I thought I’d share an email exchange I had with a customer about her desire to wash her quilt. It definitely showcases the many things to take into consideration when caring for your quilt.
I was asked: Is there any other way to clean an old quilt besides the wet or vacuum cleaning methods? Is there a dry shampoo I could use, or a powder? The quilt is from the 40\’s or 50\’s and the material and thread are deteriorating. It sure could use some type of cleaning. It is pretty dingy and fragile.
This sort of question reveals that there is no magic answer! Don’t we all wish we could have a magic wand to return a quilt to it’s original state?
When caring for a quilt, you have to determine your long term goals for this quilt. If you want to use it and enjoy it versus if you want to preserve it or its value will determine the best way to care for your quilt. The answer to this question and its overall condition will guide you in proceeding. Ask yourself what you want out of this quilt. It may be that the quilt can be cleaned and used. It may be that its fragile state or historical/sentimental value is too great to risk cleaning it. Or perhaps it would be worth it to you to find a properly certified quilt restorer to bring it back to its original condition. There is no one answer that is right for anyone.
There really is no other cleaning product that we can recommend beyond our Quilt Clean. However, another technique to try would be to lay the quilt on a white cotton sheet on the lawn and cover it with another white sheet on a sunny day. This helps with odor and general mustiness.