Home Improvement

How to Wash a Handmade Quilt: Step-By-Step Guide

washing a quilt

Handmade quilts are more than just basic necessity items. They often are the expression of artistry, love and creativity. Whether passed down through generations or as a thoughtful gift, this has some sentimental value. Washing a handmade quilt requires a delicate process, unlike the washing of cuddle blankets for adults.

It is essential to go through the step-by-step process to preserve handmade quilts’ vibrant color and structural integrity. In this blog, we will make sure to elaborate on the washing process of a quilt and keep it as a timeless beauty and snug it to experience the comfy and warm hug every day for a longer time period.

Comprehending Your Handmade Quilt

Before taking a dig at how to wash a quilt for the first time, take a moment to understand the material of the quilt. Handmade quilts can be made and layered with different fabrics. From traditional cotton to luxurious silk, each requires specific care. Additionally, it could be layered with cotton, wool, or a blend. Always check the quilt washing instructions that came with your quilt, or consult with the maker to use the appropriate cleaning method.

Step 1: Pre-Treat Stains

Identifying and treating stains before washing can prevent them from setting in during the cleaning process. Carefully inspect your quilt usage of mild detergent or a stain remover is appropriate for the quilt care. Gently dab into the stain because aggressive rubbing may cause damage to the delicate fibers. Allow the pre-treatment to sit for a short period before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Selection of the Detergent

Choosing the suitable detergent is crucial for the life and longevity of your handmade quilt. Look up to the gentle, dye and fragrance-free detergent, as the harsh chemicals can compromise longevity and texture. Especially the detergents designed for soft fabrics or quilts are excellent choices. These milder formulations ensure that your quilt’s intricate details and vibrant hues remain intact throughout the washing process.

Step 3: Preparing the Washing Machine

You can use a washing machine if your machine is large and gentle, plus your quilt is small enough to clean properly. Set the machine into a delicate or handwash setting with cold water. Make sure the machine is clean and free of any residues. Place the quilt in the machine carefully and avoid overloading, which could lead to uneven cleaning.

Step 4: Hand Washing Method

Hand-washing a quilt in a bathtub is a suitable option for larger and more delicate stitched quilts. Fill a clean bathtub with cold water, add the gentle detergent, and mix it thoroughly. Submerge the quilt, allowing it to soak, and gently agitate the water with your hands to ensure an even distribution of the detergent. Hand washing provides greater control and reduces the risk of damage associated with washing machines.

Step 5: Swirl, Don’t Agitate

Whether using a washing machine or a hand washing method, handle the quilt carefully. Avoiding vigorous agitation or wringing can prevent the distortion of the fabric and its stitching. A gentle swirl of the water around the quilt allows the detergent to penetrate and lift dirt and grime. The gentle approach ensures your quilt receives a thorough cleaning without compromising its structural integrity.

Step 6: Thorough Rinsing

After the washing process, drain the soapy water and refill the bathtub with clean, cold water is one of the crucial steps in quilt washing instructions. Gently swirl the quilt in the water to remove any detergent residue. Repeat this process until the water runs clear, indicating that all detergent has been thoroughly rinsed away. Proper rinsing is vital to prevent any lingering detergent from affecting the quilt’s fibers over time.

Step 7: Removing excess Water

Carefully lift the quilt from the water after rinsing, supporting its weight to prevent stretching. Avoid wringing out the quilt, as this can damage the delicate stitching. Instead, gently press the water out by sandwiching the quilt between clean towels. Repeat this process until excess water is removed, maintaining the quilt’s original shape and minimizing the risks of distortion.

Step 8: Drying the Quilt

Spread the quilt flat on a clean, dry surface to air dry. Avoid hanging the quilt, as the weight of the water can lead to distortion. If using a drying rack, ensure the quilt is evenly spread to maintain its shape. To prevent colors from fading, dry the quilt away from direct sunlight. So, it is essential to enhance the quilt care by keeping it in the shade during the drying process.

Step 9: Protecting the Colors

To further safety against the color fading, dry the quilt away from direct sunlight. If drying indoors, choose a well-ventilated area. Sunlight exposure, even indirect, can gradually dull the colors of your quilt. With these precautions, you ensure that the vibrant hues remain as striking as the day you received or created your cherished handmade quilt.

Step 10: Storage Tips

Once your quilt is thoroughly dry, store it in a cool and dry place. Avoid using plastic bags, as they can trap moisture and lead to mildew. Instead, opt for a breathable cotton or linen storage bag. Periodically check the quilt to ensure it remains in good condition, and air it out if necessary. Proper storage is a key element to preserving the longevity and beauty of your handmade quilt.


Washing a quilt requires a thoughtful and meticulous approach to ensure its intricate details and vibrant colors endure for years. By following this step-by-step guide, you can have all the necessary steps on how to wash a handmade quilt for the first time. It also helps to maintain the quality of the fabric, which is the most essential for quilt care.

Handmade quilts are like woven stories. The care you invest in washing them also pays homage to the craftsmanship. As you navigate the delicate process, you contribute to the preservation of tradition and the tangible expression of love and art.


Can you wash handmade quilts in the washing machine?

Avoid washing handmade quilts in a washing machine unless it’s necessary. Handmade quilt requires a delicate touch to preserve its vibrancy and texture.

How to wash a handmade quilt for the first time?

Instruction on washing a handmade quilt;

  • Pre-removing of stains
  • Opt for milder detergent
  • Clean the washing area
  • Soaking of quilt in cold water
  • Avoid aggressive rub
  • Properly rinse out
  • Gentle press out the water
  • Spread the quilt on a dry and clean surface
  • Prevent from sunlight
  • Store in a cool place
  • Use cotton or linen bags

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