin or silk linens.

If your water is very hard or has iron bacteria in it, use distilled water. Don’t risk staining the fabric with minerals. Add a mild, liquid detergent. Make sure it contains no dyes or fragrances. Avoid powdered detergent because it can leave a residue on the fabric.

Want to wash a vintage, hand-quilted or hand-sewn quilt? Wondering how to do it? If you can, do it by hand:

  1. Make sure the sink or tub you’ll be using is clean. Then pour cold water and unscented laundry detergent into them. Drop the quilt into the tub or sink. Make sure the whole thing is submerged
  2. Gently wash it for 10 minutes, then pour out the water.
  3. Fill the tub or sink with fresh water. This time, add ½ cup of distilled vinegar to it. This will remove any detergent residue, as well as soften the quilt and preserve the beautiful color
  4. Repeat the rinsing process until there are no more soaps left on the bedding.

What else is worth remembering?

Always use an unscented, colorless laundry detergent to wash your comforter. Avoid fabric softeners, which can damage your bedding. Never wring out your comforter, as you will put unnecessary strain on the fabric and lead to permanent creases

If you want to hand wash your comforter, first check the fabric and any decorative stitching for color fastness. Dampen a piece of white cloth with cold water and gently wipe the quilt with it. If any color appears on the fabric, do not wash the duvet and take it to a professional dry cleaner. Most likely, washing it yourself will lead to fading and discoloration.

Photo: Castorly Stock/Pexels

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Lilliana Ross

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