For most cotton blankets, you can just throw them in the washing machine and all will be fine, but for some, this may not be the case. Some may be too large for a washing machine, and would be better off at the dry cleaners. Each piece of kids bedding will say on its tag exactly what the proper cleaning method for each individual item is. It is very important to follow the instructions on the tag for that item, because washing them incorrectly could result in damaging them, or possibly causing earlier and harsher wear and tear than would normally be there.
Different items may be washed at home in a machine, but may require certain temperatures during washing and drying. It is just as important to pay attention to, and follow, the requirements for temperatures and cycles, as it is to pay attention to whether or not it needs to be dry-cleaned.
Silk, and other types of materials, usually require dry cleaning in order to keep them in good condition. Many times, these types of materials will need to be hand washed.
Cotton is, for the most part, a very versatile material, that can be washed in a machine.
If the tag comes off of a kids bedding item that you need to wash, it is best to follow the guidelines set on the machine that say for a certain material, they should be washed on a certain cycle with a certain temperature of water.
These are in place for a reason, and should definitely be followed.
It is also important to pay attention to what types of detergent it uses. If the item says “do not use bleach,” you will never ever want to use it. There are two reasons for this. One, it could damage the color of the item, which can be overcome by using non-chlorine bleach, or what some brands call color-safe bleach.
But the second reason is the same with this type of bleach as it is with chlorine bleach: bleach is a very harsh chemical that can harm the fabric and cause a much faster wear and tear on the item, leading to having to repair or throw it away before necessary.
Any type of kids bedding that is made of silk or nylon, which is unlikely in the case of bedding for children, should not be exposed to very much sunlight.
Anything with acetate should never be dried in the dryer or line-dried because heat is the enemy of acetate. Acetate should also be dry-cleaned, but if you don’t want to do this, they can be hand-washed or washed in a machine on gentle cycle using an appropriate detergent intended for materials such as these. Polyester is very similar, but slightly more durable, so while it is best to hand-washed, it can be safely machine-washed, and it is safe to line dry.
Nylon is very durable, and is basically machine washable, even on a regular cycle. Over time, though, washing nylon in a washer can lead to pilling, so you may want to hand wash them in the bathtub to avoid this. Nylon can not be line- dried because of the sun, but it can be dried in the dryer on a low setting. It is also never a good idea to use bleach on nylon. Silk should be treated like acetate. Be careful, too, of wringing after washing, because silk is very thin and can be easily damaged. Also, this only applies for silk sheets and pillow cases. If it is a silk comforter, you should have it dry cleaned only, as it is practically impossible to hand wash them. Sateen, which is 100 percent cotton, on the other hand, can be washed and dried in a machine with no problems.
As for down pillows and comforters, you must take them to a dry cleaner who is experienced in cleaning down filled items. In order to prevent it from having to be cleaned very often, you can cover it with a duvet cover. This will also help it stay in good condition for longer.
As you can see, there are many different rules for cleaning different types of sheets and blankets, whether it is kids bedding, or an adults. The best rule of thumb, as mentioned earlier, is to strictly adhere to the directions on the tag, and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Avid Amiri – President of The Kids Bedding Company.
Photo. Inga Seliverstova