I know that in a perfect world we would all wash our quilts by hand if and when we decided they needed to be cleaned. We would use the mildest of soaps and we would line dry them, away from direct sunlight, of course. I don't know about you, but I don't live in a perfect world. I live in the real world. My world is very busy and right now the weather in my world in freezing cold and there is snow on the ground so I'm not hanging anything out to dry --- direct sunlight or not!!! Have you ever seen a "quiltsicle"?
In my world, though, I do try to take good care of my quilts. I do believe I have a new tool to help me in this endeavour. We bought a new washer and dryer. We had to. Mine was 30 years old and very tired. They had been repaired all that they could be repaired!!! I am soooo excited. I had no idea these new large capacity machines were so terrific. My new set are front loading machines. There is no agitator to beat up on your laundry or take up room and get things twisted. I was lucky to be able to wash 4 or 5 pairs of jeans in my old washer --- the new one can do up to 18 pairs at one time. They've come a long way baby!!! These machines are great for washing and drying quilts. There is so much room in them that the quilts can move freely and are washed gently using very little water. The dryer is huge and allows the quilts to tumble gently and air dry.
I still only use my Orvus soap to launder my quilts and will probably continue to handwash my "special" quilts but this washer and dryer are perfect for our everyday and dragabout quilts.