If you're like us, your oversized comforter is getting lots of action this winter, because BURRR it's cold! However, you're likely not washing that comforter nearly as often as your sheets and pillowcases. For one, your comforter is likely not going to get as dirty as your sheets, but it also may be too bulky for your home washer and dryer. The good news is that your local commercial laundromat has extra-large, heavy-duty washers and dryers that are fully capable of handling large items such as your comforter. However, before you head out the door with your favorite comforter, we have a few tips to achieve the best results while washing and drying at your local commercial laundromat.
1. Pay Attention to Your Comforter's Care Label
Much like you'd do before washing a new piece of clothing, you should check your favorite comforter's care label before throwing it in the washer or dryer at your local commercial laundromat. The care label will tell you what temperature to wash your comforter on, or if your comforter can even be washed in the heavy-duty commercial laundromat washing machine. And, it's always possible that the care label will tell you that you should avoid machine washing and have your comforter dry-cleaned. Whatever the case, look for that tag and follow the instructions.
If your comforter does not have a label (or that label has magically disappeared), we typically find that store-bought comforters are made of washable materials such as cotton or polyester that are perfectly fine to be washed in a washing machine. On the other hand, if your favorite comforter is a family heirloom, you may not want to risk washing it beyond spot-cleaning.
That said, if your comforter is cleared for washing, the care label may advise against drying. For example, down comforters may or may not be able to go in the dryer (we've seen labels go both directions), so always check your comforter's care label for specific instructions on whether or not it can be dried and at what temperature.
2. Check Your Comforter for Holes or Stains BEFORE Washing
Would you describe your favorite comforter as "holy?" And no, we're not talking about religion. If so, be sure to stitch up those holes first before heading out to your local commercial laundromat to avoid the holes getting even larger or the inside of your comforter coming out.
If your comforter has any stains (which may be the exact reason you're even washing your comforter), spot treat the stain at home first. If you've got a tough stain, you may even want to spot treat, soak and rinse and home before taking it to the commercial laundromat.
3. A Little Goes a Long Way
One common misconception around washing bulk items is that you should use more detergent. actually, larger items don't require double or even triple the amount of detergent that a normal load would require. Why? Comforters tend to soak up soapy water more than an average load of laundry and it can be incredibly difficult to rinse it out. Therefore, when you're washing your favorite comforter at your local commercial laundromat, remember that a little goes a long way and use your usual amount of detergent. However, you should add an extra rinse to the cycle to make sure that all the soap is rinsed out of your comforter.
On a similar note, be careful not to use any harsh detergents or bleach on your comforter. All those chemicals can wreak havoc on the filling inside your comforter. We love a fragrant detergent as much as the next person, but using heavily perfumy smells on your comforter may disagree with your sleep cycles. We suggest using a detergent with few chemicals and little to no fragrance (if you really like a detergent that smells, try baby detergent as it tends to be gentler).
4. Go for the Extra Larger Machines, but Lower Settings
If you've never been inside a commercial laundromat, it can be quite intimidating. Don't be afraid to ask the staff (or another customer for that matter) for help at any time. In particular, if you're coming in to wash your favorite comforter, make sure you have someone point you in the direction of the extra large machines.
Those extra-large machines, run on the lowest cycle, will allow more room for your comfoter to be properly cleaned and dried thoroughly. If you're washing more than one comforter (or a comforter along with other bedding pieces), make sure that you've balanced the load. An uneven machine could cause the machine to malfunction.
When drying your comforter(s), make sure to check on your laundry every 15-20 minutes to make sure that your comforter is drying evenly and not getting bunched up (which will prevent your comforter from drying completely).
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