Saturday, March 25, 2006

Wash Bedding properly

As winter melts into spring, lighter linens and cotton sheets will replace down-filled comforters and fuzzy flannels. But bedding can be an expensive investment. Before packing up the warm winter bedding, make sure to launder properly. The following guidelines from the Coin Laundry Association will help extend their life:

# Be kind to your bedding. Wash and dry in large-capacity machines. Most household washers can hold between 10- to 12-pounds of laundry. This is not large enough for a queen-size comforter. Commercial-grade washers can handle up to 75 pounds of wash and are best for cleaning bedding. Using larger machines will extend the life of your comforter and your home washer and dryer.

# Wash colored bedding in a mild detergent. Whites should be followed up with an oxygenated-bleach. Avoid chlorine bleaches, which leave a residue that is hard to clean and can cause discoloration over time.

# When drying your bedding, use a fabric-softening sheet as opposed to a liquid softener. Fabrics, such as down, have a tendency to absorb the liquid unevenly.

# Contrary to popular opinion, you can wash down-filled bedding. Be sure to read the care instructions, but most down comforters and pillows can be laundered. Use a mild detergent to wash and when drying put some clean tennis balls in the dryer to help fluff and distribute the down.

# Wash and dry flannel sheets separately. Flannel has a tendency to deposit lint in the dryer. Perhaps the most important care instruction for flannel is not to over-dry. Over-drying can cause wrinkles to set and colors to fade.

# Wool blankets can be washed and dried! Use cold water on a gentle cycle and fluff dry. Add some towels to help absorb moisture and cut down on drying time.

# Save time and use a drop-off service.

# Always read the care labels. Laundering comforters and bedspreads at the laundry saves money over dry cleaning, but certain fabrics, such as satin, cannot be washed and should be taken to a professional dry cleaner.