Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blanket Care

Blanket Care
How to clean your wool, cotton and synthetic blankets
Autumn is close at hand and I'm sure for those of you who have sweltered through this summer it can't come soon enough. And that is just my point. It is warm out and the best time to wash the blankets and spreads since they can be put out to dry.
Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning. If you machine wash your bedding  be sure it will fit the washer with room to spare for effective cleaning. Otherwise the bedding will not come clean. Usually the large capacity washers at the laundromat are your best bet and faster since you can run 3 or 4 loads at one time.  (Always clean these tubs before using them)
To Clean Wool Blankets: Some wool blankets can be machine washed in cold water with much caution. Check the tag first. Dry clean when specified. Wash wool blankets in "Brown Sheep Shampoo." I recently learned that Woolite changed the formula. It is no longer considered safe by the yarn wool associations for cleaning wool. They recommend The Brown Sheep Shampoo made by the Brown Sheep Company.
Machine wash wool blankets by filling the tub with cold water and adding a small amount of the "shampoo." Pretreat any stains and clean the binding around the outer edges of the blanket with Bi-O-Kleen  (remember it's on sale) Let that set 15 to 30 minutes. Be especially gentle if the blanket is old and the binding could tear easily. Let the blanket soak for 30 minutes before allowing the cycle to run. After the wash cycle finishes allow the blanket to spin for just a minute then advance the timer to the deep rinse cycle. Then let the cycle finish.  Lay the blanket on a table outside or in your garage on top of some clean towels.
Or alternately fill the bathtub with cold water adding ¼ cup of the Brown Sheep Shampoo. Let the blanket or spread soak for 30 minutes, agitate gently then rinse in a tub of cold water adding a cup of white vinegar to help extract the shampoo. Rinse them a second time in plain water.  Do not wring. Fold them in half then roll them up to help remove most of the water while the blanket is still in the tub. Then roll them up placing large bath towels on top of the blanket as it is rolled to absorb the moisture.
Cleaning Cotton and Acrylic blankets can be machine washed in cold water and dried on low. These blankets dry faster without the expensive cost of electricity by hanging them outside to dry. They can be draped over a rail after the rail has been covered with plastic or hung on a taut line.
Cleaning Nylon Flock blankets like Vellux, can be washed in cool water. They dry quickly outside or in the dryer on medium heat. If you machine dry them do remove them promptly so set your kitchen timer as a reminder.    
Now you have your bedding ready for holiday guests giving you one less hectic thing to do during the holidays that are more than rapidly approaching.
This article may only be reprinted giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website at Copyright @2006 All rights reserved worldwide.

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