How To Wash a Quilt – Cleaning Guide

Quilts are not just practical for keeping warm; they are also cherished heirlooms and works of art. Whether you have a handmade quilt passed down through generations or a cosy store-bought one, keeping it clean is essential to ensure its longevity and beauty. In this guide, we will walk you through three different methods for washing a quilt: hand washing, machine washing, and spot cleaning. By following these steps, you can keep your quilt looking fresh and clean for years.

How to Hand Wash a Quilt – 7 Simple Steps

Hand washing a quilt is a gentle and effective way to clean it without risking any damage. Here are seven simple steps to follow when hand-washing your quilt:

  1. Check the care label: Before you start, check the care label on your quilt. Some quilts may have specific care instructions that you should follow.
  2. Prepare a bathtub or large container: Fill a clean bathtub or a large container with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause colours to bleed or fabrics to shrink.
  3. Add a mild detergent: Choose a mild, pH-balanced detergent suitable for delicate fabrics. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals that can damage the quilt's fibres.
  4. Submerge the quilt: Gently submerge the quilt in the soapy water. Gently agitate the water to distribute the detergent evenly.
  5. Let it soak: Allow the quilt to soak for 15-20 minutes. Avoid excessive agitation or wringing, which can damage the quilt's stitching.
  6. Gently agitate and rinse: Using your hands, gently agitate the quilt to remove dirt and grime. Then, carefully drain the soapy water and refill the container with clean, lukewarm water to rinse the quilt. Repeat the rinse process until there are no soap suds left.
  7. Dry the quilt: Carefully lift it out of the water, supporting it with both hands to avoid stretching or tearing. Lay it flat on a clean, dry towel, and roll the towel to press out excess water gently. Then, spread the quilt flat, allowing it to air dry. Avoid hanging the quilt, as it can distort its shape.

How to Machine Wash a Quilt – 4 Quick Steps

Machine washing a quilt can be convenient, but it should be done cautiously to prevent damage. Here are four quick steps to follow when machine washing your quilt:

  1. Check the care label: As with hand washing, check the care label for any specific instructions.
  2. Use a gentle cycle: Select a gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine which minimises agitation and reduces the risk of damage.
  3. Use a mild detergent: Again, choose a mild, pH-balanced detergent without bleach or harsh chemicals. Avoid fabric softeners, which can leave residues and diminish the quilt's softness.
  4. Load the machine and wash: Place the quilt in the machine, ensuring it has enough space to move freely. It's best to wash the quilt alone or with similar items like bed linens to prevent tangling. Start the machine and let it complete the wash cycle.

After machine washing, it's essential to remove the cotton quilt promptly, and either air dry it or use a low heat setting in the dryer. Avoid overloading the dryer and check the quilt's progress frequently to prevent overheating.

How to Spot Clean a Quilt – 6 DIY Hacks

Sometimes, you only need to address a small stain or spot on your quilt. In such cases, spot cleaning can be a quick and effective solution. Here are six DIY hacks to help you spot-clean your quilt:

  1. Blot the stain: If it is fresh, blot it gently with a clean, white cloth or paper towel to remove as much of the substance as possible without rubbing.
  2. Mix a cleaning solution: Prepare a gentle cleaning solution by mixing a small amount of mild detergent with lukewarm water.
  3. Test in an inconspicuous area: Before applying the solution to the stain, test it in an inconspicuous area of the quilt to ensure it doesn't cause any colour fading or damage.
  4. Apply the solution: Dab the stained area with the cleaning solution using a clean cloth, sponge, or a soft-bristle brush. Be gentle to avoid spreading the stain.
  5. Blot and rinse: After applying the solution, blot the area again with a clean cloth to absorb the stain. Then, rinse the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove any detergent residue.
  6. Air dry: Allow the spot-cleaned area to air dry. Do not use a heat source like a hairdryer, as it can set the stain or cause damage.

Also check Choose The Best Bedspreads for Winter and Summer.


Maintaining your quilt's cleanliness is crucial for its preservation, and following the appropriate cleaning method is essential. Hand washing is the gentlest way to clean your quilt, while machine washing can be suitable for some quilts with proper precautions. Spot cleaning is a quick fix for minor stains but always proceed with care.

Remember to check the care label on your quilt and use a mild detergent to prevent damage. Whether you choose to hand wash, machine wash, or spot clean, treating your quilt with care will help ensure it stays beautiful and cosy for years. So, give your beloved quilt the care it deserves and enjoy its warmth and beauty for generations to come