One of the main reasons why you should not overlook the proper washing and storage of your winter blankets and linens is because it can help increase their lifespan. This means you won’t have to invest in new bedding every other year.
After an entire season of use, your winter blankets and sheets are bound to be dirty, even if you can’t see the dirt with your naked eye. Over time, we’ve learnt that besides bacteria and germs, it is common for sheets and bedding to have body oils, stray hair (especially if you have a pet at home) and other grime.
So, before you shove this winter load into a closet or bed drawer, do take note of these 5 simple and effective washing and storage tips:
1. Use a Gentle Cycle & the Right Washing Detergent
We always remember two ground rules for washing our winter bedsheets, blankets and pillow cases- setting the machine to a gentle cycle and using cold water for washing. The reason for this is that we’ve noticed hot water may degenerate the fibres of our winter bedding over a period of time. It could also lead to shrunken sheets, something we definitely want to avoid.
Coming to the delicate cycle, it works because it is similar to giving our winter beddings a gentle massage while still ensuring thorough cleaning. We’ve experienced that fast cycles tend to just clean the surface of the blankets and sheets and are not very thorough.
While we’re happy to share insight into the right technique of washing, one should also know how to pick the right laundry products for cleaning winter blankets and linens. We noticed that the fibres and softness of winter bedding may suffer damage when washed with harsh products.
So, we decided to look for a mild detergent that was suitable for washing winter bedding. We were introduced to Love & Care Soft Woollens Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent on a visit to the market and found that it was a special detergent formulated with no enzymes and bleach.
Would you prefer to use a fabric conditioner as part of your daily laundry routine?
After use, we found the real benefits of this formulation. Even after several washes, our blankets and other bed linen retained their original form and the absence of bleach kept their colours intact too. We also noticed that Love & Care Soft Woollens Expert Care Wash Liquid Detergent was gentle on our hands and left behind a nice after-wash fragrance in our beddings!
Click here for an in-depth guide to washing your blankets!
2. Don’t Forget to Add a Fabric Conditioner
While doing our research on washing and caring for winter bedding, we also learnt about fabric conditioners. What is a fabric conditioner? It’s basically a product, which when added to the laundry cycle, helps ensure that the blankets and sheets remain soft, and their fibres are intact. According to the reviews by mothers on Comfort Core Fabric Conditioner, it gave the exact results as promised on the product label.
We used it during our wash cycle and our blankets and linen came out looking and feeling soft, and there was a fresh fragrance emanating from them. Upon reading the label, we learnt that Comfort Core Fabric Conditioner coats each cloth fibre with a protective layer, which helps prevent any potential damage caused due to washing. After washing, we noticed that the fabric felt so soft against our skin and the blankets and sheets emanated a fresh, long-lasting fragrance. The best part is that Comfort Core Fabric Conditioner can be used for both hand and machine wash.
We follow the below given steps while using Comfort Core Fabric Conditioner:
After washing our clothes with laundry detergent, we simply pour half a cap of the fabric conditioner in a bucket of water and soak our washed clothes in this solution. After five minutes, we remove the clothes from the bucket and dry as usual. We’ve found that there’s no need to rinse our clothes again.
We first wash our clothes in the machine as usual and add a cap of the fabric conditioner in the machine tub in clean water during the last rinse cycle.
Top Load Machine
If the machine has a softener compartment, it's best to add a cap of the fabric conditioner at the beginning of the wash cycle. If there isn't one, we pour a cap of Comfort Core Fabric Conditioner into the machine tube during the last rinse cycle.
Front Load Machine
For this machine, we add one cap of the fabric conditioner in the softener/conditioner compartment at the same time we add the detergent. After the wash cycle, our clothes came out looking and feeling super soft!
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3. Make Smart Use of the Dryer
We sometimes feel like our winter linens and blankets brazed a storm when they come out of the machine dryer-all wrinkled and lifeless. This reminds us that we need to make smart use of the machine dryer.
Over a period of time, we found that the reason this happens is because when we put too much load into the dryer, there is little space left for the blankets and sheets to fluff up. So, how do we ensure that our winter blankets and linens are wrinkle-free? Well, we tried washing them separately and filled the machine dryer up only halfway. Trust us, the results surprised us!
If you take out your winter linens and blankets slightly early from the dryer i.e. prior to the ending of the drying cycle, it is easy to smooth out all creases since they are a little damp and therefore, more flexible.
4. Pack the Bulk to Reduce Volume
After washing comes the tricky bit of packing the heavy winter blankets, sheets, throws etc. A lot of trial and error and plenty of research led us to an amazing packing solution for all the bulk of bedding.
We fold our linens and blankets up as securely as we can (to make the load smaller) and use special vacuum storage bags for reducing the volume, especially in the case of down comforters. We have noticed that this also helps keep the blankets free of dust and other allergens.
We avoid cardboard completely since it can attract pests like rats.
5. Figure Out a Place for Storage
Now that you’ve cleaned your winter blankets, bedsheets, and linens, don’t even think about shoving them into a storage space like the garage. We’ve learnt that it might be a good idea to invest in a cushioned bench that can be placed easily in your bedroom, right ahead of your bed. It serves the dual purpose of acting as storage and a stylish piece of furniture!
Even if you don’t want to get a cushioned bench, remember to store your winter bedding in a dry, cool place. This is one of the best tips for avoiding colour fading of your blankets and linen. Storing in garages and basements does not work because these areas can become quite humid.
6. Get Your Storage Area Ready
Before you start piling up your winter blankets in a cupboard, bench or any other storage area, make sure to clean it well. We generally do this by pulling everything out and using a water and vinegar solution for wiping the area. Be absolutely sure that the area is dry before you place your bedding and linens in there.
If you wish to keep your storage space extra fresh and odour-free, then we recommend placing some baking soda (in containers) inside the storage. We’ve found this technique to be extremely helpful in keeping any moisture and smells away.
We hope these five tips will help you wash and store your winter blankets and linen the right way!
You May Also Like to Read: How to Remove Oily Stains from Bed Sheets
1. Why do I need a fabric conditioner in addition to a detergent?
A fabric conditioner helps keep clothes wrinkle-free and soft. It also minimizes friction between the fibres leading to reduced static cling. Finally, your clothes suffer from less wear and tear with the use of a fabric conditioner.
2. What is the right way to use a fabric conditioner?
Most fabric softeners are available in liquid form and generally come with a measuring cup to help you measure the correct dose. Your washing machine's detergent drawer or dispenser should have a max. line too. You can adjust the amount of fabric conditioner you use according to the size of the load of your laundry. Check the instructions on the packaging for extra guidance.
3. Is fabric conditioner to be used only for expensive clothing?
No, you can use it for your everyday clothing as well to elongate their life and retain their softness and shine.
4. How do I decide which fabric conditioner to buy?
Customer reviews are the best way to know which fabric conditioner works well.