The short answer is ”YES”, you can wash a quilt containing wool batting. However, you should be prepared to see the quilt shrink a little, resulting in it being smaller as well as the batting bunched up between the stitching lines.
Furthermore, you should be cautious when washing wool batting, because it cannot be machine washed. Fortunately, most brands offer the option to wash batting in a washing machine or dryer, but you must be careful with the temperature and cycle settings. Personally, I believe hand-washing the quilt is a better choice since it keeps the quilt safe and prevents unexpected damage.
If the batting you used inside the quilt is machine washable, you can easily wash the quilt containing that batting in a washer or dryer without fear of ruining it. But if you’re unsure, or can’t remember, washing by hand would be safer.
Whether you’re washing by hand or by machine, the steps below will guide you through the process of washing your quilt making sure you do everything the right way without damaging your precious quilt.
- Select the delicate cycle in the washing machine and set the temperature of the water to a cooler setting.
- Use mild detergent or neutral pH soap.
- Load the quilt into the washing machine and close the door, then press start.
- Allow the quilt to soak for 15-30 minutes and then remove it from the machine.
- Gently squeeze out the water. Do not wring or twist the quilt.
Washing by Hand
- Fill your bathtub with enough cold water to cover the quilt. Use lower-temperature water.
- Add mild detergent, neutral pH soap, or quilt soap and mix evenly throughout the water.
- Soak the quilt completely in the water by pressing it down slowly, then gently move it. Don’t overagitate to avoid felting and shrinkage.
- After waiting for 20 minutes, drain the tub completely, refill it with water, and gently rinse the batting by moving it back and forth. Don’t rush, take your time! To remove the soap residue, repeat the process at least two or three times.
- Drain the tub again and gently squeeze the quilt by hand to get rid of extra water. Be sure not to wring or twist the quilt to avoid unexpected damage.
After washing the quilt, you will have to dry it, which is a tedious job, I know. There is often confusion as to whether it is possible to dry a quilt inside a machine that contains wool batting. It’s actually possible to dry it in a machine since the batting is contained within the quilt, but this is still a bit more risky in my opinion.
I prefer the old-fashioned way as it keeps the quilt safe from any kind of damage. Just let the quilt dry naturally. Lay it on a flat surface outside or in a large room to air-dry. You can hang the quilt on a clothesline or drape it across a clean curtain rod or drying rack.
However, in the absence of enough space to dry the quilt naturally, machine drying may be your only option, so be careful when doing so. When machine drying, use a low temperature and remove the quilt from the dryer as soon as possible.
How long to dry a quilt with wool batting in the dryer?
Wool can shrink and become damaged if not dried properly. You should dry a quilt containing wool batting on the lowest heat setting for no longer than 10-15 minutes. Check halfway through to make sure it is not over-drying.
What detergent to use when washing a quilt containing wool batting?
You can wash a quilt containing wool with a mild, wool-safe detergent that does not contain enzymes or bleach as these ingredients can damage the quilt by breaking down the wool fibers from inside. You can also use quilt soap which is available on Amazon or in local stores. It is safe to use without worrying about damaging the quilt.